How to play Stereo Layer of SACD ISO files?

I was wondering how to access the Stereo Layer of an SACD ISO that has both Stereo and Multi-Channel area. When I add the ISO files to the library, it only lists the Multi-Channel variant. I want to have both in separate playlists as I have both a 2 channel and multi channel DAC.

Foobar has a checkbox option for which area to select. So you can add the Stereo Layer to one playlist, and the Multi-Channel layer to another just be selecting the checkbox. This is the kind of behaviour I would like in Audirvana. I upgraded to v2.5.10 since it mentioned multi-channel ISO files, but it did not correct this.

David Engel.

Extract them using TRAX

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

I used Sonore several years ago to extract to .DFF format. But I was wondering if there was an advantage to using the original ISO file. Foobar2000 allows for direct play of both areas separately.

There is no difference in sound quality between ISO and separate *.dsf files.
The advantage of *.dsf files is that you can put metadata in them.

I use Foobar2000 too, but I still extract all my SACD ISO’s to *.dsf files with the reason I mentioned above (I can put covers, artist info etc. in them).

Interesting that it can maintain DST compression, but only for .dff files (which is very tricky for file tags). File size vs. metadata… hmmm.

I experimented with both .dsf and .dff before. Thought there was a bit more air in the .dff format, and a slight dip in quality from the original .ISO file. I wanted to use Audirvana to A-B them to see if that was still the case.

*.dff files can not hold metadata. *.dsf files can. If you rip your ISO’s to dff files there is no advantage at all. Better rip them to *.dsf.

I don’t consider file size as an issue with the (cheap) storage available nowadays.

There is a sidecar Solution that Damien implemented for .dff files to hold tags in the database side of Audirvana. But yeah, trying to use them elsewhere is a no go. I’ve been using this solution for years but it’s not perfect.

A bit off topic but this useful tool helps to edit SACD ISO’s very well. I’ve used it successfully too tag metadata more to my liking :smiling_face:

TRAX extracts the stereo layer and the multi-channel layer from the ISO file.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

Confirmed that Audirvana does not play the Stereo layer when selecting the 6 channel file through a Stereo DAC. It plays a mix down of the 5.1 file, or worse only the LR front channels. I guess there is no way for A+ to recognize the Stereo layer if the Multi-Channel layer is present; short of extracting to explicit DSF/DSDIFF files. Hmmm…

What about if you add the ‘Audio channels number’ field in the display…
i only have stereo files, but you, can you see other things?
6 or 7 channels? then, classified them by that way…

right click title bar to add…

Yes, I do this and can see 6-channel files. The problem is that when you load an SACD .ISO file with both Stereo and Multi-Channel files, Audirvana will only show the multi-channel files, not the Stereo ones.

I did find a sort of workaround using the utility that Doug posted above:

This will allow you to edit the tagging of your ISO files (where you can see both areas and edit them independently) and give you the option of deleting the 6-channel area. This will give you an intact Stereo layer only .ISO file, BUT MAKE SURE you are doing this with a spare copy because it will destroy your original .ISO file! I had a spare copy on an external drive, so could do this: parsing 312 GB down to 92GB of Stereo only ISO files. Then copied these to a new directory to add to Audirvana Library, and THEN it will recognize the Stereo DSD64 files from your SACD! Crazy, But it works…

Audirvana should really be able to see both parts of the ISO files without having to crate a second copy by deleting out the Multi-Channel layer, The data is already there!

Now I’m considering making a spare copy on my NAS using TRAX to DST compress the .dff files. it is a real space pig, and 6 channel DSD files are too much of a strain to pull off the NAS anyway. I use an SSD for Multi-Channel. A functional backup sitting at 50% the size sounds tempting!

I am still of the opinion that for Sound Quality: SACD ISO > DFF > DSF


You can use WavePack lossless compression on DSDIFF and DSF files…
Audirvana supports decoding of WavePack files (I don’t know if this extends to DSF files though…)

I think it is somewhat contrapuntal to the premise of Audirvana being a high performance audio-engine, to have it labor over the extraction of either one of the two files from the .ISO mother… Something will be compromised in sound-quality because of this conveniency… Something I never want to see in Audirvana.

