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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to embark on ripping my cd collection (for the last time!!) ; decided to use the mac platform now that Apple supports the lossless codec. For those experienced in doing this on the Mac- I would love to get your perspective with a couple of issue areas...


1) I assume there's no problem streaming this format via iTunes to other macs or via airport express wireless;

- are you guys storing a separate compressed library for iPod syncing or just doing with fewer songs on the pods?


2) I really don't want to do this 600cd ripping process any more than this last time; so what are you guys using for disk storage - external firewire? massive internal? dual storage systems?

- are you backing up the files with compressed backup?


any other unknown issues before I get to the point of no return? :)


thanks much

ken
 

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To answer your first question, yes, you will be able to stream your audio to other iTunes players via WiFi (Mac or Windows).


As far as ripping everything for the last time, I would just rip at a higher bit rate than the default and do it in mp4 (AAC) for smaller file sizes than mp3. Sure, if you are a true audiophile, you may (also...you may not) notice a difference however small but you will save TONS of storage. If you do go forward with Apple Lossless, I would recommend keeping those large files off of your startup drive and store them on an external. You will quickly jam up your startup using Apple Lossless. 600 CDs with about 10 songs per will be need at least 150-200GB of space.


As for syncing with your iPod, it will be a major pain to convert whatever songs you want to drop on it from Apple Lossless to mp3/mp4. I do it the other way: ripping everything in mp4, and re-importing individual tracks as needed from the CDs for when the audio playback is critical (such as a video) which is rarely the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
flyNavy-

thanks for the suggestions. ripping everything in a high bit rate mp4 format is indeed something I have considered and may yet do this; much of my 'audiophile' music is in the form of sacd and dvd-a anyway - I'll be using a disc changer for these as I don't see iTunes or other supporting this for some time if ever; the amount of disk space doesn't bother me; perhaps I'll create an external drive 'archive' with everything lossless; then 'serve' everything as mp4 from an internal drive;


either way - I will heed your warning not to jam up the startup drive-


thanks for your thoughts-


ken
 

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No prob.


Noticed that you live in Celebration. That's a sweet place!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We love it; Been here from the beginning (1996) and I suspect we'll retire here;

A good friend runs the Colonial Williamsburg resort complex up in your neck of the woods....


ken
 

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Does anyone know how I can transfer a Jpeg file off of a DVD that was accidently ripped as a read only file ? It is the only copy of a once in a lifetime picture and I can't get it off the disk.

Thanks

Bradly
 

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Might I suggest ripping your CDs with the variable bitrate open source mp3 compresser, LAME. A great little freeware plugin called iTunes-Lame makes using LAME easy. You get similar compression ratios as aac, though aac is probably better at low bitrates -- say 128 mbps or below. At 192+ mbps (-alt -preset -standard) LAME yields excellent results. LAME has been extensively tested by audiophiles at HydrogenAudio and their ABX double-blinded evaluations are public information. I've been using it for >18 months and I continue to be happy with it.


MP3 format undoubtedly gives you better compatibility with third party players. There just werent' any aac compatible boomboxes or media players out there when I converted my 600+ CD collection and there still aren't many... the lowly iBoom being the only such "boombox" equivalent I'm aware of. Like you, I didn't want to have to redo my audio collection in a few years. Who knows if aac will eventually take off outside of Apple products? If it does, that's great. One certainty is MP3 won't be going away anytime soon.
 

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Other AAC/MP3 players have popped up in the market alongside the iPod, including two very popular applications for the Palm platform that can play AAC. While LAME sounds great, it's all about compatibility. If you can only play it on your computer, then it just means more work (and more disk space) creating files for on the go listening.
 

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LAME encoded mp3 files work on every mp3 player I've tried. There were some first generation mp3 players I read about that could not handle variable bitrate mp3 but I've never encountered any of those. All recent players should be able handle VBR mp3's just fine. Like I said, LAME has been extensively tested in head-to-head trials over the past several years. It's light years better than iTunes' built-in mp3 encoder and it's multiplatform.
 

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Ken,

I just noticed your post above. We love it in Willyburg!! You tell your friend to keep up the good work over there.


