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  #21  
Old 04-12-2013, 10:56 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I'm not the final word on interpreting confidence numbers so I won't try. My personal standard is no problems occurred, no suspicious positions, all tracks ripped accurately and a confidence level of at least one for all tracks. If I get that in the log after a rip, I'm content. I haven't heard an audible problem in any of the rips that I've done that meet those standards so I'll continue to use that as my guideline.

I've found it best not to be concerned about anything I can't hear. I've seen too many people worry themselves sick over what might not be technically perfect but doesn't contain any problems that are audible. I decided long time ago not to join that club. My standard may be considered low by some but I'm too busy enjoying my music to much care.

I just pulled out the FLAC copy of one of the CDs I remember EAC ground away at for several hours before reporting a successful rip. I still have the CD and just used CueRipper on the defaults to rip it again. The rip took about 9 minutes as CueRipper slowed down a few times to re-read the bad parts.

I dropped the new and old rips into foobar2000, fired up the Comparator and did a bit compare. The decoded information in the two rips are exact matches. When I do the same with either of the rips against the disc the results are the same. I don't think it gets much better than that

That puts me in that comfort zone I mentioned earlier. It took a while and a fair amount of experimenting and head scratching but now that I'm there I feel the rewards were worth the effort.
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  #22  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:20 PM
soulweeper soulweeper is offline
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Cool.....thanks very much for that explanation!

Yeah...as you may have read, for whatever reason, EAC is now ripping CD's a lot quicker, so I'll go with it for now.

I'm kind of where you're at.......I want to have them be good quality, obviously, but there is a point when it's overkill, unless you're an audiophile. I'm very anal retentive, and obsessive compulsive, so yeah......I can get caught up in the whole "perfection" thing too......but I'm starting to learn to back off on that a little.

Oh.....as far as LAME and CueRipper....I just drop the .exe in the CueTools folder, not the entire LAME folder, correct? Just making sure.
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  #23  
Old 04-13-2013, 12:36 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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The LAME.exe files is all that's needed in the CueTools folder. That paces it in the path for Cuetools and Cueripper to find when they start.

I hope you won't consider it rude of me to ask why you're ripping to a lossy codec if you prefer to to have the best possible? A properly done lossless rip gives you the same information that's on the disc. That means you never have to rip a disc again as long as you have the lossless copy. Encoding to MP3 from that lossless copy would give the same quality file as ripping again in a much shorter time. My oldest, slowest PC is able to convert the average album from FLAC to MP3 in about a minute.

It takes the same amount of time and effort to rip to a lossless codec. It's also possible to compare the results against the disc to independently verify the rip matches the audio information on disc. I have a number of discs that aren't in the AR database so I get the message that the rip can't be verified as accurate. If I'm not confident a rip is what it should be I use foobar2000 to bit compare my rip against the decoded information on the disc. That usually takes less than five minutes. There's also a log file I can save if I ever would like check if the rip was done properly.

The only downside is the size of the files. A FLAC file averages about four to five times the size of a -V 2 MP3 file. The first time I ripped my collection a hard drive large enough to hold it was prohibitively expensive. When I decided to do a final rip using FLAC, hard drive prices had dropped to the point that storing my entire collection could be done at a cost I considered reasonable.

That was about 4 years ago. The same capacity external USB back up drive I bought then can be had for about 40% less than what I paid.

I'm not trying to persuade you to change to ripping to lossless. I'm just letting you know that from my point of view there are definite advantages if you decide to go in that direction. The final decision is yours, I'm just pointing out a few things you may not have known before you put a lot of time into ripping to MP3.
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  #24  
Old 04-13-2013, 01:39 AM
soulweeper soulweeper is offline
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No, I don't consider it rude of you to ask that question. It's a very valid question.

I think I'm always a little behind on things, haha. I'm still on a flip phone, and in that small group of people on the planet that doesn't have a smart phone.....yet. But seriously.....that's just due to the economy, and not wanting the extra cost of a data plan.

