File format, software and settings?

I want to rip my CD collection using the best software and settings to the best sounding, most versatile and future proof format. Advice please.
Software: Db Poweramp or Exact Audio Copy (EAC)Save as a .wav file or second choice save as a .FLAC file.

For management of those files I prefer Media Center 17 (with Jplay memory player add-on) and as a second place I would go with Media Monkey or Foobar 2000. All of these will work with Windows based PCs. I don't do iTunes.
Waste of time. Stick with the cd's themselves for play back, or get one on Sony's 300 disc players. As for 'future proof', it will never happen. It is just a marketing tool. Who knows what the future will bring.
Waste of time.

Speaking of time, I'm temporarily back to a CDP, while my DAC is being serviced, and I'd forgotten what a PITA it can be: searching for discs, changing discs, etc., with the work increasing proportionally if you are the type who likes to bounce around between cuts/discs. I'm guessing that for many people, the ripping time would mostly be made up in by the time saved in listening sessions.

Lots of good advice around here, and also at For MAC, PureMusic is a good value playback augment to iTunes.

Good luck,

"Waste of time"

Right - walk over to your bud's house with your CD colleciton for a little ripping session right?

OK, how 'bout putting all those CD's in a big box in your car and find one while you're driving along, then taking it out of the case, inserting one, while putting the other back in it's case- no distraction right?

Well, OK, maybe you just take that whole CD collection on the plane with you when you'd like to enjoy your collection away from home. Hmmm, nothing like some overweight baggae.

Waste of time. Right.
Mike, definitely not a waste of time. I cut my 2000 CD collection over about 3 months using DB Poweramp which I bought for @$35, but also tried EAC. Both work well, but I find DB saved me time using my Window 7/Quad Core machine in the long run. I used the lossless MPEG4, but FLAC or WAV work too. I find it easier to modify the tags as MPEG4's for me personally and I feed 4 Squeezebox Touchs feeding external DAC's in each room in my house wirelessly. Not optimum in some peoples opinions, but it works for us.

I find it works very well for my wife/I and I no longer use my CDP at all, since I can reference any album/track anytime using a remote, which has gotten us to listen to many tracks I had forgotten over the years. It also makes everything much easier for my wife, who's not really into get CD's out of jewel cases all the time. I can also synch all 4 SB's if we're entertaining so every room plays the same tracks.

Many people on here like Apple stuff too. I don't think there's so much a right/wrong as what works for you in your situation. I use a pair of 2TB Western Digital Caviar drives so I have 2 copies of my library just in case fungu happens since it took me a while to convert redbook CDs to files. I cut about 100-200 a night whilst listening at night until I got it done. I find I now play in random track mode most of the time, although I still pull up albums in my dedicated audio room when I'm audiophiling(is that a thing?) late at night.

Good luck and happy listening....

I have no intention of giving up playing CDs. I want to start dabbling in PC audio using my CD players' DAC, as an alternative source at times. Starting point is ripping the CDs in the best way. I would also like to make a lower resolution version at the same time for an mp3 player for using when I travel.
I use Apple products and rip to AIFF for use with iTunes and the various players that interface with the iTunes library. AIFF, unlike WAV, has good metadata support and i'm also using it for archive copies. I've also converted my library to FLAC (with no compression) for future-proofing and for use with players NOT interfacing with iTunes. The transcoding is simple with apps like Max or XLD and can be batch converted. FLAC has great metadata support also. For my iDevices I use mp3's converted from AIFF.
I use dbPoweramp to rip CD's to iTunes Apple Lossless format. You can set up dbPoweramp to file your ripped music right into iTunes. This way, you have the music available for iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. There is a certain level of snobbery among certain audiophiles about iTunes and ALAC, but I have listened to the various formats and cannot hear any difference significant enough (if at all) to surrender the ease and convenience of iTunes. And its free.

Good luck.


Use dbpoweramp for PC or XLD for Mac:

(no advertising)

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
For PC DB Poweramp is the easiest most complete ripper, although Exact Audio copy works very well and to my ears sounds as good and is free... Data tagging is much better with DB poweramp... Also, Steve, I recommend that you once again try Foobar 2000 with the latest stable version 1.1.13 it is a huge step forward from the version listed on your site, I have also used DB Poweramp to convert all of my Flac files to WAV. This was an audible improvement.
Timlub - have you tried JRiver with Jplay? How about XXhighend?

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Hi Steve,
I have tried JRiver... a year ago, no jplay. I tried Media Monkey, didn't like it. I have tried JPlay w/foobar 2000. At first I thought Jplay was a miracle, very nice improvement... I got rid of anti virus, I increased ram, I made all my computer settings for the highest performance settings going for Foobar 2000, went into Foobar advanced settings and changed the buffer to handle larger files (I've read this causes files smaller than your buffer settings to play from ram), I deleted a bunch of programs not used and turned off everything that I could... NOW Jplay just didn't matter.... Recently I downloaded Windows 8 and there was yet more improvement. I haven't tried XXHighend. Thanks for responding, Tim
Looks like DBpoweramp and .WAV. Any special settings to get the best results? Can I rip a smaller file at the same time for use on an ipod? What format should I use for that? Initially I will stream wirelessly from a laptop through my Pioneer N50 to my Esoteric DAC, controlled via smartphone app. I am sure that I can get better sound direct to my DAC via usb later. Excuse my extreme ignorance but what do I need Jriver with Jplay for?
Timlub - did you try Jriver with Kernel Streaming or Wasapi?

