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13 year old Plextor vs. today's HP and Dell drives
Yuri_R
post Oct 20 2013, 14:08
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Hello all,

I did search the forums before posting, but if I missed this question being answered elsewhere, I do apologise!

I have several hundred CDs, many of which are in poor physical health, and I want to rip them to FLAC one last time with as much effort as is reasonable - in the past rips were done to listen to stuff as soon as possible on mp3 players - this time around I want them to be sounding as good as it gets.

So I downloaded EAC and at work I have some HP towers standing around so I thought I just do a few late evening visits to the office and rip what I can...

...and then the doubts appeared in my mind. Are the drives up to it? I am an engineer working in the film industry, but never much bothered with CD drives beyond data recovery functions... But I do remember that in the olden days at least CD drives came in a *huge* spread of quality. My first PC had a Plextor 1210A drive which was considered the bees knees for audio at the time. Not sure whether that was deserved, but my friends were all jealous :-)

All technology gets cheaper, at which point the quality usually narrows down - the really crap devices vanish, as the good ones are affordable, the really good ones vanish as the merely ok ones are now so cheap. But there's also the point at which no one bothers anymore and I think that with PC CD drives we're probably past that point, aren't we? Many manufacturers only put one in because they now cost pennies, and no one checks the quality.

So in my attic I still have the Plextor 1210A. In the office I have some HP towers from last year with the standard DVD drives that come with it. Which ones are to be preferred for my ripping extravaganza - and why?

Thanks a lot!
Yuri_R

P.S. I also have an external Samsung BluRay writer. With the higher density of BluRay pits perhaps, one might think, they might read my scratched CDs better? But it might be the other way around, and they perform worse? If you know the answer... I'd be very grateful!

This post has been edited by Yuri_R: Oct 20 2013, 14:10
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saratoga
post Oct 20 2013, 18:02
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If its fast enough and matches to what accuraterip says it doesn't really matter.
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Rescator
post Oct 20 2013, 21:04
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Hmm. Wasn't the Plextor 1210A a DVD-Rom drive (or am I confusing some model numbers?) I do remember flashing a Plextor to be region free and I did rip my CDs with it many times using EAC way back when.

As mentioned by saratoga, if you use EAC (or similar ripper) with Accuraterip support and make sure to do a few tweaks (toggling burst read on or off may or may not be needed on older drives etc.) it should rip just as well as any other drive.

Digital is digital. As long as it's ripped right, then that is all that matters.

You could plug it in and do some double or tripple ripping. With EAC and Accuraterip and verification and slow modes etc on... being able to rip more than one discat the same time may be nice, especially if you got a large collection.


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Yuri_R
post Oct 20 2013, 23:06
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QUOTE (Rescator @ Oct 20 2013, 21:04) *
Hmm. Wasn't the Plextor 1210A a DVD-Rom drive (or am I confusing some model numbers?)


Hm indeed, my memory may have failed me - I shall climb into the attic and dig it out.

Thank you both for your replies.
I can understand that for unscratched CDs it should not matter, as you write: data is data. I was merely wondering whether older "high quality" drives might be better at recovering where the dis is damaged. But then again I might still be misunderstanding what a drive can and can't do.

I shall use the machines I have at my disposal.
By double/triple ripping do you mean do it on several readers and compare output?

Thank you!
Yuri_R
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Rescator
post Oct 20 2013, 23:28
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As to old drive vs new drive. I think cheap drives by now has caught up.
Though old drives might (is?) more durable still so can probably take a beating. Older drives may be a little slower though.

By double or tripple ripping I meant, put the Plextor in you case and one of the other (or two) so you got 3 drives in your case.
Then use EAC and set it to slow/perfect ripping and with accuraterip verification, and while that is chugging along do another.
You should be able to juggle 3 EAC instances at once on a multi core CPU machine. You'll get done 3 times faster! smile.gif

EDIT: I did a quick check, the Plextor is either a DVD-Rom drive with CD+RW burning support, or a CD+RW burner.

