[SOLVED] Converting large amounts of audio files on an underpowered (cheap) PC / Laptop

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[SOLVED] Converting large amounts of audio files on an underpowered (cheap) PC / Laptop

Post by neunmalelf »

I decided to convert a large portion of my FLAC music collection to mp3.

Recently i build a little "Media Server" with a budget set to what a 4 bay NAS system would have cost at Amazon (in Europe ~ EUR 260,00 without the drives). I wanted a computer that can not only handle the files but also play pretty much every audio and video format out there and don't need another "TV Client Box" (i have tons of them and they all suck one way or another).

I bought a motherboard with and onboard CPU and chose the processor version with 4 core each running only at 1,7 GHz (2,1 GHZ Turbo) to keep the power consumption as low as possible (for this build)-

The processor is an A8-5545M, not the fastest horse but it does a very good job considering that it uses only 19W (the motherboard including the processor cost less than EUR 70,00)

I started the converting job (around 2,1 Terrabyte and over 76,000 files (covers etc. not included) on an Intel 5 system.
But since I'm lazy and don't wanna switch between systems all the time, I ended up using the little media server.
A lot of manual correction and input is needed (especially for the tags). I have set XRECODE to use only 3 cores so while it converts the files, I’m able to watch Twitch streams, YouTube Videos and have around 30 Chrome browser tabs open at all times.

Most of the files are in the FLAC format. But every now and then I run into a folder with .ape or even "crazier" files and so far XRECODE 3 has handled all of them well. Since my collection is widespread including some multi-CD Albums and large 50+ CD Anthems, I don't have real numbers, but (Pi x Thumb) it takes around a minute for the average 12 tracks album to convert from FLAC to mp3 (from an internal hard drive and a little (slow but cheap) SSD as system drive which also holds the temporary files).

I run Windows 10 Home Edition as OS, use KODI for my video and TV collection, VLC Video player for "quick jump in and watch" and foobar2000 and SoundCloud for playing music.
MP3TAG is my tool of choice for audio tagging. I'm so used to the workflow and have a ton of scripts etc. however I recently started to use XRECODE's internal tagging features but, so far, haven't found a workflow that fit my needs (old habits are hard to come by).

For watching YouTube and Twitch I use most of the time apps from the Windows app store because they don't use as much CPU power as the browser.

Bottom line:
You dont need a crippled NAS System to handle your media collection PLUS a MediaPC, "Intelligent" TV or TV Box.

You can go with a cheap and power saving motherboard / cpu and still get the job done AND have a computer that can handle your every day computer tasks including MS Office, Web Browsing, Music and Video consumption, YouTube, Twitch.
On this system i can even play some games from the Windows store and do some script programming, python, TCL, AutoHK, VB for applications (8 GB of RAM are more than enough).

Since i don't use PhotoShop i can't say if the system can handle some basic editing.
Video editing: The system can handle the occasional mum and pop video clip at 1080p video editing and export job (exporting takes some time of course).

I could have use some other tools for converting my audio files ( i do have several programs in my arsenal) but XRECODE has the advantage of:

- doing the job very well
- has a clean interface
- has a ton of options


- the developer(s) actually listen to their consumers
(something you don't find elsewhere not even in the open source community)

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