Newbie CD Burner Questions..

Shawn C

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2001
Messages
1,429
I just picked up my new Cd burner and I had a few questions I thought the 'experts' could answer..
When making a copy of one of my cd's, should I rip to 128K MP3 or to WAV? How badly is MP3 going change the sounds compared to the reference CD?
What speed is the best to record at? Does faster recording raise the chances of a CD player not being able to read the disc?
What software do you recommend? I have been using MusicMatch Jukebox for my first few tests, and it seemd to work pretty well.
Is there a more 'basic' program out there that is JUST for copying audio CD's?
 

Eric Gan

Agent
Joined
Nov 30, 1997
Messages
37
Hi Shawn,
When making a copy of one of your CDs, always rip to WAV. If you have a CDrom in addition to your burner, most software will allow you to do a direct disc-to-disc copy. But I never do that because 1) you can usually add more tracks to a CD and 2) there is a greater chance of a coaster if your CDrom transfer isn't fast enough.
Anytime the mp3 format is used, there will be a loss of quality. Whether it's noticeable or not will depend on your hearing, the encoding bitrate, and your playback equipment. I'd say go for 192kbps....hard drive space is cheap these days. If you trade mp3s, most people would want 192kbps.
I don't really have that much experience with burning at really fast speeds. I still have my trusty old 2x. It shouldn't be a problem as long as the media is rated for that speed. It also doesn't really matter what software you use. I have Easy CD Creator 4.
There are plenty of free CD ripping software out there. Just do a search at your favorite download site. I recommend a program called dbPowerAmp. http://admin.dbpoweramp.com/ It allows you to quickly convert between wav and mp3, and it comes with a ripper as well.
Good luck and have fun with your new toy.
Regards,
Eric
 

Shawn C

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2001
Messages
1,429
Thanks for the information. That's what I thought concerning the .WAV or .MP3 encoding. The reason I ask is that I can keep a much larger library on my HD with MP3. I guess it just depends on whether you are making true 'backup copies' of your CD's, or maybe just a compilation for listening in the car or something. My MusicMatch software allows you to burn from MP3 to CD audio, which is nice. I guess I will just mix and match depending on my needs.
 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
Shawn, if you want to make direct copies of your audio CDs (for your own use of course!) or make a CD compilation then keep the files in WAV format. However if you want a duplicate of a disc (i.e. not changing the tracks) then make an image of the original CD and then write that out to CD-R. An image one big file that contains a mirror 'image' of what is on the CD.
Also, get a real CD burning program. Nero is one of the most accurate for ripping and burning. I have to disagree with Eric a little here on the software issue. Easy CD is a nice package, but it doesn't hold up too well in terms of accuracy compared to other packages. I personally found it poor for ripping audio tracks from CD and it never recognises 80min blank CDs in my Plextor. It also doesn't support over-burning.
The best application for ripping CD tracks is Exact Audio Copy. For burning, I'd use Nero, thought it's also pretty good for ripping.
------------------

"One does not simply walk into Mordor."
Rob's Place
[Edited last by Rob Gillespie on August 06, 2001 at 02:39 AM]
 

Shawn C

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2001
Messages
1,429
Cool, I will check out Nero when I get a chance. So many choices out there. So, it looks like if you are going to be keeping songs on your PC, .wav is the way to go since it's uncompressed. Is there really any difference in sound quality when going back to CD from .wav? I suppose there would be, since the audio is still going through a CODEC from CDA to .wav. Even though it's uncompressed, I guess it could still alter the music in a small way.
 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
WAV is not the ideal format for keeping music on your PC. It just takes up too much space. A 3 or 4 minute song might take up 40-50mb. The same song encoded into MP3 at high variable bitrates may take less than a tenth of that.
Use WAV when making copies of songs that you want to burn out to audio CD again. If you just want to keep them on - and play them on - your PC then use MP3.
Quality: You wont lose anything when performing an accurate rip from CD to WAV. Well, theoretically you might but it's not even worth thinking about.
Go to to this site...
http://www.r3mix.net
"One does not simply walk into Mordor."
Rob's Place
 

Ken Chan

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 11, 1999
Messages
3,301
Is there really any difference in sound quality when going back to CD from .wav? I suppose there would be, since the audio is still going through a CODEC from CDA to .wav
Is it really? I never bothered to look into the .wav format.
What's important is whether the codec is lossy, like MP3, or lossless, which I presume .wav is. After all, CD-audio is just stereo 16-bit samples at 44100Hz. You could compress/encode that in a variety of ways, but as long as the bits come out exactly the same when decompressed/decoded, the quality is not affected. (In that case, compression speed and size are factors to consider.)
Video seems to be another matter. I guess there's lots of different ways of digitizing video (lots of acronyms using combinations of the letters Y, U, and V apparently).
//Ken
 

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