Nero 10 Mediahub Audio Playback of Monkeys Audio APE files problem

I've just installed the latest Nero 10 suite on a new Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PC. I have a whole bunch of Monkey's Audio APE lossless compressed audio files. When I try to play them in Mediahub, they don't work. According to Nero support, they support APE files. The Nero docs also have APE listed in the supported CODECs list.

When I try to open an APE file in Mediahub, it shows the title and duration, but all the other media info areas say N/A. And, next to the track listing in the Mediahub player window, there is an ! symbol, which, when hovered over says: "The file could not be loaded. It is probably not supported or damaged". The file is not damaged. I can play it with Winamp, running in a VMWare XP virtual machine on the same PC.

Nero support has not been of much help yet, so wondering if anyone else has run into this? Might it be a Win 7 64 bit issue? Or maybe APE support is busted in Nero 10? Or maybe the APE compression settings I used when I made these APE files are not compatible with Nero?

If anyone has Nero 10 loaded on a Win7 64 bit system, and could comment on whether thy can play APE files, that would be most helpful.

Dwaine
DwaineoAsked:
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MereteCommented:
Thanks Dwaineo
good stuff  that gives a full overall picture, and it looks like your Nero is the only problem.
I dont think it has anything to do with Vista 64. But the fact these files are WAV.
The directshow filter may fail to register on some systems.. Or you don't have it.
--------------------------
Thankfully I found a sample APE so I can now test it too.
http://www.vbaccelerator.com/home/vb/code/vbmedia/audio/Lossless_WAV_Compression/Sample_APE_File.asp
ok testing results
Nero Showtime.< my Nero Media Player>PASS<< uses my codecs
Gom Player>Pass< has the directshow filter
Winamp>fail<<
WMP 11> pass<< uses my directshow codecs
VLC>Pass<< has the directshow filter
WMC, I couldnt get it into it let alone play it, you're right it's crap.
My Gspot reports I have 236 codecs installed, and also reports the same direct sound
So it plays in my Nero showtime media player.

This Nero Hub is not a stand alone media player but rather a combination of tools in one.
All the software on your windows 7 uses the hardware you have, audio chip/card video chip/card
With that in mind Nero may not necessairly install all you need. It does not natively have the directshow filter so may not regester the .APE correctly
Do you have Nero showtime?

I built this system some 2 months ago and I still found to get Windows 7 functioning the way I need in video and audio support
 I had to install a few codecs the main  Direct Show filters for OGG Vorbis and AAC. /divx / ffdshow
etc..
I recomend these in your instance as well, since these files a WAVE, even though your Nero states it supports APE the APE file can contain different properties.
This Directshow filter may just give it that extra leaway to support all types of Flac Wave APE etc
Sermon over :)
So install VLC and see if it gives you the codec  
read this>what is a codec
http://www.windows-vista-update.com/Windows_Vista_codecs.html
or download the Vista codec pack
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Vista_Codec_Package.htm
or individual
http://www.free-codecs.com/Audio_Codecs.htm

This package features a number of plug-ins to allow Nero Burning Rom to burn a variety of formats to audio disc which it doesn't normally support.
http://www.cole2k.net/nero-plugin-pack.html
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pandarossaCommented:
It seems an incompatibility caused by the WIndows 7 64bit edition.
Try using Alchool120% to burn your APE files or try to convert your ape file to a wav file using an external universal converter like foobar2000 (www.foobar2000.org) and rename it to CDimage CD-1.wav
Open your cue file (just created) with notepad and check that's written simply:
FILE "CDimage CD-1.wav"
not the entire path of file like  C:\Documents and settings... etc.. In the cue file must be written only
FILE "CDimage CD-1.wav"
Now put your cue file in the same folder of the wav file and burn your music just opening the cue file, not the wav one!
Hope this helps you
Best regards
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your suggestion, but I am not looking to burn these files to a CD. I just want to play them in the Nero player app (Mediahub). I certainly don't want to convert them just to enable this. If it turns out that the Nero app can't play them, I will use something else. But I want to try and verify that's it's a Nero problem, and if so, is it because it's running in a Win 7 64 bit environment?

