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Ripping Lossless?
oneeyedhobbit
post Sep 29 2006, 06:10
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I just purchased an iPod. Before purchasing, I assumed I was going to be getting a 30GB due to the price, hence an old post of mine about what version of Lame/if I shouldn't use AAC, etc. Now, however, (due to the 5.5 release) I was able to get a refurbed 60GB. This means that I have plenty of room to rip my CDs in WAV or some lossless codec without being at a loss for space (though down the road I may have to delete the lossless files and re-encode into mp3, but thats quite a while by my calculations, as my student budget doesn't allow for frequent cd purchases).

In so doing, what is the most effective way to rip lossless? I can't use Flac unless I get Rockbox, which I'm not sure I want to do, as the iPod is brand spanking new and I'd kind of like my warranty for a while. I could, however, use Apple Lossless or WAV. Given these two options, I assume there is no audible difference between the two, and would like to go for the Lossless encoding (unless you'll tell me different on audio). What, however, would be the best way to rip my CDs for Apple Lossless (or WAV, as it were)? Via EAC? In the past when I used EAC to burn CDs it ripped the CD as one huge fill with an informational file that seperated tracks. How do I rip seperate tracks for iTunes and eventual importation onto my iPod?

Thanks much in advance!
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Mangix
post Sep 29 2006, 06:52
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with EAC, just rip it to .wav and then use iTunes to convert it to Apple Lossless. Apple Lossless is better because it gives some kind of compression while .wav doesn't. saves space wink.gif.

you could also use EAC to convert it to Apple Lossless by using a Custom Encoder and using iTunesEncode.exe . don't ask me for any parameters though.
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kjoonlee
post Sep 29 2006, 06:55
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Click on the WAV button if you want individual files in EAC. Don't press the IMG button.


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http://blacksun.ivyro.net/vorbis/vorbisfaq.htm
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greynol
post Sep 29 2006, 07:50
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Tagging might be a pita if you use iTunes to convert straight wave files previously ripped with EAC.

If the custom encoder idea does the trick, then by all means, go for it!

If not, maybe rip to an image like you've been doing. Mount the image to a virtual drive and then let iTunes rip tracks from the virtual drive.

...or just use iTunes.


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Concern trolls: not a myth.
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oneeyedhobbit
post Sep 30 2006, 01:14
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I'm confused, but perhaps because I'm a novice to this--I can rip the tracks to WAVs using EAC, and then just use iTunes to convert to Apple Lossless? How? Also, what problems would I theoretically have with tagging?
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TJHUB
post Sep 30 2006, 04:38
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I've been lurking for a little while lately as I have ordered a Roku M2000 SoundBridge that I should have this coming Tuesday. I also have a 30g iPod that I've been using for the last 3 months mostly just for my car with a Dice Electronics integration.

Anyway, I've decided to re-rip my entire music collection to Apple Lossless. My current music was all ripped and encoded with EAC/Lame 256k VBR. Ripping and encoding in iTunes is VERY easy, however, today I tried ripping to .wav with EAC and using iTunes to encode and tag to Apple Lossless. I'm not certain that I have everything setup as best as possible with EAC for .wav files, but what a PITA. Encoding is very simple, but I spent a bunch of time tagging. It's much more time consuming, but if the rips are better, I want to do it this way. I'm trying to find as much info on iTunes ripping quality before I start the new ripping.

What happened to me was EAC must of saved out information that iTunes translated the tag info as such:

song = track number, song title, album
album = blank
album artist = artist
track number = blank
and misc. other info tagged that I didn't want.

So it was a pain to rename everything where iTunes rips are basically perfect with little editing required.
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grommet
post Sep 30 2006, 04:51
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EAC is not as necessary as it was in the "old days"... except with possibly poor quality/damaged CDs or really bad CD mechanisms. Modern CD/DVD mechanisms are far better.

If you are having issues, you'll hear pops and clicks that aren't in the original recording. If iTunes works for you, keep on using it.
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saratoga
post Sep 30 2006, 05:24
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QUOTE (oneeyedhobbit @ Sep 28 2006, 22:10) *
I can't use Flac unless I get Rockbox, which I'm not sure I want to do, as the iPod is brand spanking new and I'd kind of like my warranty for a while.


Rockbox does not void your warranty.

QUOTE (oneeyedhobbit @ Sep 28 2006, 22:10) *
I could, however, use Apple Lossless or WAV. Given these two options, I assume there is no audible difference between the two, and would like to go for the Lossless encoding (unless you'll tell me different on audio). What, however, would be the best way to rip my CDs for Apple Lossless (or WAV, as it were)? Via EAC? In the past when I used EAC to burn CDs it ripped the CD as one huge fill with an informational file that seperated tracks. How do I rip seperate tracks for iTunes and eventual importation onto my iPod?

Thanks much in advance!


IIRC itunesencode.exe will let you rip to ALAC inside EAC.
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oneeyedhobbit
post Sep 30 2006, 19:32
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So I Googled and found that I can get itunesencode.exe to rip into ALAC, but two questions if rockbox wouldn't necessarily void my warranty. I've got to do a lot more research on rockbox, but assuming that aside from the 10 band equalizer the main reason I'm getting it is FLAC, how do FLAC/ALAC compare? Second, can anyone give me some advice on how to use itunesencode.exe in EAC?
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Mangix
post Sep 30 2006, 19:48
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FLAC is an open format which is heavily documented and it is also Open Source.

