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westgroveg's EAC+FLAC image guide, See wiki for official EAC guides
westgroveg
post Dec 7 2003, 07:01
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I decided to write this thread after not being able to find any standard way of creating an Image compressed with FLAC. This guide is the best way I have found so far, hope it's useful.

1. Open EAC


a. Drive Setup (done once):


. Insert an audio CD into your drive and open EAC

. Click EAC\Drive Options (F10) on the menu bar, select the Extraction Method tab & then press the Detect Read Features.... button

. Wait for EAC to finish analyzing your drive then take a note of your drive's features & press the OK button

. Select: Secure mode with the following drive features (recommended);


Feature: Caching/Drive caches audio

If EAC reports "Caching: Yes" your drive caches audio data, every sector read will be read from cache and is identical, this will increase the probability of errors & cause a speed decrease. EAC needs to clear the cache by overreading it, enable this by ticking the "drive caches audio" box.


Tip: EAC may misinform about audio caching, as an alternative you can use Feurio's audio caching test found in Feurio.exe\Ctrl+Alt+P\Test device\Cache test.

Tip: Some drives disable audio caching at low speeds; if your drive is set to DMA transfer mode, try changing it to PIO only transfer mode, then re-test for caching and set back to DMA mode.


Feature: Accurate Stream/Drive has ‘Accurate Stream’ feature

If EAC reports "Accurate Stream: Yes", you have a decreased probability of errors.


Feature: "C2 Error Info/Drive is capable of retrieving C2 error information"

With C2 enabled, EAC's error detection becomes dependent on the drives C2 accuracy which varies from drive to drive and increases the probability of errors. This feature also results in a speed increase, because EAC doesn't read the data twice anymore. If your drive supports this feature and you decide to use it, enable this by ticking the C2 Error Info box.

Tip: To determine your drives C2 accuracy you could attempt to create a DAE Quality test CD.


Tip: The Coaster Factory, Eac-Audio.de have databases with user reported drive settings, you can use them to determine the appropriate features for your drive.


b. Extraction (done every time you create an image):


. Retrieve CD information or enter it manually, e.g. artist, album, track names (will be present in the CUE Sheet). Check for spelling errors using the original CD booklet/inlay.

. Click Action\Copy Image & create CUE Sheet\Uncompressed (Alt+F7)

. A Save Waveform dialog box will open, input your desired name & press the Save button.


2. Open FLAC Frontend

Tick only:
  • Verify (verifies there were no errors during encoding)
  • Add tags (Set-up tag conf. fields & set Filename scheme to Custom: X)
  • Replaygain (stores replaygain values, doesn't modify the original audio data)
  • Cuesheet (Created by EAC, Set full path)
  • Delete input files (removes input wave file)
Then press encode.

NEW!
Tip: You can now store CD TEXT within your FLAC image using Foobar; just open your CUE sheet with notepad then copy contents & paste it into the cuesheet tag of the FLAC image file within foobar

Tip: Keep the external CUE Sheet to display your image's tracks in Winamp using this plugin & for later restoring your image to a compliant audio CD

3. Open Burnatonce

Mastering\Data DVD(or CD)\ISO Settings

Tick only:
  • Compliant PVD
  • ISO9660:1999
  • Joliet Names
  • Long Joliet Names
  • UDF v1.02
  • Rock Ridge
This will allow maximum character & folder limits

Press OK, drag & drop your files, compile then press write.

Tip: Burn with UDF directory records, Par(2) recovery volumes &/or SFV/MD5 checksums to be sure you have the best error detection & recovery.

And that's all you need to do to create a lossless back-up.


Image Restoration

In this section of the guide we will restore our back-up to a compliant audio CD, this will be useful if your original CD becomes damaged or lost.

Copy your backed-up image & EAC generated CUE sheet to where EAC originally extracted them on your hard drive so that the paths in the CUE sheet are correct


a. Decoding

Open: FLAC Frontend then input your FLAC image file (.FLAC file) you just copied to your hard disk

Press: decode, this will restore your FLAC image back to WAV making it compatible with your EAC generated CUE sheet.


b. Burning

Open: EAC then go to Tools\Write CD-R (Alt-W), the EAC Writer window will open

Go to: File\Load CUE Sheet, open your working folder & select the EAC generated CUE then press Open

Go to: CD-R\write CD, then select Close CD & press Make It So to begin writing.