I wanted to test playing these files in Winamp, using the APE plugin. But it's starting to look like perhaps that won't work in a 64 bit environment either. Maybe it's an issue with the APE CODEC in 64 bit space. If so, that would be a bummer. (But, I CAN play these file in Winamp running in an XP VM on the 64 bit Win7 system).
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MereteCommented:
I dont have any API lossless.
But am avid user of Nero and now running Windows 7 32 bit
Same problem in W7 you need to install codecs / audio plugins and other stuff to get some normality'
 Lossless Audio Codec is the one I suggest
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/flac.htm
this is for Nero 6 but the tips where to install to may come in handy since it's for Nero
http://my.nero.com/index.php?__path=Blog%3A%2F%2FDisplayBlogComposite%2Fmrchuck999%2F7201137&NCSS=a104i6OJ1PV4tL8tRYPhXxp9nzYKCCtWHSr9
See if gspot works on your system
brilliant tool for video and audio
Establishes what video and audio codecs are required
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/GSpot
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments. This is from the Medaihub Help doc, in the Technical Information > Supported Formats and Codecs > Audio Formats and Codecs section:

Monkey's audio (APE)

So it would seem like I should not need to manually install a codec for this format.

And while I appreciate comments for alternative lossless codecs to use, I already have 400GB of APE files I've ripped from my CD collection. I do NOT want to rerip, or convert, all this data to a new format, unless I really have to. If it turns out that Nero APE support won't work for some reason, then I may need to reconsider that stand.

I'm still hoping someone with Nero Mediahub installed in a Win 7 64 bit environment can test APE file playback for me, as a sanity check as to whether I'm doing something stupid, or it just doesn't work.
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MereteCommented:
hmmm  maybe you misunderstood me I never mentioned>> rerip, or convert<< sorry if I gave you that impression.
But I do have a vast experience with Nero.
I'd suggest you run Nero Hub in 32 bit emulation mode as shown here
On 64-bit operating systems, applications run in 32-bit emulation mode
Minimum system requirements for Nero Multimedia Suite 10
http://www.nero.com/eng/nero10-system-requirements.html
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
I very well may have misunderstood you. But you mentioned getting the flac codec, and that would not seem to help me at all with APE files. APE is not FLAC, although it is lossless like FLAC. To use FLAC, I would need to convert my APE files or rerip my CD's using FLAC. That's how I got that impression.

I think I meet the minimum system requirements. I have a i7-988X CPU on an ASUS P6T7 WS mobo with 24GB of RAM, Win 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, 10+ TB of RAID6 storage.

You mention running Nero in 32 bit emulation mode. How do I do that on a 64 bit Win 7 system? Or does it do that automatically?

Again, I need to play APE files, and I'm confused as to how your suggestion to use FLAC helps me with that.

As far as using gspot, I will try that. I've used that in the past on my XP systems. But again, Nero docs say it has built in codec support for APE files. In my feeble mind, that means I shouldn't have to mess with external codecs to make this work.

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MereteCommented:
ok I meant API
 Nero in 32 bit emulation mode
Right-click on the  NERO or the  Hub..exe file, select Properties, go to the Compatibility tab and choose Windows XP SP3
run as administrator

emulation-mode.jpg
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
OK, I went the the Nero 10 / Nero Mediahub directory, and I put the 3 application files there (MediaHub.exe, MediaHub.Main.exe and MediaLibBrowser.exe) into XP SP3 compatibility mode. That did not change the behavior when I tried to open a .APE file.
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MereteCommented:
Back to square one.
This error Nero puts out doesnt explain anything..... Sounds like it doesnt know what the problem is and so just throws that.
.ape for audio, and .apl for track metadata.
Since you mentioned they play fine in Winamp do you have a plugin so they play in winamp? or is it the VM xp mode?>
>> I can play it with Winamp, running in a VMWare XP virtual machine on the same PC<< XP mode,<<< no problems so it's again pointing to Nero.
Did you install Nero in VM.XP 32bit or in Vista?
Winamp is mainly an audio player and doesnt need Dolby or 5.1 enabled,
http://filext.com/file-extension/APE
To narrow it down to Nero Hub and this version..have you tried playing mp3 ?? Do they play fine?
Then try playing your APE in Windows Media Player.
If that works then it's either your version of Nero/ or you need a plugin, or there is some corruption from a previous version of Nero, or it's Vistax64
Which version or Nero?? OEM..Essentials>> or the full pack?
From the manual..
Versions of Nero MediaHub
Nero MediaHub is available in a Nero MediaHub full version and different Nero MediaHub Essentials versions.
Essentials or OEM software may differ from the full version in a more or less broad functional range. Thereby, the feature limitations of your single essentials version compared to the full range depends on the co-contractor's choice.
Nero MediaHub Essentials version 1 does not offer the following features:
¿ The number of supported video and audio codecs is limited.<<<
¿ Library based music and video browsing and playback are not available.

