which ripper should i use newbie


Userlevel 2
I dont care about storage size i just want the best quality sound i can get along with cd sleeve pictures on my controller. Which ripper should i use... apple loosless, eac flac?? help needed only ever used media player before

13 replies

mrclox,

All of the lossless files will sound the same, the program choice is mostly your personal preference. If you operate in a MacIntosh environment, FLAC is not as convenient as Apple lossless.

If your CD's are damaged, you may find that some CDROM drives do a better job than others.
Userlevel 2
I dont care about storage size i just want the best quality sound i can get along with cd sleeve pictures on my controller. Which ripper should i use... apple loosless, eac flac?? help needed only ever used media player before

Apple Lossless and EAC FLAC are encoding formats. A ripper is a tool to read a CD or other audio source into a data file. Choice of ripper is important because the audio on a CD is stored in a sort-of-fault-tolerant, streaming format rather than in a robust file format. "cdparanoia", an free ripper, is almost certainly the best there is. It is the engine behind many free/open-source GUI tools such as "grip". Using cdparanoia I've been able to rip CDs that wouldn't play in my audio player.
Apple Lossless and EAC FLAC are encoding formats.

Not quite correct...

Apple Lossless and FLAC are encoding formats, but EAC is a ripping/encoding program.

"cdparanoia", an free ripper, is almost certainly the best there is.

"almost certainly" is true. Many would argue that EAC is better than cdparanoia, although they both use similar techniques.

Personally I'm a big fan of cdparanoia, and having never used EAC and not knowing enoight about the low-level details of why one might be better than the other, I'm not going to argue either way.

Suffice it to say, both are very good. Both will normally do a good job of accurately extracting audio from CDs under normal circumstances.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
thanks for your help guys.. can i presume then that if i use windows media player with the rip setting set to lossless that this will be the same audio quality as any other ripper.? only windows media seems to be able to locate and download cd art automatically
Userlevel 2
Sonos doesn't support Windows Lossless format, so i wouldn't suggest that one. :)

We do support Apple Lossless, FLAC (and AIFF, WAV which are uncompressed). Check out Media Monkey, also do a search of the forums these issues have been discussed fairly extensively and you should find a lot of opinions and experiences.

My suggestion for lossless formats would be FLAC unless you are a big iPod user and want to carry your tracks with you in your iPod.

Best,
graham
Userlevel 2
[QUOTE=My suggestion for lossless formats would be FLAC unless you are a big iPod user and want to carry your tracks with you in your iPod.

Best,
graham[/quote]


Graham -

With your statement above, you have defined a large number of existing and potential users of Sonos. My question is if someone wants the iPod and Sonos, what if anything do you lose or trade by using Apple Lossless instead of FLAC.

thanks,
Userlevel 2
Good question....

In terms of sound quality you dont lose anything.

FLAC is free and open source... so there are a number of options, and will be new options for support of FLAC.

Apple Lossless is more closed, and generally iTunes is the only application that you will use to rip/tag/manage Apple Lossless tracks.

I'm not arguing for or against one format or the other..if you're an iPod user and want to be able to use the same files/tracks with both Sonos and your iPod, Apple Lossless is the clear answer. If you want a more simplified ripping process, Apple lossless wins there too... if those two advantages dont mean much to you, FLAC has a broader support base.

hope that helps,
-graham
My question is if someone wants the iPod and Sonos, what if anything do you lose or trade by using Apple Lossless instead of FLAC.


In quality terms, nothing.

In terms of facilities, Apple Lossless (ALAC) supports embedded album art whilst FLAC does not. On the other hand FLAC supports ReplayGain volum normalisation and ALAC does not.

So it's swings and roundabouts.

The other issue is that FLAC is a truly open codec. This means that in 3 years, 10 years, 50 years time it will still be possible to use it which means it's future-proof.

ALAC is not. It's apple proprietary. This means that if (for instance) Apple phase out iTunes or the ALAC format in 5 years time, eventually your music may become difficult to use. It's unlikely but it's a small risk.

