i consider eac the best for "ripping", but as far as burning, you will get a huge number of opinions. the reason for this is because the DAE (digital audio extraction) is a much more complicated process to get right than the actual burning. burning has been nailed down pretty good and is a relatively simple process, so any of the freeware out there does a fine job.
i prefer feurio (free). it allows for overburning, user defined pauses between tracks, and has a great playback mode for running through the compilation quickly to make sure everything is ok and ready to burn. oh yeah, there is also a track editor should you want to add fade ins and outs if you desire. its also very easy to use.
as for mp3, i wouldn't go near them. they sound terrible even on a crappy car stereo. there are millions of programs out there that convert mp3 > wav, but the product will only sound as good as the original mp3 file. once mp3 drops those bits during compression, there is no getting them back.
if you need to compress some audio, use shn or flac. they are both freeware and LOSSLESS, unlike mp3.
i've tested them (with wav comparison software) and they do produce exact clones of the original file.
Hard Drive is the solution of the future. I see all of this stuff converging
at some point. Music, home theatre, computer, wi-fi. In fact, it has already begun to converge. It is taking some time to get it right, but we
are quantum leaps closer than just a few years ago.
thank you ketchup :) :) maybe i'll grab some freebies programs/trials and have a listen off.
mp3's while yeah i know it's just athat i won a plyer very cheaply on ebay. and since my portable cd player died figured i'd try...
i have some prog on comp called/listed 'flac front end' but i haven't really tried it. i just needed it to decode a file.i haven't tried any encoding.nor tested with any wave vs. comparsion myself.but all i've read about it has been glowing and you agree it's good so maybe flac is another bandwagon i should get on. :)
feurio. ah, those germans. :)
'mp3's they sound terrible even on a crappy car radio' let's but that the box of the next round of dvd's,portable etc. ha ha. :)
mp3's if the person encoded with lame of that fraunhofer(sp?) codec ther's a chance you may get something good/decent but aside from that...well most people don't care how something sounds.just as long as htere's sound..
i've used feurio(1.66) and it soooo much better sounding than nero(5.whatever that's also still on my comp) so i guess evry burn engine has something ah 'diffrent' up it's sleeve.so....
thanks for your words/kindness ketchup.thank you... :)
rsbeck.wi-fi darn i'm behind. yeah i've heard that term but i'm broke so i never read the articles. yikes. ha.....
yep hard drives. :) and i need a new one too.
thanks for your reply rsbeck! :)
You're welcome. Also, since Hard Drives are being made with higher capacities, there's no reason to rip CD's to your Hard Drive using a
compression or data reduction codec. Rip them to your hard drive uncompressed -- you can get an external hard drive, load your entire CD collection on it, uncompressed, and play it with your computer. Wi-fi just means "WIRELESS." You can put all your music on one computer, form a wireless network with other computers in the house and share the music, play it through your stereo, transfer it to a hand held device like an i-pod, plug the i-pod into your car stereo, etc. I find that a hard drive makes an excellent transport and if you rip a cd uncompressed it sounds awfully good on playback. Having said all that, if you simply have to compress your music, then use the highest sample size available, like 320 kbps. The less compression the better. The highest quality is no
compression, which is what I recommend.
Until I can find a nice, quiet, NAS RAID 10 or 0+1 set up with 1TB (guess I need 4 500MB drives) of storage for a decent price, I'm stuck with mp3s instead of wavs and a backing up my files on a separate hard drive. Because my mp3 "server" is on all the time, backing up is critical. It took me over a year to rip about 1K CDs, and I really don't want to do it again... I've already had one external backup drive die a nasty death. So, I'd urge you to think a bit about the back up costs relative to your time investment.
I'd also disagree on just using the highest sample rate. I use variable bit rate coding with the "-alt preset extreme" setting. I get about 10:1 compression and it sounds, to my ear, better than the results with constant bit rate encoding with files of the same size.
While I love Wi-Fi, make sure you go 802.11a or 11g and see how it performs in your house--from what I gather, 802.11b data rates in the real world (the one with walls and floors) may not support transfer of wav files on a real time basis.
I picked up an external USB2.0 200GB hard drive for about $125 (after rebates - hate them) and am in the process of ripping my CD's to it using Windows media player lossless compression. It uses varaible bit rate and shrinks files about 30%; not a lot but I want to get between 600-800 CD's on this drive. I looked into Network Attached Storage (NAS), but unless your willing to spend big bucks, your going to need a driver on your PC to access it. In addition, devices such as audiotron, Integra net-tunes will not be able to access it.
As far as audio quality of lossless compression goes, I did a blind listening test on my computer rig (B&W leisure monitors, B&W sub, Monarchy SM70 class a amp, M-audio revolution SB) and was able to tell the difference 23 out of 24 times. I actually prefered the WMA version because my office is a little "hot" (lots of drywall, Hardwood floors, huge 3' x 8' desk - I like to spread out). The WMA version had a slight softening of the "attack" of notes; kind of a "tube" sound (There I said it - don't burn me at the stake). It's good enough to listen to on the computer rig, and it's soooo convienient to have all those CD's just a click away.
If you want to do WiFi go with 802.11G; the range of "B" with the throughput of "A".
