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Ripping CD collection to FLAC.... having some trouble

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I have my home audio system set up, with the multi zones and I am going to be utilizing Sonos with it. So I want to rip my entire CD collection to FLAC. I have a 2 TB NAS already to for the music to be put on.

It seems like the two big programs for doing this are EAC (free) and dbpoweramp (not free).

I tried EAc but there are so many varying guides on how to set up the multitude of options, I dont know whats the best... a few issues I have noticed so far:
1. it seems like the 1st second of songs is cut out.. I did detect gaps but it didnt really show any.
2. when I play the FLAC file v. the actual CD, through my set-up, the FLAC plays quiter, i.e., I have to turn the db's up quite a bit more to get the same level as I would from CD.
3. I would like to be able to rip the CD to FLAC (for use over the Sonos) and another format like MP3, etc. since FLAC doesnt seem to work on my Ipod/car CD player and it takes up mucho space...

Any suggestions? I really know nothing about this other than what I have tried to dechiper in the various guides.... which is rather confusing in its own right.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pg600rr View Post
1. it seems like the 1st second of songs is cut out.. I did detect gaps but it didnt really show any.

Some CDs put music in the negative time part between tracks (the part where a conventional CD player counts up from, for example, -2 seconds to 0). When you play the CD in a regular player, do you hear music when the time counter is negative? I think there is a pre-track gap music detection mode. You may want to just do whole album extraction, and split the file up afterwards. See the note about REACT in the Hydrogenaudio link below.

If it's not that, have you seen this in the EAC FAQ?

Quote:
The last few audio CD's I've copied using EAC all have the track position wrong by about 1 second. If I go to a particular track with my CD player, it will start the track about 1 second INTO the audio track. I have been using the "Copy Image And Create CUE Sheet" option for copying the CD's. How can I avoid this problem in the future?

One of the biggest mistakes that could be made in 0.85beta (from 0.9beta3 on I prevented it automatically) is to have selected "Remove Leading And Trailing Silence". If the image file contains silence at the beginning (e.g. 1 second) it will be removed and everything get moved by one second. So you should deactivate this option for 0.85b4. If this is not the problem, try a different gap detection mode and compare the generated CUE sheets manually.

Quote:
2. when I play the FLAC file v. the actual CD, through my set-up, the FLAC plays quiter, i.e., I have to turn the db's up quite a bit more to get the same level as I would from CD.

Are you playing the CD and FLAC from the same device (like your computer)? If so, some older CD-ROM drives send analog output that is just routed to the outputs, and that could account for the level differences and is no big deal. Also, make sure you haven't accidentally told EAC to reduce the volume somewhere.

You can also extract the same track as a WAV, and compare that to the FLAC. They should be identical.

Quote:
3. I would like to be able to rip the CD to FLAC (for use over the Sonos) and another format like MP3, etc. since FLAC doesnt seem to work on my Ipod/car CD player and it takes up mucho space...

dbpoweramp can do this automatically: for each track extracted convert it into a number of different formats and place them in different locations. That's how I add CDs to my collection: the ALC version goes into the home iTunes library, while the MP3 version goes into the portable iTunes library.

EAC should be able to do this, too, but unfortunately there's no documentation, and you need to just hunt around the web or play with its various options to figure this out.

The Hydrogenaudio forums are a good place to find EAC tips and tricks. For example, here's one for your 3rd question: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...hp/t56483.html

I'd just pay for dbpoweramp, and get a well-supported product that works really well. EAC can work just as well, but I'd use it only if you are interested in exact control of every aspect of your audio extraction (mostly to do with the track metadata and how things are organized), and have time to burn to figure out how to use it.

--Andre
post #3 of 19
Jriver Media Center

I upload everything from CD to FLAC, and MC automatically converts the files over to Mp3 when uploading onto a hand held device (if you want it to).
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
^ Thanks,

I did do the pre-gap detection but it didnt seem to work.. I havent payed attention when playing the regular CD to notice when the music kicks in on the tracker. When I did a search about this issue it all came back to the EAC gap detection, and how you should have about 2 sec. (or more) detected between songs. Every time I did it I only got a 2 sec. gap after the first song then '0' between all others (and this was the same on the 20 or so discs I did before noticing the problem).

I am playing the CD and FLAC through my Oppo-93 (in which I have tried the FLAC both on a CD and a USB drive connected to the Oppo, encoutered the issue the same both ways), the oppo is sending out digital audio (even though it has the ability to do analog 7.1).

Think I may just bit the bullet on db power amp since I got like 400 CD's to do over the coming months... sounds like it may be worth. Prob. give the free trial a run 1st to see if it solves the above problems.
post #5 of 19
That is bizarre that the levels would be different when you play it from the Oppo through its digital ports. I don't know what could be different in that case, except maybe some kind of volume normalization in the FLAC metadata, if it has such a thing, or a bug in the Oppo. Have you tried playing them back on your computer?

If you have the time and patience, you may want to play with whole album extraction to see if that solves your 1-second problem. It's not that hard to use, and it may even split it automatically for you.

Let me know if you want more information or hints with dbpoweramp. I got their NAS Essentials package with the special Teac drive for my Windows Home Server. It works great, though every so often the CDDB database they use is wrong.

