102 Comments

  1. Thanks you for your efforts and guide whic is very easy to follow and best on web with pics and explanations. I am converting my wife’s cd to digital and followed your instructions by compying and pasting to prevent mistakes. My cd drive does not cache and was “cleared” by eac and accuraterip verified my first 2 reference cds with no problem, yet upon ripping flac copies every tract reported an error which required an ok button to be checked.Eac log said all were copied ok and they sound ok. But 2 more cd copy-rips have done the same thing. I did download the eac with flac and ccdrdoa v.99 prebeta 3 from july,2007.The same thing happened on another computer so it must either be all 3 cds are bad or the operator who loaded something wrong. Your help is appreciated. ph

  2. I have a Sony VGP-XL1B3 200-CD ripper, which connects by Firewire to my Vista machine. Unfortunately, the only software that I know of that supports batch ripping (200 CDs sequentially, without the need for user input) is Microsoft’s Media Center, which appears to offer no control over the ripping process. I cannot choose the format of the files or edit the metadata, apparently, and I have no idea how accurately it rips.

    Is there any way to get this mega-ripper to work with a respectable program such as EAC or J. River’s Media Center? It is a standard Vista media-changer device.

    Thanks for your help.

  3. Excellent instruction for Audio Extraction.
    Thank you.

  4. Andrew: I know of no program that would automate the ripping process with this changer. There may be some way to manually load each CD, rip it using EAC, and then manually switch to the next disc and repeat, but I’m not sure. If you want accurate, lossless rips, a stand-alone drive is probably your best bet.

  5. Reply to #29 & #32. (EAC and options for Apple formats)

    No need to encode FLAC then convert to ALAC if your running Mac (although that is one way to do it).
    iTunesencode.exe is a command-line iTunes encoder. You can set EAC to use this as its compressor. It basically engages the iTunes program to do the encoding, using whatever settings iTunes has set.

    Get it here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=35242

    I did my whole library in this way, and it worked absolutely perfectly.

    I also often convert from FLAC to ALAC with dbpoweramp when someone gives me files already encoded as FLAC. This works great, but make sure you have the latest version of app + codecs. There was a problem that caused tracks to sporadically not get compressed. It only just got fixed.

    Carlton, a new question about C2 error detection

    So, I’m setting up accurate ripping on a MAC running winXP via parallels. Unfortunately, the built in Matsushita drive doesn’t have C2 Error detection capability. Does this mean that I can’t perform accurate rips because the drive can’t detect read errors? If so, there’s nothing I can really do about that is there?

    Cheers, -Jon.

  6. For auto ripping with Sony Media Changer using MCE, you can set the file type to wma lossless and switch on error correction for the device in WMP. This will give lossless files with some attempt at error correction.

    You can also set the file type to WAV and then compress later.

  7. Like many others, I got a neat SONOS Digital Music System and went ahead and ripped my entire CD collection to MP3 320Kbps using Windows Media Player because I did not know any better. Then I find out later this was not the best option as it does not sound as good as it should. So I start re-ripping in WAV lossless this time. A few hundred discs into it and then I stumble across EAC and FLAC.
    So my question is: Is WAV going to be good or should I start again using FLAC which looks like a lot of work. Drive space is not an issue. I don’t care if it is bit perfect, as long as it does not sound noticeably different to playing the original CD’s. I did all the EAC settings and tried ripping one CD and gave up after 2 tracks because it took so long.

  8. Hi-
    FLAC (lossless compression) and WAV (uncompressed) sound the same. Since FLAC is a lossless compression format, the only real reason to use it is to save drive space. (It has a few other minor advantages, such as tagging, that are of minor importance in most cases).

    So if you don’t have a need to save drive space, you can stick with WAV.

  9. I thing tagging is one of the most important reasons to choose FLAC over WAV. I want to have access to all of the song details when I’m searching or listening.

