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tem
2006-12-18, 20:14
I've been lurking on this site and I'm about to take the squeezebox plunge, but a couple of nagging questions keep running through my mind. First let me state that sound quality is very important to me. That being said I really love how much more of my music I found myself listening to when I have all my cd's loaded into 2 large changers. I consider the squeezebox the next evolutionary step (I've also contemplated the sonos system), for accessing and distributing all my music. My question is this...with memory being so cheap, why would I want to rip my cd's to one of the lossless formats as opposed to just ripping them as is. I use a computer all the time but certainly am no hacker, and it seems that there is a lot of work involved. Am I missing something or would it not just be easier to buy twice as large a hard drive, rip full strength, download info via cddb/gracenote or similar and be done. Won't this give me the artist/album /song info I'll need to do various sorts.
thanks for any insights/advice, todd

pfarrell
2006-12-18, 20:19
tem wrote:
> I've been lurking on this site and I'm about to take the squeezebox
> plunge, but a couple of nagging questions keep running through my mind.
> First let me state that sound quality is very important to me. That
> being said I really love how much more of my music I found myself
> listening to when I have all my cd's loaded into 2 large changers. I
> consider the squeezebox the next evolutionary step (I've also
> contemplated the sonos system), for accessing and distributing all my
> music. My question is this...with memory being so cheap, why would I
> want to rip my cd's to one of the lossless formats as opposed to just
> ripping them as is. I use a computer all the time but certainly am no
> hacker, and it seems that there is a lot of work involved. Am I
> missing something or would it not just be easier to buy twice as large
> a hard drive, rip full strength, download info via cddb/gracenote or
> similar and be done. Won't this give me the artist/album /song info
> I'll need to do various sorts.

Its no real work, you set up the ripping tool to do the tagging and
compressing, and then you just feed your CDs in one after another.
All the good ripping tools talk to cddb/freedb and do that part for you.
Automagically.

The down side to cddb, etc. is that if you listen to unpopular music, it
is usually wrong in cddb, or missing.

The compression storage saving on your hard disk is not going to be more
than 50% (or two to one) when you use lossless.

The big reason is that with a lossless, you can embed tags with the
files, and then the are self managing.

Plus you can stream the compressed Flac files to your SqueezeBox,
saving network bandwidth. Cutting the amount of data by a factor of 50%
can all you to have four times the usage (Ethernet is not linear).



--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

mrfantasy
2006-12-18, 20:19
Depending on how many discs you have to convert, ripping them to a lossless format is a great idea. FLAC is a favorite in these parts, and you get about 50% compression, lossless, so you can fit even more. I have a little over 300GB of data for 1100 CDs. A 400GB hard drive can be found for $100 if you look around, and you don't need a particularly fast drive for good playback performance.

If you have your files in FLAC, well-tagged and organized, you can encode to MP3 when you need to for a portable player or something like that.

You'd want to use something like EAC on Windows for the ripping. Lots of stuff here for that. I used abcde on Linux, which does the ripping, coding to FLAC and tagging in an automated fashion. I just pop a disc in the CDROM attached to my NAS and it's all done automatically.

Mark Lanctot
2006-12-18, 21:37
It may seem like "a lot of work" (it isn't really as long as you can follow along step-by-step: http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?EACBeginners ) but almost all of that is just for getting the uncompressed WAV tracks. Compression is the easy part.

BTW the term "full strength" seems to imply compressed lossless is somehow inferior. It's not, any more than a zipped Word document is inferior to the original Word document. Lossless is lossless - it decompresses bit-for-bit identical to the original. The FLAC developer has actually gone to great pains to ensure that it is bit-perfect and the test suite is downloadable for anyone to try.

If you can save 50% of the storage space and wireless bandwidth without any loss of sound quality, and it only takes 5 minutes of additional setup, why not do it? :-)

ModelCitizen
2006-12-19, 00:05
For me there is one reason to compress that is far, far more important than any other. Tags. Dealing with non-tagged music (as wavs are) is really painful.
I know I'm wierd but my comment fields even include artist bios and album reviews.
Set you gear up correctly and it won't be so painful. If you compress to lossless and ensure you have a back up you'll never have to do it again.
MC

peter
2006-12-19, 00:12
tem wrote:
> I've been lurking on this site and I'm about to take the squeezebox
> plunge, but a couple of nagging questions keep running through my mind.
> First let me state that sound quality is very important to me. That
> being said I really love how much more of my music I found myself
> listening to when I have all my cd's loaded into 2 large changers. I
> consider the squeezebox the next evolutionary step (I've also
> contemplated the sonos system), for accessing and distributing all my
> music. My question is this...with memory being so cheap, why would I
> want to rip my cd's to one of the lossless formats as opposed to just
> ripping them as is. I use a computer all the time but certainly am no
> hacker, and it seems that there is a lot of work involved. Am I
> missing something or would it not just be easier to buy twice as large
> a hard drive, rip full strength, download info via cddb/gracenote or
> similar and be done. Won't this give me the artist/album /song info
> I'll need to do various sorts.
> thanks for any insights/advice, tod

I may be wrong but I believe there's no tagging standard for WAV files.
Modern computers are so fast in compressing and decompressing that there
is really no downside to using FLAC. After you've set up EAC with FLAC
support inserting the CD's and starting the ripping process is all the
work you have to do whether you rip to WAV, FLAC or MP3.

