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Best lossless ripping for Mac
Sabeque
post May 1 2012, 21:33
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Hi,

I've done a lot of searching on this topic and links keep pointing to this forum, so I believe the people here know their stuff. smile.gif

I apologize if this has been already addressed. I see similar questions and threads but not one for my specific situation. A lot of the data out there also seems to be very subjective, overwhelming and/or confusing. I also apologize for all of the info but I want to be thorough. smile.gif

Objective:
Rip CD collection in highest quality possible to lossless format (as yet undefined).

Factors:
~ I'm on a Mac and from what I've read XLD is the best option for accurate rips.
~ I want to be able to tag my files with Artist, Track name, etc. and want compatibility with iTunes without plugins or workarounds, so FLAC is not an option for me.
~ My music is mostly electronic and hip hop (not sure if this makes a difference when choosing the lossless format or conversion settings).
~ Larger file size is not a concern for me. Quality is. HD space is cheap.
~ Many of my CDs are mixed, i.e. gapless.

Purpose:
~ To have the highest quality digital backup possible. Many of my CDs are rare or irreplaceable promos. A few are also older and have begun to degrade. I want to convert everything now in the best quality I can so that I can save my music indefinitely.
~ After the CDs degrade more I need another source as close as possible to the original. Therefore I want to have lossless files that I can listen to or use whenever I need to create a lossy (MP3) version for my iPhone.

Questions:
~ When trying to convert some CDs in iTunes, some tracks were not converted at all because the CDs were degraded (no scratches, just old). I am hoping XLD can use error correction to "fix" these issues. Does XLD do this kind of correction?
~ I have heard ALAC may not be a good choice because of a theoretical "jitter" issue which compromises quality. Is this true?
~ Assuming AIFF is the best choice based on the factors above, what would be the best settings? I see a lot of tutorials for FLAC conversion but not for AIFF. When I checked the Wiki page comparing lossless formats I also did not see any AIFF reference there.
~ XLD has an option that says somethign about C2 error pointers (if your dirve supports this). How do I know if my drive supports this?
~ If you rip a gapless CD to multiple lossless tracks and then later convert those lossless files to mp3, can you join the tracks as one file when converting to mp3 so that you can remove the gaps? I've had problems playing gapless albums as multiple tracks in mp3 format on my iphone.

Thanks!
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Sabeque
post May 1 2012, 22:27
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Wow you guys are fast! Thank you for responding. I appreciate your time.

~ So from what I am understanding here, all lossless formats are the same in quality, which means I could convert back and forth between all of them indefinitely without compromising quality assuming there are no software errors? If this is the case why is there so much back and forth about which is "better" and why should I use ALAC as opposed to AIFF?
~ If ALAC is the way to go, should the rip be done in iTunes or still XLD? As i mentioned I had some issues ripping from iTunes, the biggest that it did not report any errors and just ripped, either missing chunks of songs or whole tracks.
~ If XLD is the way to go, can you please recommend settings for my situation?
~ I believe iTunes now plays gapless mp3 files without issue but when I move them to the iphone I hear gaps..therefore i think it's not the file but the player that's causing the issue; however I could be wrong.
~ Ron Jones: I can't remember where I heard about that jitter issue because I've been searching for answers for so long and been to so many sites now; however it may well have been Computer Audiophile; in fact I just posted my questions there too a little earlier smile.gif
~ What about this C2 pointer issue?

Thanks again!
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Porcus
post May 2 2012, 00:08
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QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 23:27) *
~ So from what I am understanding here, all lossless formats are the same in quality, which means I could convert back and forth between all of them indefinitely without compromising quality assuming there are no software errors?

Yeah. Well there are cases where the 'to' format cannot contain the signal in the 'from' format (for example, not all lossless formats can handle multichannel audio), but apart from that reservation (which does not apply to the CD format), transcoding is without any quality loss.

QUOTE
If this is the case why is there so much back and forth about which is "better"


Some compress better. For the same reason as a .zip file and a .rar file which unpack precisely the same content, might differ in size.
Compression speed and (more important IMO) decompression speed also vary.