But you know......a friend of mine who is a lot more into this stuff than I am, does all of his stuff to FLAC first, obviously saves all of them, and then converts them to mp3, just like you do, and I should be doing that, and that's something to think about.

When I did most of my CD's a few years ago or so, with EAC, I had heard of FLAC, and knew it was lossless, but I didn't look into it enough to even know about ripping to FLAC first, then converting to mp3. Had I known, I may have done just that.

When I said I'd like the best possible, I simply meant a really good quality mp3, but you're right......it would be nice to have them all copied to a hard drive, in FLAC, and just convert them. Maybe I'll still do that before too long. Like you said, storage options are ridiculously cheap these days.
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  #25  
Old 04-13-2013, 03:58 AM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulweeper View Post
Well, I got it all set up, using that guide, and this command line
-V 2 --vbr-new --add-id3v2 --ignore-tag-errors --ta "%artist%" --tt "%title%" --tg "%genre%" --tl "%albumtitle%" --ty "%year%" --tn "%tracknr%" %source% -o %dest%
* With LAME 3.98 and later --vbr-new is the default, so this is unnecessary in your line.

* Adding --noreplaygain will speed up encoding a little bit. The ReplayGain values are written by LAME to the VBR header where they aren't read by most software, so are nearly useless.

* If you don't need/want ID3v1 tags, you can use --id3v2-only instead of --add-id3v2.
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  #26  
Old 04-13-2013, 11:52 PM
soulweeper soulweeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
* With LAME 3.98 and later --vbr-new is the default, so this is unnecessary in your line.

* Adding --noreplaygain will speed up encoding a little bit. The ReplayGain values are written by LAME to the VBR header where they aren't read by most software, so are nearly useless.

* If you don't need/want ID3v1 tags, you can use --id3v2-only instead of --add-id3v2.
Some of that is still foreign language to me, but a long time ago, when I set up EAC, I had a problem with the tracks all being in alphabetical order on my albums, at least on my Zen, and a person on the EAC forums suggested this command line
-V 2 --noreplaygain --nohist --tt "%t" --ta "%a" --ty "%y" --tl "%g" --tg "%m" --tn "%n" --id3v2-only --pad-id3v2 %s %d

And it seemed to be fine. Is that better? What's the difference between
ID3v1 tags and id3v2 ?
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  #27  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:22 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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It's this type of critique of the various options people include or leave out that caused me to say the heck with it and use the the default options that came from running the configuration Wizard. That or the simplified line I posted. I found that possible to spend a lot of time twiddling around with settings and wind up with exactly the same results as if you just ran the wizard and got down to the business of sticking discs in the tray.

Changing the line I used to "-S --noreplaygain -V 2 %source% %dest%" and checking the Add ID3 option would probably save a few seconds per album and some processing cycles so that might be worthwhile if I had thought about it. The audio quality of the resulting files will be the same either way. I've tested files made both ways and the audio information in each is the same.

That's controlled by the -V2 setting which is why that's all I bothered to remember. I'm a big believer in the idea of keeping things simple whenever possible.

AFAIK LAME ignores old options that are now defaults. "--vbr-new" shouldn't do anything one way or the other, it became the default when the presets were introduced a number of years back. It's seems that makes it useless to have it in there but it shouldn't hurt anything.

The command line options that come from running the Wizard has it in there so I left it the few times I experimented with ripping to LAME with EAC. I figure the dev much knows much more than I ever will about his program and audio in general. If he puts it there and the results are the same, I'm good.

ID3v2.1 tags carry very basic information as they are too small to do anything more than that. I don't have EAC write ID3v2.1 but including would them won't make a significant difference in size. There's the slim chance they may increase compatibility with some buggy or out of date software and device so I don't see where including would them would hurt if you want to err on the side of caution.

Both LAME and EAC have been updated and a lot of the advice from the past on command line options are now being handled by the encoder or program settings. An example of that is the --nohist part of the old command line you posted. That's the older alias of the "-S" in the line i put in this thread

EAC now has an option to not show the histogram during encoding. That's the "do not open external compressor window" setting in the EAC options=>Tools tab. Checking that box has the same result as --nohist when encoding to LAME in EAC. It's like the --vbr new part of the default command line. It shouldn't hurt to have it but it doesn't really do anything.

