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Flac ripping
post Aug 31 2012, 03:08
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Hi, I'm ripping my CD collection using EAC V1.0 beta 3. I have a few questions, I hope someone can help me.

I want rip my CD collection with the best FLAC quality, disk space is not an issue, so:

1. At the moment I'm using this additional command line: -6 -V -T "ARTIST=%artist%" -T "TITLE=%title%" -T "ALBUM=%albumtitle%" -T "DATE=%year%" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%" -T "GENRE=%genre%" -T "COMMENT=%comment%" -T "BAND=%albuminterpret%" -T "COMPOSER=%composer%" %haslyrics%--tag-from-file=LYRICS="%lyricsfile%"%haslyrics% -T "DISCNUMBER=%cdnumber%" -T "TOTALDISCS=%totalcds%" -T "TOTALTRACKS=%numtracks%" %hascover%--picture="%coverfile%"%hascover% %source% -o %dest%

Is there anything to improve there?

2. I know FLAC files are much heavier (disk space) than mp3 files, I want to keep FLAC files in my pc so I can listen to my music in the best quality, but also I'd like to save some songs in an ipod or mp3 player. My question is, in this case, I should I rip the CD twice, once using flac compressor, and second time using LAME? Or if I should transcode my FLACS to Mp3? If I should transcode, what would be the best way to get good quality mp3 (in this case disk space is an issue, since they have less capacity).

3. Last question, the cd's that have some data as videos, can they be ripped as well? When I use EAC after the songs there's a part that says "DATA" but when I select it it de-selects itself, is there any way to rip those videos too?
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post Aug 31 2012, 03:22
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1. Quality-wise, no. Remember: this is lossless, no option will make any difference on quality. Maybe you will want to use '-8' instead of '-6' for a better compression, but the compression gain is minimal and it will cost a lot more of CPU power (but on any reasonably modern PC it will still be fast, much more fast than the process of ripping).

2. You can just transcode it, it will be faster and easier. The process of ripping is much more slow than the process of encoding. And ripping twice will only wear your CD-ROM quickly.

3. You can just copy than to your HDD. The majority of times they put these videos on a low efficient codec with a low bitrate like MPEG1 or 2, so I don't think it's worth transcoding anyway. If you're doing this for backup, I think if you just copy the contents of CD you'll lose some information if you want to burn this CD back later (using a CUESHEET), so maybe someone will have a better option.
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post Aug 31 2012, 05:47
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I guess I'm surprised that you need to specify a command line with every bit of metadata in there. Does EAC really not take care of that kind of thing?

CueTools might have slightly superior handling for data tracks, and I do know that it takes care of getting the metadata into the .flac without requiring you to specify anything on the command line. Have you checked it out?

-6 is fine. When you're using the standard encoder and standard compression level settings, I'd say the only ones worth considering are -4, -5, and -6. Below -4 you're leaving moderate compression gains on the table; going from -0 to -4 is only a 2x slowdown and shaves an additional ~5% off the original's filesize. Above -6 you turn on the exhaustive model search, which is just a waste of time, electricity, etc. Going from -4 to -8 is a 5x slowdown for only 0.5% gain at best. Yeah, it may not be all that noticeable with today's fast CPUs if the bottleneck is your CD drive. But we don't go around replacing quicksort with bubblesort in every piece of software just because our CPUs are now fast enough to handle inefficient algorithms.

Re-encoding your FLACs as MP3s, AAC, or whatever is much less trouble than re-ripping stuff. Just do the ripping once.

Remember that it's quite possible for a lossy file to sound identical to the FLAC while taking 1/5 the space. The real reasons to keep a lossless version around have little to do with "listening to [your] music in the best quality." If you're only listening, not editing/applying effects, the main reason to keep a lossless original around is so you can in the future re-encode in other formats or bitrates without the generational loss of transcoding between lossy codecs.
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Glenn Gundlach
post Aug 31 2012, 08:49
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I rip once to WAV and make any changes in WAV. Changes most commonly are level shifts to 'normalize' the level - ALWAYS manual and never 'automatic'. On some old noisy program I may use some noise reduction, sometimes pitch change and on old mono tracks a small amount of reverb can be pleasant fake stereo. Batch convert the files to 320 kB MP3s for the car MP3Tag for the data and then batch to FLAC to save space and discard the WAV files. Prepping a disc typically takes 10-15 minutes but varies.

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post Aug 31 2012, 09:10
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QUOTE (Glenn Gundlach @ Aug 31 2012, 09:49) *
I rip once to WAV and make any changes in WAV. Changes most commonly are level shifts to 'normalize' the level - ALWAYS manual and never 'automatic'.

Not good practice. Rip to a lossless format which supports tagging, and use ReplayGain, which non-destructively writes tags to set playback level.
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