Nero Media Hub Manual states these>> !!!<<Indicates warnings, preconditions or instructions that have to be precisely followed.
MANUAL
http://ftp6.nero.com/user_guides/nero10/mediahub/NeroMediaHub_en-US.pdf

Do you have any other versions of Nero here ? or only Nero Multimedia Suite 10?
Did you uninstall any previous versions before installing this version?
If a previous version was on it may not be fully removed.  
There is a Nero cleanup tool
http://www.nero.com/enu/support-nero7-tools-utilities.html

Take a look in your device manager to see if there is any conflicts or yellow question marks,
Go to View and tick to show hidden devices.
http://www.nero.com/ena/support-nero10-faq.html?s=sub&t=Nero MediaHub
And finally to cover all basis Gspot is a codec analyser
provides you with information of what codecs you have installed in Vista and if this APE is supported

Regards Merete
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your feedback. I'll hopefully answer all your questions:

The APE files play fine in a WinXP virtual machine running under VMWare Workstation 7 on this Win7 PC. This VM is my previous home machine, that I vitualized to run on my new Win 7 PC. And yes, that Winamp does have an APE plugin: in_APE.dll. It was long ago, but I believe this came from the Monkey's Audio site: www.monkeysaudio.com

I loaded Winamp on the Win7 machine, and it does not play APE files. I tried finding Win7 plugins for this and had no luck. I JUST tried copying the in_APE.dll plugin from the VM to the Win7 Winamp plugins folder. I didn't expect it to work, but it works great! So I can at least play APE files in a native Win7 Winamp app if I need to. That's good!

The Win 7 Windows Media Center sucks! The Win7 Windows Media Player DOES play APE files, even though it says it doesn't recognize that extension. Also, because it doesn't like the APE extension, I have not figured out a way to force feed these files into the Windows Media Music Library. Do you have any hints about that?

I have the complete Nero Multimedia Suite 10 package. I loaded it fresh on this Win7 machine. I just built this machine, so it had no previous version of anything on it.

No Device Manager conflicts.

I'm not sure how to interpret the gspot results. I select an APE file with it, and it doesn't show any audio codecs. But in the "Proposed Codec Solutions and Tests" window, it had a highlighted 1 under the MS column. When I clicked that, the results were:
Render OK. The following combination of filters was used:
(SRC)-->[Default DirectSound Device]

If I hover the mouse over the "Default DirectSound Device" area, it says: quartz.dll

It plays the file properly.

I assume this is how Windows Media Player is able to play the file.

So, everything seems to work EXCEPT Nero MediaHub to play APE files.

Just as a sanity check, since all the other stuff is working, I tried MediaHub again. Still no good. I took it back out of XP compatibility mode, and still no good.

Any other thoughts? And thanks for your patience with this!





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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
I loaded the codecs file from the various links above. Still no good.

The good news is that WMP and WinAmp still work after loading all these codecs. :)

I tried to load the cole2k Nero plugin pack. But it said it did not detect Nero Burning ROM installed, and exited. Nero Burning ROM, version 10, is installed. So I presume this package is not compatible with Nero Suite 10.

I downloaded the sample file you used. Surprise! It DOES play in Nero MediaHub. I guess that's why it works for you too. Likely, that file would have played before I loaded any of this codec stuff. I guess that implies that the format of my APE files is not compatible with Nero MediaHub, for some reason.

I'm not sure where to go with this. Likely I will have to give up on playing my APE library with Nero. Unless you have any other thoughts? Maybe I should just convert them all to FLAC?