    It’s very easy to convert between FLAC and WAV. dbPowerAmp Music Converter can batch-convert very eaily. It also has a CD Ripper that can do bit-perfect extactions. I think it’s better than EAC because it easier to setup, can automatically download cover art, and has more feature. But it does cost about $30 to register it. I now use it instead of EAC.

  10. Thanks Danny
    That is a relief. Yeah space is not an issue so I will continue with WAV.

    Thanks Carlton
    Good to know I can convert WAV into FLAC or whatever if needed later.
    As long as I don’t have to rip them all again!

    Cheers J

  11. I have some old CDs with pre-emphasis. How do you deal with this issue?

    So far I’ve been using Adobe Audition FFT filter with corners at 3180 and 10600 hz -10dB.

    I’d really like to have an absolute indicator of the pre-emphasis bit status rather than comparing the original disc in an audio player vs the ripped audio in the computer – in other words, trusting my ears.

    Thanks

    1. By design (after a ‘manual TOC detection’ feature was removed), EAC can only read pre-emphasis flags from the disc’s TOC, not the subcode, so on some discs it will erroneously report no pre-emphasis (certain very old Pink Floyd CDs, for example, only have the flags in subcode). However, even when the flags are set in the TOC, EAC only uses this info to know whether to put PRE flags in a cue sheet, if you choose to generate one. The extracted audio is not modified in any way. As for how to apply de-emphasis, you can use EQ or filters, but in my experience, even the good ones can be noisy and/or inaccurate. Convolution with the proper impulse works better, as does software specially written to apply de-emphasis to the extracted WAVs. The pre-emphasis article in the Hydrogenaudio Wiki will get you going in the right direction.

  12. After reading lots on the web about FLAC and then this article I still am left with one (possibly naive) question, that I want to ask before I embark.

    Is there a solution (commercial or otherwise, Mac or Win) that automates this so that I can simply insert a disc, wait for the disc to be done and ejected and then insert another?

    In between the program would perform an exact copy, encode to FLAC, encode a copy to mp3, tag it from CDDB, download cover art and put the FLAC and mp3 files into different but organized folders.

    Yours Hopefully,
    ~>Bill

    1. I know of hardware/software combi solutions that do this, but they’re pricey, b/c you have to buy the hardware that’s setup to work with the software.

      The only “free” software solution I know of is Vortexbox, http://vortexbox.org/about/

      It can be loaded on an existing computer. See if it’s what you need.

      One comment: My experience is that best sound and performance in a music server is obtained when you have a dedicated computer just for music serving. It can by anything – netbook, Old PC, etc.

      Good Luck!

  13. dbPowerAmp Music Converter has a CD Ripper component can rip to FLAC, tag the files, and download the cover art all at once. It costs about $30 for the non-freeware version, and it is well worth it my opinion.

    I don’t know that it can rip to FLAC and MP3 at the same time, but it can to a batch-convert of entire directory trees. So you can rip everything to FLAC and then do a batch convert and create the MP3s in a different directory. If you’re converting to MP3 for compatibility with a portable device, dbPowerAmp has a program called Sveta Portable Audio that can do on-the-fly conversion from/to any format. So there would no reason to create the mp3s and store them — just create them on-the-fly when you sync your device.

  14. Thanks Carlton, I’ll definitely check it out. Late last night I also came across RipStation Micro. Have you ever heard of / used that?

    Another thing that I thought of this morning truly puzzled me. I’ve read a number of threads on message boards about the “bit perfect” copy, and have come to an understanding that doing this is a non-trivial task, but how can this be?

    If I make an analogy where instead of “songs” I use the word “documents” or “Photoshop files” then the idea of not getting a bit perfect copy seems absurd. If you can’t get back exactly the bits you stored onto the disk then Word or Photoshop won’t be able to read the file, and suddenly the CD becomes a pretty bad storage mechanism.

    So what is it about the way that music is stored on a CD that makes getting back what the artist / label put down at all a challenge or issue? Why isn’t bit perfect copying trivially easy? Just as getting the same word doc you burned to CD back without corruption is.

