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Looking for Advice on Ripping my CD Collection (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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Last night I sat down to listen to my CD rips. As I said earlier, I use Apple iTunes to rip my CDs with ALAC. I also have a few FLAC and WAV files. The WAV file is from my purchase of Band on the Run Archive collection that has a download code.

My current home set up is the ALAC and WAV and FLAC files are loaded on a hard drive and connected to my Oppo via the rear USB port. I use the Oppo’s DAC and send the signal to my Rotel pre-amp and set that to by-pass so it’s not processing the file. ( I do that to skip around the hDMI connection.) I have a pair of B&W 804’s.

In listening to one track off Band on the Run from my ALAC rip and then the WAC file from the same set the CD came from. It was really hard to hear any difference. I could have spent more time to really listen for something. But they both sounded great! In this case, I think the DAC makes a huge difference, the Oppo sounds better to my ears. The Rotel DAC is good too, but I can hear a difference. So this is another aspect to consider I think if you want to really pull out every bit of the music. The Oppo can have the vocals more forward and sounds warmer, just depends on the mastering of the CD of course.

In reading this thread, it’s sort of helped me because I was wondering about maybe creating a second library of music files that is for the home set-up. And keep the ALAC rips just for the iPhone usage. But I realized that the ALAC rips will uncompressed and is lossless. So for now, I will get a larger hard drive and experiment more with the Oppo as the player for my home system. I’ve also read that the Oppo can access the music files from a drive in a home network If you‘re set up for that.

And I know that will not apply to Mike, but I always buy the iPhone with the most storage I can. I load the phone with my music and I can play my music at work or in the car via CarPlay. So it’s been wonderful.
Are you now using y our Plex system for all your music too? (You can use it as with your movies to be your own home ”cloud” music streaming service, and listen via the Plex app on your streaming devices.)

I planned to do this with my Emby system. But Emby app on AppleTV has been really buggy for music (not videos) for me. And I haven’t been able to figure it out.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I still have a Sirius|XM subscription, mainly to have as a listening option for long road trips between home and Colorado. There are plenty of zones on that 600 mile drive where there is no mobile phone coverage or decent broadcast radio stations. Having a lot of music stored on a flash memory stick or portable SSD is a good option, provided if the vehicle has USB inputs or at least a car stereo with a USB input. And you have to not be sick of listening only to your music collection.

Regarding the concerns of disc space and how much of it gets eaten by CD quality WAV files, external hard drives are CHEAP in terms of cost per gigabyte. Unless someone has a CD collection amounting to thousands upon thousands of discs it's not difficult or costly to back-up an entire collection of store-bought CDs to a single external drive in bit for bit identical quality and still have a lot of space capacity left on the hard disc.

For the amount of labor involved with ripping music CDs one disc at a time, I prefer saving the RIP first in CD quality. Then if I want lesser quality, compressed versions of the music to load on a smart phone, copy to a USB memory stick or beam to "the cloud" it's very easy to export versions of those WAV files in other formats.

I am not a fan of Sirius/XM -- overly compressed music that sounds like AM radio quality, with the same songs repeated over and over. I can put my own music, stored on a thumb drive, on random play and rarely hear the same song repeated during long trips. Last autumn, we drove from Michigan -> Smoky Mountains -> Blue Ridge Parkway -> Asheville -> Raleigh -> Myrtle Beach, spent 3 weeks in Myrtle, and then back to Michigan, and probably only heard a song repeated 4-5 times the entire trip.

And while hard drive storage is inexpensive, storage for portable playing options is not always so. I encode my MP3's at 256K VBR, and in the environments I play the music -- portable players to ear plugs / bluetooth speakers and USB thumb drive in our vehicles -- the sound is just as good as a CD. My entire music collection will fit on a 128GB microSD card that goes in my smart phone, and I have over 4,000 songs on the 32GB thumb drive in my vehicle. My wife still uses a 16GB iPod Nano with over 2,100 songs installed. There is no way I could fit anywhere close to that amount of music on those devices with WAV files.
 

JediFonger

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I am not a fan of Sirius/XM -- overly compressed music that sounds like AM radio quality, with the same songs repeated over and over. I can put my own music, stored on a thumb drive, on random play and rarely hear the same song repeated during long trips. Last autumn, we drove from Michigan -> Smoky Mountains -> Blue Ridge Parkway -> Asheville -> Raleigh -> Myrtle Beach, spent 3 weeks in Myrtle, and then back to Michigan, and probably only heard a song repeated 4-5 times the entire trip.

