Just use Exact Audio Copy (EAC) on windows, XLD or Max on Mac. There is built in error correction options with them that will verify the ripping.
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Use EAC in test and copy mode and create a cue file. Check the log to make sure there were no errors and to see if the tracks match the Accurip database. If the rip matches the Accurip database then you know it is bit perfect. I always make an sfv of the wav files before I convert them to flac.
You can also use EAC to burn disc using the cue file. You can play with the burn speed. I prefer to burn disc at a slow speed. Use a good quality disc made in Japan such as Taiyo Yuden. If the package says made in Japan it is a good quality disc.
I have found that a CDR only burner makes a better sounding disc then a DVD burner. I don't know if you can still find CDR only burners though. I like to use a drive in an external case with a good quality USB cable. I personally use a Plextor Premium in an external case that is sitting on sorbothane feet. The less errors the less error correction that is needed.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need more help.
Thanks guys, I'll show my further ignorance by continued replies/questions.
I've looked up EAC on the internet and dl'ed a copy, what about the "jitter" associated with my CD drive? Is the "timing" correct etc? Does the EAC "fix" any problems in the reading of the CD (and subsequent burning)?
I buy all my CD's and back them up to the HD.
I'm assuming that your answers indicate that using Nero or Roxio to rip a CD to the hard drive (FLAC or WAV) is not as accurate as EAC. Correct?
My brother has a CD duplicator to back up his CD's is that a better route?
In the past, as a backup method (kind-of like recording albums and then only playing the albums on "special occasions"), I've ripped CD's to the HD as WAV files and then burned those files to CD. Any problems with that approach?
Thanks again! I'm learning, but I'm slow, old, and love music.
Since there's no such thing as a dumb question let me ask, why do you need to back up your cds?
I understand backing up a hard drive because the ripping process is such a pain, but making copies of your cds on a hard drive and then making cdrs? It may be cheaper to buy an extra copy (used) of the cds you consider valuable. It would definitely be less time consuming.
Maybe I am making it sound overly complicated. It is really not. Nero or Roxio will not give you an accurate rip. There are other programs that will give you an accurate rip but EAC is probably the most popular. There is a database of signatures for most CDs. It is called the Accurip database. EAC will automatically check your rip against this database. If your rip matches in the database then you can be pretty sure it is a proper rip.
EAC will give you a better rip than any disc copy machine. If EAC finds an error on a disc. It will reread that section over and over as many times as necessary to try and resolve the error. An "on the fly" rip can not do this. There can occasionally be timing errors but not often. If there is a timing error EAC will let you know. You can then try to rerip that track. That is why it is always good to check the log and see if there were errors and if the tracks match the database.
Ripping is black and white, either the rip is accurate or it is not. It does not matter what type of drive you use to rip the disc. If the disc matches other discs in the database than you can be pretty sure it is accurate. The more discs it matches the better. Accurip will tell you how many matches there are. I use EAC and rip to wav files. I then create an sfv checksum for the wav files. I then convert the wav files to flac and store them on my hard drive. Unless you have a good rip to start with, you can't make a good copy.
I've found that CD's are neither indestructable nor unscratchable. Ripping them to the HD seems like a good way to prevent the problem of destructed CD's or lost ones. As far as I'm concerned making backup CD's is a pretty painless and thoughtless process and a reasonable thing to do (uh I'm ADD and lose stuff).
Cheaper? Nope. The original CD's are almost always more costly than a burned CD. Any current CD is more costly to buy twice than a purchase of said CD and then a backup of the same one.
Second consideration: I buy the entire CD's to pay the artist for the work; often I purchase those CD's even when I like only a few songs. I then burn CD's as a compilation of various CD's of my lawfully purchased CD collection to create CD's for a "mood" or just because I want to. So I'd still like to be able to rip the CD's flawlessly and burn them flawlessly.
Hey, just color me "anal", but aren't most of us audiophiles anal?
So your questions are, for my purposes, not very helpful. I've asked how to accomplish a task, you've asked "why do you want to do that task?" (should we add the unspoken name associated with the question? - - "Why do you want to do that you *******?"). Naahh lets not do that.