Tip: Write at low speeds for best results.

And that's all you need to do to restore your back-up.



Links

Lossless Audio comparisonsOther lossless guidesOther tools
  • .mp3size - calculates & compares space used by lossy, lossless & uncompressed
  • FLACATTACK - Automates ripping to a image, encoding to FLAC & creating mp3's (file per track) for playback
  • Burrrn - Automates image restoration, decoding & burning
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The reason I prefer UDF is for compatibility (as with FLAC) also it's support for long file names & becasue it's a newer standard it should have superior error correcting compared to ISO 9660.

I'm not going to try to sell using images instead of tracks just wanted to try to help those who prefer it for what ever reason. The reason I create an image rather than multiple files for back-ups (to DVD-R) is just that I find it a neater way of storing the data, tracks, pauses/hidden tracks, all the CD data is together, 1 CD = 1 file. I also use EAC to split the image at the CUE points & create APS mp3's for playback but I like to have a lossless image backed-up & stored in a safe place.


This post has been edited by CiTay: Aug 9 2006, 15:08
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Calufraxis
post Feb 4 2004, 17:27
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wetgroveg,

Why do you suggest UDF formatted rom vs iso formatted?
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eagleray
post Feb 4 2004, 18:08
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Why do you prefer to burn an image rather than ripping separate tracks and compressing the separate tracks with flac? When using flac with EAC to make separate comressed tracks, it is a one step process resulting in compressed and tagged tracks.

Actually, I have noticed a fair amount of interest in ripping and compressing images around here. Other than the ability of foobar to play these images back using the cue sheet is there some other benefit? So far I have only used the copy image feature of EAC to do a CD to CD copy (usually burning with some app other than EAC) and then I discard the image.

This post has been edited by eagleray: Feb 4 2004, 18:09
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sinan
post Feb 5 2004, 13:41
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IIRC this is useful with CDs that have "hidden" music before track 1. Otherwise a useless pain IMO.
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Ryushi
post Feb 5 2004, 14:16
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QUOTE (Calufraxis @ Feb 4 2004, 08:27 AM)
Why do you suggest UDF formatted rom vs iso formatted?

Hi Calufraxis,

I think westgroveg prefers UDF because the length of your directory-/file-names is not limited there. wink.gif
Extensive directory-/file-names will be truncated with ISO-filesystem.

Cya Ryushi
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Calufraxis
post Feb 5 2004, 14:36
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Thanks Ryushi,

I never really had a problem with filenames so I didn't even consider that very compelling argument. Everything I do is to "uberstandard" with only 1 level of directories.

But if Westgroveg is ripping to single file, I wonder if there might be more to it in his thinking.

Westgroveg, is that the only reason? Also, continue to update this thread as you refine your process.

Thanks everyone!

Later,
Cal
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mmortal03
post Feb 5 2004, 17:58
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QUOTE (sinan @ Feb 5 2004, 06:41 AM)
IIRC this is useful with CDs that have "hidden" music before track 1. Otherwise a useless pain IMO.

IIARC, EAC appends the music occuring before track 1, TO track 1; but again, we are both using that good ol' acronym to protect our backs...I think we need to look this up. wink.gif


--------------------
WARNING: Changing of advanced parameters might degrade sound quality. Modify them only if you are expirienced in audio compression!
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Patsoe
post Feb 5 2004, 23:51
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UDF also offers better immunity to read errors, which is important when your discs start aging.
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Moguta
post Mar 20 2004, 06:03
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QUOTE (Patsoe @ Feb 5 2004, 10:51 PM)
UDF also offers better immunity to read errors, which is important when your discs start aging.

Verification of this statement, please?
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Single
post Mar 21 2004, 19:46
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QUOTE (Patsoe @ Feb 6 2004, 01:51 AM)
UDF also offers better immunity to read errors, which is important when your discs start aging.

