Basics for transferring CD'S

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by grhm, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. grhm

    grhm
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    I'm wanting to transfer all my CD's to an external hard drive, then to an Archos 504 to take with me traveling while I leave the hard drive at home as a back up. Selling the CD's. I'll use the Archos to play music on an audiophile quality stereo so want to keep the highest sound quality. Will be doing this for 400-500 CD's so expect to be up late nights:)

    WMA, ATRAC, OGG, FLAC, LOSSLESS, ENCODING, CODECS, BITRATE. I only know these have something to do with what I want to do. How can I learn the basics of doing what I want so I can get it all done?

    As you might guess, I know little about the technical workings of my computer.

    I have a Dell computer. WindowsXP.
    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    I would rip to FLAC as the archos supports it and is a lossless format so offers the best quality

    For ripping, you want to use CDex or EAC as they offer error checking and better quality rips

    If you don't fancy messing around with settings etc. I have a pre-configured CDex here: http://www.audiofi.co.uk/reviews/Setup.exe which will rip it all to FLAC


    Edit: You won't be able to sell the CD's though, if you did, the tracks you had ripped would all be illegal

    Hope this helps


    Andrew
     
  3. grhm

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    Thanks, I'll take a look-see. Hopefully this will simplify the issue for me. About that other issue, it didn't even cross my mind.

    :oops:
     
  4. lazymatt

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    I would echo what Andrew has said.

    FLAC is probably your best bet and should give great sound quality (if you get it right, you probably won't be able to tell the difference from the original CD)
     
  5. Matt_C

    Matt_C
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    Actually I disagree.

    The trade off you have here is size, as in file size. The higher the quality, the higher the file size. For example, I ripped one of my albums using the WMA lossless (variable bit rate, which averaged out at about 1200kbs) and the file size for the whole album was over 500mb. Ripped it again using MP3 @ 320kbps continuous rate, disc space is 158mb. But, the audible difference is negliable at best. Of course, if you are using audiophile equipment and thousands of pounds worth of speakers, you might hear a difference, but most won't, and most don't use multiple-thousands of pounds worth of gear.

    Next, you mention an Archos to play back on. This is not audiophile grade equipment, and as such I would lay money on you not noticing ANY difference between MP3 320, and WMA/FLAC lossless.

    My set up is I have ripped all my CD's to my PC and play to my sound system via optical cable. Even I, and I have worked in various recording studio's and spent some time producing sound for live bands, can barely, if at all in many cases, tell the difference between MP3 320 and WMA/FLAC lossless, and the same can be said for MP3 320 to CD... I can however, hear a difference between MP3 320 and MP3 128. It is VERY slight, but just audible.

    On a portable player, likewise with an in car system, you won't be able to tell the difference. You are better off ripping at MP3 320 for a portable system, thus conserving space for more audio. 400-500 CD's, which lets say average 100mb per album, will allow you 400-500 albums for a 500gb drive. Using Lossless (WMA/FLAC) this could be as low as 100 albums on a 500gb drive.
     
  6. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    For the Archos alone, Mp3 320 would probably be fine, but for home hifi I would always go lossless, disk space is so cheap I can't see any reason to cut on quality.

    FLAC can be converted to MP3 for portable devices, but MP3 cannot be converted to FLAC, so by ripping losslessly first time around saves effort in the long run (I rip everything to AIFF at 30Mb+ per track)

    The software I put together does also rip to MP3 should you go that route, just select MP3 320 instead of flac on the setup menu
     
  7. grhm

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    Matt, going direct from my PC to sound system via optical cable sounds interesting. Can you point me in the right direction to find such a set-up?

    I appreciated hearing your perspective.
    Thanks
     
  8. Uridium

    Uridium
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    I wait to be corrected by someone with greater legal knowledge than myself but I believe that technically if you sell the CD's after ripping you can not legally retain the ripped copies of the CD's

    EDIT: Just noticed Andrew1810 has also pointed this out
     
  9. Autopilot

    Autopilot
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    Yes, but HDD's are cheap these days and most people's PC's can probably hold there entire music collection in a lossless format without even breaking a sweat these days. For most people it's not an issue.

    By using a lossless format you are future proofing your music collection. You will only ever had to archive your CD's to your HDD once, then put your CD's away in a safe place. The problem with ripping to a lossless format is the damage to sound quality is your ever wish to transcode. Transcoding really does kill sound quality. So with a Lossless library you can transcode to another format for other devices you may buy in the future without having to rip all your CD's again. Something like Foobar2000 will do it in a batch job.

    If you have the space, it's silly no to use a lossless format these days and it can save you a lot of hassle in the future.
     
  10. tdtm82

    tdtm82
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    Dangerous Don is exactly spot on with the info provided about FLAC. The FLAC is the most optimum codec (after analogue vinyl) from my perspective as it allows you to decrease your WAVs-CDA's without losing quality. If anyone wishes to request a guide on how to convert then please contact me and I'll provide help.

    FLAC is also 24bit which is great for today's audio equipment. FLAC is a future codec which I forsee making great strides in the audiophile world once people and companies wake up to it. The more promotion this codec receives the better it is for the public as audio restoration will be kept and not lost - unlike many other codecs such as MP3 and even the mighty OGG Vorbis.

    I'm currently researching an AV Receiver or system which will process FLAC but that's still far off from my budget!
     
  11. Member 79251

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    I have used 192kbs for many years and dont feel like I need anything else.

    I will give FLAC a go next time I rip an album. So I will just wait to see how FLAC goes.
     
  12. lazymatt

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    I'd be surprised if you didn't hear an immediate difference, but obviously it depends on the equipment you're using.
     
  13. Member 79251

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    Yes it depends on the equipment, the room and the setup all factors a side from the bit rate or format of the stored music.

    I use a sub £300 setup that is in my bedroom. So I might not hear a difference. Will give it a try and see what happens.
     
  14. lazymatt

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    Be interested to hear the what you think.
     
  15. Autopilot

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    I can tell the difference between CD/FLAC and MP3 @ 192 on my £200 Denon mini system in the bedroom, never mind my Squeezebox/Azur 640/Mission 701's in the livingroom. It's not massive, but it's noticeable. It just seems to lose some of it's sparkle and detail (although the lastest Lame encoder does retain bass better than it used too. If you use MP3, at least go for 320. Then you will be hard pushed to tell the difference. Use the latest Lame encoder too.

    I think it all comes down to what you get used too. After using FLAC for a couple of years i would never use anything less than Lame MP3 at 320. It's like when you have broadband and then use a dial up connection again. It's like, wow it seems worse than i remember. But then i use Flac (and Ogg) for other reasons, not just sound quality.

    You should also be using VBR, rather than CBR MP3. So many people still use CBR because of all the crappy ripping software that the net is flooded with (and some old compatibility issues that are no virtually non existent). There is no need, VBR will sound better and take up the same (if not less) disk space.

    Have a look around the excellent wiki on www.hydrogenaudio.org, amoust other things they have step-by-step guides for setting up EAC with LAME, FLAC, etc. Their forums are god like when it comes to this kind of thing too.
     
  16. jone

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    I'm no expert on codecs, but surely, for a 500gb drive the figures come out at:

    MP3 320: 4000-5000 albums
    WMA/FLAC: 1000 albums

    Sorry :thumbsup:
     
  17. PJTX100

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    Whatever format you go for, remember to back it up.

    Hence whatever space you need, add (say) 30% for expansion - then double it for backup purposes.

    FLAC is great but when you are talking about multiple thousands of CDs you need serious storage capacity. 256K or 320K MP3 sound excellent if well encoded (using LAME).
     

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