ExactAudioCopy ripping software



Hi - I'm little confused

Who can recommend which of ExactAudioCopy programs to buy, in order to rip my 1500 CD collection.(bought a Sonos system with a 500 gig HD)
I want to extract the maximum information.

Been to their website, but they have too many products to choose from - please advise.

Plus once I have selected the right one - are their any recommendations regarding the process you might adise?

Thanks
saffy
Go here http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/...click on download at the left side of the page...it's free BTW

Dave
About how many megs are there on the average CD? I'm trying to figure out if I can save a few dozen of my favorites on my notebook's not too large hard drive.
600 MB or so for a single uncompressed CD (WAV or AIFF format), and about half that if you use a lossless compression scheme such as FLAC, WMA Lossless or Apple Lossless.
There is only one Exact Audio Copy and it is free. All of those other programs you see are advertisements from others selling other programs. Sogood is correct that you need to click the download link on the left then scroll to the bottom of that page for the download.

Google around and do some research on setting it up properly or you may end up with rips other than what you intended.

500 gig won't hold 1,500 Cds without compression and then it will be close. With lossless compression you could do it but you'll need 600-700 meg without. Don't forget you need a second drive for backing up as you go. EAC is slow so you'll be lucky to get 5 an hour ripped. That means 300 hours (over 3 months at 3 hours a day) to rip 1500 CDs and you don't want to get done and lose it all because your drive crashed.

Wav files are 10 meg a minute so about 450 Meg for a 45 minute CD. As far as "average" goes it depends on what kind of music you mainly have. A lot of rock and pop Cds come in well under 40 minutes and many classical are closer to 70. I'm using Apple Lossless and the average CD is about 300 Meg.
Thanks everyone

What is the difference between Compressed Lossless and Uncompressed lossless - reproduction/quality wise??

Although this a second system, one day it could be my first (only if this technology ever evolves to an audiophile level).

So nows the time to choose wisely - I think, as I'd rather rip these CDs just the one time...

I'm prepared to get a larger capacity HD - if it's justified.

Saffy
Compressed lossless means when it is played back that it reconstructs the original data perfectly so they are effectively the same, but compressed takes up less space.

That part of the equation is audiophile quality, and since you can feed that same data to any DAC on the market via a USD to spdif converter or directly from a computer to an audiophile USB DAC, that is also beyond reproach.

The weak link is getting from the compressed file on the computer to the DAC. If you are close (25 feet or so) enough to use a USB cable you are good to go via one of the methods above, but if you aren't or want to go wireless then you have a problem.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the only wireless solutions (Apple Airport, Squeezeboz, Sonos etc.) use their own DACs and I don't think they are considered audiophile quality. I would love to hear if I am wrong about this.

The problem today is that all USB audio is Isosynchronous and there are no wireless USB transmitters that handle it, they can only handle asynchronous. I traded some emails with Silex about http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=317840&pfp=SEARCH and they told me that they hope to have isosynchronous USB device servers later this year. That would be the last piece to the puzzle..
Apple Airport Express and Slim Devices Squeezebox both have analog and digital outputs so the results depend on how you use them. I can't speak for quality of the Airport digital out, but the Squeezebox SPDIF output quality is excellent, and improved even further with some simple modifications. Using the digital output, the sound is pretty much determined entirely by the quality of external DAC you choose to use.
Thanks for the correction Kjg. At present I'm using a USB DAC so I'm tethered to my computer but I'm going to look into the Squeezebox. Do you have more info/links on the modifications?

Hi Herman - are you saying that I will have a quality problem if go with both compressed and wireless ?

Because thats what im planning: using the Sonos wireless with a high quality DAC and Amp. etc.(once Sonos finally provides for a DAC bypass).

Please advise
It looks like the Sonos ZP-80 player has digital outputs so I don’t see why it would compromise the quality when fed to a good DAC. It isn’t clear from their literature what the output format is and I am no expert on these products, but if it works like the Squeezebox then it should be just fine.

Don’t take me as the final word on all of this. I’ve researched this stuff quite a bit but I’m still learning. I’m not saying it was a bad choice but I'm curious why you chose the Sonos over a Squeezebox? They look about the same to me and the Squeezebox is a bit cheaper. I would start googling both players and they both have user forums on their sites which have a lot of info.

I’m curious when you say you bought a Sonos system with a 500 gig drive. It looks to me that none of the Sonos systems have storage, they just get the data from your computer.
Herman, you state:
Compressed lossless means when it is played back that it reconstructs the original data perfectly so they are effectively the same, but compressed takes up less space.
This sounds very nice in theory, but does it work in actuality? Will I hear a "loss" of musical information? Isn't there some sort of loss in any compression/expansion scheme?
Isn't there some sort of loss in any compression/expansion scheme?

