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re-rip CDs or convert WMA to FLAC?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have read about the virtues of Exact Audio Copy regarding making the Most Perfect extraction of digital audio from a Redbook CD. However, when I ripped my CD library to hard drive I just used WMP10 to rip to WMA-lossless format.

Now I am adding FLAC rips of DVD-Audio discs I own, and am wondering about converting my CD library to FLAC. It might make more sense to stick with one format. I could convert the WMA to FLAC. Lossless is lossless. This would certainly by easier than ripping from CD and adding missing album data.

Would audio quality really benefit by using Exact Audio Copy instead of converting the WMP rips? I have to admit this is a bit hard to imagine. Only talking about 250 CDs, wouldn't be the end of the world to re-rip.

Opinions? Actual experience?
post #2 of 12
I've converted a few albums encoded in WMA Lossless (through WMP) to FLAC through foobar2000. It is quick, easy and completely lossless. To verify, I tested to see if the resulting files that came from HDCD would be recognized by my AVR as having HDCD data. As expected, the resulting audio is still recognized as such.

By the way, there is now a DVD-Audio decoder available for foobar2000. I've converted DVD-Audio tracks directly to FLAC with no issues. There is a thread about it in the Surround Music Format section of AVS if you didn't already know.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I've converted a few albums encoded in WMA Lossless (through WMP) to FLAC through foobar2000. It is quick, easy and completely lossless. To verify, I tested to see if the resulting files that came from HDCD would be recognized by my AVR as having HDCD data. As expected, the resulting audio is still recognized as such.

By the way, there is now a DVD-Audio decoder available for foobar2000. I've converted DVD-Audio tracks directly to FLAC with no issues. There is a thread about it in the Surround Music Format section of AVS if you didn't already know.

Yes, the DVD-Audio decoder for foobar2000 is what prompted me to try this. And I did notice the thread you reference.

I guess I am mainly wondering about any real (vs theoretical) difference in accuracy of the bits extracted from CD by WMP, compared to using Exact Audio Copy.
post #4 of 12
If you have the time then re-rip it all.
You'll get the most accurate representation *guaranteed* of your CDs and you'll know if any errors occur in the extraction where you wouldn't otherwise.
It is nice to have it all in .flac as it's the best lossless compression format.

I use an iPod so I have my music double ripped in ALC for that as well as FLAC for home. Ripping CDs to Apple Lossless with iTunes sucks because errors occur and you don't find out until you listen to it.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

I guess I am mainly wondering about any real (vs theoretical) difference in accuracy of the bits extracted from CD by WMP, compared to using Exact Audio Copy.

When compared to direct CD playback, my ears have not detected any added distortions or the like.

If you want complete assurance, then it may make sense to re-rip them. There may very well be some problematic discs that have caused errors undetected by WMP. You can then copy the metadata from your unused WMA lossless tracks to the newly created FLAC files if needed.
post #6 of 12
Lossless means they are exact copies. There is absolutely no difference in sound when you listen to either codec.

Only differences are how the achieve their compressions. Some are more effecient than the others, but if they are lossless, there are no differences in data stored.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gameboy View Post

Lossless means they are exact copies. There is absolutely no difference in sound when you listen to either codec.

Only differences are how the achieve their compressions. Some are more effecient than the others, but if they are lossless, there are no differences in data stored.

Lossless means there is no information lost due to compression, not that they are exact copies.
A rip may be exact unless an error occurs due to bad sector, skip whatever and is unreckognized by the ripper. EAC will let you know.

you are partially right though, if the rip is perfect then whether it's in shorten (.shn), flac or whatever lossless format, lossless is lossless.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jszei View Post

If you have the time then re-rip it all.
You'll get the most accurate representation *guaranteed* of your CDs and you'll know if any errors occur in the extraction where you wouldn't otherwise.
It is nice to have it all in .flac as it's the best lossless compression format.

Says who and why??

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

Says who and why??


"The technical strengths of FLAC compared to other lossless codecs lie in its ability to be streamed and in a fast decode time, which is independent of compression level."

This should explain things in much better detail

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....ess_comparison

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Lossless_Audio_Codec
post #10 of 12
I wouldn't waste time re-ripping if i were you. All FLACs I download I archive and convert to WMA-L just so they'll play nicely with WMC.

At worst, you might have a couple blips here and there because WMP doesn't confirm exact rips or not. However, 99.999% of the music will sound perfect.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by roots4x View Post

I wouldn't waste time re-ripping if i were you. All FLACs I download I archive and convert to WMA-L just so they'll play nicely with WMC.

At worst, you might have a couple blips here and there because WMP doesn't confirm exact rips or not. However, 99.999% of the music will sound perfect.

Media Portal will play FLAC
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
can't you teach windows to play FLAC just by installing the right codec? I play MKV with FLAC audio on Vista x64 in WMP11, WMC, MPC-HC, and TMT2.
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