And while hard drive storage is inexpensive, storage for portable playing options is not always so. I encode my MP3's at 256K VBR, and in the environments I play the music -- portable players to ear plugs / bluetooth speakers and USB thumb drive in our vehicles -- the sound is just as good as a CD. My entire music collection will fit on a 128GB microSD card that goes in my smart phone, and I have over 4,000 songs on the 32GB thumb drive in my vehicle. My wife still uses a 16GB iPod Nano with over 2,100 songs installed. There is no way I could fit anywhere close to that amount of music on those devices with WAV files.

haven't done a deep dive into it as my car headunits dont have usb ports, but i gotta assume if you can plug usb solid state you can plug traditional hard drives too, so you potentially can carry 10TB of music around if you do desired.

but even if you didn't want that i see that usb solid states are already upto 2TB for $50 bux and change that's pretty good!
 

Scott Merryfield

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haven't done a deep dive into it as my car headunits dont have usb ports, but i gotta assume if you can plug usb solid state you can plug traditional hard drives too, so you potentially can carry 10TB of music around if you do desired.

but even if you didn't want that i see that usb solid states are already upto 2TB for $50 bux and change that's pretty good!

An external hard drive is not really desirable, as it just gets in the way. The thumb drive sits installed flush in one of the USB ports completely out of the way, and I still have a 2nd port to plug my phone into when I want to use it for navigation. The solution works perfectly for me, as I only want a subset of my music in my car. I do not want movements from classical music, tracks from a comedy album, etc. popping up in random play along with my rock and roll or other more common music. However, I do want all that on my phone when we travel, as I may want to listen to something like that on an airplane, by the pool, sitting on the patio, etc.
 

Bobby Henderson

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I am not a fan of Sirius/XM -- overly compressed music that sounds like AM radio quality, with the same songs repeated over and over. I can put my own music, stored on a thumb drive, on random play and rarely hear the same song repeated during long trips.

Having the Sirius|XM subscription is more about variety rather than quality. I agree the audio is severely data compressed. I don't think it sounds as bad as AM radio. It compares okay to broadcast FM radio, and at least the reception is good out in the middle of nowhere.

I mainly advocate backing up a retail CD music collection in WAV format for archive/back-up purposes. It's not very practical to make a huge collection of WAV files portable for use in something like a car stereo. That's where I default to using MP3 files instead. As I said before, I have my collection saved both ways.

With the price per gigabyte of portable SSDs dropping that will make carrying large WAV quality collections on the road easier. FLAC would be even better (for all the metadata that can be appended to the files), but too many devices don't support it. I can't play FLAC files in my truck's stereo system or on my old phone.

haven't done a deep dive into it as my car headunits dont have usb ports, but i gotta assume if you can plug usb solid state you can plug traditional hard drives too, so you potentially can carry 10TB of music around if you do desired.

It's necessary to check what kind of file allocation table (FAT) formats a car's USB inputs can read. Most car stereo systems will require a SSD or regular hard drive to be formatted in FAT32. A lot of portable hard disc and SSDs will come pre-formatted in either NTFS or exFAT.
 

jcroy

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It's necessary to check what kind of file allocation table (FAT) formats a car's USB inputs can read. Most car stereo systems will require a SSD or regular hard drive to be formatted in FAT32. A lot of portable hard disc and SSDs will come pre-formatted in either NTFS or exFAT.

The only flash drives I have which are formatted in the factory as FAT32, are older low capacity ones (ie. 16 gigabytes).

More current flash drives I have purchased over the past few years (ie. 64+ gigabytes or larger), are formatted as exFAT at the factory.
 

jcroy

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My car stereo only knows how to read FAT32.

It will not read flash drives formatted to exFAT. (Nor NTFS formatted flash drives).
 

Mike Frezon

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@Mike Frezon

The initial question was “how do I rip CDs to play music in living room and car”. The answer to that question per se is trivial: let iTunes (or preferred music app) do it at its defaults, then sync music to iPhone / Android to play to all devices you want.

You’re also getting a lot of “God Mode” answers (media servers, lossless rips, quadruple rips with manual bit-checking, etc).

I’m wondering if you want to take a step back. It’s not clear whether you’re looking for the “easy button” answer or want to delve into the “expert mode” solutions. Your goals might be more complex than I first understood.

So, maybe hit us again:
1) What are your goals?
2) What’s your hardware?
3) What are your restrictions? (Must be easy? Won’t spend money? Must be lossless? Won’t pay for new services? Won’t use a smartphone? Etc.)

:)

Happy to.

1.) My goals are to be able to store away my DVDs by converting them into manageable files to play both at home and in the car.

2.) My hardware: I've already shared the pertinent pages of the manuals for my car unit and home AVR. (Denon X3600) In terms of the ripping process, I would be using a Windows-based laptop (with either Win7 or Win10 as the OS. I don't want to involve my laptops for playback. I specifically don't want to involve my iPhone anywhere in the process (either ripping or playback). I have a decent wifi network at the home, but the Luddite in me wants to set up a system that reads the files off a storage drive.

