My powerbook seems to rip CDs slowly

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by betsbillabong, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #1
    Hey all,

    This is not a huge problem, but it seems as if my powerbook should rip CDs faster. I have a 15" pbook 1.5 with 1.5MB of RAm. Rip speeds vary from 5 or 6X to an alltime top speed of 14X once. But I keep reading about people with much older computers than mine getting these types of speeds. I'm archiving my CD collection so if there was a way to get it to speed up (maybe use Nicer to give iTunes more RAM?) How come I'm getting these slower speeds?

    Thanks!
    Betsey
     
  2. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    When you say "rip", are you converting the tracks to AAC or MP3 at the same time? If so, the speeds you are seeing are reasonable. You should expect to see much faster by ripping to an uncompressed format, but compression simply uses a lot of CPU.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #3
    A couple of other things to try:
    -Don't play the songs whilst importing/ripping
    -Set your energy saver settings to 'Better performance'
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Also, besides the complexity of the music (which influences the processor demand for compression), rip speed varies based on the condition of the CD (how warped / flat it is, etc). I think desktop drives will tend to be slightly faster, too, because they have a larger, sturdier mechanism, that can probably get a CD that is less perfect to spin more quickly without unacceptable vibration. But that's just a guess. I don't actually think your processor speed is a big driver.

    The last thing is, you might check whether you have error correction turned on. From the way I understand it, that involves a second read to the disc, and will be slower in general, regardless of processor speed.

    But I think the speeds you're experiencing sound very reasonable.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #5
    For an exercise, rip the tracks to AIFF or WAV and try compressing from there. The encoders are nowhere near as fast on a G4 as people seem to believe.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #6
    Hmmm - thanks & lossless question

    I guess I just keep coming across people with G4 450s saying they're getting 5-10X speed, and people with powerbooks saying they're getting 15-20X. Is that just empty bragging? Quite possibly! ;-)

    I have error correction turned off and processor speed set to "Best Performance." I'm converting some AIFFS to AAC right now and the speed is not noticeably faster - in fact it's on the slow side (7X). I'm converting everything to AAC 192 (I'm actually just about done, 500 CDs later!)

    Since you're all here and knowledgeable... can anyone tell me about Apple Lossless? I keep reading that it's truly lossless - and if that's the case, it would be worth converting all of my archived music (I mean MY archived music... I'm a composer/laptop musician) from AIFF to ALE... but since these are masters, I'm a bit wary as AIFF is trusted and true. On the other hand, I'd gain several gigs of space on my powerbook. I suppose I could also keep AIFF archives and keep it lossless on the powerbook. What do you all think?
     
  7. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #7
    That would be the (in)famous Reality Distortion Field at work :D Altivec is good, but not that good. Raw transfers from the CD generally to live up to their advertised speeds, but even rips to uncompressed forms suffer some penalty from the overhead of iTunes (iTunes is a spectacularly inefficient program, in large part due to excessive eye candy).
    That's a reasonable speed, some tracks compress a little faster than others.
    Personally, I'd stick with AIFF for archival material, just because it's been around "forever" and much, much more software supports it. Apple Lossless will preserve every bit just as advertised, so it's a perfectly good alternative if you trust that the right software will be available when you need it.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #8
    Thanks for clearing it up...

    I appreciate it. Yeah, I think what I'll do is save archival versions on AIFF (hard drive and put some DVDs in a safe deposit box), and keep lossless versions on my powerbook for CD burning purposes... if I'm assured that I will not lose any quality by doing so (but I'm assuming that's what's meant by lossless!)

    By the way, thanks for all of the karmic help - since I posted on this board I'm suddenly getting rip speeds of 12-14X!

    Betsey
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    I don't even get that on my Dual G5, some one is talking out their a$$ :)
     
  10. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #10
    You're assured, and if anyone doubts you, just tell them that a fictional cat on the Internet told you so, so it must be true ;)
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    JDOG_

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Oakland
    #11
    I get 3-4x on my iBook G4, but I always convert to AAC which takes up quite a bit of processing to convert on the fly. When it's set to AIFF or any other low compression setting it gets up into the 10x and higher.

