Old 8th March 2004, 16:06   #1
athalon
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Lightbulb BEST MP3 CODEC/RIPPER!! Please Reply

I am converting my 800+ RETAIL CDs to MP3. As this is going to be a Time consuming task, I do not want to waste time changing my mind on the bitrate, codec, or codec settings. I have a previous collection of about 30 CD's I did 3 years ago at 160Kbit. But now that I bought new Creative 5.1 speakers and a 160GB harddrive, I'm looking to start from scratch with 192Kbit/s as it is harder to tell the difference in most songs at higher bitrates.

I've looked around for various rippers, and ripping codecs, including all the three codecs for Windows Media 9 Series(MP3 Packs) which can be purchased online from Intervideo/Cyberlink/Sonic http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...on/Plugins.asp These all sound good to me. Perhaps you can tell the difference. Or maybe the new Winamp Pro 502 ripper is any good?

Whether the ripper or codec is free or not doesn't matter. Time doesn't matter. Only Quality at a respectable 192 bitrate matters. This collection will probably be also used in a Media center PC which I will build in a year from now. And for now it will also be backed up on DVDs incase god forbid the Harddrive goes down.

So anyone with suggestions, comments or have done something similar, please reply.
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Old 8th March 2004, 16:14   #2
Triton4
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The best CD ripper around is:

ExactAudioCopy - Free of cost, highest ripping quality, best normalization and, most important of all, has Error Correction - which means you can rip even corrupt audio files or damaged CDs into hi-quality MP3 tracks.

'Nuff said
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Old 8th March 2004, 16:26   #3
Merlin
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EAC is undeniably great. It's not worth paying for anything else when EAC and CDex are free.


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Old 8th March 2004, 16:30   #4
DJ Egg
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...and most importantly, EAC uses the LAME Encoder, unlike WMP which uses the (poor quality & not free) Fraunhofer Encoder (though not as bad as RealPlayer/Jukebox which uses the appalling Xing Encoder).

For best quality, use --alt-preset standard or --alt-preset extreme LAME VBR preset.

The only other ripper which competes with EAC is CDex (in paranoia mode).

EAC is the top 'geek' ripping tool.
CDex is a bit more user-friendly.

In fact, this is the only thing missing in Winamp 5 Pro's ripper (paranoia/secure mode), seeing that v5.03 will include --alt-preset settings... apart from the $$$ aspect, that is. But, unlike the CDex and EAC makers/distributors, Nullsoft/Winamp can't get away with not paying Fraunhofer/Thomson (owners of the mp3 patent) for the MP3 Encoding license
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Old 8th March 2004, 19:24   #5
lostonline
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Another vote for EAC or CDex using LAME --alt-preset standard as the codec

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Old 14th March 2004, 11:26   #6
Papillon
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Dude, don't use MP3. It's going down as we speak (fraunhofer is going to copy protect mp3). OGG VORBIS is much better (and is native supported by Winamp5). Get oggdropXPD and encode with the quality-6 switch. It produced a VBR-170kbps file at the same size of a CBR-160-kbps MP3. OGG is also, unlike MP3, gapless. In other world a much better choice for streaming and mix-cd's.
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Old 14th March 2004, 12:12   #7
Triton4
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Fraunhoffer are going to copy-protect mp3??? I can't believe it.