Interesting, give URL, please.
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wipeout
post Mar 28 2004, 00:40
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QUOTE (eagleray @ Feb 4 2004, 09:08 AM)
Why do you prefer to burn an image rather than ripping separate tracks and compressing the separate tracks with flac?  When using flac with EAC to make separate comressed tracks, it is a one step process resulting in compressed and tagged tracks.

Actually, I have noticed a fair amount of interest in ripping and compressing images around here.  Other than the ability of foobar to play these images back using the cue sheet is there some other benefit?  So far I have only used the copy image feature of EAC to do a CD to CD copy (usually burning with some app other than EAC) and then I discard the image.


My rationale for wanting image encoding with embedded cue sheet is for archive purposes and simplicity of management. With this method, I get a single file from which I can generate any combination of individual tracks or gapless music (megamixes, spoken word albums and whatnot) for any supported lossy codec that comes down the line, in order to support any future hardware needs, without having to go back to the original CDs. I can generate a batch of lower-bitrate mp3s or aacs for my ipod, or higher quality mp3s or even wavs for my audiotron. As new codecs and hardware arrive on the scene, I can generate a copy of my entire music library for them, since everything I own will be in this base format.

It's basically an exact digital replica of my CD collection that's much easier to access and manage than a huge stack of CDs.
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IrYoKu
post Mar 28 2004, 14:43
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QUOTE (Patsoe @ Feb 6 2004, 12:51 AM)
UDF also offers better immunity to read errors, which is important when your discs start aging.

I have googling around for a while with no luck.

In the page of UDF creator I haven't found too much about error protection.

Someone knows about this?

This post has been edited by IrYoKu: Mar 28 2004, 14:44
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Patsoe
post Mar 29 2004, 00:03
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QUOTE (Moguta @ Mar 20 2004, 06:03 AM)
QUOTE (Patsoe @ Feb 5 2004, 10:51 PM)
UDF also offers better immunity to read errors, which is important when your discs start aging.

Verification of this statement, please?

Sorry, but I can't offer any. I'm quite sure I read this in a reliable context, but now I don't remember where. I'll have to take back that statement, then... unsure.gif

edit - I hope it wasn't here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....indpost&p=73764 - if it was, I have just been caught in the act of echoing unverified info... blink.gif

This post has been edited by Patsoe: Mar 29 2004, 00:07
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buzzy
post May 2 2004, 14:05
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I'm sure this was well-intentioned but it's far from the definitive approach that making this a sticky here would suggest. A few specific comments:

The Coaster Factory has a new address. Though the discussion above is reasonably on-the-mark, the settings page there is a good place to look to give you a better understanding of what they mean.

Does it make sense to recommend the routine use of replaygain, with no explanation? It adds processing time, might not be used at all by some (or most) people, and seems of limited value on a disc image.

Many people would find it more convenient to create a file for each track.

Presumably you are suggesting you might use par2 (not the obsolete par) - see the QuickPar site for the current version of excellent Windows software; or parchive.sourceforge.net. Mac OS X users may find MacPar deLuxe useful but IIRC it doesn't support par2 creation yet.

This post has been edited by buzzy: May 2 2004, 14:07
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forrestlaw03
post May 9 2004, 06:18
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Is there any way to do this and keep the track names so I don't have to manually type them in foobar?
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WarBird
post May 19 2004, 15:43
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ISO vs UDF:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/allcam/cdformat.html

QUOTE
UDF is also used by CD-R and CD-RW in a process called packet writing that makes CD writing more efficient in terms of the time and disk space required.
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westgroveg
post Jun 27 2004, 05:43
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Buzzy's suggestions added,

-Changed Coaster Factory link
-Changed PAR2 link
-Added Replaygain homepage link


I have no objections for changing the thread title "EAC+FLAC IMAGE - guide to creating a lossless image".

This post has been edited by westgroveg: Jun 27 2004, 05:51
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Polar
post Jul 1 2004, 09:30
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QUOTE (westgroveg @ Jun 27 2004, 16:43 UTC)
I have no objections for changing the thread title "EAC+FLAC IMAGE - guide to creating a lossless image".