--Andre
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post
That is bizarre that the levels would be different when you play it from the Oppo through its digital ports. I don't know what could be different in that case, except maybe some kind of volume normalization in the FLAC metadata, if it has such a thing, or a bug in the Oppo. Have you tried playing them back on your computer?

If you have the time and patience, you may want to play with whole album extraction to see if that solves your 1-second problem. It's not that hard to use, and it may even split it automatically for you.

Let me know if you want more information or hints with dbpoweramp. I got their NAS Essentials package with the special Teac drive for my Windows Home Server. It works great, though every so often the CDDB database they use is wrong.

--Andre

I havent tried playing them back on my computer yet, dont have anything on my comp to play back FLAC. I am going to just get the DBpoweramp, its lie $35 or something, however there seems to be two versions?
http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc-power-register.htm

Choose Version Required (Version Differences Explained):





or dBpoweramp Reference R14 $38 includes:

PerfectMeta access (AMG, GD3, SonataDB, MusicBrainz & freedb) **,
Multi-CPU & advanced secure ripper abilities,
Power Pack & mp3 License,
Free minor version upgrades,
CD Writer burn Audio CDs (optional download),
Batch Ripper rip 100's of CDs with ease (optional download),
Family Pack option when purchasing, allowing usage on 1-5 non-commercial PCs.
Note: payment is only taken once, purchased program does not expire.





or Power Pack & mp3 License $26 includes:

Free minor version upgrades.
Excludes: Multi-CPU support, advanced secure ripper abilities
Excludes CD Ripper Metadata Access

Upgrade Existing dBpoweramp to Reference (also Family Pack Upgrades)
or
Bulk dBpoweramp Reference Licenses
post #7 of 19
I think I have the $38 version, but I'm not sure as I bought it as part of a package. I'm not sure how much of a difference the secure ripping features make: I was once warned that a CD I ripped wasn't perfectly ripped by that feature, but that was it.

VLC will play FLAC on your computer. No idea about its bit fidelity, though.

--Andre
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
So i bought it and set up according to the 'setup guide', I have it ripping both mp3 files to my laptop and FLAC to the NAS.

I wanted to see if there were any options you suggest I 'check' or any tips you may have? i.e., any DSP effects to add for either the MP3 or FLAC?

The guide said to add the 'Replaygain' and 'HDCD' DSP effects, which I have....

Also as far as MP3 and FLAC, are those the files I should be using?

Basically I will be using the files on the NAS to play over my home audio system and with Sonos... the other files (MP3) will be used to play on my Ipod, cell phone, and burn CD's, etc. Is there a better type of file than MP3 to use for this?

Thanks again!
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pg600rr View Post
So i bought it and set up according to the 'setup guide', I have it ripping both mp3 files to my laptop and FLAC to the NAS.

I wanted to see if there were any options you suggest I 'check' or any tips you may have? i.e., any DSP effects to add for either the MP3 or FLAC?

The guide said to add the 'Replaygain' and 'HDCD' DSP effects, which I have....

Also as far as MP3 and FLAC, are those the files I should be using?

Basically I will be using the files on the NAS to play over my home audio system and with Sonos... the other files (MP3) will be used to play on my Ipod, cell phone, and burn CD's, etc. Is there a better type of file than MP3 to use for this?

Thanks again!

Sounds pretty good. I used most of the default settings, only bumping the MP3 settings up to 256 kbps. I'm not a big fan of encoding things with any DSP settings, because they may be hard to undo. At home I use MP3 and ALAC, primarily because iTunes doesn't know about FLAC, but for Sonos and portable players, those two formats are fine.

Replaygain should be fine since it's metadata and doesn't alter the actual audio data, but the HDCD stuff you should try out before really committing to it: it's basically a reverse-engineering of the HDCD protocol, but they haven't implemented everything, and guessed at some things, if things haven't changed from when I looked at it a couple of years ago.

If you just do an unaltered encode to FLAC that's bit-for-bit identical (replaygain should be fine if you can defeat that at the playback device), you can then later send that to an HDCD-capable DAC, and have it do the right HDCD decoding. If you've altered the file, then you won't be able to recover the original HDCD information.

--Andre
post #10 of 19
PG - have you tried the Foobar forums? They're a great wealth of resources over there.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
PG - have you tried the Foobar forums? They're a great wealth of resources over there.

nah, i will check it out tho
post #12 of 19
Those Foobar guys are OBSESSIVE about sound quality. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find some good info over there.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
The dbpoweramp has been working awesome and very easy, extremely happy I spent the $40 on it.

On a side note any good websites to download single FLAC files for free? there are a few single songs I hear on the radio that i would like to add to my library in FLAC format without having to track down the CD at my local library.
post #14 of 19
Rip to wav/pcm or you will rip them again.

Codecs come and go, but the raw bits from the disc can always be used any way you want in the future.

Unless you like handling cds ....
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_sf View Post
Rip to wav/pcm or you will rip them again.

Codecs come and go, but the raw bits from the disc can always be used any way you want in the future.

Unless you like handling cds ....

whats wrong with flac/mp3
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