Regards,
Peter

chris.mason
2006-12-19, 01:19
I'll add my tuppence as well...
I spent a lot of time researching the best format to use for my needs, wanting to keep the quality of my CDs intact.
I decided to use FLAC, and have not regretted it, for all the reasons already mentioned.

If your SB3s are going to be connected via wirelss to your server (as mine is), decreasing network bandwidth requirements is a key factor. Most importantly for me though, is the tagging schemas that FLAC supports. You cannot embed tags in WAV files, SlimServer will only have the directory path and file name to go on, which is not a problem, but very limited. You won't be able to use the extensive tag capabilities of Slim.

I didn't use EAC though, I lost patience with it. Instead I used dBpoweramp, which I can highly recommend (for Windows that is), along with the AccurateRip plugin. I think it does as good a job as EAC, but I know others will disagree. Works for me though.

Chris.

PhilNYC
2006-12-19, 09:52
I recently converted my entire Apple Lossless collection (about 5000 songs) to WAV. When encoded to a lossless format, you cant' "fast forward/review" within a song, but with uncompressed formats, you can...

chris.mason
2006-12-19, 09:55
I recently converted my entire Apple Lossless collection (about 5000 songs) to WAV. When encoded to a lossless format, you cant' "fast forward/review" within a song, but with uncompressed formats, you can...

My experience is that you can fast fwd/rwd, but I think it depends on what you've encoded to. Certainly with FLAC you can. I also use the song scanner plugin which for me is better than fast fwd/rwd.

Mark Lanctot
2006-12-19, 09:58
You can FF/REW on natively supported formats.

For compressed lossless, that's FLAC.

PhilNYC
2006-12-19, 10:00
My experience is that you can fast fwd/rwd, but I think it depends on what you've encoded to. Certainly with FLAC you can. I also use the song scanner plugin which for me is better than fast fwd/rwd.


Right, my mistake...SB/TP have native FLAC decoders built-in, but not Apple Lossless. For Apple Lossless, the decoder is done in SlimServer, and therefore you can't fast forward/rewind...

Eric Seaberg
2006-12-19, 12:04
tem wrote:

I may be wrong but I believe there's no tagging standard for WAV files.
Modern computers are so fast in compressing and decompressing that there
is really no downside to using FLAC. After you've set up EAC with FLAC
support inserting the CD's and starting the ripping process is all the
work you have to do whether you rip to WAV, FLAC or MP3.

Regards,
Peter

The new standard for TAG'd WAV is BWF (Broadcast Wave Format) which does carry metadata within the file. I wouldn't expect to see that option appear on a typical computer user interface, however. Stictly for Radio/TV/Film Post-Production.

tyler_durden
2006-12-19, 20:27
If you have a lot of CDs, ripping to a compressed format such as flac IS a lot of work, and quite time consuming, even if you have the system more or less automated. Besides the ripping part, which works perfectly except for the odd disc that is damaged, you have to be sitting at the computer to swap discs in the drives, and worst of all, you have to correct the errors in CDDB (if you care about such things) on nearly every disc, popular or not.

I ripped 600+ CDs over a period of about 2 weeks and I would hate to ever have to do it again. That is why I sprung for an extra HDD to back it all up. The back-up drive is in an external case so it is "portable". I can store it off-site (like at a friend's house ;) ) in case my house burns down.

I don't know what sort of idiot rips a CD and types titles/artist in ALL CAPS, misspells artist/disc/song titles, etc., then is so clueless that they upload the garbage labeling to FreeDB or CDDB, but I'd like to meet one or more of them at a fightclub meeting some night...

TD

Mark Lanctot
2006-12-19, 20:41
If you have a lot of CDs, ripping to a compressed format such as flac IS a lot of work, and quite time consuming, even if you have the system more or less automated.

But it's about the same for WAV. The disc swapping and tag correction (so the files will be named properly) is required for uncompressed too.

Encoding to FLAC adds 30 seconds to a minute per average track.

This is not to say that ripping isn't a lot of work, but if you're taking the time to rip, you might as well take a little extra time to encode too.

radish
2006-12-19, 20:50
Encoding to FLAC adds 30 seconds to a minute per average track.

It doesn't add anything for me, it compresses in the background as it rips and it only takes 30 seconds or so to do each track. So I wouldn't ask "why compress" I'd ask "why not"? I can't think of any reason not to.

Mark Lanctot
2006-12-19, 21:32
It doesn't add anything for me, it compresses in the background as it rips and it only takes 30 seconds or so to do each track. So I wouldn't ask "why compress" I'd ask "why not"? I can't think of any reason not to.

Yes, of course, once you have it set up it rips and encodes simultaneously...

I just wanted to emphasize to the OP that it does not require much more time or effort to get FLAC files if you're getting WAV files.

devin
2006-12-19, 22:35
I don't know what sort of idiot rips a CD and types titles/artist in ALL CAPS, misspells artist/disc/song titles, etc., then is so clueless that they upload the garbage labeling to FreeDB or CDDB, but I'd like to meet one or more of them at a fightclub meeting some night...

TD

You said it!

Now that I've started tagging all my stuff from musicbrainz I'll never look back. Musicbrainz rocks.