I don't really want to justify why I might want to accomplish the task of ripping CD's to the HD flawlessly - I just want to accomplish my task in the best way possible. If you'd like to offer solutions then I'm all for that, but if you want to say "Why would you want to do a fool thing like that?" then I'm not in for the exchange.
Any folks out there who want to help I'm still up for listening.
Thanks again. Lostbears and 4est.
No offense intended I assure you. I was just curious.
As for ripping off artists, I too always purchase music legally, have never downloaded any music. It's just that ripping cds to a hard drive is a pain. I know because I am swapping cds in and out of my Mac Mini as I type this. Still though if I wanted a second copy of Sting's Nothing Like The Sun, the cd I that just popped out, I'd go to Amazon and buy it used for $3 including shipping.
Now to your question. After months of researching computer audio, how to get the best bang for the $$, this is my solution. I store my files on a Western Digital hard drive ripped through the Mac Mini. The files are AIFF ripped via itunes with error correction on. My understanding is these are perfect bit for bit copies. I use an ipod touch for remote control of itunes and play them back via a toslink cable to a PS Audio Digital LinkIII dac. As for quality, I hear no difference between the original and the digital copy although I haven't really compared critically yet. Good luck whichever way you decide.
just for fun, take a couple of the discs folders of AIFF files and convert them to flac. Then compare them to the Accurip database. I don't know if there is a program for the Mac that will do this. There are a number of free programs such as CUETools that will do this on a PC. Flac is a lossless archive so if the rip is accurate it will match.
Timrhu - Itunes doesn't rip bit perfect even with error correction on. Some of my CDs have bad scratches and MAX with "do not allow to skip" option refuses to rip them (rip gets stuck and never ends) while Itunes have no problem with it.
All CD players apply error correction (up to 3500 bits = 2.4mm along the track). The problem is when loss of data is beyond correction. When it happens CDP has to interpolate to avoid pops and clicks (part of Cross Interleaved Reed Solomon error correction code) because it operates in real time (most of CDP) and cannot go back to read faulty sector again (Interpolates up to 12000 bits = 8.5mm along the track). I assume that scratches longer than 8.5mm along the track will result in pops.
This will make computer copy perhaps better than original since computer drive under control of program like MAX or EAC will keep going back to the same sector until it gets proper checksum (the way computer would read data CD). In MAX you can even set number of iterations allowed.
I store files in ALAC on my server since it is Apple native but perhaps more common is FLAC. Either way it is lossless and saves on average 50% of disk space.
I don't hear any difference between original and copy either - no matter how extracted. It is possible that my ears are less than perfect (most likely!) but also amount of missing (interpolated) data might be either small or concealed really well. I just use bit perfect (MAX) method to do things by the book (best I can). Knowing that I stored perfect Master of recording and not the copy is important otherwise copy of the copy will follow.
All this is basically about two different ways of reading CD - as a music CD or as a computer data CD. Data CD has to be read bit perfect or computer programs would not work.
Timrhu - Itunes doesn't rip bit perfect even with error correction on. Some of my CDs have bad scratches and MAX with "do not allow to skip" option refuses to rip them (rip gets stuck and never ends) while Itunes have no problem with it.I have experienced this with two of the cds I was importing. I had to power fail the Mac to stop the loop.
I don't hear any difference between original and copy either - no matter how extracted. It is possible that my ears are less than perfect (most likely!) but also amount of missing (interpolated) data might be either small or concealed really well.I'm in the same boat with the hearing. Don't hear a difference but then again I don't care to sit and compare. Not my thang.
I just use bit perfect (MAX) method to do things by the book (best I can). Knowing that I stored perfect Master of recording and not the copy is important otherwise copy of the copy will follow.Of course you know you're making this more complicated. I will look into your method and if I can figure it out, give it a try. My intention with the pc audio was to find a simple, hassle-free method to listen to music. No more hunting through the shelves of cds to find something to listen to; maybe just select "shuffle" and see what pops up, I like this on my ipod.
Nab2, did you try it after reading this thread? I downloaded it Sunday and gave it a whirl. The only issue I had was when saving the files to itunes it put them in a folder called "Unkown artist." Even though all of the cd information was imported from freedb, the only information that went to itunes was the song title.
How did you get the other info transferred?