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Problem with iTunes ALAC rip
Walter N
post May 23 2008, 23:08
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Hi all...I recently undertook a project to rip a bunch of CDs to a Lossless archive on an external HDD, and use those files to generate .mp3s for portable listening. Being a Mac/iPod user I ripped about 20 discs to start with to Apple Lossless using iTunes, and created mp3s from these using iTunes-LAME.

One song has a problem with a bad static or scratching type noise in the Lossless and .mp3 files not present on the CD - I have a short sample clip I can email. I'm assuming this was caused by some kind of error during the CD rip which iTunes did not correct or notify me about? Could the library being on an external (250GB Lacie Firewire) drive have been a factor, or processor load (iBook G4, with no other apps running), or ??

Since I noticed the problem on one of the first tracks I was randomly listening to, I now feel I have no way to know which other files may have problems as well, and that I should start the whole project over again.

I am looking for input on to do next - after poking around a bit it seems like Max might be a better choice for CD ripping but it does not seem to support ALAC; since iTunes doesn't have built in FLAC support it doesn't seem like a good option for me - or is it? Will Max do a better job notifying about and/or correction any errors, or can it verify the rip is 100% correct after the fact? Should I rip to AIFF with Max and then convert to ALAC within iTunes?

I'm hoping to avoid going down another time-consuming path so if I'm way off base and should be considering another strategy altogether I'm open to any suggestions, Thanks.

This post has been edited by Walter N: May 24 2008, 01:48
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kornchild2002
post May 23 2008, 23:24
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From what I have heard, Max is a better ripper than iTunes as it is more secure. I don't know if Max will tell you if the rip is secure or not and if it is compatible with AccurateRip. A program such as dBpowerAMP (Windows only) is secure and accurate in that it can securely rip audio tracks (and report any errors) and then go online to compare your rip to an AccurateRip database. I don't think that Max uses AccurateRip or any type of online database but it should be better than iTunes. It appears that Max has some type of CD ripping comparison tool, their website says that it is built into the program. I don't know what that means though.

Max can rip to Apple lossless (ALAC). It can rip to mp3, OGG, FLAC, AAC, ALAC, Monkey's Audio, WavPack, Speex, AIFF, WAV, and other various formats.

So download Max and give it a try. You might want to think about going back and re-ripping those 20 CDs unless you feel like going through and listening to every song for errors. You will need Mac OS X 10.4 (I think that is Tiger) or above.
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ffooky
post May 24 2008, 00:54
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Max does produce a log of sorts that can alert you to any errors/problems detected during a rip but it's frankly rather a dog's breakfast and there is no advantage in terms of secureness that Max has over xACT and xACT produces a much more clearly understandable log. It should be noted, however, that xACT *can* produce a clean log for a track for which EAC required rereads (on the same drive).

Unless your drive does not cache audio, which is unlikely, there is currently no secure ripper available for OS X and, if you really need peace of mind, there is no alternative to running EAC/dbPowerAmp etc under Windows via Boot Camp/Parallels/Fusion.
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Walter N
post May 25 2008, 00:55
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Thanks for the replies, I have been doing some experimenting.

I tried Max first...I thought its interface was pretty good and I like the fact that it can rip, encode to multiple formats (.mp3 and yes ALAC, which I eventually found under the .mp4 setting), and add to iTunes with tags in one operation. Unfortunately I had audio problems in the same area of the same track when I tried ripping my apparently problematic CD again...I didn't search for any logs which might have indicated any errors.

I tried the same CD again with xACT and the rip was successful, no errors indicated in the log and no audio problems that I've discovered so far. Not sure if I got lucky, if my attempts to clean the CD helped, etc. but I think I'll be sticking with xACT for ripping purposes for now, keeping Max around for various encoding chores.
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Rkhive
post Jun 7 2008, 18:09
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I have also had this issue.

In my case it was fixed by going into iTunes, opening its preferences, selecting the Advanced item then selecting the Importing button. Finally check "Use Error Correction When Reading Audio CDs".

This option is normally is turned off by default.

I would be most interested to see if this works.

These instructions are for the Mac version, I couldn't check the Windows version but, if I remember correctly, it has a similar option.
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Walter N
post Jun 7 2008, 21:18
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I did have the Error Correction turned on in iTunes when I originally experienced the issue...I've been continuing to use xACT for CD ripping. I haven't noticed any audible problems so far, and the logs it provides at least give me a sense of confidence that I'll be alerted if there's a problem.
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