3.) What's important to me? That the file organization be easy and sensible. I'll spend money (on either software or hardware) if it makes the ripping process easier. I currently have EAC and Adobe Audition. Don't want to use cloud or pay for online storage.

If I've left something unanswered, LMK.

For the amount of labor involved with ripping music CDs one disc at a time, I prefer saving the RIP first in CD quality. Then if I want lesser quality, compressed versions of the music to load on a smart phone, copy to a USB memory stick or beam to "the cloud" it's very easy to export versions of those WAV files in other formats.
I am thinking something like this might be a smart. Make decent quality copies for home use (they don't need to be the biggest or best...just...good). I would consider high-rez mp3s if it helps me achieve my goals more painlessly and easily. And then I'll take a sub-section of those files (and dumb them down if need be) for use in the car. I don't need the entire library available to me in the car. And if I did need them all, I'll figure it out. There's gotta be some kind of batch converter program available (like when I gotta convert the raw images from my camera into .dng files for Photoshop). But if I use the bigger mp3s all the way around, I guess it would make it that much easier.

And I know that will not apply to Mike, but I always buy the iPhone with the most storage I can. I load the phone with my music and I can play my music at work or in the car via CarPlay. So it’s been wonderful.

Well. I do the same thing. I currently have a 256gb iPhone 11. But I prioritize the storage for images/video. (And my DVD Profiler database!) :laugh:
 

jcroy

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The way I heard it, it's not done for "artistic" reasons, but so that the recording will appear to be "louder" than others – or at least, as loud as other recordings butchered in similar fashion.

That is, often it's not an artistic choice, or an incompetent engineering one. It's an intentional marketing choice ...

This brickwalling can be done all the way back to the mixing stage in the production, entirely and deliberately.

Even years/decades before brickwalling was a standard feature, elements of compression + peak limiting were done in the studio. For example, the electric bass guitar is frequently compressed either at the amplifier or at the mixing stage. Another prominent example is using a peak limiter on the kick bass drum and rolling off the low end, primarily to reduce or eliminate the outright "boominess" of the kick drum.

At the mastering stage, things can be compressed further so that quieter musical passages are not drowned out by the record noise. For a rock record, levels could be adjusted so that a power ballad can sound just as "loud" as a rockin song on the same album vinyl side.

Over the past two decades or so, it seems like all that compression + peak limiting is done for each individual instrument/vocal track entirely at the mixing stage, to eventually get that "Oasis" style brickwalled sound. For such atrocious debauched mixes, it would likely require going back to the 24-tracks master studio tape and remixing everything again to get a non-brickwalled version.
 

Bobby Henderson

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I am thinking something like this might be a smart. Make decent quality copies for home use (they don't need to be the biggest or best...just...good). I would consider high-rez mp3s if it helps me achieve my goals more painlessly and easily. And then I'll take a sub-section of those files (and dumb them down if need be) for use in the car.

I would not make two different collections of MP3 files. The term "high rez MP3" is kind of a contradictory one. The original CD quality WAV is the "high rez" thing. That's something worth archiving. The amount of lossy compression applied when deriving an MP3 from it will reduce quality to some degree. A 320kb/s constant bit rate MP3 does the least amount of damage. Compressing more to levels like 192kb/s or 128kb/s will noticeably worsen audio quality. The only two levels I'll even consider when exporting MP3 is 320kb/s CBR or 256kb/s variable bit rate.

As I mentioned earlier, you'll have some other bit rate options if experimenting with exporting WAV files in AAC format. But you have to test the resulting AAC files on various playback devices to see if they'll work. Audition can generate DRM-free AAC files in fairly high bit rates comparable to what you would see in a FLAC or Apple Lossless file.
 

Nelson Au

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Are you now using y our Plex system for all your music too? (You can use it as with your movies to be your own home ”cloud” music streaming service, and listen via the Plex app on your streaming devices.)

I planned to do this with my Emby system. But Emby app on AppleTV has been really buggy for music (not videos) for me. And I haven’t been able to figure it out.
Hey Dave-

I am not currently using the Plex server for music. But it has crossed my mind. :). It would be interesting to try to set it up. But I want to be able to access the music files from the Oppo. So I need to read up on that. The reason is because my pre-amp is one of those that has a audio lock issue. Rotel is a smaller company with less R&D to develop their HDMI side, and their HDMI audio lock has a delay. So if I start a song and it’s coming in via HDMI, there is a lag while the HDMI tries to lock onto the signal and figure out what kind it is and then engages the pre-amp. So I end up missing the first two seconds of the song. It’s really annoying. So I just use by-pass and let the Oppo process the audio and send out an analog signal.
 

