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I'm re-ripping my entire CD collection (> 2000 CDs). I'm using dbPoweramp's batch ripper which is working wonderfully.

The product has the option to use AMG, GD3, freedb, etc for metadata lookup. AMG and GD3 are both pay services.

Any opinion as to the best to use? Are the pay services worth it?

Thanks!
 

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I pretty much exclusively use MusicBrainz Picard

I think both Kodi and MB3 have metadata ripping included (I know Kodi does, though I don't know many who use it). MusicBrainz Picard is pretty manual, so I only use it to cleanup random stuff. For new things I like to dump them into a scan folder and let Headphones.py (from Rembo10 on github/Kodi forums) tag everything automatically with musicbrainz data. It's worked well for me and you can also get it to drop an album.jpg into your folder when it's done and completely dictate the desired location, structure, and name format.

Headphones is pretty easy to setup I think, if you want to try it I can post some instructions for you. The only thing about headphones is it works off of files rather than discs, so it may not be great for your situation. Kodi may be better, but I've never used it for ripping personally. If it just dumps the file names into an album folder of the same name headphones can pick it up and finish the job.

All of the above are free
 

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I rip all my CDs with J River Media Center. It's got secure mode ripping and has it's own metadata service that's quite good, at least for remotely common stuff.
 

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Freedb (the ++ plugin not the built in) works fine for me in EAC for the majority of CDs, and the artwork search is quite good as well. On occasion I have to switch it to Amazon or at least find the cover art myself to get a good image (I try to use at least 500x500 and good/proper looking), but otherwise most of the time the freedb plugin works well. Sometimes I have to do small little fixes where people have incorrectly spelled or capitalised things, and I pretty much always have to fix the genres but it's not that time consuming IMO.


So, personally, I don't see what's wrong with Freedb but then I don't do batch ripping and don't expect everything be automated... If freedb is working for you fine in dbPoweramp then why bother with the paid services? Or are you having significant issues with freedb? I'm pretty sure with GD3 you get a free trial period (for x number of discs), so you could always try it out no?
 

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The free scrapers in dbPoweramp have worked pretty well for me, except for a few obscure disks. That said, I'm not extremely picky about the metadata as long as it has album title, album, artist, year and correct song titles. I don't really care about genre, subgenre, composer, label, etc. The built in cover art selector is okay, although I've had to go to Amazon a few times to get higher resolution images.
 
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