This post has been edited by Rescator: Oct 20 2013, 23:31


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gib
post Oct 21 2013, 04:37
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A small anecdote that I found interesting:

Recently (a few weeks ago) I acquired a CD via ebay. It's from 1991. It's beat up, but the scuffs and scratches don't look too bad. (There are a few holes in the reflective layer, but that's another matter entirely). This is the first disc I'd ripped in a long, long, long time, so I popped it in my main computer's Samsung SH-B123L bluray drive and ripped it with EAC (every single disc I'd previously ripped was on my old computer with different optical drives). The result was atrocious, but not in the way one would typically expect. There was no skipping or other intermittent digital glitches. Instead, the music was all there, but was covered by a profound veil of static sounding noise. It was totally unlistenable. So while the scratches weren't really a problem, the media itself had degraded to the point where there were a mountain of C1/C2/CU errors and the static was the audible result.

I've heard that bluray drives don't always make the best CD rippers when dealing with imperfect discs. I don't know if that's definitely true or not, but regardless, with the result I got, I had to break out my old tried-and-true drives to see what they could do. First I tried my 11 year old TDK 4800B CD-RW, which is really just a rebadged Lite-On. The resulting rip also suffered from a veil of static, but it was less severe with. Better, but certainly not good enough.

Finally, I broke out my 15 year old Plextor 32TSi and gave it a spin. That rip was by far the best of the three. There was still some static, but it wasn't horrible. In fact, it wasn't a veil anymore but more like something that generally faded into the background. Only sometimes did it increase enough to become audible, and only some of those times did it truly become annoying. Not perfect, but an impressive showing for such a damaged CD.

So there you go. As other people have said, pretty much any drive should be able to rip a disc that's in reasonably good condition. When you get to the margins, though, drive quality helps.

Incidentally, the vendor from whom I purchased the disc was great and refunded my money. I've since located a copy of the CD that isn't hosed. heh

This post has been edited by gib: Oct 21 2013, 04:42
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Destroid
post Oct 21 2013, 05:32
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QUOTE (Yuri_R @ Oct 20 2013, 14:08) *
I also have an external Samsung BluRay writer. With the higher density of BluRay pits perhaps, one might think, they might read my scratched CDs better? But it might be the other way around, and they perform worse? If you know the answer... I'd be very grateful!

It is my understanding that Blu-ray devices have two diodes, so the blue diode would not be used on CD/DVD discs (however, the red diode will be used).


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hlloyge
post Oct 21 2013, 07:57
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I have quite a few Plextor CDRW drives stored in my HW closet at work, and I've been popping them out on few occasions when modern drives couldn't rip the Audio CD properly. They would - to an extent. The best results with them I had using PlexTools, god knows why, maybe that software communicates with the drives with some hidden commands known only to Plextor, I really don't know. Also, good results with EAC.
My suggestion is to rip with current drives either with EAC or CUERipper (part of CUETools) with AccurateRip configured, and to take out Plextor (if it still works) for disks that fail to rip properly.
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2Bdecided
post Oct 21 2013, 10:53
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If I don't get an accuraterip match, or 2x burst rip match for discs not in accurate rip, I start physically polishing the CD. The benefit of different drives (unless your main drive is useless, or it's a copy protected disc) and re-reading is tiny compared with just physically fixing the damage.

If the damage is label-side, then the information is gone, and you just have to take what you can get.

If you do enough re-reads, often you'll get a "consistent" result which is actually wrong, so what's the point?

I don't have any experience with modern useless drives. I did have a fairly old drive which was fine except on the last couple of minutes of very long CDs, where it was useless. I did have a very old drive which would rip copy protected discs in burst mode well enough to listen to, while most newer drives wouldn't rip them at all.


So many CDs, so little time. If they don't rip easily, there's usually an easier way of getting the audio. I've started a small pile of "need to go back and do these properly" discs, but it's only got 3 CDs in it at the moment - and one of those I just replaced at a car boot sale for 50p wink.gif

It's not the ripping that takes the time anyway, it's the tagging/titling. If whatever drive you have gives accuraterip matches on most of your discs, go for it. If it doesn't (assuming the discs are OK), look for something else immediately.