Mike Frezon

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I would not make two different collections of MP3 files. The term "high rez MP3" is kind of a contradictory one. The original CD quality WAV is the "high rez" thing. That's something worth archiving. The amount of lossy compression applied when deriving an MP3 from it will reduce quality to some degree. A 320kb/s constant bit rate MP3 does the least amount of damage. Compressing more to levels like 192kb/s or 128kb/s will noticeably worsen audio quality. The only two levels I'll even consider when exporting MP3 is 320kb/s CBR or 256kb/s variable bit rate.

Bobby: I just used Adobe Audition to rip the same Diana Krall CD to 320kb/s mp3s. It seemed to go fairly quick. But am I going to have to type in each track name when I do this? That could be rather labor intensive.

And, do you know if there is a way to change the default "Save As" from .wav to .mp3?

==================

Maybe just doing one rip of each CD at 320kb/s .mp3s is the way to go...
 

DaveF

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@Mike Frezon Your goals and restrictions I think lead to this solution:

  1. RIp all CDs to lossless format.
    1. Pick your transcoding software
    2. Rip to lossless according to the transcoding software needs to ensure metadata is preserved, be it in filenaming or other
  2. Batch transcode all music to MP3 with transcoding software
    1. You’ll have to have understood Plex and your car library needs to make sure you get files saved out in the right names or folders or with embedded metadata so they can present the library
  3. Home music
    1. Buy a NAS that runs Plex
    2. Store all music on NAS
    3. Run Plex, setup music library looking at MP3’s
    4. Store original lossless rips on NAS for safekeeping
    5. Run Plex on your AppleTV or streaming box of choice, use it for listening to music at home
  4. Car music
    1. Buy big thumb drive
    2. Copy MP3 to thumb drive per car limits
    3. Plug into car USB aux and listen to music
  5. If home playback allows, skip Plex and use thumb drive for living room as well. But keep NAS since. You don’t want music on laptop for long term storage.
I don’t like this solution for normal people because it’s too complex. There’s work left for the reader, because you need to figure out library management requirements (that is, file naming). This isn’t hard, but has to be done since you’re not offloading this grunt work to Apple Music or iPhone.

But I think this is what threads the needle of your specific goals.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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I used dbPoweramp to rip a collection of 2000+ CDs. With a multi core processor, it can easily rip to two different formats simultaneously. I ripped to FLAC and 320 mp3 on two different hard drives. The mp3 is for portable use, the FLAC is listened to at home via Plex into a USB DAC connected to my integrated amp. DbPoweramp gets the metadata and art online prior to ripping, so you can modify it as you see fit before you rip. It also compares your rip to other users rips to virtually guarantee your rip is accurate.
 

Bobby Henderson

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Bobby: I just used Adobe Audition to rip the same Diana Krall CD to 320kb/s mp3s. It seemed to go fairly quick. But am I going to have to type in each track name when I do this? That could be rather labor intensive.

Here's what to do in Adobe Audition:
Rather than export one song at a time (which isn't hard to do quickly using the Ctrl+Shift+E keyboard shortcut) you can export all audio files currently open, such as an entire album, in one operation.
Go to the File menu and select "Save All Audio as Batch Process."
It brings up a similar dialog box to the Export dialog box. Choose the desired settings, target location where to save the files and hit ok. In the lower left you'll see the Batch Process window. There is a "Run" button at the bottom right of that window. Click it and all of the open files will be exported in one click.

Depending on the speed of your computer it will take a few seconds or more to export all the WAV files of an album to MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG or whatever format and quality level you choose. You'll see little clock dial icons next to each audio file in the list as they're being exported. This process is certainly much faster than the process of ripping the WAV files from a retail CD.
 

Mike Frezon

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But my main question is...can Adobe Audition import information about the albums/tracks, etc.? Typing in all those would be cumbersome.

I used the "Extract Audio from CD" command in the file menu. I don't see "Save All Audio as Batch Process."
 

Mike Frezon

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Here's another question.

What about all these other (even higher) bit rates for mp3s available to me on EAC?

full


...all the way up to 1024! Does that make them even better? Are they impractical?
 

Wayne_j

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But my main question is...can Adobe Audition import information about the albums/tracks, etc.? Typing in all those would be cumbersome.

I used the "Extract Audio from CD" command in the file menu. I don't see "Save All Audio as Batch Process."
Adobe Audition used to be able to import information about the album/tracks but it used cddb which is no longer in service.
 

Wayne_j

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In the file menu there is a selection for 'Save All Audio As Batch Process'.
 

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