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Best method to archive cds

Discussion in 'Audio' started by augerpro, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. augerpro

    augerpro Member

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    Due to the cd rot articles I've been reading,I've been thinking of backing up my entire collection of CDs to a harddrive. I would like to copy them exactly as they are, no mp3 conversion or any other format. How would i go about this? Would an iso image be practical?
     
  2. djscoop

    djscoop Active member

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    If you want to preserve an exact copy of the CD, and image file (such as ISO, BIN, NRG) would be the only way to go. Be aware that unless you only have a few CDs, creating image files of your CDs will take up quite a bit of space, figure 600 to 800 MB per CD.
     
  3. weazel200

    weazel200 Regular member

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    I too have this same problem. I want to back up my entire cd collection (120+). Harddisk space isnt a problem. I need to know a couple of things. 1) Is 320kbs the maximum bit rate you can get an mp3 at. 2) I ripped an audio cd at 128kbs a couple of days ago and the cd got accidentaly destroyed. Instead of buying it again i want to know if i can convert the mp3 files at 128kbs (crap quality) to wav (1,411kbs) and put on a cd and then rip to mp3 again or can i convert 128kbs to 320kbs without doing this long process. I feel burning to cd is a waste as i prefer digital music as it can't get ruined. Cheers for any help.
     
  4. billwebso

    billwebso Guest

    You cannot increase the quality of your file by changing it's format or increasing the bitrate. Additionally, you would not need to files to a cd to change formats or bitrates. Simply rename the resulting file and save to your hard drive. It is always a good idea to save the original as wav file and work from that original with all of your changes. Again changing the file name so that you do not replace the original file.
     
  5. weazel200

    weazel200 Regular member

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    Thanks billwebso for your help in this forum and the other one. If you make an image file of an audio cd what would be the point of storing it on your hard drive as you would need to burn it to a blank cd to listen to it. An image file cannot be opened on a hard drive or can it?
     
  6. billwebso

    billwebso Guest

    You wouldn't save them on your hard drive as an .iso file, you would save them as uncompressed wav files.
     
  7. Digidave

    Digidave Regular member

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    If you were to use http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net/to load the CD on to the Harddrive & then convert the file with http://www.monkeysaudio.com/ you get a lossless file that you can listen to with Winamp, & still keep the original integrity of the file. Your files are converted to .ape files that are about 1/2 the size of the original .Wav file. You can go back & decompress them & still have an exact duplicate of the CD. I'm not an expert so if I'm wrong about this feel free to correct me.I know you said no converting but this method would save you a lot of HD space.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2005
  8. djscoop

    djscoop Active member

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    yes, except the original question was how to make an exact backup of the entire CD. The only way to do that is to make an image file. You can rip the CD to wav, but you will no longer have the exact structure of the original CD.

    @ weazel:

    320kpbs is the highest quality you can go with mp3, although its not that necessary. Rip your CDs with EAC, the only error-correction ripper, encode with LAME at 192 to 256 VBR kbps and that will result in the best possible sounding mp3s. Having said that, ripping to mp3s is not a very good archive method for CDs. Also, you cannot upconvert a 128k file to 320k file and expect better quality. You can't turn fake sunglasses into Oakleys...
     
  9. Digidave

    Digidave Regular member

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    I guess I don't know what "exact structure" really means. Could you elaborate for me. I'm always happy to learn new stuff. In layman terms if you wouldn't mind.
     
  10. djscoop

    djscoop Active member

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    for most purposes, ripping to wav files would be fine, but if you re-burn those wav files, it doesn't equal the same original disc. You're converting CDA files to wav files, then back to CDA files. They are all uncompressed, so there is no loss of quality really, but the original CDA file may not be identical to the second converted one. Also, located within the table of contents is information about the disc (not just the track listings) but other info like the name of the CD and manufacturer. The only way to preserve everything on that CD exactly the way it is would be to make an exact 1:1 duplicate using an older version of clone cd (3.3 or earlier) to make a copy, or use something like nero, alcohol 120, or clone cd to make an image file for storing on a hard drive.

    An image file is just a much simpler way to go as well. Your entire cd is one file, so you don't have to worry about missing tracks or anything like that. And if you want to play the CD on your computer you could use Daemon Tools Iso Mounter to virtually mount the audio CD images as a drive.

    edited 4 typo
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2005
  11. weazel200

    weazel200 Regular member

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    I have been using the latest version of Windows Media Player to rip my cd's to mp3 at 320kbs. So you say this isnt the best quality u can get? I don't want to make image files of the cd as i don't want to use cd's. I want everything digital.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2005
  12. Digidave

    Digidave Regular member

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    Thanx djscoop, I think I understand now. Thanx for taking the time to explain.
     
  13. djscoop

    djscoop Active member

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    no prob, didn't mean to come off rude if I sounded that way...glad to help.

    weazel:

    yeah, I wouldn't recommend using WMP to rip your CDs. Encoding at 320 does not guarantee the highest quality. There is a HUGE difference between CBR (constant bitrate) and VBR (variable bitrate). VBR will encode the audio with as much or as little compression needed at each frame of audio to ensure the best possible quality. So some parts may only need to be 137k, others up to 300. We have a very good guide here at aD that has step by step instructions on how to make excellent quality (well, excellent as far as mp3s go) sounding audio files. The best ripper is called EAC (Exact Audio Copy). It is free, and is the only ripper with error-correction ripping, to ensure a 100% accurate rip of the CD. For best encoding, use the (also free) LAME encoder plugin. The best quality is either 192kbps VBR or 256kbps VBR. I personally don't think the sound gets any better at 256 than 192, but some do, so you can try both and see what you think. But the bottom line is I guarantee you there is a HUGE difference between using EAC w/ LAME using VBR, as opposed to ripping with WMP. EAC is a little tricky to set up, but once you get it going its really easy to use. WELL worth the effort. Here's the step by step guide to setting it up. If you have any q's feel free to ask.

    http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/mydeneaclame.cfm
     
  14. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    Diabolos's two cents:)

    If you want to back up all of your CDs and doing it in the WAVE format doesn't make your HDD run away in fear then creating iso images is the best route. When you create an ISO-Image of you disc (you):

    1. Presserve an exact copy of your orginal

    2. The Iso image is as good as the original disc to your PC

    3, You can burn the image to a CD-R

    4. You can rip from the image like it was a CD in an optical drive.

    With a virtual optical drive setup on your PC (using an app like [bold]Alcohol 120%[/bold]) the Iso-Image is the same as a CD in a CD-Rom drive. It can be played, ripped, or burnned to a CD-R/RW.

    Clickidy-Klank... Clickidy-Klank,
    Ced
     
  15. djscoop

    djscoop Active member

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    you and your damned two cents... next time I'll throw in a nickel...so ha!! ;)
     

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