We'll be going to Orlando next month. Can't wait to show the kids the Celebration Summer "snow" in your neck of the woods!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
MacHound-

Good information thanks; I'm going to archive store using mp4-aac lossless; then serve out everything with a separate copy of compressed - this way I can always convert from the original to new compressed formats or mix a few 'audiofile' songs as uncompressed; I'll look into LAME as a possible for the compressed library and do some comparisons and testing; thanks for the input...


flyNavy - sounds great - you guys will have a ball - Celebration snow days aren't until december though....


ken
 

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Glad to hear you went lossless--even my fiancee with severe hearing loss can tell the difference on my stereo between an EAC ripped/LAME "-alt preset extreme" VBR mp3 and the EAC ripped .wav played through iTunes. Way I figure it, why not rip everything lossless--storage will get cheaper and cheaper, but the time you invest is sunk.


I feel for you tho'. I ripped over 1200 CDs and it took a loooong time--partially due to disk crashes requiring re-ripping. Now I'm running a Dell Powervault 1TB NAS configured with hardware RAID 5--I never wanna do that again. I would note, however, that you can probably build a RAID 5 array for a lot cheaper now...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by edesilva
even my fiancee with severe hearing loss can tell the difference on my stereo between an EAC ripped/LAME "-alt preset extreme" VBR mp3 and the EAC ripped .wav played through iTunes.
You must be doing something seriously wrong if your -alt -preset -extreme LAME encode sounds that bad. Very few audiophiles can hear any difference between digital source audio and a LAME 3.96.1 encode even at the ~192 Kbps rate of -alt -preset -standard using high end components ($50,000 speakers, separate preamps, etc.) in double-blinded, sound room testing. It's all well documented at HydrogenAudio if you care to read more about the testing method and the results. This is not a distinction somebody with normal hearing could make, let alone someone with severe hearing loss.


The beauty of an open source project such as LAME is you don't have to one person's word for which compressor is better. The evaluation tools and methods are all in the public record for people to confirm or dispute, unlike many proprietary encoders. These are scientific tests that are repeatable anywhere in the world.


Please don't bash LAME unless you have the research to support your position.
 

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MacHound...


First, I didn't "bash LAME." I like LAME, for what it is. It does what it does very well, and I wouldn't process .wavs to .mp3s for my iPod without it. I'm also a fan of open source. But, what it does is *lossy* compression. That isn't appropriate for all applications.


Second, I didn't do something "seriously wrong" converting with LAME. I have done extensive comparisions of the results of LAME with both the alt presets and the native command set. I've spent an awful lot of time with EAC, LAME, foobar2000, iTunes, and my various computers and audio rigs.


Third, I didn't say -alt preset extreme "sounds that bad." What I said was that even my fiancee with hearing loss can tell the difference between an -APx LAME converted mp3 and the original ripped .wav file. I'm saying that even good compression can be audible.


I've already read the stuff on -APx at hydrogen audio, and I know what Dibrom has to say. But, the fact remains that I *can* hear the difference between uncompressed .wav files and even very good quality .mp3s on my system. Yes, I am an audiophile and yes, I do have a high resolution system. But, my fiancee can tell a difference, and she is neither an audiophile nor has anything close to perfect hearing. Frankly, since she didn't know which source was which, the test was blind (maybe not double blind, but we aren't really talking about a subtle difference here).


My real point is that ripping a lot of CDs is a total PITA. If you are going to do it, and there is a difference (it is *lossy* compression, after all) and you lose something with conversion to mp3, and disk space is cheap and getting cheaper, why not rip without lossy compression? Maybe you don't have the system to hear the difference right now, but maybe you will some day. Frankly, there are many CDs in my collection that predate components in all of my systems--in my experience the software lasts longer than the hardware, and I have no interest in reripping everything.


I would also observe that it doesn't take a $50K pair of speakers to build a high definition audio system. My stereo systems range from the extreme to the simple--at the lowest end, one in my office built around NHT SuperZeros/SubOne, a McCormack micro Power Drive, a McCormack micro Line Drive, a ART DI/O for D-to-A conversion, and an Edirol UA-1D USB audio device. Its under a $1K system (most components were second hand), but I can hear the difference between an APx mp3 and a native .wav on that system. I'll concede, however, that most people probably couldn't. But, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the majority of people could tell the difference on my main rig because of the better low end extension and the better speed and transparency of the speakers.
 
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