Some lack e.g. multichannel or are limited to certain bitrates or sample rates. AIFF even has loops. Some are more streaming-friendly. Some have checksums to detect errors (although I have rarely seen any case it has been helpful). Some have better tagging capabilities (what is 'better' is probably a matter of taste, although there are some that are definitely 'worse').

Furthermore, some are supported by more software and hardware. Try to get Shorten or LA to work on your appleware. (I took a hunch on two formats -- I might be wrong and they might be well supported, but my guess is that it is hardly worth the hassle.)


QUOTE
and why should I use ALAC as opposed to AIFF?


Smaller files, same quality. (Well AIFF can contain compression too, although I know not much about it.)
And tagging in AIFF -- though possible -- isn't that well supported in players? Or ...?


--------------------
One day in the Year of the Fox came a time remembered well
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Sabeque
post May 2 2012, 15:33
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QUOTE (Porcus @ May 2 2012, 01:08) *
QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 23:27) *


QUOTE
If this is the case why is there so much back and forth about which is "better"



QUOTE
Some lack e.g. multichannel or are limited to certain bitrates or sample rates. AIFF even has loops. Some are more streaming-friendly. Some have checksums to detect errors (although I have rarely seen any case it has been helpful). Some have better tagging capabilities (what is 'better' is probably a matter of taste, although there are some that are definitely 'worse').





Can you please clarify this?
~ What do you mean by multichannel? Mono vs. stereo or something bigger like 5.1? For CDs converting to AIFF or ALAC this is not an issue right?
~ What do you mean by "AIFF even has loops"?
~ What do you mean by "Some are more streaming friendly"?
~ As far as I knew you could add tags to AIFF files but I'm not aware of any issues with this. ALAC is new territory for me so I don't know if it supports tagging.

Thanks!
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Posts in this topic
- Sabeque   Best lossless ripping for Mac   May 1 2012, 21:33
- - db1989   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 21:33) I hav...   May 1 2012, 21:50
- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 13:33) I...   May 1 2012, 21:53
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Ron Jones @ May 1 2012, 21:53) QUO...   May 1 2012, 22:10
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (db1989 @ May 1 2012, 23:10) Some m...   May 1 2012, 22:49
||- - db1989   I should have been clearer that I meant between en...   May 1 2012, 22:56
|- - ringenesherre   QUOTE (Ron Jones @ May 1 2012, 22:53) QUO...   May 1 2012, 22:16
||- - Sabeque   QUOTE (ringenesherre @ May 1 2012, 23:16)...   May 1 2012, 22:28
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Ron Jones @ May 1 2012, 13:53) QUO...   May 2 2012, 06:05
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (greynol @ May 2 2012, 07:05) Movin...   May 2 2012, 08:36
- - Sabeque   Wow you guys are fast! Thank you for respondin...   May 1 2012, 22:27
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 22:27) So fr...   May 1 2012, 22:33
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 23:27) ~ So ...   May 2 2012, 00:08
|- - Sabeque   QUOTE (Porcus @ May 2 2012, 01:08) QUOTE ...   May 2 2012, 15:33
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 2 2012, 16:33) ~ Wha...   May 2 2012, 18:00
- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 1 2012, 22:33) ~ Whe...   May 1 2012, 22:38
- - Sabeque   Thank you all very much for your insights and quic...   May 2 2012, 18:36
- - Sabeque   One more question: Let's say I rip a gapless ...   May 2 2012, 20:53
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 2 2012, 21:53) Let...   May 3 2012, 08:40
- - Sabeque   I've also just noticed on the wiki page about ...   May 2 2012, 21:14
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Sabeque @ May 2 2012, 22:14) I...   May 2 2012, 21:52
|- - Nessuno   By the way: speaking about backup, you can just ri...   May 2 2012, 22:06
|- - db1989   Is it really necessary to maintain two lossless ar...   May 2 2012, 22:25
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (db1989 @ May 2 2012, 23:25) Is it ...   May 3 2012, 08:10
- - RobertoDomenico   XLD will import into iTunes automatically and iTun...   May 3 2012, 08:22
- - Sabeque   Thank you all again for your input   May 6 2012, 22:48
- - fazalmajid   I use Sbooth's Max on my Mac. For some reason ...   Jul 18 2012, 17:34


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