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Just now ripping my CD collection. Questions about .flac, dbpoweramp, accurip(?), and music bee.

Discussion in 'Audio' started by eatingscabs, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. eatingscabs

    eatingscabs Member

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    I feel kind of lucky getting to rip my CD collection after so many developments in digital audio, but after tons of searching, forum reading, and tutorials, I'm not sure I have one complete picture. I can find resources that appear to be very authoritative, but then I'll notice that it might be from 2003 or so, and I wonder if I'm looking at outdated material.

    Here's what I'm wondering. (I'm starting off with CDs kept in very good condition for the most part. Most CDs are several years old...I'm not sure if that matters, whether CD technology has changed.) Anyway:

    1. Is it true (or at least a consensus) that the best lossless format for PCs is .flac? It's my understanding that if I ever want smaller files to play on an iPod or such, I can always convert down to an .mp3, but I can never do a return to lossless. I just want to know if .flac is the way to go...or do I use .wav files or some other format.

    2. If ripping my original CDs to digital (.flac?) files, is dbpoweramp the best? Is "native" .flac support important? I found a tutorial here on dbpoweramp, but even this easy-to-understand tutorial left me with questions and not knowing what settings to use for some items. If dbpoweramp is the way to go, where would I find the best setup tutorial or forum to ask questions along the way, if I need to. (I imagine the answer is AD.com, but I'm just want to confirm. :)

    3. I'm really wanting rips that are as perfect as possible. I'm having a really hard time understanding how to run rips through accurip or accuraterip or something like that. I've done a lot of searching, but am still confused. For example, how do I run individual files against accurip? Is the typical check against accurip done by the program that rips...dbpoweramp, etc?

    4. I saw some great reviews about Music Bee. Is this a good way to go for playback? Does dbpoweramp have its own player? etc etc Any suggestions would be great.

    I know these questions are answered in different places, but I'm just having that problem with putting the elements all together and then wondering if I have the most current info.
    I really would appreciate any help I can get. I've used AD for years, but just registered recently. So, I know the knowledge is out there. I just hope someone out there isn't completely sick of newbies after all these years.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    I suggest you read the top sticky. (The top post)

    There is nothing new on the audio scene in over a decade. Audio CDs have not change since the 80s. I do suggest dbPowerApm over EAC both are great products. EAC is better if your CD is not in accurip. Although ripping is not technically challenging for you it is challenging for the ripper. If Accurip says they are perfect they are. Just because they aren't you probably can't tell. I always carefully listen to failed tracks before doing anything more than re-cleaning the CD and trying one more time.

    Lossless is lossless both flac and ape compress about the same.

    I do not rip to lossless if I have the CD. Good lossy is way better than your ears. VBR mp3 at the highest setting is at the theoretical limit of human hearing. Some babies can hear extremely LOUD notes at 20,000 Hz. By 20 you can't hear 18,000 Hz. By 30 something you can't even pick out 15,000 in music. The limit of VBR at the highest setting is 21,000 Hz. Your mp3s will play on anything lossless will not. Also the high pitched sounds are harmonics that are not loud, even if you play the music loud. Even 16,000 Hz harmonics can't be heard because there are lower pitched notes that drown out the harmonics.

    If you are going to throw away your CDs them maybe lossless makes sense. I did that with vinyl capture. I captured lossless burned CDs then converted the lossless to mp3s.

    The quality of your playback device will always greatly exceed your in-the-ear-buds which will probably exceed your speakers. Get a playback device that does what you want they are usually not even part of the picture for the quality of the play back. The software responsible for sound quality are your codexs. The playback sofware doesn't use their own codexs.

    dbPowerAmp does have a CD burn app but does not play music.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  3. hello_hello

    hello_hello Member

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    Foobar2000 is a great audio player. It also converts to and from different formats. Foobar2000 has a secure ripping mode for CDs. I've never fussed about accurip. When you rip in secure mode the drive reads each section of the disc more than once. It'll keep reading until it reads exactly the same data more than once (how many times depends on which secure ripping mode you use).
    The reason for secure ripping is because CDs don't have much in the way of error correction so there's no way to know for sure if the data being read is correct, unless the same data is read more than once.

    I convert CDs to Flac as I've got lots of hard drive space so I keep a lossless copy. Foobar2000 has a flac conversion preset but you just need to download the flac encoder manually and tell foobar2000 where to find it. The same applies for LAME (MP3), NeroAAC (AAC), and Aften (AC3). Once I've ripped the CD to flac I open the ripped files using mp3tag and set the tags correctly (mp3tag tag works with lots of formats, not just Mp3). I then open the flac files with foobar2000 and convert them to MP3, then the MP3s with mp3tag to check thir tags are correct. Finally I open the MP3 files with MP3Gain and run ReplayGain on them to make sure each track is the same volume. MP3Gain adjusts the volume of the MP3s losslessly.... it doesn't re-encode them.

    Foobar2000 will also add/edit tags in audio files and run ReplayGain scans but I'm used to using mp3tag and MP3Gain as I've used them for years. Plus once you get your head around using it, a separate tagging program such as mp3tag tends to be easier to use. Or at least more versatile.

    So I guess by talking about tagging and using ReplayGain I've added some new confusion to the mix? Sorry about that, but if you want to convert lots of CDs and do it properly they're probably two things you should be learning to use.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  4. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Secure ripping is much slower than burst till it is correct and not as reliable as accurip. Why read the same sector 10 times to see it there are differences when the first read was fine? If you read all 10 reads the same wrong way secure will assume the read was fine. Not much chance of that but it could happen and for what? It is not as if doing a perfect job costs you anything. You are ripping to lossless but not being careful if the rip was perfect.

    There is a way to error correct but that is only a fudge. That is what a player does.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with flac other than it takes up 10x more disk space. That may be fine for your computer but that becomes costly with mp3 player. Yes you can convert them but it is work and as long as you have a lossless back up there is really no reason to to keep 2 copies of lossless. You can hear and difference.
     

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