    On a bit of a sidenote, my dad's P4 3.0Ghz. Desktop rips CDs at about 17x with iTunes for Windows. Whenever I'm home and need to rip CDs I'll do it on his and then move them over the LAN to save me some time! It took me under a day to rip my whole collection to his machine, whereas it would have taken me about a week :(
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    I hate to say it, but those numbers do seem a bit low. My 1.4ghz G4 can usually rip around 12-14x, occasionally hitting 16 or 17. Even my 450mhz G4 can rip at a respectable 5x to AAC. There might be some kind of bottleneck with the optical drive. Try extracting just an AIFF from a CD into iTunes, and then right clicking on the song and clicking the "convert to AAC" option, and see how fast that encodes. You really should be getting better speeds than 5-6x.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    I get anywhere from 5-10x on my iBook. I rip to AAC 224. IDN why PCs get so fast. My Dads Dell, which we only keep around for him to run some citrix program that sux on Mac, gets 15-20x. Its a 3.2 P4 w/ 1GB RAM.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #14
    Question for Jigglelicious

    Hey J, I'm assuming from the 1.4 that your G4 is a desktop? It sounds as if desktops might be faster than powerbooks.

    But yeah, it does seem like PCs rip faster. I hate to say it and 10x is certainly fast enough for me... but is it because iTunes is not so efficient as someone stated earlier?

    BB
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #15
    cmiiw (and i very well could be) but i *think* it's becasue p4s have hyperthreading, and also sse2 and mmx registers are very efficient at things like that compared to altivec.
     
  16. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #16
    The SIMD available on Intel definitely isn't anywhere near as bad as Macheads have been led to believe over the years. It's also worth remembering that this stuff isn't all happening inside the CPU, there is tons of memory access going on and all that lovely FSB and cache business that makes people's eyes glaze over plays a role here (G4s are not all equal in the bus and cache department, and there is wide variation in the x86 world too).

    Repeating from another thread: iTunes eye candy really is beastly. On playback, minimizing it to the dock or putting into mini mode (shrunk down small enough to hide the "LCD" status panel) will halve its CPU usage. It will make a (smaller) difference during encoding too.

    More variables: The MP3 encoder that comes with iTunes will do its work at roughly 1.5 times the speed that the AAC encoder will at the same bit rate. And, higher bit rates tend to take more time to encode (but this isn't always as big as the MP3/AAC difference).
     
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #17
    Thanks for the informative answers... and video?

    I'll try minimizing and see if that increases rip time. My little 12-14X holiday has, alas, come to an end. ;-)

    It's interesting that higher bit rates take longer; I would have thought that more compressed files (hence lower bitrate) would take longer due to greater compression. Interesting.

    On an offnote, I installed 4.9 and trashed my preferences b/c it wouldn't import & eject -- so what's this about it searching your hard drive for videos? Is there any way to turn this off? Luckily it only seemed to grab the mpgs, but... I'm a video artist. I have dozens if not hundreds of huge video files on my laptop. I have them where I want them -- and I don't want or need them duplicated in iTunes. I apple-deleted them out of iTunes... do I have to worry about this again? I couldn't see any kind of video preferences available. Hopefully unless I trash preferences it won't be an issue again.

    BB
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #18
    My 1.5 GHZ PB 17, rips at 11x-17x speed in AAC 160Kbps Correction ON
     
  19. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #19
    Yes, it's counterintuitive, probably because we call it compression when it really isn't :D With more details discarded at lower rates, no time needs to be spent re-encoding them.
    The only way around that seems to be to tell the setup assistant not to search for files. After iTunes is set up, you can use File->Import to look in only the directories you want, instead of everywhere. As you guessed, it won't try again on its own unless you trash your preferences.
     

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