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MereteCommented:
I hoped you would try that sample, yes agree it would probably have played before installing the codecs.
It's made from monkey as well.
I really wish we could resolve this.
Any chance you can upload a small .APE to me here at EE?
I can then test it

Don't know the language of this but you know how some audio tracks have different filters/aac ac3  16/ or 32 bitrates etc, I think your's have something that is not compatible with this version of Nero's Media Hub,  or Nero Media Hub doesn't like your tracks because it can't look up the CDDB.. Gracenotes..
The sample we tested is a .ape wave..
Are your .ape wave?

 this is an aac sample see if it plays in your Nero media-H. It plays in my Nero showtime
http://www.findthatfile.com/download.php?m=&ID=3836&t=fAAC
More here
http://www.findthatfile.com/index.php?q=rtmpdump.mplayerhq.hu&tags=1&ds=1&mediaselect=
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MereteCommented:
On the other >> I have not figured out a way to force feed these files into the Windows Media Music Library. Do you have any hints about that? <<I meant WMP 12 not 11.
To import your tracks from a USB drive?
I have all my music on a USB 1 terrabyte external hard drive
and sorted  into alphabetical folders
Here's how to import them into WMP
Open WPM, have your USB drive on
In WMP go to File>Manage Libraries>MUSIC>in the next Panel go ADD-OK>In the Left Panel navigate to your USB Drive and then actual folder/s of your music>highlight a Folder >>click INCLUDE
and wait.
I definately recomend smallish lots at a time
Personally WINAMP is far better, WMP tends to lockup for me. Or stops responding, diable all the internet stuff
Also Check WMP> TOOLS>OPTIONS>LIBRARY>Media Library Settings>UNTCK<>Delete files from computer when deleting Library<< what a horrible setting to have for the novices..
Once you have done one folder if you can't find it in the library look down to the bottom of the left panel see MUSIC under that >Artist click on that and then look over to the right  you should see your folder
Then drag them over to the right to create the playlist
cheers
import-1.jpg
import-2-select-directory.jpg
select-folder.jpg
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
I have an APE file slightly under 1MB. Smallest one I can find easily. That equates to 13 seconds of audio. How can I get the file to you?

These APE files were all created from CD rips, which were WAV files. I used EAC to do the ripping, and an external codec for the conversion. The codec was mac.exe from the Monkey's Audio mac_399f.exe distribution. The "bit rate" was set to "normal lossless compression".

For the "importing tracks into WMP" question: I have a folder full of folders of ripped CD's. A few of them are mp3, but most are ape. When I aim the WMP Import app at this folder, it finds and imports all the mp3 tracks, but none of the ape tracks. Since it can PLAY these ape tracks, it would be nice to force it to import them somehow, so they don't have to be selected for playing at the directory level. That's what I meant by "force feeding" the files to the WMP Import process.

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MereteCommented:
50 megs is fine lol. look below your comments box see the orange words> paper clip>.File |Code| Image
click on File,> Add File> browse to your .ape. give the upload a name then hit submit.. you may need to rename .ape to jpeg or something else.
I can't give you my email address  since this question is open.. it's against EE policy since it's supposed to give me an unfair advantage to solving your problem. Otherwise I would.

I see yes, WMP does not actually recognise the format association, W7 WMC works in conjuction with WMP what crap..
Only folders can be included in libraries.
Dont know if this can assist you since they do play,
http://www.hack7mc.com/2009/01/playing-flac-files-in-media-center.html

You can also setup wmp to monitor folders so that everytime it is opened will automatically update the playlists, but only if the external drive is online.
You should be able to drag and drop them into the playlist... the panel on the rightside where it states drag items here to make a playlist..
Where as with Winamp you can highlight the lot  you want to play r/click and ENQUEUE in winamp.
Make playlists etc.
See if the upload works
Merete
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Wow, using the power of EE to figure out how to upload a file for this question, it sent me to the EE Stuff site. And I was able to upload a file for this question there. In looking to see how that file shows up here, back on the question page, I now notice the "File" button at the bottom of this Post Comment box. DOH! I'm going to try that button, just to see how it works. In case that fails, the EE Stuff link for the file is:

https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/7894-Tony-Goldmark---Akward---Rage-A.ape

Aha, that did NOT work. APE is not in the list of excepted extensions. So hopefully, the link above will get you the file.

