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fre:ac Developer Blog

Welcome to the fre:ac developer blog. I will post status updates and other information about fre:ac development here.



Get BonkEnc from Download.com Print
Written by Robert   
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 11:33

I added buttons for downloading the BonkEnc installer package via Download.com a few weeks ago. I hope that this step will increase public exposure of BonkEnc on the number one download site.

It takes a few days until new releases are published on Download.com, so they will be offered solely via SourceForge for approximately the first two weeks after a release.

All this only applies to the graphical installer package by the way. The ZIP and source code packages will continue to be offered for download via SourceForge only.

 
BonkEnc 1.1 development status Print
Written by Robert   
Wednesday, 27 May 2009 20:22

Improved cover art support in new snapshot I released a new snapshot of the 1.1 development series a few weeks ago. It previews tons of new features that will be in BonkEnc v1.1.

Most visible to you will be the new tag editor. It is still very limited, but already allows to edit cover art and a lot of tagging fields that could not be accessed in previous versions. The tag editor will be improved in future snapshots to include an album mode and allow tag editing of files not loaded into the joblist.

The snapshot is the first to include native x86-64 support. Currently, only the FAAC, LAME and Ogg Vorbis codecs are supported on 64 bit systems, but others can be integrated as external codecs.

Speaking of codecs, support for the Speex format has been added, the external TAK encoder is included in the distribution and decoding of several basic audio formats (such as Microsoft Wave or Apple AIFF) is now done using a new libsndfile based decoder component.

The new snapshot also adds features mainly needed by professional users. The most notable is support for reading ISRC codes from CDs which is needed by radio stations ripping audio CDs for broadcast.

In addition, it greatly improves cover art and freedb support and fixes some ID3v2 tagging problems.

 
Another snapshot Print
Written by Robert   
Monday, 28 April 2008 15:15

I released another BonkEnc CVS snapshot yesterday. During the last few weeks the focus was on adding/improving external (command line) encoder and decoder support. This brought support for the following new codecs to BonkEnc:

Encoders

  • Nero Digital HE-AAC Encoder
  • Fraunhofer IIS MP3 Surround Encoder
  • Helix DNA Producer RealAudio Encoder
  • LAME MP3 Command Line Encoder
  • Flake FLAC Encoder
  • Tom's Audiokompressor (TAK)
  • WavPack Encoder (WV)
  • Musepack Encoder (MPC)
  • OptimFROG Encoder (OFR)
  • Shorten Audio Encoder (SHN)
  • True Audio (TTA)
  • Lossless Audio (La)
  • RK Audio Compressor (RKAU)

Decoders

  • Tom's Audiokompressor (TAK)
  • WavPack Decoder (WV)
  • Musepack Decoder (MPC)
  • OptimFROG Decoder (OFR)
  • Shorten Audio Decoder (SHN)
  • True Audio (TTA)
  • Lossless Audio (La)
  • RK Audio Compressor (RKAU)

Several other codecs are currently being tested and might be added in a later release. A "How to" on how to add the individual encoders and decoders to BonkEnc is included in the English language manual.

Most of the encoders allow some options to be configured using the regular BonkEnc configuration dialog. Many of them also support tagging with either ID3v2 or APEv2 tags.

I know many BonkEnc users were waiting for some of these codecs to be supported for a long time. I encourage you to try out the new snapshot and the new formats. Please be aware, however, that this is a development snapshot release and is quite bleeding edge. Some of the features of BonkEnc v1.0.x might not work correctly or might not work at all even though they are enabled in the config dialog.

 
A first glimpse of the future Print
Written by Robert   
Tuesday, 25 March 2008 22:28

I released the first development snapshot of the BonkEnc v1.1 CVS tree today. It provides a first glimpse of some of what will eventually be in BonkEnc v1.1. Here are some highlights.

The BonkEnc Component Architecture now supports encoder/decoder DLLs and provides access to external command line encoders. That way you can now use encoders like Nero's HE-AAC or Musepack with BonkEnc. The snapshot package includes Musepack and WavPack encoders and comes with ready configuration files for TAK, Shorten and Nero AAC. Just copy the respective encoder executables (takc.exe, shortn32.exe or neroAacEnc.exe) to the codecs/cmdline subdirectory and BonkEnc will recognize the encoders at next start. Support for command line encoders is still very basic, however. For example, you cannot set encoder options using the BonkEnc GUI, yet. Expect better integration with BonkEnc in one of the next snapshots.