ALAC is a propietary format and has little to no documentation about it.

you'd be better off with FLAC since it has more hardware and software support. but just for the iPod without the Rockbox, then i guess ALAC because it's the only lossless format for it and i've seen it compress better than FLAC. not sure what the decoding speed was though.
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jcoalson
post Sep 30 2006, 21:03
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QUOTE (oneeyedhobbit @ Sep 30 2006, 13:32) *
how do FLAC/ALAC compare?

about the same compression. apples-to-apples, FLAC will decode faster.
http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison
http://flac.sourceforge.net/comparison.html
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oneeyedhobbit
post Sep 30 2006, 21:15
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What do you mean it will "decode" faster? Boot up faster on an iPod? Also, what effect would WAV/FLAC/ALAC have on battery life? I realize that all three will shorten battery life as compared to mp3, but which of those three would be best for battery life?
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soundcheck
post Sep 30 2006, 21:29
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QUOTE (oneeyedhobbit @ Sep 30 2006, 14:32) *
So I Googled and found that I can get itunesencode.exe to rip into ALAC, but two questions if rockbox wouldn't necessarily void my warranty. I've got to do a lot more research on rockbox, but assuming that aside from the 10 band equalizer the main reason I'm getting it is FLAC, how do FLAC/ALAC compare? Second, can anyone give me some advice on how to use itunesencode.exe in EAC?


Some things to consider:

- Using Rockbox & FLAC, you can expect your battery life to be reduced to around 50% of what you would normally get from an ipod. The Rockbox option is better suited for people who already have ripped a library of FLAC, vorbis, or other formats unsupported by the Apple firmware. If you're just starting to rip a library and absolutely must have lossless compression on your ipod, ALAC is the better choice.

- Do you really need lossless on your ipod? Will you really use your ipod for critical listening? ALAC will always be harder on the battery and will slow down your ipod's response, compared to compressed formats. I recommend at least doing some listening tests on your ipod with ALAC vs. high-quality LAME or AAC encoded files. Then ask yourself if ALAC is truly worth the extra space, battery life, and response time.

- Another popular option is to maintain a library of lossless rips on your PC and selectively compress files you want to put on your ipod.

This post has been edited by soundcheck: Sep 30 2006, 21:34
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oneeyedhobbit
post Sep 30 2006, 22:17
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You make some good points re mp3 and battery life, soundcheck. I'll bear it in my mind. My biggest reason to do lossless rips: I currently have a very expensive home headphone rig I cobbled together through years of hanging out at Head-fi (with the same moniker). However, my college budget doesn't support the rapid allocation of CDs that my rig deserves (not to mention the allocation of the books I need). I've been strongly considering selling my rig and building a respectable home rig around the iPod--using a good dock connector I could go to a portable amp (Ray Samuels makes some fantastic portables that sound every bit as good as many more expensive home amps) and a nicer pair of cans at home, while still using my AKGs on the go.
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kornchild2002
post Sep 30 2006, 22:46
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I would have to agree with soundcheck. Playing lossless files from your iPod isn't really recomended unless you plug your iPod into its AC adaptor. For portable use, no. Your battery life will be drastically reduced. My 5G 60GB iPod gets about 23 hours of playback time when using iTunes AAC or Lame mp3. However, it only gets 8-10 hours when playing back Apple lossless files or 6 hours when playing back WAV files. In my opinion, it really isn't worth it especially since portable listening environments can be noisy.

I would also have to agree with souncheck's suggestion of having two different media libraries. Have one lossless library and have one lossy library. Use the lossy library for synching to your iPod and for portable use and use the lossless library for future transcoding or for listening to music through your iPod on your home system.
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mat128
post Sep 30 2006, 23:41
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Sep 30 2006, 17:46) *
I would have to agree with soundcheck. Playing lossless files from your iPod isn't really recomended unless you plug your iPod into its AC adaptor. For portable use, no. Your battery life will be drastically reduced. My 5G 60GB iPod gets about 23 hours of playback time when using iTunes AAC or Lame mp3. However, it only gets 8-10 hours when playing back Apple lossless files or 6 hours when playing back WAV files. In my opinion, it really isn't worth it especially since portable listening environments can be noisy.

I would also have to agree with souncheck's suggestion of having two different media libraries. Have one lossless library and have one lossy library. Use the lossy library for synching to your iPod and for portable use and use the lossless library for future transcoding or for listening to music through your iPod on your home system.

23 hours? Jeez I'm lucky if I'm getting 8 hours out of it, and that's all in mp3, NO EQ, backlight @ 2s, no soundcheck and no album covers. I can get a bit far more from it if I dont switch tracks at all (e.g. playing the same album, without skipping tracks, over and over again) but that's not interesting as that's not how I want to listen to my tunes. I think apple reports 12h playtime for iTunes AAC at 128kbps. You 23 hours is awesome!
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saratoga
post Oct 1 2006, 05:19
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For lossless playback, I dont think theres a big difference between the Apple and Rockbox firmware in terms of battery life. FLAC is so fast, that Rockbox will run the CPU at low speed essentially all the time, but will constantly have to spin up the disk, as will the Apple firmware. Thus both firmwares will suck.

If you have a flash ipod, I suspect Rockbox will be a little worse, but I doubt you're going to be happy with an 8GB player and lossless anyway.
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gaillard
post Oct 13 2006, 21:15
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To make ripping easier you could always just rip into any lossless format that has tagging abilities so you don't lose your tags. In order to speed it up you could use a very very minimal compression because after you would be transcoding (via foobar (a few click) ) into apple lossless anyways...

hope that helps!

Jonathan
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