While legendary drives are legendary for a reason, in a normal collection of non-wrecked CDs, it's probably only a couple of extra discs they'll manage to rip compared with an average drive, if that...
http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php...uracy-List-2013

Cheers,
David.
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probedb
post Oct 21 2013, 11:33
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QUOTE (Destroid @ Oct 21 2013, 05:32) *
It is my understanding that Blu-ray devices have two diodes, so the blue diode would not be used on CD/DVD discs (however, the red diode will be used).


No idea which way round but I had to buy a DVD-RW for ripping CDs because my new Blu-Ray drive generated so many bad reads. No issues with Blu-Rays. The DVD-RW has no issues with CD ripping where sometimes the BR drive failed completely.
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marc_online
post Oct 21 2013, 22:59
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For ripping CDs you need special drives with a high performance error correction. The best DVD-ROM drive therefore is Lite-On SOHD-16P9S, the best DVD-Writer Plextor PX-740A. Its very difficult to find new devices, some months ago I could buy a new Lite-On SOHD-16P9S drive by Ebay. The rip result is amazing. As software Im using the CDex ripper 1.70 beta 2, modified with the last version of the lame encoder (version 3.99.5).

If your PC has no IDE port, you can use a seperate box with USB connector.

In Germany was a lavish test about restauration of damaged CDs and DVDs published by ct in 2005, issue 16.

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spoon
post Oct 22 2013, 00:21
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QUOTE (marc_online @ Oct 21 2013, 22:59) *
the best DVD-Writer Plextor PX-740A.


I do not believe this for 1 second, I think it was always a myth these (expensive) Plextors were the best. Plextor Premium 2 anyone? I think this was the last drive Plextor made to cater to this market, and it was nothing special.

QUOTE (marc_online @ Oct 21 2013, 22:59) *
The rip result is amazing. As software Im using the CDex ripper 1.70 beta 2, modified with the last version of the lame encoder (version 3.99.5).


Is it 2003? or 2013? 10 years ago there were stories like this, program XYZ rips sound better then program ABC, like-wise for drives...AccurateRip (which incidentally cdex never supported) put all that to rest.


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greynol
post Oct 22 2013, 00:43
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QUOTE (marc_online @ Oct 21 2013, 14:59) *
the best DVD-Writer Plextor PX-740A

This was a re-branded BENQ DW1640. It was a good drive, but calling it the best is a bit of a stretch (read: nonsense). It certainly didn't make the shortlist compiled from AR results:
http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php...13&p=134657

Furthermore, this drive caches and doesn't provide C2 pointers. I'm betting it doesn't recognize FUA. For those who may be curious this doesn't exactly make for good PlexTools usage. It's not exactly a worthwhile drive for EAC, either (or just about any other secure ripping program, for that matter).

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 22 2013, 01:17


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marc_online
post Oct 23 2013, 12:32
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I related my statement to the test of ct in 2005. They tested 12 DVD-Rom drives and 10 DVD burners. The Plextor PX-740 A is a re-branded BENQ DW1640 with a modified firmware. It read the DVD-ROM "Horror Disk" with 100%, the BENQ only with 73%. The only device of all 22 with C2 and an excellent audio CD error correction was the LiteON SOHW-1693S DVD burner. But it had bad results at the error correction of scratches and jitters. Plextor PX-740 A and Lite-On SOHD-16P9S were the only devices with excellent results without any exception.

Which are the best devices in your opinion for using AcurrateRip? Im looking forward to your support.

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greynol
post Oct 23 2013, 15:41
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The results are available in the link I gave. That data reflects real-life performance. The c't test, which I recall reading about back in 2005 shortly after it happened, does not.

AccurateRip is agnostic to the drive so long as it can be calibrated for use and isn't blacklisted for one reason or another.


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hlloyge
post Oct 23 2013, 19:33
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 23 2013, 16:41) *
The results are available in the link I gave. That data reflects real-life performance. The c't test, which I recall reading about back in 2005 shortly after it happened, does not.
AccurateRip is agnostic to the drive so long as it can be calibrated for use and isn't blacklisted for one reason or another.


