Is Itunes OK to rip CD's to AIFF?

I'm ripping a lot of of CD's and putting them on a network server so I can access them from any computer/stereo system in my house. Does any one know of any blinded listening studies where they compared Itunes-ripped wave files (AIFF) to AIFF ripped by another program? If no studies, is there any technical reason (and I'm no computer expert) that an Itunes ripped AIFF might be inferior to an AIFF file ripped by another program?
I think AIFF is an Apple lossless format and they're not much into the business of letting other companies modify or use their stuff.
AIFF is an industry standard.

I would recommend XLD for ripping as it can use the AccurateRip database to ensure you have a good rip.
No blind tests, but I have a lot of feedback from customers that iTunes rips are not as good as a ripper that uses Accurate-Rip, such as XLD. I have heard it myself too.

Accurate-Rip uses the FREEDB database of rips that also includes accurate offset info for each track.

Try XLD:

I would highly recommend using ripper with Accurate-Rip and C2 correction, XLD or Maxx for Mac and dbpoweramp for windows. The CDROM drive should have C2 error correction capability. If you dont, you will end-up re-ripping everything when you realize how bad the SQ is with iTunes.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Thanks for all the help. How do you tell if a CDROM drive error correction capability. And would this apply if I'm using a PC? For CDROM I'm mostly using a SONY DRX-810UL. I went to the dBpoweramp page and saw support for Apple lossless but no support for AIFF which I prefer. Anyone know if dBpoweramp has some hidden (at least to me) ability to generate AIFF?
If you set error correction on with iTunes how could you get anything other than a perfect rip?
One other question: Does Pure Music handle ripping, too? IOW if you have it installed and rip through iTunes is PM software doing the ripping?
If you set error correction on with iTunes how could you get anything other than a perfect rip?

The offset is screwed-up.

Try this: rip a track to .wav with dbpoweramp with Accurate-Rip enabled. Then rip the same track with itunes and compare the SQ of the two.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve: so they have a flat-out bug in the software? Ought to be easy to fix. How long has it existed?

I went through your experiment using Beethoven's 9th. The dbpoweramp rip sounds awesome but the iTunes rip sounds exactly like the studio version of Stairway to Heaven! Something is off indeed.

Seriously, I don't doubt the phenomena (though it is surprising). I may end up re-ripping in the near future so I'm glad I came across this. I'd always though iTunes with error correction on was golden.
Here are some good ripping drives with C2 correction:

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve, thanks for helping out. I haven't run the test that Paulofbrecht did but I'll certainly try it too. I'm afraid I'll have the same result. Oh, boy, and I've ripped thousands of CD's in Itunes with error correction on. But my goal is still to end up with AIFF so I can share music with my kids (who use Macs), but I want to keep all the tags, track names, etc. that Itunes provides. If on a PC, I use dppoweramp and rip to WAV (is that the right format to go to?: 1) will the tracks and tags come over, and 2) can I then convert WAV to AIFF and bring those converted AIFF into Itunes, but preserving the tag, track info? Thanks again for all of us. Laurence
Another few questions, Steve, after I looked at your link: 1) Is there any way to get the Teac CD-224E in an external holder and plug it in via USB to any computer? 2) Any idea if the CD-224's listed for specific laptops like Dell work in other laptops? I have some late model IBM/Lenovo's? Ie, Do you know if the size of the drive frame and the connections are standard? Thanks again.
Lawrence wrote:
"1) Is there any way to get the Teac CD-224E in an external holder and plug it in via USB to any computer?"

This is what I have, an external USB drive.

"2) Any idea if the CD-224's listed for specific laptops like Dell work in other laptops?"

Laptops vary a lot. Hard to tell. Get an external version.

If you want AIFF, then use XLD with Accurate-Rip to rip on the Mac:

Avoid iTunes on a PC:

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I now believe that the reason the 2nd rip of Beethoven's 9th sounded like Stairway was that I accidentally used a Zeppelin CD.

This casts some doubt on the entire experiment.
Paulfolbrecht, but shouldn't the computer have shown the title of the track as Zeppelin?
Paulfolbrecht- Thanks for the giggle.
Steve N. thanks for your generous sharing of your technical expertise.

This site is the best. Where else could you get those 2 posts side by side????
Steve,I bought a MacMini and as you suggested, I will use XLD with Accurate-Rip to rip to AIFF on the Mac. On the TEAC CD-224E Slimline USB 2.0 External 24X CD-ROM Drive how does you turn on C2 error correction? A link to instructions or instructions here would be greatly appreciated. Also, on the MAC please let all of us know what software delivers the best sound on playback. Thanks for all the great guidance for us neophytes. Laurence
Another question from a former PC guy going over to MAC. When you rip CD's to AIFF using either XLD or MAXX, do you get your track names and tags (as in Itunes rips) included? Thanks.
I have final results to report after further analysis.

My findings indicate that Beethoven's 9th Symphony ripped by dbpoweramp is notably inferior to Stairway to Heaven ripped by XLD. The differences are not subtle, and furthermore they remain consistent regardless of the orchestra/conductor/hall the 9th was recorded in.

Specifically, Page's guitar, and Plant's vocals, are far more present in the XLD version, while being totally absent from the dbpoweramp rip.

In short, XLD is markedly and objectively superior.

My finding will be presented in an upcoming issue of Stereophile. (John Atkinson's measurements revealed real & substantial differences between the two ripped files.)
Ldworet- forgive me for jumping in, but the error correction function will be in the ripping software, not the cd-rom drive which just reads the bits off the disk.
Laurence - The tags are all there if you rip AIFF with XLD. Album art isn't.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve answered the following:

LD: How do you set C2 error correction on such a device on the MAC? (forgive me, but I've used PC's for 18 years and know them well, but I'm clueless about Macs.

Steve: It either does it or it doesnt.

LD: I'll be using XLD or MAX to rip to AIFF as you suggested.

Which of the two do you think pulls more of the track names over when ripping?

Steve: Dont know. Both probably the same.

LD: Like John, my music is on a multi-TB server in the house hooked to a fast router. I wanted all the music available to any computer in the house. RE: SQ: Any disadvantage to using a server versus putting the music on an external hard drive?

Steve: Yes, internet traffic and latency can cause drop-outs.
Steve, thanks as always, one last question for me and others looking online to buy a C2 correcting drive that did well in the tests: if I (or other readers) get the Teac DW-2124 SL (which is the one that tested so well at

and I believe that it's one of the drives you use), I assume we can be reasonably comfortable in thinking that it's also probably got C2 correction turned on, right?
Steve replied in an email:

LD: I'm presuming the TEAC DW-224SL CE-RE?SLOT Slot drive you have has the C2 error correcting built in, right?

S: Yes.

LD: If so, that's the one I'll get. I think I speak for many when I say you're a beacon of helpful knowledge in a dark big sea.

S: thanks. Much of this is already posted on my webpage here: