FLAC encoding questions

I have been using freerip and to make FLAC files for use latter when I go to VLC,Fubar etc.I have a small 39 minute CD that is 345 Mb.I had setting at 5 and rip of Flac only (just raw files no documentation or cue cards etc) and then tried 6 it came to 245MB.OK then I wen to max quality of 8 and it came up the same at 245MB.That does not make sense/What's going on and for stereo playback what level should I set it at (one person here mentioned a log time ago 5 gave him best sound for least space)/Last any tutorials on using Cuecards2000 which is what it seems every FLAC user uses.My German is not so good so any place to find out how to get it up for use with cues,index points,metadata etc which is what I assume CueCards does.
Thanks for any help or opinions.
I use Exact Audio Copy to rip lossless flac files. EAC will make bit perfect copies with a cue sheet and log. It uses the accurip database to verify your rip is perfect. The cue file is used to burn the files to a CDR. EAC is a free program. Why make lossy flac files when you can just make mp3 files. Flac was designed to be lossless.
Why make lossy flac files when you can just make mp3 files. Flac was designed to be lossless.

You can't make lossy files with flac. The flac format is lossless. The difference between the "levels" in flac is how much time the program spends trying to compress the data stream. Higher levels (usually) mean better compression although, as Chazz indicates, there probably will be a point of diminishing returns with most files. It also means that the rip will take longer but the file will still be lossless.

Yeah I am new to this.But it confuses me because I was wrong about what I had said before as the level 5 quality was also 245 MB so if they are same size then why different quality levels and one assumes amount of data being encoded.Have heard people recommend Dbpower amp and see some people with blogs use EAC which maybe the answer since like I said CueCards is a German program with no English help files.But I have seen so much reference to folks using FLAC and Freerip has just Wav,Flac,Vorbis and MP3.Lostbears I wonder though if EAC will sound as good as FLAC with highest level setting of 8 (and you have good point why have variable settings if it's supposed to be "lossless" but not as large as a WAV.Also Lostbears I am trying to keep it on the hard drive not make CD-R's if I was I would just make am mirror of the CD on Nero or the Cyberlink DVD solutions that came with computer (wish it had come with Nero!!!!But wish somebody could explain 1)why there are different level settings on FLAC 2)if I do use EAC how does it compare in size or quality FLAC.If I change to EAC and it is in MP3 format how can it sound better than MP3 at highest quality level.With a 1 TB of hard drive down to about $60 size does matter so much nut WAV is hard to tag and why use space if you can't hear difference between it and FLAC or other lossless (though I won't use Apple.Ticks me off that WMP and Itunes won't support the FLAC while many devices do).Then for road and portable 320 is fine.but need to find out what to do for Hi Fidelity "serving".Be bummer if I spent all the time ripping to FLAC and have to re-do it in EAC or anything else.Just time to convert it down (as you can I read just don't convert "up"in formats).Know this quite a bit of questions but need to thin CD's out (just don't have space) and need to know what's best,easiest and highest fidelity and where compromises should be made before I work on cuecards or delete all the FLAc and then realize i should have stayed with it.

EAC's claim to fame is it's ability to get information off of compromised CDs. Other than wavs, it is agnostic as far as formats are concerned. If I remember correctly (always a question at my age), I had to download and install lame before it would create mp3s. I know I had to install flac before it would create those. I can't comment on sound quality as I don't currently have a way to listen to ripped music directly on my main system and the desktop system doesn't have the resolution necessary for comparisons. I do think there's a Logitech Touch in my future though.

You can think of flac levels in the same way that there are different levels of compression available with zip programs. Even though you get varying amounts of compression depending on the zip compression method chosen, the resulting unzipped file is identical to the original - if it weren't zip compression would be useless. Higher levels in flac just mean that the program is more diligent in looking for bit sequences that can be compressed. The extra diligence means that it takes longer.

I have experimented with the single file flac encoding where a cue sheet is encoded in the file. Foobar 2000 seems to understand this format but I'm not sure about other programs. There also doesn't seem to be a way to embed album art in the compressed file. IMO what is really needed is a STANDARD format for encoding albums in one file including the album art, lyrics, comments, etc. This may be what the container formats I've heard about are for but I don't know enough about them yet and, obviously, none have caught on that well. And gapless playback is a biggie. There are few things more irritating than listening to Pink Floyd and having 2 second gaps stuck in the middle of songs meant to blend seamlessly.

Guess putting some time into it I found I could use freeware MP3tagger to change titles and it add's album info into matadata once you covert it.Disconcerting that you can't see it under the track title.But once put into VLC it displays album name as well as track.Also found that Fubar (and I assume VLC) can not only display track but also album info if entered and have album tagged up..Like I said wish it showed on track.But if these are the two players I am going to play it in then shouldn't be a problem and know I can add album data.Might still go with EAC (haven't checked DBPoweramp) to get cue logs etc.Also it verify's data integrity.Only downside I read about it is it can take 20-30 per CD since it checks for the data integrity and add's cues and file sheets.Thanks for input and then I had to just not be lazy and work it.Now to get used to display and see if I can get full album view in VLC they way I can in Fubar.Too bad Freerip or FLAC itself can't make it more like WMP or Itunes but hey it's too bad that these proprietary programs won't let you play and codec you wan since they want you to use their format.Nice thought that FLAC keeps you up to date on everything from MP3 players to wireless severs (Logitech Radio or the Duet etc) to all manner of DAC's and devices that support it's format.If I were and and Apple person still would be reluctant to use AIFF or whatever only because not every device I might run into can play it.For me it all reminds me of Groucho Marx saying to group" It's So easy a 12 year do can do it" and then whispering to Chico "Pssst!Go find me a 12 year old"