I'd have to agree. A back-up, the term you used in the topic title, in my view, is something you're not planning to use for a long time, if ever, just to be able to fall back on in case your regular files are damaged or lost. Which is why I favour La for that purpose. It squeezes out every last byte it can.
FLAC is my codec of choice for listening and transcoding, in short everyday use. But just like I have a habit of RAR'ing up my entire software collection at the highest compression before archiving it to a back-up hard disk, hoping I won't need it for months to come, I use La (-high -noseek) to achieve maximum compression for my music before stowing it away. FLAC's streamability and seekability are just of no use there, as they would just sit there untouched.
So it's actually all a matter of terminology. To me, a lossless back-up serves no purpose but as a life buoy. Fluent playability or any other feature are of no importance then, just utmost compression. So in the case of this FLAC sticky, I second your proposition. Backing-up and long-time archiving is not what FLAC is for.
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Abomination
post Jul 5 2004, 10:32
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I just tried using this method, everything seems ok (FLAC doesn't report any errors) but the tags don't seem to work in foobar.

Foobar recognises the embedded cue in the .flac but each track is titled the same (just the name of the file).

Any ideas? Thanks!

edit > Or do I have to do this manually? sad.gif Would be nice to have the frontend do it for you

This post has been edited by Abomination: Jul 5 2004, 10:54
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keiths
post Jul 5 2004, 16:57
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Just for completeness, unless I'm misunderstanding step 3, should there also be a "Step 4. (Restoring the image)" (i.e. in the event that you later loose or scratch your original CD)? Maybe something like:

Step 4 (Restoring the image)

- Convert flac file back to wave file (i.e. flac -d CDImage.flac) (or substitute you favorite method (i.e. with FLAC FrontEnd, Frontah, etc)

- EAC | Tools | Write CD-R...

- File | Load CUE Sheet...

- Select the CUE sheet file

- CD-R | Write CD...

(above with write setting in EAC already set with correct write offset for your CD-RW drive, CD-Text either checked or unchecked depending on your preference, etc.)


On a side note, I've never had any problems with overreading or overwriting with EAC on any of my drives that do support it (i.e. Plextor PX-W4824A) but obviously does not overread / overwrite on drives that do not support it (i.e. the Matshita UJ-811). I suppose there could be a case where there may a specific drive that does support overreading / overwriting where it still does not work with EAC for that particular drive but I've never run into that case myself.
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westgroveg
post Jul 11 2004, 02:21
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Yes keiths that's a good idea I also would like to add a step for cutting at CUE points & encoding to mp3 for general playback & a few updates to the Burnatonce part, when I get time I'll update the guide.
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westgroveg
post Jul 12 2004, 09:26
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keiths suggestions added,

-Image Restoration section added
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Sgt_Strider
post Jul 18 2004, 10:23
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Hey guys, should I press "f4" to test out the gaps before I create the image or creating the image will result in the gaps saved in the .cue file? Thx

Also do I need to give the .cue and .wav file a filename? Or that isn't important? Cuz that menu pops up and ask me where to save...

This post has been edited by Sgt_Strider: Jul 19 2004, 10:11
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Dirge
post Jul 27 2004, 08:23
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westgroveg thanks for your very informative guide. I have a couple of questions though.

- Do you save the .wav and .cue with the default name or do you give them the albums name?

- I have the same problem as Abomination. Foobar recognises the embedded cue in the .flac but each track is titled the same... is there any fix for this?

This post has been edited by Dirge: Jul 27 2004, 19:57
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westgroveg
post Aug 3 2004, 06:19
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QUOTE (Dirge @ Jul 27 2004, 07:23 PM)
westgroveg thanks for your very informative guide. I have a couple of questions though.

- Do you save the .wav and .cue with the default name or do you give them the albums name?

- I have the same problem as Abomination. Foobar recognises the embedded cue in the .flac but each track is titled the same... is there any fix for this?
*


You must leave the .wav file name as it was when EAC created it otherwise the CUE sheet will point to the wrong file, now that I think about it you must also place your wav file & CUE sheet where they where created by EAC otherwise it will look in the wrong place. I'll update this too.

QUOTE
Tip: If you wish to have track names in the tag you can do this through Foobar (right click track\Show file info\Add new\Title\ & Enter Field value).


Case did post that you can now add CUE sheets with track names or CD TEXT with foobar but when I tried to do this it didn't work so I can't comment on it right now.
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