    Best,
    ~>Bill

  15. Bill, all optical drives are different, so they’ll extract a different amount of data (the read offsets play a factor in this). In a perfect reality, everyone would use the same drive to extract audio data. That would ensure that they’d be getting as close as possible a copy of what they wanted with no noticed margin of difference.

    The same can’t be said for creating a document in Word/Photoshop. It’s easier to replicate the same data there, so assuming the file is never altered, it could be replicated at the same size by anyone either from scratch or by numerous copy methods.

  16. Thank you very much for this guide. I have had tag problems for two days and was on the verge of giving up on EAC, untill you made clear that ‘MP3’ stands for ‘external etc.’ NOW I can create my archiving project for all my Audio CD’s.
    Repay Gain is still sompewhat unclear, as you do not state where I can find this option in EAC, unless it is another program, or perhaps I should use EAC in playback mode first. I will find out. Meanwhile I am allready copying my CD’s to a 1.5 Tb disk. It will take weeks, possibly months.
    Thanks a mil. Would’nt have worked without you.
    Kurt

    1. Author

      Kurt, the ReplayGain calculated value created and added as a tag during Step 8. It’s part of the FLAC command line for the encoder.

  17. Dear Carlton, Thank you for your reply. The ReplayGain value had escaped my attention. So far I have archived 30 GB of audio. I have just come to “B”, long way to go to “Z”…
    I have added the ReplayGain in the Flac Command line just now. (B.t.w.: copying and pasting your command sample does not work as certain caracters turn out different at this end -Belgian keyboard-, that is why I ‘adjusted’ the command line allready present in EAC. This is how I missed the ReplayGain. Probably I was too scared initially to put it in, and then later, I could not make the link between the command and your little piece on ‘ReplayGain’.)
    Just so you know, perhaps you can make this fabulous piece of info even better yet, making it idiot proof. So that even people like me can pretend to be a pro. 😉
    I’m all set now and very grateful for your input.
    Best wishes, Kurt

  18. Kurt:

    OK, I’m new at ripping CD’s to a hard drive but wanted to test the waters a bit before I purchased a NAS for my hundreds of CD’s I plan to get ripped to storage. To help with your answer(s) this is what I have & my objectives:
    -Windows Vista machine to do the work
    -Installing a Sonos system next week along with an upgraded movie/sound system & it will be all internet connected.
    -I plan to install a NAS device soon once I get comfortable on what/how I plan to rip & organize things
    -Currently I only have one DVD/CD player/writer which came with my HP PC. I will be getting another reader/writer soon.

    I’m trying to follow what needs to be done in your tutorial above. I have already installed EAC. If I understand your procedure above I need to install “AccurateRip”. When I click on this word/link it bring me to a page that says:
    “Install an AccurateRip compatible program, currently:
    dBpoweramp,
    Exact Audio Copy
    Rip (Apple MAC),
    XLD (Apple MAC), ”

    Does this mean I only need one of these programs for windows or do I also need to install dBpoweramp?

    In step 3 you write “Install EAC, Accurate Rip, and FLAC”. I clicked on your link in step 2 ” FLAC Codec” and it brings me to http://sourceforge.net/projects/flac/files/flac-win/flac-1.2.1-win/flac-1.2.1b.exe/download which is a program that does Software Configuration Management. Is this correct?

    I have a background in computers and using software so I am “hoping” once I get the right software & plug-in’s installed I will pick this up pretty quickly. Famous last words!

    Thanks,

    Pat

  19. Hi-

    1. You only need to install one of the programs (e.g., EAC).

    2. FLAC link – the page you have the link for brings you to the download page for FLAC – it’s in the small print at the top of the page. The rest of the page is basically an ad to try and get you to download the other software.

    If you want try these alternate pages to download FLAC:
    http://flac.sourceforge.net/
    http://flac.en.softonic.com/

    Basically, install EAC; install the FLAC codec (I think there’s a place in EAC you need to fill in the location of the unzipped FLAC codec); and install Accurate Rip.

    You’re good to go.

