Sunday, January 23, 2005

Direct Show / Windows Media Player .SHN Plug-In

While the world is entranced by MP3s and MP3 players, a small segment of the digital music revolution is more interested in lossless music. Using the filetypes of SHN (Shorten) or FLAC (free lossless audio codec), these file formats give better quality but result in larger files. I have a library approaching 1 terrabyte of lossless music, the centre piece of which is my collection of around 500 Greateful Dead live shows (a collection that will shortly be growing when the additional of 2TB of disk space on "back order" finally arrives!).

While SHN and FLAC files offer better quality, you need to use WinAmp, plus the relevant WinAmp Plug-ins to play them in stead of Media Player. There has been no plug in to Microsoft's Media Player to support these formats.

Welcome then to Direct Show / Windows Media Player .SHN Plug-In written by someone at RIT in the US. Don't know too much more about the author, other than his email address from the site. But it works OK (so far) and I can hear no real difference in sound quality between MedialPlayer and WinAmp with their respective plug-ins loaded.

And if you are into live music, the Live Music Archive contains tens of thousands of live concerts, many in SHN/FLAC format. This includes 2777 Grateful Dead Shows, 19 New Riders shows, and 2 Phil Lesh and Friends shows. Oddly, there's no Jerry Garcia Band or Bob Weir shows.

1 comment:

bill quatro said...

check out for live shows