reripping cd's to lossless

Discussion in 'iPod' started by rtrt, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Looking to rerip somewhere between 800-900 cd's for the 3rd time!

    Started way back with 192k cbr then dropped them to 128k vbr and now want to rerip to lossless and looking for advice from those who've been here before......

    Did it last time on 2 laptops, with EAC i think and now have the MP. so expecting that the more capable machine and passage of time should make it easier - better software, workflow etc

    MP 2008 2.8 dual proc with 10.5 - would be good to use all 8 cores if poss
    2 Internal dvd's both pioneer 112d - with BC14 and 1.24 firmware levels
    External usb dvd also pioneer 112d - not sure on firmware
    will source any software mac / windows as required - prefer low/no cost - leaving more for new discs........

    looking for accurate rips - promised myself am doing this one LAST time. seen mention of ripguard in a hifi mag/site i think - poss linux related
    ability to tag accurately
    album cover lookup - am assuming might need to be done later but if achieveable at time of ripping......

    have a few new discs not yet ripped to mp3 - so have the additional requirement of ripping to lossless and mp3 at same time - will use this method for new discs

    Should i look at FLAC, Apple Lossless or stay WAV/AIFF - is it even an issue given you can convert one format to another without losing quality? But what about tags/covers in that scenario?

    looking for a minimum of interaction - load cd, automatic - rip, tag, cover downloaded - drive opens. load cd - repeat 900 times :eek:

    To achieve all this - am happy to run under leopard, windows or mix of both. whatever is 'best'

    Currently use itunes - which i guess is a steer to apple lossless/aiff - but as someone who chose lower quality mp3 rather than aac for future compatibility reasons (not really a problem now - most players support aac) - would like to hear other views.

    Appreciate this might not be the most appropriate forum - there's a pretty knowledgeable bunch on here so thought i'd at least start with you :D - happy to repost elsewhere if thats whats recommended - Mac Apps/ Windows software....

    all feedback welcome.....
  2. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    I am re-ripping mine in 320 mp3 right now. I am checking the quality of about 10 cd's in my car player via ipod connector. I may go to aiff next. That is what I recommend for you. You can store or listen to lossless but also you'll have burning capability for cd playback. I like flac for size but I always end up converting to wav / aiff, burn to save, then convert to lame with xact.
  3. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    Good luck with that! Have you posted in the iTunes forum? You may get more responces.
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    There is an option in iTunes that when you insert an audio CD that it will rip it automatically to what format you like and spit it out when it's done. Rinse and repeat 900 more times.

    Just go to preferences and to General Tab then to Import settings. You can custom set it up to 320kbps.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It seems like, at this point, if you're concerned about rip quality, you really ought to rip in some lossless format (I don't see any reason not to use Apple's Lossless). If nothing else, buy a 500GB or 1TB drive, rip everything to lossless, and then if you need compressed files for everyday use, run them all through a batch converter down to 320 or whatever. But most of the labor is in the ripping process, and if you're concerned about quality this much, it would seem that you're going to regret 320 at some later point, just as you regret whatever you have now.
  6. rtrt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Thanks for all the replies - a couple of recommendations for aiff/apple lossless which makes sense for itunes compatibility.

    re being unhappy at 320k - then that's a fair comment.

    what i didnt explain above is that i went from 192k to 128k for space reasons at that time and since i was only listening on the ipod wasn't concerned about the quality of either 128 or 192 tbh. Always listened to the cd's on the hifi at home at that time.

    but my cd player gave up last year and i've convinced myself that the sound of 128k thro the hifi isn't good enough. i haven't actually listened to 320k thro my hifi, but i don't think that's the way to go (for me) - for example if i wanted to go for something else in the future that would mean reripping again :eek:

    if i go for a lossless rip this time then i can re encode at any time in the future with relatively little hassle and since disk space is pretty cheap right now i can't really see a downside.

    Wondering if anyone has been in a similar position recently and can share their experience. Will i tunes do it all or do i need to look at other apps as well. For example i'm thinking that I tunes would only rip 1 disc at a time and since i have access to more than 1 drive was hoping to rip more than 1.