    Danny

  20. Danny:

    Thanks for the reply. OK, I believe I have EAC & FLAC (labeled “FLAC frontend” on my desktop) installed.

    I am still confused as to “Accurate Rip”. When I click on the link you have in the tutorial, http://accuraterip.com/software.htm, there is not a piece of code/software/link to download that says “Accurate Rip”.

    On this page it says:
    “Install an AccurateRip compatible program, currently:”
    Than it lists three things one could download; “dBpoweramp”, “Exact Audio Copy”, “Rip(Apple MAC)”. Do you see my confusion? I’m looking for something called “Accurate Rip” to install per the tutorial above.

    Since I already have EAC installed am I to assume I alreay have “Accurate Rip” installed? Do I also need to install “dBpoweramp”, or does this do the same thing as EAC?

    If “Accurate Rip” is a seperate download (like EAC, FLAC, Excel, Word, …) there is no link to download it on the url for “Accurate Rip”.

    Thanks,

    Pat

    1. Author

      Pat,

      It appears that EAC now includes the AccurateRip DLLs and they no longer have to be downloaded separately.

      There have been some changes with AccurateRip. The original owner sold the site to the company behind DBPowerAmp, which is a good thing. I think part of the agreement was that everything be free and open, and it appears EAC has internalized the accuraterip code now.

  21. Hi,
    EAC indeed comes with Accurate RIP included these days. The confusionn between FLAC and FLAC Frontend,is that FLAC Frontend is a little stand-alone programm, as where FLAC, is just the driver. It does not matter which you install, both will work within EAC.
    For playback, I found a gem called ‘MediaMonkey’ (Free download). It Is the very best audio player I ever came across. It comes with FLAC included. So one can rip straight onto a harddisk using Mediamonkey. Note that ripping with MediaMonkey will be a lot faster than with EAC, but of course at a potential loss of quality, as no programm rips like EAC does.

  22. Is anyone having problems with noise at the end of their songs when they append the gaps to the previous song? It seems a small amount of music from the subsequent song is being lumped in with the gap that is then being attached to the previous song. The result is a tiny bit of noise at the end of my tracks. Gap detection is returning the same result regardless of method / secure or accurate. I confirmed my drive offset as well. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Erik

  23. Can you help me? I have a cd music, files are CDA format, all the songs sound fine except one that sounds as if it is damaged, music is audible but with some extra sounds, like noise. When CD was new it sounded well. Is there a software to repair these Rename Files?

    Thanks

  24. I would first like to thank you for this wonderful informative web site. Please excuse my lack of knowledge on Flac and thanks for your informative tutorial. I just have a few questions I am setting up a Sonos system in my house with a NAS haed drive and since I want the best quality i want to rip to flac, and after reading thru this page I am curios if I could just use dbpowerAmp music converter and get the same results as going thru the process you describe or will I be missing out on something like song tagging etc. Since I am new to this I was looking for the simpliest way to start off. Thanks for any insite you can provide.

    1. Author

      Yes, you can use the dbPowerAmp CD Ripper as well. That’s actually the program I use now. But you do need to enable Secure Ripping and AccurateRip in the options window to get the best possible sound quality.

  25. Thanks Carlton for your reply I quess the referance edition would be the version to order? and will it automatically list song name and album art on my sonos? Finally any other settings that i should know about and do you have a tutorial anywhere on your site? So sorry for all the lame questions and thank you again for guiding me in the right direction. Greatly appreciated

  26. Yes, order the reference version. Yes,it will automatically tag and find album art if you check that option. It also has the batch conversion option, which is useful if you ever want copies of your music in another format (say for mp3 player or ipod).

    Again, make sure to setup accurate rip and secure ripping. Also, make sure you have it set up the offset time for your disc drives.

    Tip: when you load a CD for ripping, check the tags and album art in the window. It almost always works for popular music, but sometimes makes mistakes with classical or compilation albums.