Thanks to the new flexibility gained through the BoCA interface, components for encoding and decoding Monkey's Audio (*.ape, *.mac) files could be added. Monkey's Audio is fully supported by BonkEnc now.

The LAME MP3 decoder has been replaced by a MAD decoder component. MAD is the MPEG Audio Decoder and should provide better decoding quality than LAME (however, MAD's 24 bit decoding is not yet supported in BonkEnc). It also successfully decodes some problem files which used to make LAME and BonkEnc crash in previous releases.

Finally, the configuration dialog got a new layout. You will now find a listbox with entries for each configurable component at the left side of the window while the configuration options for the selected component will appear at the right. This has become necessary due to the switch to BoCA. Lots of configurable components just couldn't be integrated into the tabbed configuration dialog of previous releases.

I hope you will have fun playing around with the new features. Please note, however, that this is a highly experimential alpha release. It's still recommended to use BonkEnc v1.0.x for daily encoding work.

 
BoCA Print
Written by Robert   
Saturday, 19 January 2008 22:28

BoCAAs some of you might already know from my posts in the support forums, the next feature release - BonkEnc v1.1 - will include a component model to ease addition of new encoders and decoders to BonkEnc and to finally make DSP filters like volume normalization or declicking possible.

BoCA - the BonkEnc Component Architecture - works using a runtime library that provides C++ APIs to both the application and individual components. Internally it uses a C API to allow dynamic loading of components. Services provided by the runtime library are split into component, application and common services. Application services include a component registry and wrapper classes around the internal C API. Component services provide support for reading and writing tags (although this will be replaced by individual components in the future) and other utility functions. Finally, common services include classes for storing track format and title information.

I'm currently working hard to get the BonkEnc v1.1 code and BoCA into a usable state. Most input and output filters have already been converted into components, but the configuration dialogs are not done, yet. Once everything is ready I will release a binary CVS snapshot as a public alpha release.

With the alpha release a component SDK will be made available to allow developers to create their own encoder / decoder components. Support for DSP and other components will be added in a later release.

 
Something about me Print
Written by Robert   
Friday, 23 February 2007 13:00

Robert Kausch After more than five years of working on the BonkEnc project, version 1.0 of BonkEnc is finally available. I think it's time to tell something about myself now. Here are some facts first:

Name: Robert Kausch
Birthday: 17 September 1982
Birth place: Neu Kaliß, MV, Germany
(a small village with around 2,000 inhabitants, I actually never lived there)
Location: Elmshorn, SH, Germany
(near Hamburg in northern Germany)
Occupation: Student 
University: Nordakademie University of Applied Sciences, Elmshorn 
Subject: Computer Science for Business
(7th semester, 1 more to go) 
Spoken languages: German, English
(some French, Japanese and Russian as well, but I just started learning) 
Open Source projects: BonkEnc, JoomlaStats, smooth class library 

I will finish university in summer '07 and currently plan to apply for a master program in software architecture then. I'd like to spend some years working abroad after I got my M.Sc., maybe in Japan or the US.

I founded the BonkEnc project back in 2001, because I didn't like the user interface of CDex. I wanted to create an application that's easy to use for beginners and powerful enough to be useful for advanced users at the same time.

Soon the project developed a life of its own. People requested this feature and that feature and my to do list grew longer and longer. I finally made a list of features that I wanted to have in a v1.0 release.

This eventually led to the release of BonkEnc v1.0 beta 1 in mid 2003. A version that I considered almost feature complete. But as more and more people started using BonkEnc, even more features were requested. I realized that beta 1 was not even near version 1.0.

Finally BonkEnc v1.0 has been released and I think it's a great product. It has almost every feature users requested in the past five years.

Development will now concentrate on BonkEnc v1.1. It will include all the features that required too many architectural changes to be included in v1.0. Support for more encoders, multi threading and multi channel support are just a few examples. And I promise it won't take another five years until the release.

 
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