That is really bad
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Old 14th March 2004, 14:51   #8
HaloHQ
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Quote:
Originally posted by DJ Egg
..apart from the $$$ aspect, that is. But, unlike the CDex and EAC makers/distributors, Nullsoft/Winamp can't get away with not paying Fraunhofer/Thomson (owners of the mp3 patent) for the MP3 Encoding license
You could always just use this: http://winamp.com/plugins/details.php?id=177
Only downside is you cant use it in the media library, which is the best part of winamp's built-in ripper.
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Old 14th March 2004, 22:11   #9
ScorLibran
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Quote:
Originally posted by Papillon
Dude, don't use MP3. It's going down as we speak (fraunhofer is going to copy protect mp3). OGG VORBIS is much better (and is native supported by Winamp5). Get oggdropXPD and encode with the quality-6 switch. It produced a VBR-170kbps file at the same size of a CBR-160-kbps MP3. OGG is also, unlike MP3, gapless. In other world a much better choice for streaming and mix-cd's.
MP3 is far from "going down". Ubiquity is a powerful force in determining what lasts. All major audio encoding formats (MP3, Vorbis, MPC, AAC) can reach perceptual transparency at a reasonable bitrate (usually between 128kbps and 192kbps). And if gapless playback were a serious concern to all but the vast minority of people, MP3 would have been supplanted much earlier than now. Vorbis has been around for 5+ years now, for instance.

As for FhG adding copy-protection to the MP3 specification, where did you hear this? They can't "add copy-protection" to an encoding format. Using another format as an example, the copy-protection in WMA files isn't the fault of WMA. It's a seperate DRM specification that's integrated at encode time. If you encode your own WMA files, for instance, you can just as easily NOT use copy-protection. If there were a DRM protocol for the MP3 container format, it still wouldn't be "part of MP3", it would be a seperate entity.

If such a thing existed for MP3, then the music you download from legal music services who are interested in CPed music would incorporate this protection at the time of encoding. P2P, or ripping your own CDs would not mandate the use of copy-protection.

So, MP3 as a format has a good 20 years left in it. And if and when it's replaced in the mainstream, it will not be by Vorbis. It will be replaced by AAC, another format of the Fraunhofer group (following MPEG standard protocols). And by the way, MP4, the most common container format for AAC, already has a copy-protection add-in capability. Example in use today: Apple's protected "M4P" format used with the music it sells through its iTunes Music Store.

Also, as hard drive capacities become larger and cheaper-per-GB, lossless formats such as FLAC will be a more viable encoding solution for people who encode their own music. We will still have a need for lossy formats far into the future, though, for bandwidth-dependant applications such as streaming and for small capacity portable devices like cellphones and pocket (or keychain) music players.

But on the topic of this thread, my vote is also for EAC (preferably the hard-to-find 0.95prebeta3 version), and LAME (v3.90.3 or v3.95.1) with the "--alt-preset standard" command line switch.

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Old 17th March 2004, 17:28   #10
Papillon
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Yes it's true. Fraunhofer has started to add encryption to mp3's encoded with their encoder. It's already in use. Wanna hear it? go to: http://www.pcdj.com/RecordPool.asp

LAME is a very good encoder that i have used alot in my days, but OGG still is sligthly better. Encoding a OGG-file with a quality -6 switch produces a VBR 170kbps file at the same size as a mp3 CBR 160kbps. OGG is also opensource and has alot of software support and some hardware.

Musepack (MPC) is the best lossy encoder format, no doubt but lacks both in hard & software support.

OGG is also easier to setup with Exact Audio as an external compressor. This is how:

1. Choose "Vorbis" from the encoder list.

2. Find the OGGENC.EXE

3. in the commandline field, write: -q6 (or: --quality 6)

4. DONE
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Old 17th March 2004, 19:06   #11
DJ Egg
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Quote:
Originally posted by HaloHQ
You could always just use this: http://winamp.com/plugins/details.php?id=177
Only downside is you cant use it in the media library, which is the best part of winamp's built-in ripper.
You could, but if you're going to go the MP3 Output plugin way, then at least use either Peter's out_enc which comes with LameEnc.dll included, or Jasper's FileWriter which can be configured to use external Lame/FLAC/Ogg/APE encoders. Much better than using the old out_mp3 plugin, which again relies on the shabby Fraunhofer ACM system codec to be present.

Lame --alt-preset standard/extreme for MP3, Ogg q5-7, Musepack MPC, or lossless FLAC / APE all the way for me, with EAC, Cdex, or even Winamp (for a quick convenient method)... though I am well aware of the rise of MP4/M4A/AAC, just can't see myself ever using it too much, atm.
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