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telecaster
2008-09-16, 11:34
I have just got a Transporter and I am impressed!!
I have for a long time been ripping my CDs in iTunes using lossless,
is this ok or should I move to FLAC?

iTunes ripping is so much easier than using Toast9 and FLAC, so I would
love to stay with iTunes, but is the quality good enough?

I have a Pioneer SC-LX90 amp and are using the analogue output of the
transporter, since the amp does not have a balanced input I am using
the other one, is this ok or should I use a digital signal path and let the
amps DAC do the conversion?

Sorry for newbee questions, but I really would appreciate som good advice ! :-)
regards
telecaster

by the way, I am using a MacMini with Squeezecenter 7.2 as server

peter
2008-09-16, 11:53
telecaster wrote:
> I have just got a Transporter and I am impressed!!
> I have for a long time been ripping my CDs in iTunes using lossless,
> is this ok or should I move to FLAC?
>

I'd move to FLAC to save unnecessary transcoding, but then again I'd
probably just write a script to do the conversion automatically..

> iTunes ripping is so much easier than using Toast9 and FLAC, so I
> would
> love to stay with iTunes, but is the quality good enough?
>

The sound quality of all lossless formats is identical. Same as the
input data.

> I have a Pioneer SC-LX90 amp and are using the analogue output of the
> transporter, since the amp does not have a balanced input I am using
> the other one, is this ok or should I use a digital signal path and let
> the
> amps DAC do the conversion?
>

OK by me... ;)

Regards,
Peter

andlauer
2008-09-16, 12:21
Hello,

Slimserver transcodes ALAC to a supported format (WAV in my case) as it sends the data to the Squeezebox. The Pentium III that runs my Slimserver has no problem with that kind of workload, so your Mac Mini should not have either.

I have chosen Apple Lossless because it is fully supported by Apple software (iTunes) and more importantly by my Apple hardware (iPod/iPhone).

If, like me, you are used to iTunes for ripping your CDs and managing your music, and you own an iPod or an iPhone, then Apple Lossless is the lossless format of choice.

Regards,

JC

SuperQ
2008-09-16, 14:04
Both are fine. I prefer FLAC, but I don't own any Apple products. The only thing you need to do is turn on "Secure" ripping in iTunes.

Eric Seaberg
2008-09-16, 20:28
Telecaster, since you're an Apple user already, and are used to the iTunes interface, I'd stick with Apple Lossless. That's what I use, mainly because I prefer the way iTunes handles tagging over anything else that runs on the Mac.

I do NOT transcode to FLAC for playback to my Transporter or SB3s. I 'disable' the FLAC option in all coding options and let SC send WAV files to the Transporter. It works great and, even though there is some transcoding involved, it works pretty flawlessly on my Mac MINI server.

Enjoy the 'box'.

telecaster
2008-09-16, 23:10
Thanks guys for the good advice!!
I will stay with iTunesripping and Apple lossless then! :-)

Hopefully someday there will be just as simple to rip to FLAC and organise music and pictures of CDcovers as it is using iTunes.

I understand that FLAC is superior to anything else, but I am not dedicated enough to go the extra mile, it takes too much time and effort for me.....

best regards
telecaster

peter
2008-09-17, 00:07
telecaster wrote:
> Thanks guys for the good advice!!
> I will stay with iTunesripping and Apple lossless then! :-)
>
> Hopefully someday there will be just as simple to rip to FLAC and
> organise music and pictures of CDcovers as it is using iTunes.
>

Make sure to complain to Apple about that.

> I understand that FLAC is superior to anything else, but I am not
> dedicated enough to go the extra mile, it takes too much time and
> effort for me.....
>

It's not necessarily superior, but it's not proprietary, wich most of us
consider a large advantage. MS and Apple are evil because they try to
force you to use their products by using proprietary formats and
protocols (or incompatible variations thereof).

Regards,
Peter

Nonreality
2008-09-17, 00:55
Thanks guys for the good advice!!
I will stay with iTunesripping and Apple lossless then! :-)

Hopefully someday there will be just as simple to rip to FLAC and organise music and pictures of CDcovers as it is using iTunes.

I understand that FLAC is superior to anything else, but I am not dedicated enough to go the extra mile, it takes too much time and effort for me.....

best regards
telecaster
Just for fun download Mediamonkey and try it. It works with Ipods and it can transcode on the fly in the paid version to ipods. It would give you an out from the itunes world and it's very good. The free version allows you to just about everything you need so it's a good way to try it.