I think probably XXHighend might be the best one out there for PC now based on feedbacks.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
"what do I need Jriver with Jplay for?"

To achieve good playback quality on a PC. WMP will not cut it. You could also try Foobar2000 or XXhighend.

dbpoweramp should rip to .wav format, and use Accurate Rip on the web for verification.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Hi Steve, used direct, Kernel Streaming and Wasapi..
KS & Wasapi were both better than direct... these things are so close, I had to listen long and hard to finally figure what the differences were in my system. KS was more absolute (maybe analytical is the right word) Wasapi had equal detail, but had more of a flowing feel to it. Depending on the music I might like one over the other, but quite frankly, it took so long to realize just what I was hearing with the differences that I'd be happy either way. I will look into XXHighend. As alway, I appreciate your advice. Tim
Timlub - are you using an active preamp in your system? If so, this will reduce or mask many of these performance gains IME.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Coda CL, yes it is active, adjustable gain, I have it all the way down
Any preamp will do it. Replace it with a transformer line-stage or buffer if you want to improve things significantly.

BTW, I use Coda amps in my HT setup.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I am a little dissappointed that there isn't really a definitive answer to the best way to rip CD's, as asked by the OP. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading the opinions posted so far, but it seems that we don't have a concensus on what is best. Shouldn't we at least know the answer to this seemingly simple question?
I tried Dbpoweramp with accurate rip to wav and a CD took maybe 30min to rip. Is that normal? At that rate it will take me over 2 months of 8 hour days to do it.
Tried streaming wirelessly from the laptop through the N50 to the Esoteric via optical, and controlled by a smart phone app, and it all worked and sounded surprisingly really good, but not quite as good as direct CD. I assume this is because it is not asynchronous and assume I cant get that without using usb to the DAC. That aside, would Jriver and Jplay work in this set up and would it improve the sound? Is it the windows software on the laptop or software in the N50 controlling the sound? As you can see, I am a really a learner driver here.
Mike, Check your software settings on the Db Poweramp. I use it and it only takes 8-10 min per cd in .wav format uncompressed. 55 minute cd avg play time.

(I am using a Toshiba laptop from 2007 running Win Vista Home Premium. AMD turion 64 X2 4G ram.) Minimal processes running. Hope this helps.
What settings should I check?
Mike, When you use network (wireless or not) music is delivered in packets without timing and timing is recreated by network device. Computer type or speed, amount of memory, program used for playback, type of hard disk, storage format etc. don't matter since they affect only jitter and timing was not supplied (unless playback program processes data, like upsampling). That's the beauty of it. Sometimes S/Pdif clock recreated on receiver side (N50) is less than perfect (jittery) and requires extra reclocker (or asynchronous upsampling DAC that does reclocking like my Benchmark DAC1) but at least you can forget all computer problems including noise (that tends to couple with direct connection or close proximity).
Kijanki, that is a very helpful answer. I did not want to link my laptop directly to the Esoteric USB yet because I dont easily have the space or the right noise free laptop yet, and I like to keep my CD-Amp-Speaker chain as pure and simple as possible with no extra equipment/links to add noise. When I play CDs, no other equipment is connected or powered. I bought the N50 as an internet radio and linked it to the Esoteric K01's DAC via optical thinking it maintains the purity of my chain as best I can while listening to radio. (N50 is a great internet radio btw). My idea to start out in PC audio was to get my CDs onto my laptop or back up drive in the best way and best file format, and stream wirelessly via the N50 and the optical connection isolates the N50 as much as possible from the Esoteric. Since the data is sent to the Esoteric via optical, I assume the N50 clock is used and it is not re-clocked by the Esoteric. Any way to force the Esoteric to do the clocking? I really want to use use N50 as a wireless conduit and the Esoteric do the work. Perhaps at some time in the future I need to buy a different device to do this that can feed the Esoteric USB? I think right now the only pitfall for me is if I spend hundreds of hours ripping my CDs in the wrong way so would appreciate any comments on that too.
I ripped my second and third CDs and it now takes about 4 mins. It did not come up with the accurate rip window. Does this sound about the right amount of time? Went back and ripped the first one again and it was also fast. How do I check it is using accuraterip?
If the cd is in accurate rip it will show at the bottom of the rip display window and there will be a number that shows how many times it has been submitted. Try burning a well known title and I am sure you will get a reading like "CD in Accurate Rip (25)". It does not have a special window. Look at the last line below your ripped song titles.

Hope this is more clear. 4min is great!
Thanks Tom, it did help
I didn't see it responded to as such about the time it takes to rip a cd... Even though I have DBPoweramp, I have always used EAC, Just very comfortable with it, so still use it with Accurip... I didn't see it addressed, but the time that it takes to burn is in direct correlation with the condition of the cd. I have had problems with several errors and EAC/Accurip will re read a problem area several thousand times until it gets the info, I have had a few damaged cd's that I wanted to save where it took all night to burn a copy. On average, EAC/Accurip burns on my notebook at 2.5 to 4x normal play back speed. So a 40 minute cd will burn in 10 to 15 minutes. I have heard DBPoweramp is quicker, but so far, I have only used it for file conversion... Flac to Wav, etc. I hope this info helps, Tim