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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Hi Merete, I must have posted my response above at the same time you posted. :) I tried the link, and it looks like it will work. And no need to rename the extension! :)
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MereteCommented:
lol I didnt think they still used that, ok testing now BRB
it's only 973 KB too small?
Oh goodness me in Nero showtime I get a reverb noise.
Nothing at all in others regesters size as zero
Use EEstuff an upload a full size Dwaineo
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MereteCommented:
If that is how it's meant to sound then it works lol, sorry I missed that bit
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Just to be sure, I downloaded the file from the link above, and it plays OK in WinAmp.
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
Here is a screenshot of MediaHub with the file in the link above loaded into it. If I hover over the ! on the left, it says: "The file could not be loaded. It is probably not supported or damaged"


mediahub-snapshot.png
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MereteCommented:
You did well to workout how to use EE stuff. I could have helped on that,
This what i hear.
https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/7896-audio-reverb.mp3
Audacity recognises the file but wont import it stating this in the image.
Was this file made on MAC?
Anyway I think the problem ois the source of the .APE workaround as suggested by Audacity is to convert them to WAV.
Audacity-message.jpg
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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
The link you posted definitely does not sound correct. I downloaded the file from the first link I posted, and it sounds fine. Did you try the file at the second link I posted? Again, both the files I uploaded sound fine on a Winamp player here on my office PC, running XP Pro SP3.

This file was not made on a MAC computer. MAC.exe is just the name of the Monkey's Audio command line codec.

I don't like Audacity's suggestion at all. :)

As a test last night, I did try converting a few folders of APE files to FLAC files. And those worked fine in MediaHub. So if I have to convert, I'll use FLAC, not WAV. I was just hoping I would not have to convert.

If you are having issues with the second, longer, APE file I uploaded, I guess it is about time to give up on this effort. Let me know how you would like to proceed. If we are done, I will certainly award the points to you, as you have went to some effort to help me with this.
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MereteCommented:
I tried two one is called  Tony Goldman and the other TV Mission impossible which I recorded the sample to illistrate, they both make the same reverb sounds.
VLC stops responding, Winamp show zero bytes, Gom and Nero play it with the reverb sounds
what do you hear? Actual music?
I agree with the idea of converting to flac instead of wav.

So to sumerise, I dont think it's Windows 64 specific related as I tested them in the other windowsxpsp2 I have here same results .It's the source codes ..The sample .api played fine.

No need to award to points Dwaineo for effort as much as that appeciated we never reached a solution. But we have discovered a few things about .api. and how they are handled in the new software.
It's only going to get harder to play music if we can't prove we have paid for them. Even if we have.
Microsoft is watching :O
Regards Merete


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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
When I download the files I uploaded, and play them in Winamp, they sound fine. Do you have the in_APE.dll file in your Winamp Plugins directory? If not, that's likely why they are not working for you. If you don't have it, and would like to try it, I uploaded it here:

https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/7897-in_APE.dll

Thanks for all your help Merete! It was a learning experience (I now know how to upload files to EE) and you provided some useful codec links.

I'll go get busy converting files to FLAC now! :)

Regards,
Dwaine


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DwaineoAuthor Commented:
While we didn't exactly figure out why Nero 10 MediaHub won't play my APE files, we did prove that it can play SOME APE files, as in the sample file Merete provided. This was my main goal, just to ensure I hadn't set something up improperly on my system. And, we proved that Merete had issues playing my sample files on anything she tried them on. So, even though they work fine for me in Winamp and play back OK in Win 7 WMP (even though it doesn't recognize what they are) there must be something odd about my files. Since FLAC looks like a much more widely supported lossless CODEC, I guess it makes sense to use that going forward. So I will convert all my APE files to FLAC. I guess that's a solution, painful though it will be (9000 files, at 170GB, could take a bit of effort!)
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MereteCommented:
Thanks Dwaine, I installed the  .dll to my winamp plugin and now they play fine
awsome !!
But no changes with Nero Showtime, tried Nero wave editor errored.
tried Nero Sound trax not supported.
Good luck with converting them, or just leave Nero Hub out of the equasion.
Thanks for a great question and the learning curb on Nero multimedia suite I wont buy it.
cheers Merete
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