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WAV and MP3 simultaneously and LAME Settings
post Feb 4 2013, 21:25
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I am archiving my collection of over 1,000 CDs. Itís a big job, and I want to get it right so I donít have to repeat it. I already started to rip CDs using iTunes and Roxio, but I noticed quite a few songs had pops, crackles, and/or distortion. At first I thought it was a problem with my CD reader, and I went out and purchased a lens cleaning disc. When that didnít solve the problem, I did more research online and realized the problem might be with the programs I was using. That is how I cam across EAC, which I really love but find a tad confusing. So, I have a few questions.

My goal is to back-up every CD in two formats: 1) WAV files to store on an external hard drive as a true archive, and 2) MP3 files to use for iTunes and portable MP3 players. Here are my questions:

1. Is it possible to save in both MP3 and WAV files while only reading the disc once? At this point, I am reading it once for the WAV files and a second time for the MP3 files. I tried just reading it once and saving as WAV files and then converting to MP3s; however, when I did that, none of the info regarding artist, track number, etc. were saved and I had to manually edit the info for use in ITunes and other players. I already have two profiles save in EAC Ė one for WAV and one for MP3. In each case, I have file naming set to save the files in folders under the artist name, with a subfolder for the artist name.

2. Regarding compression settings, I am using the latest version of LAME (I think it is 3.99.5). I would be happy with VBR and a minimum bit rate of 256 kbps, but I found it simpler to just go with 320 kbps CBR. I am not too worried about the difference in file size. I am not sure if I have the correct settings or if I could reduce the number of additional commands. Here are the additional command-line options I have entered for External Compression:

-b 320 %islow%-V 5%islow%%ishigh%-V 2%ishigh% --vbr-new %source% %dest%

And here is a screenshot of my External Compression tab:

3. Does anybody know the easier way to import the ripped MP3 tracks to iTunes? At this point, I am ripping straight to the iTunes folder, with a folder for artist and subfolder for album. After the files are ripped, I go into iTunes and add the folder to the library.

4. In terms of playback, is one player better than another? Specifically, is one player better than iTunes for playback? I also have used WinAmp. For my home stereo, I can simply play the WAV files stored on my external hard drive, but I use an iPod for traveling and the car.

Sorry for all the questions on my first post. If it would be better, I can break them down to separate posts. I am most concerned only with Questions 1 and 2 above.
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Aleron Ives
post Feb 5 2013, 20:03
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Yes, you can use the -b switch to specify a minimum bitrate with LAME, even in VBR mode. The point is that doing so defeats the purpose of using VBR. In VBR mode, LAME analyses the audio and determines the minimum bitrate necessary to achieve the quality level you selected. When using V 0, the highest quality setting, LAME will often use 224, 256, and 320 kbps frames, but some frames will use lower bitrates than that. They will use a lower bitrate because LAME determined that those particular portions of audio are of low enough "complexity" to still reach the quality specified by V 0 at a lower bitrate.

Every single second of your music isn't going to require 256 kbps to sound transparent, and the whole point of VBR mode is to achieve a fixed level of sound quality with the lowest bitrate possible on a moment-by-moment basis, thus saving as much space as possible. You can specify -b 256, -b 224, or whatever you desire, but doing so is only going to waste space and force your files to become larger for (likely) no perceivable gain in sound quality. If possible compression artifacts are so worrisome to you, perhaps you shouldn't use MP3 at all; just keep everything in FLAC format and listen to that. You won't have to worry about compression artifacts if your files are lossless.

This post has been edited by Aleron Ives: Feb 5 2013, 20:04
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Posts in this topic
- dms802   WAV and MP3 simultaneously and LAME Settings   Feb 4 2013, 21:25
- - pdq   The biggest mistake that I can see that you are ma...   Feb 4 2013, 21:54
|- - dms802   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 4 2013, 15:54) The bigge...   Feb 4 2013, 22:02
- - Nessuno   Out of curiosity: did the pops, clicks, distortion...   Feb 4 2013, 22:54
|- - dms802   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Feb 4 2013, 16:54) Out o...   Feb 5 2013, 00:51
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (dms802 @ Feb 5 2013, 00:51) QUOTE ...   Feb 6 2013, 08:58
|- - dms802   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Feb 6 2013, 02:58) QUOTE...   Feb 7 2013, 18:54
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (dms802 @ Feb 7 2013, 17:54) I had ...   Feb 7 2013, 19:09
- - dms802   So, it sounds like the issue of ripping the disc o...   Feb 5 2013, 04:32
- - Mach-X   Those settings are rather needlessly complex. the ...   Feb 5 2013, 04:46
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 5 2013, 03:46) A...   Feb 7 2013, 19:07
- - db1989   Good catch on --vbr-new being unnecessary, althoug...   Feb 5 2013, 04:51
- - dms802   I had a feeling that the additional commands were ...   Feb 5 2013, 05:03
|- - db1989   QUOTE (dms802 @ Feb 5 2013, 04:03) I had ...   Feb 5 2013, 12:45
- - Aleron Ives   VBR settings target a specific quality level; spec...   Feb 5 2013, 07:06
- - phofman   And then there is the wonderful mp3fs filesystem i...   Feb 5 2013, 16:34
- - dms802   Thanks guys. I did try to figure out what all the...   Feb 5 2013, 19:52
- - pdq   That IS the case in LAME, but its use is generally...   Feb 5 2013, 20:01
- - Aleron Ives   Yes, you can use the -b switch to specify a minimu...   Feb 5 2013, 20:03
- - Mach-X   Perhaps to put in simpler terms what others are sa...   Feb 6 2013, 09:45

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