I don't think so. You can take a digital file like a picture or a music file or a spreadsheet or a Word document or whatever and compress it using a any of a wide variety of programs (like Zip) and when it is reconstructed it is exactly the same as the original file. Where is the loss?
Hi
I bought the 500 Gg HD separately,Sonos does not provide.
Sonos (current models)force you to their crappy DAC - giving only outputs for amp.
What I liked about Sonos over Sqeezebox is the incredible LCD remote.
What extra advantage does the SX-5000U2 USB Device Server that you recommended provide?

Does anyone else have an opinion of compressed VS uncompressed?
Thanks
Fatparrot: There is no loss when decoding an encrypted FLAC, Apple Lossless, or WMA lossless file. I'm sure there is some way to prove this mathematically, but empirically folks have encoded literally millions of music files in these formats and there has been no published instance that I know of where a file did not decode correctly when the software worked properly. That is certainly enough experimental evidence for me to believe the lossless claims.

Some folks claim to have heard differences between FLAC encoded and WAV (unencoded) files on some systems, but given the subjective nature of audio it's hard to know if this is a real or imagined difference. There is some thought that the processing required for decoding may effect the overall audio chain and introduce some difference if it sufficiently taxes the system, but all of the algorithms I mentioned require very little processing to decode. On a PC or Mac where computing power is in abundance, it's not likely that there would be any effect. On a Squeezebox or Airport Express unit where the processor is significantly smaller there may be a possibility, although it's hard to imagine how it might occur. I have a Squeezebox and have it set up to decode my FLAC files on the PC first and then stream PCM (WAV), and I hear no difference between the FLAC files and the original WAV files from the CD.

Note that none of the things I mentioned are due to incorrect decoding of the files. Lossless means just that and the only difference between an encoded file and the original WAV (or AIFF) image is size and the ability to store tags information.
Saffy, I looked at the Sonos website and it says their players do provide a digital output and that they can handle all manner of files. Perhaps you have an older model?

My opinion is that a USB DAC is the way to go. One of the weak links in digital playback has been the jitter introduced by the spdif interface and cables. USB supposedly takes care of this or at least greatly reduces it. The problem for now is that it can't go wireless. The USB device server I talked about has zero advantages because as I stated in the previous post it isn't compatible with USB DACs. Silex was telling me they hope to have a wireless server that can handle USB DACs very soon.
Herman: There are a number of folks providing mods for the Squeezebox 2 and 3 but the two I hear about most are by Boulder Cable and Red Wine Audio. Both of them have internal modifications for both the digital and analog outputs, plus an enhanced external power supply which is reputed to make a significant difference. Many folks have reported improvements by simply swapping out the stock switching PSU with an inexpensive linear one. If your interested in details, you might want to take a look at the Slim Devices audiophile forums. There have been many discussions about the various mods and their effects.
Hi
If I rip FLAC - can I convert those same FLAC files to WAV at a later date?

Also how important is the gapless setting when ripping?

Thanks
In short yes...you can use the Flac frontend to reconvert to WAV.
I've rip about a 100 cd's using the ExactAudioCopy utility and I rip them as uncompressed WAV files. I didn't want to compromise the music quality. However, having read this thread, I'm wondering if there's a way to convert my uncompressed WAV files to a encoded lossless format.

If so, can someone advise on how and with what may be the best way; thanks.

Gerald
I've rip about a 100 cd's using the ExactAudioCopy utility and I rip them as uncompressed WAV files. I didn't want to compromise the music quality. However, having read this thread, I'm wondering if there's a way to convert my uncompressed WAV files to a encoded lossless format.

If so, can someone advise on how and with what may be the best way; thanks.

Yes, use the flac front end. Load your wav files in it, many at a time if needed, pick a destination folder, then hit "encode". Flac front end available here
flac front end
You need the flac codec too
Flac site
And remember to copy flac.exe into your Windows folder or elsewhere in your Path or playback might not work.
I actually keep mine in Apple Lossless format, and get about 2:1 compression. I use a little thing called iTunesEncode, which calls iTunes from EAC to rip. I thought about FLAC, but I figured it was safer to use Apple Lossless in terms of Apple's dominance of the market.

The other nice thing about using FLAC/ALAC to keep your tunes is that both formats support tagging.

BTW, have y'all seen the new $2K slimdevice box? Looks sweet, although the price tag is ugly--word clock sync, AES/EBU digital outputs...
FWIW, I just went to a Squeezebox 3 to a Sonos setup, both using the digital outs to my pre/pro. I use EAC to rip to FLAC.

No sound quality differences that I can detect, and having the Sonos controller is VERY convenient.