FLAC Solution

What is the best FLAC solution for quality and reliability?

Ripping Software? EAC?
Playback Software? dBPowerAmp?
Hardware Interface? Sonos?
Software Interface? Sonos?

Trying to design a high quality solution. I want to stay away from UPnP if possible. I need it to be stable and reliable.

rip dbpoweramp, playback Jriver media center
I second Poweramp. Good solution and has very good error correction and database for song/art
Yep, dbPoweramp & JRiver Media Center.

Poweramp is not only a good ripper, but it's great as a batch codec to codec converter.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.... ;)
I have 900+ CD all stored on a RAID. I use this as a server to feed my Duet. All the files are WAV lossless. If i use the dbPoweramp to convert to FLAC, will there be any difference? or do i need to re-rip?
EAC is free and dBPowerAmp is not. There is nothing (better) than EAC. That said, if dBPowerAmp is just (as) "good" as EAC and if it is faster, then that solution may be worth paying for. EAC is somewhat slow.
I stuck with EAC for a long time because it is supposed to the 'the best'.

After trying dBPoweramp, I wish I had done it much sooner. Sounds the same to me, and it is much much easier to get the metadata right. It uses several sources and compares information. Worth the $ for the time saved scrutinizing the frequently incorrect freedb info. Puts the cover art in for you too.

Second serious time saver was picking up an old Samsung IDE DVD-ROM to rip with.

I went with a Squeezebox Duet for playback because I preferred the Duet controller over the Sonos and I only have one zone. I havent looked into the Sony or Yamaha systems, or used an Ipod touch to control Squeezebox or Sonos.... There are so many options now it would make for a very long post.

Lcouplin; Use an external drive periodically updated in addition to RAID. If your data gets corrupted your RAID will have two copies of bad data, or no data if a power surge takes out your whole machine. I have RAID and two external drives that are disconnected unless backing up.

To answer your question; the FLAC should be identical with conversion vs. straight rip to FLAC. Do a couple test rips and converts and compare files and how it sounds.
I primarily bought dbPamp to use as a converter to do FLAC to mp3. But have also used it to do WAV to MP3.

If ripped to FLAC up and down conversions, are a breeze with dbA.

And I recently used an add on to take album art from a .jpg file in each FLAC folder to the tag info in each file. This was done in a batch of over 10,000 files - very handy!

I keep my master FLAC files on several HD's, one of which is at a different location. HD's are cheep & re-ripping time is valuable.
WAV to FLAC & even vice versa will be bit perfect. On very highly resolved systems, differences may be heard (I haven't experienced this), but any differences may be attributed to the PC & its resource use to convert on the fly during the playback process, not on the lack of the information being present!

If tagging data is important, rip to FLAC & not WAV's. Most Tag data can't be recreated in the process of converting from WAV to FLAC or any other