Storage media is inexpensive these days… I much prefer to have the stereo, the multi-channel files and the .ISO mother, stored independent of each other in different folders… I never play the .ISO files.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

This is just for an offline backup not intended to be played. I too keep all three versions (Stereo .dff, Multi-Chnannel .dff and the ISO) but to also have a full backup of all of these expanded out is very inefficient. I haven’t looked into WavePack, but I have to admit that I am getting better tonal balance playing the ISO directly (which I never did before) despite it’s inherent DST encoding. Goes against logic, but hey.

If it can be converted back losslessly, it might serve better as a backup to save that 50 or so percent. Space is cheap but not infinite. There are practical management issues when collections get too big.

This is exactly what I also do. My setup only allows 2 channel playback so getting rid of that excess in multi channel ISO’s makes sense. But my main offline backup the ISO’s remain untouched :blush:. TRAX Audio SACD Extractor is as well an excellent program, unfortunately for me under macOS 14 Sonoma it’s not working exactly as l would like, but extracting to DSD works as it should.

I have 2 external USB SSD Drives (4TB each, 8 TB total) connected to a NUC computer exclusively for my music library. Admittedly most of it is (high-res) flac, but around 20% is *.dsf files. Until now around 5 TB is used in total (which is already a very large library).
I also have another mechanical (10 TB) HDD in my house with backups of the 2 NUC drives. Besides that I have another 10 TB HDD with friends (out of my house) in case of emergency (fire/theft etc.). Call me overly cautious, but I have learned that from a lifetime working in the IT.
This is ample space for a very very large music library. How big is your library if I may ask?

Also, what are your practical concerns? If I would want more space I would simply add an extra usb drive to my NUC. No practical management issues at all, except for adding another entry in Audirvana (and Foobar2000). I assume you keep your ISO’s as a back up, so you don’t have to for the extracted files.

Just trying to keep everything tidy and not span drives with functional groups. I don’t have a whopper 10TB drive, that’d be nice. 2 x 4TB in the NAS, 2 x 2 TB SSDs and two external mechanicals 2 TB and 3 TB respectively. They are all getting full. Difference is that I am 80/20 DSD vs. PCM. PCM can at least be saved as FLAC. DSD is just a pig!

If your collection consists of legitimate SACD rips and have kept your discs, you already have a relatively permanent back-up of that DSD content… (I have some “laser-rot” invading a couple of my SACD discs".

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

I’d never go through that pain of ripping SACDs again. I have everything where I need it, and everything has a copy. The only question is do I go through the pain of redoing the multi .DFFs with DST compression to save about 200-300GB on the NAS. That copy just sits there, and my playable one is on direct attached SSD. I’m not sure if I want to, but I could correct tagging issues at the ISO level if I undergo that.

There is also the option of moving to .DSF instead, but I have always noticed not as much air or echo with that format for whatever reason. I have a feeling that .DSF does not matrix the sound, since it was originally only a two channel format, when I run a Pro Logic II 5.1 to play DSF, it doesn’t seem to spread as well. So I stick with .DFF.

TRAX may do a better job of extracting the .DSF file than the Sonore iso2dsd application… I use iso2dsd to rip the SACD .ISO file and TRAX to extract the .DSF file from the .ISO file…

What?? Pro Logic II? …Your system is decimating the 5.1 DSD to PCM if this is truly the playback scenario… :astonished: … If you are using an HDMI connection to a receiver then you may be getting better playback fidelity… If you are trying to qualify DSD sound-quality via Pro Logic DSP and not via discrete DSD output, from a multi-bit DSD-Wide DAC output or a pure 1-bit PDM (DSD) DAC output , you have lost credence with me. I sure hope you are doing better in the stereo DSD department… :smirk:

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