FLAC to MP3 (LAME) conversion query?

Empgamer

Active Member
For the week ahead my task is ripping all of our CDs to FLAC (either using dbPoweramp or EAC - not QUITE decided yet). I will then look to create a carbon copy in MP3 for the Ipod. I understand that LAME is the best MP3 encoder and, as it is merely an MP3 format, I assume and Ipod will just recognise it as MP3 and merrily play it?

The query is, if I use something like Foobar, or dBpoweramp (which is where this ripper is quite attractive seeing as it is all in one bundle so to speak) to convert to MP3 (and provided whichever software I use has LAME installed as it's MP3 Codec) will it:

a) Actually do the conversion from FLAC into MP3 using LAME (or does LAME only get used when ripping from the CD)?

b) Sound as good being converted to LAME as it would ripping straight from the CD to LAME?

I'm happy to put the effort into getting the best sound from both formats and don't wan't to get half way through this job only to realise I have to start over.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
a) Yes. The MP3's are actually created by the LAME encoder. Basically, what happens is LAME is given a WAV file which it then turns in an MP3. That could be a WAV file generated by EAC from a CD, or a DBpowerAMP converting the FLAC to a WAV first then passed on to LAME (along with other stuff, like tag metadata) to do it's stuff. Most people don't realise or see that there is usually an intermediate temporary WAV file involved in ripping and transcoding (although this is not strictly always the case).

b) Yes. that's why people around here recommend doing it this way so much.
 

Empgamer

Active Member
Thanks Autopilot. While I have had no problems with EAC I may use dbPoweramp for the ripping and converting as I do quite like it's interface. I'm not quite sure if what I'm planning on doing warrants paying for the 'Reference' (Pro) version though, thinks there are a lot of things with Reference that I'll be unlikely to need unless there are fine tuning settings that will result in a better FLAC rip with Reference than the vanilla version. I'll have a look at their site and Hydrogen Audio to see if there are any details.

One thing I will also have a look at is whether dbPoweramp also does does Replay Gain either as it rips or as a post rip conversion? If not, I suspect that it's just a simple case of feeding the tracks to Foobar after they've been ripped? If I rip to FLAC and then then use Foobar to add Replay Gain to the FLAC tracks am I correct in assuming that the RG will also go across in to the MP3/LAME conversion or do you have to add it again?

Sorry for all the questions and if some of thgis seems obvious but I'd like to make it sure I have all this 100% right before I start later today.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
I can't really help much with replay gain, i have never really felt the need to use it personally. All my music is at about the same level and i play albums, rarely playlists.
 

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