Yeah, but these are not relevant in a sense which one of them is good with damaged disks, as there is no information on how damaged the disks were. For all we know, the CDs ripped might all be in mint condition.
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greynol
post Oct 23 2013, 19:45
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The data doesn't support the idea that the database was populated solely by rips from mint discs.

We've discussed this a few times. Initially I was playing devil's advocate but was soon made to realize that this position was untenable.

I don't know how to support the idea that submissions for any particular drive might be skewed due to a correlation with disc condition.

Can you come up with a compelling reason to suggest that some drives in the data set aren't getting fair representation?

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 25 2013, 05:42


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2Bdecided
post Oct 25 2013, 10:03
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 23 2013, 19:45) *
I don't know how to support the idea that submissions for any particular drive might be skewed due to a correlation with disc condition.
Not on any drive that might just come with any PC - but on after market drives sold into a certain market. I am more likely to have bought one that's supposedly great for ripping CDs accurately, and I am also more likely to have taken good care of my CDs, because that's just the kind of person I am wink.gif Maybe. My friend who really doesn't care has mostly scratched CDs and uses whatever drive is in his laptop.

The argument breaks down because my careless friend won't be using AR, and one of those drives that "just comes in a laptop" seems to be doing very well.

It's hard to argue there's no correlation between drive and disc condition which could skew AR accuracy vs drive results - but for the vast majority of drives it's hard to imagine that this is the dominant factor. I can't see how we could ever know the error bars or bias due to this factor.


btw, the discs of mine which bug me most never make it into an AR submission: they look perfect and won't rip properly at all on some drives. Clearly a drive problem, but the AR database never gets to know about it.

Cheers,
David.
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hlloyge
post Oct 25 2013, 10:21
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 23 2013, 20:45) *
I don't know how to support the idea that submissions for any particular drive might be skewed due to a correlation with disc condition.
Can you come up with a compelling reason to suggest that some drives in the data set aren't getting fair representation?


Because you don't know in what condition the disks were when ripping. And how the drive handles bad disks. Let's say you have three disks and two drives. One of disks, A, is in perfect shape. B is somewhat scratched, C is badly damaged. That is first scenario. Drive 1 rips A and B with good results, but can't rip C because it has bad error correction. Drive 2 rips all three disks, but disk C has been ripped in an hour or two session.
Now, for me, I wouldn't bother with ripping disk C; law here allows me to get lossless copy of the disk from somewhere. A lot of people wouldn't even have disks in condition C. Some people would then just rip A and B type disks.
AR database tells me just how much successful rips have been made; nothing about of ability of the drive to extract data from badly damaged disks. With A and B disks, most of the drives won't have much problems. But, add copy-protection schemes or/and damages, and the number of drives that can handle that rapidly falls.
Also, how popular and available the drive is somewhere. Here, I can't buy Plextor, noone distributes them, I can order one, though. Mostly LiteOns and LGs, very little few of the others.

So, the numbers presented are just how many rips some drive has made, nothing else. nothing about what matters when you have bad disks, and we are talking about a number of CDs in bad shape.
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greynol
post Oct 25 2013, 13:44
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Thanks David and Hlloyge.

In terms of providing a compelling reason, I'm not buying David's lukewarm reply. Hlloyge didn't even really address the question.

That some people may not submit results for discs in categories A, B and/or C hardly means that no one does. Suggesting that those who don't only use drives D, E or F is an even farther stretch.

The data includes the percentage of submissions that match one in the database. If it were just how many entries there were for a given drive, this discussion would not be occurring.

As for my practices, these days I prefer to rip everything with a drive that I don't care as much about, saving the hard to rip discs fore the one I care about more because it is not as easily replaced. They have completely different chipsets, generally allowing one a chance to successfully rip a disc the other cannot. This behavior doesn't exactly pigeonhole into the categories that were given.

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 26 2013, 16:59


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2Bdecided
post Oct 28 2013, 21:58
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It comes down to this: on which side of the argument do you think the burden of proof lies?

I doubt either side can prove its case very well at all.

"lukewarm" - yes.