    Am really just trying to make it as short and smooth as possible.

    someone has pointed me to hydrogen audio forum - had a quick look and it looks quite daunting but there seems to be a lot of useful info too.
  7. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    I did exactly the same thing once I got a larger iPod, I had my collection at 320Kbps AAC, but then I bought a pair of Etymotic ER4p in-ear phones, and the quality wasn't good enough.

    I re ripped everything to Apple lossless in iTunes, yes it takes time, and the only way to speed it up is to use more than 1 computer, I simple spent a week or so sitting with the laptop and a stack of CD's at night.

    I've never done a comparison with a FLAC encoder or the like, but iTunes is reasonably fast and sounds good.

    I don;t have the sheer volume of discs you seem to have, a couple of hundred at most.
  8. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a


    Feb 22, 2005
    Program wise I would go with either XLD (X Lossless Decoder)

    or Max

    Both of these programs are pretty heavy duty and can do whatever you want related to ripping/encoding.

    I personally use Max and love it. Personally I like the interface and it's easy to use. It uses CD Paranoia Version III which is extremely good with error correction and can convert into 36! different formats (it can of course do FLAC or AIFF/WAV).

    If you're extremely picky about accurate rips this would be the way to go with either of them. However, regardless of how fast your computer is, accurate ripping is s-l-o-w.
  9. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    rt, I'm doing the same thing - re-ripping into lossless. with external 1 TBs so cheap these days, I may actually find a raided dual HD external. I'm prepping my library for a home theatre media server so I want the best quality possible.

    I'm just going to use Itunes. I've been happy with its ripping in the past, plus I have 5 macs in my office so i'll use them all then drop them into 1 library when done.

    best of luck,
  10. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I just started this process all over again 2 days ago. Here's my thread on here so you can read what others have suggested to me:

    After reading everyone's suggestions, I decided to rip all my CDs with iTunes as Apple Lossless. I'll be getting another external hard drive (or Drobo, I'm still debating this) to back up my music to.
  11. rtrt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    @ themoonisdown09 - there's definately some good input in your thread - will keep an eye on it. also see there's a ref to hydrogen audio - will try to give that site a read

    @keebler/WinterMute - multiple computers - now thats a luxury i could do with to speed things up :)

    @DaftUnion - thanks for the s/w recs. re the 'slow' comment - quite a few people are telling me the same :(

    thanks to all for you input.

    will definately go lossless in some form - but will do some more investigation before i start - i'd rather take a few more days to get it right - dont want to do this again!
  12. Lunchbox16 macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008

    Food for thought:

    While Apple's lossless is inherently compatible with iTunes and FLAC is not, FLAC remains the standard in lossless audio compression and has some nice features not readily available with Apple lossless. If you use xAct, the program has the capability to convert WAV/AIFF files to FLAC, SHN, mp3, and more (it decodes as well). xAct as has the added benefit of generating checksums that enables to to verify the validity of files and helps guard against corrupt files. Yes, you can generate MD5s for anything, but FLAC has it's own "fingerprint" checksum as well. If you want to ensure quality for posterity, you should generate MD5s for the WAV files your rip (EAC is by and far the best program for ripping, even with error correction turned on iTunes still isn't as good. It's a shame it's PC only) and save them in a folder along with MD5s and/or FFP (FLAC Finger Prints) of the actual lossless files. That what you'll know that no matter what the files are legit. For everything you want to do, it does not seem that there is a single workflow if you want to maintain the highest possible audio quality, at least that's how I see it. YMMV.

  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    After a few weeks of using both to archive some very old CDs, I now prefer XLD to xACT for CD extraction for the following reasons. However, I still create my fingerprints in xACT.

    Some reasons to use XLD:

    1. Far more customisable in output options
    2. Better logs and more accurate rips with query to AccurateRip database
    3. Can set max retry count
    4. Direct adding to iTunes library, if desired
  14. Lunchbox16 macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    As far as I know xACT does not have CD Ripping capabilities, unless I need to upgrade and am unaware of the new feature. If I implied this in my earlier post I apologize, I was not trying to produce any sort of confusion.

    Has there been any sort of testing done to determine how a program like XLD compares to EAC in terms of the quality of audio ripping? I'm sure one could use EAC with Parallels or something of that nature as well.

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