ripping music CDs to iso for archival?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ghanwani, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #1
    I've been searching in vain for a solution to archive my CDs in a way that would preserve all of the information on the CD and can easily use to create whatever format of music I want without having to access the physical CD again.

    Any lossless format (wav), Apple Lossless, etc. seems to lose some of the original CD information. wav + cue sheet is probably the closest I have gotten to what I want, but I'm not sure if that captures 100% of what is on the CD.

    Recently, someone told me about ripping to iso which would get a bit-for-bit copy of the CD. Do any folks here use that? If so, what did you use to create the iso files? Also, are there any issues that I need to be aware of such as copy protection, and or how they will be played back? If I rip to ISO would it be possible to get iTunes to read the iso file and create "iTunes quality" songs with the appropriate tags and such?

    Thanks,
    Anoop
     
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    I can't address the questions that you've asked above, but have you considered using Disk Utility to create Disk Images of the CDs?
     
  3. Blue Velvet, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010

    Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    Disk Utility isn't much help with audio CDs.

    If you're using a Mac, scan and clean up artwork at high res, secure rip and tag with artwork straight to ALAC or Flac with XLD, cache disabled, read-offset set correctly, test rips enabled, generating cue sheets and logs if you need 'em, which few people need these days... personally speaking, once a CD is correctly ripped, I can't ever imagine the need to reburn it at some later point as the cost of storage comes down.

    I'm about to do the same with the many hundreds of CDs I've got that are currently stashed away, it could take some time.

    Edit: Oh, and secure ripping to Apple Lossless or FLAC does not 'lose any information'. These are lossless compressions and if restored to WAV or AIFFs are bit-perfect to the originals. The reason why I'd use Apple Lossless or FLAC is that support for tagging is far better.
     
  4. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #4
    Googling around for this I saw a lot of folks do use the built-in Disk Utility, but the results seem to be inconsistent in the sense that some folks have reported errors when trying to use the resulting iso file. Also, some concerns were expressed about whether or not it will be effective if the CD has copy protection.

    Anoop
     
  5. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #5
    True, I would not lose any information for each song. What I'm concerns about is losing information about the space between tracks or perhaps some other meta data that doesn't get stored in the ALAC or FLAC files.

    BTW, one of the reasons I don't like ALAC or FLAC is that there isn't universal support for them in all players, e.g. iTunes doesn't support FLAC, and many Windows players won't support ALAC. When ripping to WAV I lose all the meta data, unless I also have a cue sheet, but then I'm not sure if the cue sheet has all of the information to create a bit-by-bit replica of the CD using the WAV files.

    I know there is no reason to create the replica of the original once the ripping has been done. It's just a question of how accurate my "back up" copy is. Based on the research I've been doing, I have serious concerns about how good the copy is, if all I have is the individual songs. Initially, I thought just the WAV files would be good enough. Then I learned about tagging, and if I wanted to create ALAC files from the WAVs, I would have lost the ability to automatically tag. Then I discovered cue sheets. But I'm not sure now if the cue sheets and WAV files would be sufficient. Then I discovered ripping to iso, but there it sounds like there are issues with copy protection and getting other converters to work with that file when it is not sitting on a CD.

    Anoop
     
  6. hollerz macrumors 6502a

    hollerz

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #6
    Why? What will you be missing?

    Keeping an archive of WAV + cue sheets should be fine!
     
  7. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #7
    Not sure what I would be missing (or even if I would be missing anything). I'm just trying to do a sanity check. Don't want to have to go through ripping 150+ CDs again because the methodology I used wasn't good.

    Do you happen to know if iTunes (or some other converter) will read WAV files to create "iTunes store" quality music?

    Anoop
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #8
    This is where using XLD with built-in AccurateRip checks become paramount.


    iTunes will convert to AAC256, yes... as will XLD. You can even set up batch processing with it.
     
  9. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #9
    Would it also automatically do tagging for me based on the cue sheet?
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #10
    XLD will. iTunes won't. I suggest that you download XLD and do some test rips, googling around for some tutorials or coming back with questions as you get to know its features and settings.
     
  11. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #11
    OK, thanks!
     

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