Cheers,
David.
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hlloyge
post Oct 28 2013, 22:45
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 25 2013, 14:44) *
Thanks David and Hlloyge.
That some people may not submit results for discs in categories A, B and/or C hardly means that no one does. Suggesting that those who don't only use drives D, E or F is an even farther stretch.
The data includes the percentage of submissions that match one in the database. If it were just how many entries there were for a given drive, this discussion would not be occurring.
As for my practices, these days I prefer to rip everything with a drive that I don't care as much about, saving the hard to rip discs fore the one I care about more because it is not as easily replaced. They have completely different chipsets, generally allowing one a chance to successfully rip a disc the other cannot. This behavior doesn't exactly pigeonhole into the categories that were given.


I'm just saying, what is the percentage of bad disks successfully ripped vs. good disks successfully ripped? And another thing, what is the percentage of new disks vs. old disks ripped? Can you tell me anything about that from those results you linked? We are talking about which drive is best able to rip bad disks, not new and shiny. Bad and protected ones. You know, Cactus Data Shield thingie, it was popular few years ago.

The results of AR database doesn't show anything relevant to drive's ability to handle bad disks. And you are defending AR results as if they can show us the drive which is best for that job. Would you put your hand into the fire that this 1st rated Matshita is better than Plextor in handling bad disks? I am sure I can recomend Plextor for the job, at least before LiteOn and TSSTCorp. But only those old drives, made by Plextor, not new, rebranded ones.
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greynol
post Oct 28 2013, 23:16
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 28 2013, 13:58) *
It comes down to this: on which side of the argument do you think the burden of proof lies?

What is the first order approximation when you don't have detailed data?


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greynol
post Oct 28 2013, 23:23
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QUOTE (hlloyge @ Oct 28 2013, 14:45) *
I'm just saying, what is the percentage of bad disks successfully ripped vs. good disks successfully ripped? And another thing, what is the percentage of new disks vs. old disks ripped? Can you tell me anything about that from those results you linked?

I see no compelling reason to assume those aren't covered in the data in a way that is disproportionate to their occurrence in the real world.

QUOTE (hlloyge @ Oct 28 2013, 14:45) *
...and protected ones.

I see no mention of copy protection in the original post, not that it matters any (read my previous reply).

QUOTE (hlloyge @ Oct 28 2013, 14:45) *
The results of AR database doesn't show anything relevant to drive's ability to handle bad disks.

How do you know this?!?

QUOTE (hlloyge @ Oct 28 2013, 14:45) *
And you are defending AR results as if they can show us the drive which is best for that job. Would you put your hand into the fire that this 1st rated Matshita is better than Plextor in handling bad disks?

Absolutely.

QUOTE (hlloyge @ Oct 28 2013, 14:45) *
I am sure I can recomend Plextor for the job, at least before LiteOn and TSSTCorp. But only those old drives, made by Plextor, not new, rebranded ones.

Got any data to back this up?

Are you familiar with the PX-230? It is rebranded and performs very well according to Spoon who has done extensive testing with it during his development of dBpowerAmp. I trust his evaluation.

FYI: I own a PX-716A and an Iomega ZipCD 12x10x32 flashed with Plextor 1210A firmware. They are good drives, but hardly rise to the mystical status attributed to Plextor drives.

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cliveb
post Oct 30 2013, 10:20
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 25 2013, 12:44) *
As for my practices, these days I prefer to rip everything with a drive that I don't care as much about, saving the hard to rip discs fore the one I care about more because it is not as easily replaced. They have completely different chipsets, generally allowing one a chance to successfully rip a disc the other cannot. This behavior doesn't exactly pigeonhole into the categories that were given.

I think your ripping procedure suggests a plausible reason why the statistics may be skewed:
  • You rip undamaged discs on a cheap drive (and generally get perfect results).
  • You rip damaged discs on a different drive - presumably because you think it will cope better. But the chances are that even on this "better" drive you will sometimes fail to get a perfect rip from these damaged discs.
Therefore when you submit your data to AR, there will be a smaller percentage of failed rips on the cheap drive.
In other words, the results you submit will skew the stats towards making the cheap drive seem better than it really is compared to the other.
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