.mka files containing 5.1 DTS/DTS-HD + 2.0 flac tracks playback issues

I got a couple of DTS or DTS-HD music discs, all in ‘mka’ container format. The music player of Kodi on my Vero 4K+ plays them quite flawlessly in terms of sound quality, but here are some issues to address.
(i) Once I stop a song, there is no way to play it again unless rebooting the unit. Playback seems to start but no sound output and the display on the AVR shows stereo source instead of 5.1 DTS or DTS-HD.
(ii) Although “play next song automatically” is “on” yet sometimes it stops once the first song ends. Though this problem is not very difficult to get aorund i.e. you should select the next song and push PLAY button, it can be a pain in the rear if listening to music is just a background activity.
Does anyone have any idea how to solve these problems?
(Neither of the above problems exists in Kodi 19.3 on windows)

To get a better understanding of the problem you are experiencing we need more information from you. The best way to get this information is for you to upload logs that demonstrate your problem. You can learn more about how to submit a useful support request here.

Depending on the used skin you have to set the settings-level to standard or higher, in summary:

  • enable debug logging at settings->system->logging

  • reboot the OSMC device twice(!)

  • reproduce the issue

  • upload the log set (all configs and logs!) either using the Log Uploader method within the My OSMC menu in the GUI or the ssh method invoking command grab-logs -A

  • publish the provided URL from the log set upload, here

Thanks for your understanding. We hope that we can help you get up and running again shortly.

OSMC skin screenshot:

I hope using this log https://paste.osmc.tv/imiyenojis you will be able to understand my problem. Do not hesitate to question whatever seems necessary. I also have to state that HD audio has been passed through like a charm when playing back videos that has contained HD audio.

For part of the problem try changing your audio settings from optimized to best match.

As for the other are those files containing both dts and flac in the same mka? I’ve never played around in this particular topic but I would think that maybe paplayer might have some issues with this since music files don’t normally contain multiple tracks. I suppose you could also try doing a context menu over a file and tell it to play using video player to see if that works better for you. Maybe run them through mkvtoolnix and make a copy that is just the dts and see if the issue goes away. I found some dts files and converted them to mka and everything seems to work without issue using either player in music>files.

I have done that, unfortunately did not help.

Yes, they are, it is a common used audio container format at music fileshare portals. Windows based Foobar and Kodi easily handles them, problem starts when playing them in OSMC. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Unfortunately switching from the default PAPlayer to VideoPlayer does not solve the issue. Mind you, movies with HD audio tracks can easily be played back in OSMC without any issue.

I have just checked all the settings and music playback capabiities on my windows based Kodi environment. Playback of HD music tracks even in mka container format works just fine, without any issue.

It seems to me that generally .MKA audio files aren’t handled too well by Kodi - I had this issue - [TESTING] Kodi v19 builds for Vero 4K / 4K + - #659 by thechrisgregory

I can confirm the “flickering display” issue and the likes you mentioned in your topic still exsist both in OSMC and Windows Kodi 19.3. As for the playback of an .mka file is concerned no problem at all under windows, whereas in OSMC it has always been troublesome to me.
Can you please check if you experience any .mka playback concern similar to mine? I assume you have a proper hardware setup and if it works well with you then we could be pretty sure it is not a SW issue.

can you upload the .mka files that you are having trouble with and I can try them on my set up (Vero4K + & Yamaha RX-A2A & LG 4K TV) ?

I have some MKA files containing DTS 5.1 and DTS-HD with a chapter tables, each chapter representing a different audio track, and playing these is straightforward, using the MKV/MKA chapters. Are you using chapters or indexing the audio by some other means ?

It is almost 3GB where and how could I upload it?

Use separate transfers if they are over 2GB.

Have found a file that is smaller than 2GB, once download link is ready I’ll send it to you.

A chapter xml is always included in the .mka. I know nothing about the other method, i.e. how to indexing the audio.

So, I have no problem playing your MKA file, stopping or starting it etc, indeed it has an chapter XML and I use this to start/stop different tracks, seems fine.

Notably as the MKA contains two audio streams, it selects the DTS-HD audio stream, and there is no obvious way of selecting the FLAC audio stream. I suspect they would need to be in different files, rather combined in the the one MKA container file.

I wonder, have you got passthrough (settings>system>audio>audio passthrough>allow passthrough) enabled or disabled on your Vero4k.

It should be enabled if your AVR can cope with DTS-HD. Your logs indicate that it is.

What AVR do you have ?

If you playback the file using the video player, you should be able to switch audio tracks via the OSD audio settings dialog. The music player doesn’t offer such dialog.

Understand the approach, and I could select the video player, and it played, and I wasn’t sure whether it really was the video player as there was no obvious way of getting to the audio settings dialogue as there is with videos/videoplayer (menu button on remote, OR press OK, then select the loudspeaker icon). Could this be because its an MKA container ?

If the button is not there, Kodi is hiding it. Our skin isn’t :man_shrugging:t2:

Looked to me like I could not invoke the video player and it continued to use the PAPlayer - With a song/track of the MKA selected, I brought up the context menu and selected “Play using…”, selected the VideoPlayer and it continued to play the song, but I could not then select the audio options normally available when playing videos (a short press of the menu remote button) to change to the other audio stream of the MKA file.

I did actually map playerprocessinfo to visualization (the fullscreen audio playback screen) on the Vero remotes the same as for the full screen video playback, but only because it used to work before they revamped that feature (at least from what I found on forum posts) and I figured they might implement it again at some point so why not. AFAIK neither it or the player debug screens are currently intended to work except if there is video present.

The default player for mka is paplayer unless you manually change it with an advancedsettings.xml

I think the confusion with selecting the audio track is that even though you can have the sound go through videoplayer instead of paplayer that doesn’t change Kodi knowing your playing an audio only file and as such you get the visualization window in fullscreen and not fullscreenvideo which has those controls. I suppose if someone is really curious they could see if ssh’ing into the box while playing and entering “kodi-send -a AudioNextLanguage” works to switch it.

I tried this in advancedsettings.xml:-


Sure enough the default player changed when observing the context menu but there was still no possibility of selecting a different audio stream in the MKA file.

I really think that there could be better support (in Kodi in particular) for MKA (container) files, and the potential they bring for rendering diverse and multiple audio streams in one container file.