Bear in mind this DOES happen. Documents produced for early versions of Powerpoint are practically unusable now. In the UK the "Doomsday Project" captured massive amounts of data on Laserdiscs in a proprietary (but documented) format and now it's almost inaccessible.

Obviously the trick is to keep an weather eye open and be prepared to convert if necessary.

The other minor advantage of FLAC is it is retty easy to convert FLAC to almost anything else. It's not quite as easy with ALAC.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
In quality terms, nothing.

In terms of facilities, Apple Lossless (ALAC) supports embedded album art whilst FLAC does not. On the other hand FLAC supports ReplayGain volum normalisation and ALAC does not.



Keith


how do i get i-tunes to download album art .. at the moment there is a blank square at the bottom left of the screen where i can drop a picture?
thanks for your replies guys i think i will go i-tunes for the simplicity as long as i can get album art sorted
Userlevel 2
Guys

I recently bought a Sonos kit and love it, but had the same questions about which is the best ripper and format to use to get the best quality whilst still retaining track info (which non-compressed WAV can't do). I'm a bit of a perfectionsist and wanted the very best quality and to only have to rip my 500 CDs once! A bit of googling later and I'd learnt that FLAC and Appleloss are the same quality but came to the conclusion that FLAC was better due to its openness as a standard.

I then went in search of a suitable ripper...I came across EAC as only software that can do a proper job of getting the info accurately off the CDs and discovered that it can work with an external compressor/encoder to produce the desired FLAC format for the files. Job done, I thought, so, I chose it....but that was the start of the slow-down.

EAC is a pretty complex bit of software that provides loads of flexibility to expert users through many different options and opportunities to otherwise get it wrong, e.g. the comand line options for the external compression. The other problem is that, as good as EAC obviously is, it's not a finished product with good documentation etc. So, you're left to become a forum surfer, trying to pick up tips from here and there. Ultimately though, after many hours of surfing the varios forums, I've just ended up confused by all the conflicting advice on how to set it up. By the way, if EAC is such a good thing (the way it extracts the data off the CD), and I'm sure it is, I just can't believe that no commercial software house has done a more user friendly and well docuemented version, more suitable to the mass market, i.e. people like me who want to get on and enjoy their Sonos. They'd clear up. In the meantime, does anyone believe they have a guide on how exactly to setup EAC to do good FLAC extractions?

I was really excited for a minute when I read this thread and discovered a different piece of software that does a similar job to EAC, cdparanoia; is this the answer to my prayers I thought? No, it turns out, as one small detail was left out - i went to the website to discover that it only runs on Linux!

Appreciate any practical help that's out there.

cheers
Userlevel 2
after carefull consideration i have decided on using 'media monkey' as suggested above .. this rips in flac and there is a setting to counter cdrom jitter ...6 levels of speed versus compression fast in low compression (a couple of minutes per cd on my rom) and deals well with album art...
http://www.mediamonkey.com/
Userlevel 2
thanks mrclox. downloaded media monkey last night and had a play - certianly very easy to use and does all the basics very well.

My concern however is still that media monkey won't do as good a job as EAC. Various other threads on this forum suggest that some people revert back to EAC for troublesome discs that need ripping where media monkey can't get over a scratch for example. If problems are happening with mm in very obvious ways likle this, then surely it's a fair assumption that the ripping may be less than perfect a lot of the rest of the time, it's just that it isn't as obvious. As I said before, i only want to do the ripping of my collection once, so I'd rather do the best possible job.

So, EAC..anyone out there really cracked it and prepared to share their thoughts on how to configure and what the process should be re. ripping and getting the resulting files in a nice folder structure?

cheers
charlie
Userlevel 2
So, EAC..anyone out there really cracked it and prepared to share their thoughts on how to configure and what the process should be re. ripping and getting the resulting files in a nice folder structure?
The first post in this thread might help (follow the link to Carlton Bale's web page).

It took a bit of trial-and-error to get it all working, but I'm pretty happy with the results now. The hardest part was finding a scratched CD to use for the error-detection test: in the end, I just attacked an old music CD with a pair of scissors!

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