    You can have it search again at just one specific database and see if it comes up with the right album version. Otherwise, you can almost always find album covers and info at either Amazon or allmusic.com and copy them. Name the covers acc’d to Sonos recommended default name.

    Tip 2: make sure your tags are setup to write “album artist” as well as “band” or “artist”.

    I also recommend to have “album artist” and “artist” say the same thing (e.g.”The Beatles”). In my experience, this leads to a more consistent classification process with programs like Sonos or Squeezebox.

    The reason for this is that “album artist” doesn’t have an agreed definition among the various programs, and you never know how they are going to classify your CD if you don’t tag this way. Just my 2 cents.

    1. This is all very helpful and is consistent with my experience. I have a Ready NAS NV, Sonos and used dbpoweramp with power pack to rip to FLAC. I happen to use tag and rename for cleaning up tags.

      I do want to point out one caveat to the idea that “artist” and “album artist” should always be the same.

      If you have compilation albums, you will get what is often referred to as “one hit clutter” in your artist list in sonos or other players. Every artist, even if they have one song in your collection, will show up in your artist list making it hard to find what you want. SONOS has a great feature that allow you to view your artists by looking at the artist tag or the album artist tag and to choose whether you want to see these so called contributing artists in a list.

      If you want to keep down the clutter, for compilations, such as a blues collection where every song is by a different artist, you mark the album as a compilation in the ripper, keep each song artist in the artist tag, and then name the “album artist” tag “various blues”, for example. With this approach in sonos you have the option of seeing all the artists names or a narrower list. By setting compilation albums to (use album artists),in the artist view, you will have an artist called “various blues.” Under that artist you will find album names and then see individual artist names associated with the individual tracks. In the contributing artist view, you’ll see all the artists. I also had a lot of kids cds too and some of them were compilations. Making them findable w/o clutter was a trick.

      You need to play around to see how it works for you. There is also some good advice on the SONOS forums.

      1. Author

        Thanks Marty. Great point about compilations and the confusion that can cause. That is something I need to fix as I have way too many one-song-wonders showing up in my artist list. I didn’t realize Sonos had added the feature to display either album artist or artist – nice feature and I’ll definitely be using it.

  27. Thanks very much for the followup firedog I appreciate your advice and help. I’m gonna dowmload the program today with the option to use on several computers so I can rip while I’m at a differant computer to a external NAS hardrive. When you say to have it set up the offset time for my disc drives I take it there will be an option for it to do this on its own? and what is the offset time of a disc drive?

    Thanks again
    Keith

  28. Sorry for the confusion, the program will do the offset itself,I think it does it when you check the various options.

    Every disc player has its own unique bit of delay, that’s what setting the offset is. It allows rips from different machines to be compared.

    1. Thanks again firedog I hope I don’t drive you guys crazy with questions once I get up and running but it’s great to know that thers a place for answers where people are knowledgable and patient Will let you know how I make out

      Thanks again

      Keith

  29. Hi firedog I have a followup question before embarking on this task as a newbie Any thoughts on media monkey as a way to an easier interface for me as I’m new to this or even Easy cd-da coverter or am i gonna miss out on something. Only asking cos media monkey seems like an easy solution without the knowledge curve BUT if you feel dbpoweramp is the way to go I will spend the time for a superior product

    Thanks for your impuit on this and tomorrow I will imbark on whatever you think is a better and secuirer way to go

    only asking cos Media Monkey seems like a easier interface being new to this but if poweramp is the most accurate then thats the way to go

    Thank you so much

    Keith

    1. Author

      If you want the most accurate rips possible, you need a program that supports AccurateRip and lossless codecs. Your only two options are Exact Audio Copy and dBpoweramp Music Converter. Of the two, dBMC is the easiest to use. I use the PowerPack version, which supports secure ripping (go to options and enable Secure Ripping and AccurateRip – it takes care of the rest.) There is also the Reference Version with Ultra Secure ripping, which is better at recovering from heavily damaged CDs.