I have to agree that this is the future of audio and video. You will download your movies and music and store it on an HD or in RAM. All your media will sync up using wifi so it will be available in your car, on the portable, as well as throughout the house. BTW, Omnifi.com has a HD that attaches to your cars headunit, like a CD changer, and syncs with your computer using wifi. So as your car is sitting in the garage at night, it's downloading all your music. Cool! Two small problems: 20GB HD and only supports MP3 and WMA up to 320K. When they come out with the a version with at least 100GB and that supports uncompressed and WMA lossless compression I'll be the first to order one.
Why wouldn't an audiotron be able to access an NAS box?
I was looking at the Ximeta netdisk which requires a driver to use on a pc. The driver would have to be intergrated into the audiotron firmware in order for it to see it (right off the Turtle Beach webpage-forums/networking). More expensive NAS is accessed through a standard IP address. Thats why I said that you needed to spend more money in my original post. Triton makes a 120GB NAS that uses IP that retails for $399.00. Linksys makes a 120GB NAS that retails for $800.00 and the prices go through the roof from there. For $800 I can build a XPC or mini-itx PC with a big HD and stick it in a closet and just leave it on all the time. I was looking to spend as little as possible because this was just going to be an interm solution. In a year or two they will have larger/cheaper HD's and cheaper versions of the escient and request.com servers. When I can pick up a server with a built in CDRW, 400-500GB HD that supports lossless compression as well as wav/pcm in the $1500 range then I'm there.
BTW-netgear is coming out with a device that turns a USB2.0 external HD into NAS with an IP address. Should be available this summerfor around $99.00.
Alpine is coming out with a car stereo that will interface with your i-pod,
take over it's functions and keep it charged. For me, that's a better solution than some of the others like Sony and Omnify. Sony and Omnify
make Hard Drive units that are dedicated to the car. The i-pod interface means you can plug your i-pod into your home stereo, your car stereo,
take it to the beach, etc. To me, that's the Holy Grail.
Also, when ripping CD's to a hard drive using Apple's AAC at 320 kbps,
one CD took up about 100 Megs. That's 100 CD's per 10 Gigs. With a
200 Gig Hard Drive, you could store 2,000 CD's.
When ripping them uncompressed, one CD took up about 500 Megs.
With a 200 Gig Hard Drive, you could store 400 CD's. You'd need 500
gigs to store 1,000 CD's uncompressed. That's two 250 Gig Hard Drives.
Just depends on your ears and how important are issues of sound quality
and Hard Drive space usage to you.
Another alternative is to prioritize. Perhaps you rip some CD's compressed and some uncompressed. A solution to the time expense of
ripping all those CD's is to pay a kid a few bucks an hour to do rip your
CD's. A child of 10 could easily do it and would love to have the money.
gosh i'm going to check on that wireless stuff.cool. rsbeck your idea of paying someone to rip cds brillant.maybe we could start an 'audiophile'company,and ah chatge.yeah that's it.cool you know i could do that my mental age is about 11 and i'd love the money...
edesilva hmm i've read of other getting better results with varible before.maybe that's *another*thing i'll try.learing. :)
ah i need another hard drive !!!! thanks everyone :)
Also, apple is not the only company that makes a hard drive digital jukebox. I'm told that Just about any car stereo that is capable of
running an external changer can be set up to connect with an i-pod and
most other digital hard drive juke boxes. But, the Alpine is the only one
I know that will take over the i-pod's functions. So, most car stereos could be modified to connect with a hard drive, but the Alpine will keep
the i-pod charged, take over it's functions, etc. Point being, I am not trying to push Apple, although I love their digital music solutions, but
there are other companies that make similar products. Some of them are also less costly than an i-pod. I would imagine that in the future most car stereo companies will develop car stereos that can interface with these players.
Maybe someday someone will broadcast music, uncompressed.
I'm a dreamer!
i thought i heard something about FM radio switching over to digital (uncompressed). has anyone else heard this, or is it just a rumor?
Deluxe -- "my mental age is about 11 and i'd love the money..."
LOL. No, no, no. That won't do. When I run a child labor sweat shop, it
has to be real children or else it loses something.
The netgear USB NAS sounds very intriguing--is there public info on it anywhere? The one issue I have with that my bad experience with an external drive. My Maxtor 120GB drive crapped out after 6 mo., and while they replaced it, I just don't trust it. I'd much rather have a rack of SCSI drives... Prpixel, if I understand right, you can use an NAS with an audiotron, its just more expensive, right?
BTW, there are commercial companies that will rip your CDs for you. I looked at that, but the cost was pretty high and, at the time, you didn't get much control over how they did it. Didn't work for me.
PS--Deluxe, sorry about hijacking your thread on these sidenotes. (oops!)
You can use IP adressable NAS with the audiotron. The Ximeta NAS drives will not work with Audiotron. The Netgear USB NAS adapter was introduced at CES and is scheduled to start shipping in May or June. Being in the computer industry for over 25 years I've found that the biggest threat to hard drives is heat. If they are not well ventilated they will bake themselves. In all that time I've only had one drive fail in my own computers; an IBM XP series drive. Luckly I caught it before it failed and was able to clone it onto another drive. Sent it back to IBM and they replaced it under warranty. So. if your going to do an external HD make sure there's a fan in the enclosure. Sometimes the fans in external enclosures can be noisy, so you might want to look into replacing it with a good quality low noise ballbearing fan.