I don't in want you to think I believe you're being overly cautious but you seem to be sweating things you don't need to be worried about to get what you're after. EAC and LAME have been updated several times since the last time you did this and things have changed. A number of options that were needed back then to assure a quality rip just aren't needed any more. It's why I recommended the Wizard. You can run it again at any time, accept the defaults and be done with it.

If you like the setup you have now you can save it using the dialog buttons at the bottom of the main screen. Once it's saved run the Wizard again you can either accept the defaults or make any changes you prefer.
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  #28  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:49 PM
soulweeper soulweeper is offline
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What is the best program to convert FLAC to mp3? I have some FLAC files of some live concerts that I would like to convert.

Last edited by soulweeper; 04-15-2013 at 02:05 PM.
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  #29  
Old 04-15-2013, 04:57 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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There's not really one I would call best. As long as they're using the same encoder the results should be the same. That brings it down to a matter of features. I use foobar2000's Converter component but there's several others that do pretty much the same job.

Along with foobar2000 I'd look at fre:ac, MusicBee, dBpoweramp and MediaMonkey They all have done a great job for me but foobar2000 was what I decided on because it fit my workflow best.

If you have some time on your hands and want to read on some more on those I wrote a much too long post on some of the those here. i haven't checked recently so some of the links there may have changed and don't work anymore. If they don't let me know and I'll fix them.

The part about dBpoweramp may be of special interest to you. I hadn't looked into that when I started ripping to lossless in order not to have to rip again. If you ever decide to do that for yourself I'd definitely make use of the 21 day trial with all it's features active. I believe if I had I would have bought the full version.

The results were as every bit as good as any other software I've used for ripping and converting but had the advantage of being easier to setup. I think it's worth looking into if you don't want to spend a lot of time setting up but still want high quality results.
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  #30  
Old 04-15-2013, 05:04 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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The LAME components can be added to the free version of Mediamonkey(as it can to foobar)....I don't know if this is possible with dBpoweramp or the other alternatives you mentioned.
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  #31  
Old 04-15-2013, 07:35 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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A LAME encoder comes as part of fre:ac. If you go with the fre:ac Snapshot package you can also add the LAME command line encoder by placing a copy of lame.exe in the fre:ac folder <codecs\cmdline>. It shows up then as the LAME command line encoder. That feature is one of the reasons I keep a copy of the snapshot handy.

The fre:ac snapshot even has an option to manually set your CD drive read offset. When I do that my lossless rips get AccurateRip verification when I check them in foobar2000. Not bad for a little known ripper that never seems to get mentioned when the subject of ripping comes up.

With MusicBee you have to supply a copy of LAME . There's directions on where to place the lame.exe if you check the MusicBee site and inside the program. It's fairly easy, just drop it in the Codec folder where MusicBee is installed and you're all set.

I say installed but if you prefer there's portable versions of foobar2000, fre:ac and MusicBee. They're all fully functional except for adding items to the right click context menus in Windows. I prefer those as I tend to install and uninstall a lot of software. Using portable versions of them keeps my registry cleaner and avoids possible problems.

I doubt that any of these would cause a problem. I haven't had a problem caused by any of them I listed here in either the portable or fully installed version. I just bring that up to let anyone that might use portable software that a portable option is available.

The dBpoweramp trial has all features enabled but you have to download the licensed encoders from their Codec Central. After the 21 day trial the downloaded Codecs stop working. You can buy a license and they'll reactivate if you haven't uninstalled. If there's a new codec that becomes available the license also covers that.

The mp3 codec supplied with MediaMonkey is time limited but easy to replace. There's even directions on how to do it in the MediaMonkey Wiki. They don't mind if you have are able to encode to mp3 using LAME. It's just that they don't include it as part of the free package.
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