Oh wait you're Apple aren't you? Nevermind.

igroucho
2008-09-17, 01:46
If you're anal about the ripping the safest way is probably using Exact Audio Copy. iTunes will not give you bit-perfect rips even thou the difference would not be audible. The catch here is that EAC is win-only so if u don't happen to have win accessible (for ex installed on ur mac) ur out of luck. Anyway that's how I do it and I'm using mac hardware only (but for the Plextor external cd-drive). Once ripped to flac and tagged (still in win using mp3tag) and moved to mac os, Max (freeware) will take me to alac whenever I want to. I have taken the luxury of storing my collection of 0,5 TB in both flacs (which I use for my tranny) and alacs. For me it's the perfect solution for both environments SB and iPods.

MuckleEck
2008-09-17, 02:43
.... thou the difference would not be audible.

Have to disagree, I ripped a CD to ALAC when I was just on itunes and the last track sounded horrible, badly distorted and the orchestra sounded as though they were in a wee tin box. Re-ripped to FLAC using dBpoweramp and AccurateRip and it was perfect. Interestingly my CD player also played it perfectly.

igroucho
2008-09-17, 09:29
maybe I should have written "in most cases not audible". Anyway, this is a persistent topic of debate...

Nonreality
2008-09-17, 09:48
Have to disagree, I ripped a CD to ALAC when I was just on itunes and the last track sounded horrible, badly distorted and the orchestra sounded as though they were in a wee tin box. Re-ripped to FLAC using dBpoweramp and AccurateRip and it was perfect. Interestingly my CD player also played it perfectly.I would use dbpoweramp for perfect rips too but it would not make a sound quality difference. The rip if bad will produce pops and other artifacts but won't make it sound like a tin box. Something else was the problem.

andlauer
2008-09-17, 12:20
I gave mediamonkey a try. It looks like a serious alternative to iTunes. However, mediamonkey does not seem to manage my movies and video podcasts (not to mention iPhone applications and ringtones). So I'll stick with iTunes for now.

Furthermore, mediamonkey only runs on Windows. In other words it breaks you free from Apple, but binds you to Microsoft :(

Finally, it seems possible to drive a Squeezebox from mediamonkey. So mediamonkey is not only an alternative to iTunes, but also to SqueezeCenter, though a very primitive one. Too good to be true ;)

Regards,

JC

pski
2008-09-17, 16:37
I used itunes to load my CD's simply because I could set up a couple of machines and just feed them CD's. No other intervention.

Just set itunes to load/eject and turn-on "Use error correction when reading audio cd's"

What would be the advantage of having SC convert to WAV rather than FLAC? Just wondering..

Phil Leigh
2008-09-18, 04:53
What would be the advantage of having SC convert to WAV rather than FLAC? Just wondering..
Some people (not me) think that the playback quality is better, because of the reduced workload on the player CPU not causing noise issues.

There is intense debate (and no hard evidence AFAIK).

blessingx
2008-09-18, 07:28
If you're anal about the ripping the safest way is probably using Exact Audio Copy. iTunes will not give you bit-perfect rips even thou the difference would not be audible. iTunes will usually give you bit-perfect rips and EAC won't always. I have trouble understanding this iTunes bias (as someone who used to keep a PC around solely for EAC). The hardware is at least as important as the software and iTunes is fine in most cases and in severely damaged discs EAC may also have problems. All things equal EAC is superior, but all things are rarely equal. I'd certainly recommend EAC if Windows is used, but I wouldn't state iTunes will "not give you bit-perfect rips" as many tests on the web have quite definitely proven otherwise (and now years ago). The differences between to two apps over a variety of damaged disks is greatly over exaggerated. Seriously go to a public library (where discs are often extremely "used"), check out 20 discs and experiment. I think you'll find what I did over a series of machines. EAC does though have quite nice reporting.

If in the end you want to try an alternative ripper, closer to EAC but on OS X, give Max a shot - http://sbooth.org/Max/

As for the format question: as mentioned it basically comes down to which you'd less want to give up - greater Apple support or FF/RW on the Squeezeboxes. In the end I use ALAC because iTunes (on OS X) when coupled with the available Applescripts ( http://dougscripts.com/itunes/ ) is a wonder at handling tag information.

maggior
2008-09-18, 07:43
Seriously go to a public library (where discs are often extremely "used"), check out 20 discs and experiment. I think you'll find what I did over a series of machines. EAC does though have quite nice reporting.


I've actually done this. Yes, library discs can be quite "used" and will put the error correction in your ripping software and CD ROM drive to work.

As you point out, EAC's reporting is great and is what will keep me with EAC when it comes to ripping damaged discs.

The best thing about the report is that you can listen to the reported bad spots. Many times, an error will be reported, but even with headphones, it cannot be heard. If I can't hear it, then I save the ripped files. Otherwise, I'll try some other methods.