PDA

View Full Version : EAC and FLAC help please.



oli
2005-09-27, 11:19
Hi all

Just been over to the EAC website and am a bit concerned about the fact that it says the latest version (V0.95 beta 3)is only for experienced users (which I do not consider myself to be) and may cause damage to my hardrive, etc.

Should I be concerned about this? Also, I am using an NEC DVD+RW drive, not a CD drive, will this cause problems?

Also, is the main reason for EACs popularity that it can rip directly to FLAC, or is it in some way better than using iTunes,for example, to rip to a WAV file and then converting it to FLAC, i.e. is EAC's main benefit convenience, or does it have quality related advantages too?

Finally, a couple of FLAC questions.
1. When playing back a FLAC file converted from an uncompressed WAV, I have noticed that instead of the data rate being the 1411kbps of the original WAV it is lower and not constant, varying between around 350-800kbps. Should this be?
2. What effect does changing the encoding options (1-9) have on the quality and/or speed of the encoding process?

Sorry if I'm being simple!

Cheers!

Oli

dSw
2005-09-27, 14:23
Just been over to the EAC website and am a bit concerned about the fact that it says the latest version (V0.95 beta 3)is only for experienced users (which I do not consider myself to be) and may cause damage to my hardrive, etc.

Should I be concerned about this? Also, I am using an NEC DVD+RW drive, not a CD drive, will this cause problems?


EAC is fairly complex to set up, but there are plenty of guides around to help you so have a read at a few and see if you feel upto it. Hydrogen Audio Forums is a good place to start. There is also a link on the FAQ page of the FLAC site.

The fact that your drive is a DVD drive shouldn't cause any problems. The main thing is it's ability to read CDs!

I haven't heard of EAC causing damage to anyone's drive but if you're genuinely not sure then it's probably best to stick with something that will give you a bit more confidence - how about CDEX?



Also, is the main reason for EACs popularity that it can rip directly to FLAC, or is it in some way better than using iTunes,for example, to rip to a WAV file and then converting it to FLAC, i.e. is EAC's main benefit convenience, or does it have quality related advantages too?


EAC's main advantage is quality.

It is very good at providing bit-accurate rips of CDs through various stages of checks and error-correction. Other applications such as Windows Media Player are not so good at detecting or correcting errors, often resulting in 'blips' or crackles in the audio.

See the FAQ on the EAC website for more info. By the way - it doesn't rip directly to FLAC. It rips to WAV but can be set up to transcode to pretty much any other format as a follow-on step.



Finally, a couple of FLAC questions.
1. When playing back a FLAC file converted from an uncompressed WAV, I have noticed that instead of the data rate being the 1411kbps of the original WAV it is lower and not constant, varying between around 350-800kbps. Should this be?


Not sure but it might simply be because the files are smaller and it doesn't need to read off the disk as fast.



2. What effect does changing the encoding options (1-9) have on the quality and/or speed of the encoding process?


No difference in quality at all - just small differences in time to encode and file size. In theory it takes a lot longer to compress at 9 than at 1 but it doesn't really make that much difference. Give it a try.

cheers

street_samurai
2005-09-27, 16:34
Not sure but it might simply be because the files are smaller and it doesn't need to read off the disk as fast.
cheers

As posted here about 10 times already, the following guide will help you get setup:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=30959

Newer versions of EAC have basically only fixed bugs and improved CD-Writing.

Flac can compress different signals different amounts... thats why you are seeing a variable bit rate. Flac is -lossless- so you will -never- lose any quality. So dSw is correct, 1-9 increase the amount of processing power flac uses to encode the file. Anything above 5 is probably a waste of your time.

ss.

JJZolx
2005-09-27, 18:05
Just been over to the EAC website and am a bit concerned about the fact that it says the latest version (V0.95 beta 3)is only for experienced users (which I do not consider myself to be) and may cause damage to my hardrive, etc.

Should I be concerned about this?
No. It's just a disclaimer.


Also, I am using an NEC DVD+RW drive, not a CD drive, will this cause problems?
Nope. So long as it reads CDs.


Also, is the main reason for EACs popularity that it can rip directly to FLAC, or is it in some way better than using iTunes, for example, to rip to a WAV file and then converting it to FLAC, i.e. is EAC's main benefit convenience, or does it have quality related advantages too?
Its popularity is mostly due to overly anal retentive folks that want to make sure their CD copies are as good as they can possibly be. They recommend it to someone and they recommend it and so on. Also, EAC is often the only tool that can accurately rip scratched CDs because of the way it reads and rereads data from the disk until it gets matching copies.


Finally, a couple of FLAC questions.
1. When playing back a FLAC file converted from an uncompressed WAV, I have noticed that instead of the data rate being the 1411kbps of the original WAV it is lower and not constant, varying between around 350-800kbps. Should this be?
Where are you seeing see these numbers? I suppose that's a reading that depends on the compression ratio, which will vary, so would be the streaming data rate, rather than that of the uncompressed audio.


2. What effect does changing the encoding options (1-9) have on the quality and/or speed of the encoding process?
Quality will be exactly the same - lossless is lossles. The difference is only in the amount of compression and in the processing required both to encode and decode. There's surprisingly little compression to be gained going from the minimum to the maximum compression, but the difference in processing is huge. I always just use the default level (5, I think).