      If you are more concerned about ease-of-use, MediaMonkey is a great all-in-one program and will give high quality rips using lossless codes, but will not be bit-perfect to the original CD as AccurateRip is not supported.

  30. Thanks very much for the input. dbpoweramp is the way I’m gonna go so that I end up with the most accurate rips. I apoligize in advance for what I know will be several more questions Will try to keep it to a miniumum Thanks very much again

    Keith

    1. Okay guy’s i am trying to keep questions to a minimum but I’m stuck on one of the options in dbpoweramp and that is should I have Replay gain checked as both calculate track gain and album gain when ripping to flac I don’t seem to understand the differance so I’m wondering if I should have both checked if using on a Sonos system I apoligize for the newbie questions Just want to get it right

      Thanks again for your patience

      Keith

    2. Author

      Keith, Sonos only uses Track Gain for Replay Gain, but it won’t hurt to select both. Track Gain sets the volume offset based on the peak sound level within a single track; album gain sets it for all songs on the album based on the peak sound level for the loudest track on album. Typically, there is not much difference between the two.

  31. Thanks very much Carlton and thanks for your advice on dbpoweramp I am learning my way around it but am already enjoying the product alot Gonna spend the weekend going thru my CD’s and ripping.

    Thanks this site is great

    Keith

  32. Hi Keith,

    Concerning the choice of software: I use Exact Audio Copy to put CD’s on hard disk. EAC incoporates FLAC, so the compression in done within EAC. For Playback, I find MediaMonkey truly wonderful, and it will also handle the Flac files made by EAC. Quality wise, there is no loss here.

    Greetings, Kurt

  33. Hi Kurt

    Thanks for your input .I already got started with DbPoweramp and am pretty happy with the results and ease of use. I will take a look into EAC and check it out.

    Thanks
    Keith

  34. Hi Carlton
    Ran into snall proplem and was hoping for some guidance. I have been using DbPoweamp and ripping in flac format to a western digital external harddrive just as a temp situation till I had set up my ReadyNas Duo for networking thru the house. I set up the ReadyNas and it come with some presetup folders one of which was Media, which had pictures Etc as a sub folders.I set up a folder under Media called music and was able to drag and drop my ripped files to it from my other hard drive and also able to access them from my Sonos music system. The problem is when I try to rip directly to Nas clicking on the file music under the Nas directory and setting it as the file destination I get an error message on DpPoweramp saying failed because path Music cannot be found. Any insight you might have would be really appreciated,

    Thanks Again

    Keith

    1. Author

      Not sure this is a dBpoweramp issue, probably has something to do with the NAS and network shares. Your best best is to map a drive letter to that shared folder and see if that works.


  35. Thanks again Carlton for your help. I think it is an issue wuth the NAS or Sonos because I did as you said and mapped a drive but am still getting error message,so I’m just burning to computer and then drag and dropping in NAS till I sort it out . I will let you know what the end result is BTY Thanks for the excellant DbPoweramp tutorial

    Keith

  36. I just installed EACh V0.99 prebeta 5
    and walked through your very informative
    tutorial. Everything more or less made
    sense except the bit rate setting on
    the EAC –> Compression options –> External compression
    page. Your tutorial shows setting this to 320 kBit/s
    when as much as 1024 kBit/s is available. A prompt
    says only that 128 kBit/s is recommended.

    Is it better to use the higher setting? Or is 320 kBit/s
    optimal?

    For what it’s worth, my goal is make very accurate
    rips.

    Thanks for answering what may well be a dumb
    question.

    Tom Trotter

    1. Author

      William,

      If you are using FLAC, this setting shouldn’t matter as FLAC retains the original bitrate. But just because I’m paranoid, I set it to the maximum value. 320 kbps was the highest and it appears 1024 now is, so put that value in, just in case.

  37. Very informative. Thanx

  38. If you are using FLAC, this setting shouldn’t matter as FLAC retains the original bitrate. But just because I’m paranoid, I set it to the maximum value. 320 kbps was the highest and it appears 1024 now is, so put that value in, just in case.

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