[SOLVED] Going to (finally) rip my CDs to digital, and store on NAS. What lossless format, and what software, should I use.

First, my apologies if I didn't choose the correct subforum for this.

Yes, I still have almost everything on CD. Yes, I skipped the entire iPod and non-Apple equivalent era.

But, since I have a NAS now set up, I want to rip all my CDs to digital.

I did a little poking around, and I guess maybe I should go with FLAC format, but I really want to make sure that whatever format I use is also widely understood by devices (my Android phone, my cars' stereo systems if I pull the files onto a USB stick), as well as client software (Linux, Windows, ChromeOS, etc).

So, is FLAC/lossless the way to go, or does the need for compatibility mean I will have to convert to a lossy compression format instead (or in addition - as I do want to have a non-lossy copy).


Also - in some hasty searching, I'm given to understand that some ripping software does not necessarily tell/warn you if there are errors. I'm no audiophile, but I want to make sure to try to have the data pulled be accurate. So, are there any recommendations for the software to do this? Availability on either Windows or Linux will do.

Oh, and, at least, I do have the prerequisite: an optical disc player on a PC (Windows) and a separate player that I can attach through a USB adapter (for my Linux box).

Thanks in advance.
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
My recommendation is to use EAC to rip everything to FLAC for archival purposes. You always want things to be stored in a lossless format.

For day to day usage where size and compatibility matter, I'd have a second set in MP3. For settings, I'd see if you could get a buddy to help you do some blind A/B testing with different bitrates to see where your personal psychoacoustic profile starts to see diminishing returns. For me personally, I can't pass blind tests pass the upper 200k bitrates.

This is a lot easier to do nowadays with slow, massive storage so cheap.
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
My recommendation is to use EAC to rip everything to FLAC for archival purposes. You always want things to be stored in a lossless format.

For day to day usage where size and compatibility matter, I'd have a second set in MP3. For settings, I'd see if you could get a buddy to help you do some blind A/B testing with different bitrates to see where your personal psychoacoustic profile starts to see diminishing returns. For me personally, I can't pass blind tests pass the upper 200k bitrates.

This is a lot easier to do nowadays with slow, massive storage so cheap.
 
Hm,I guess unpopular opinion judging by everybody else but I would just use imageburn or some other tool to copy the CDs 1:1 as .iso files that way you are sure that you didn't mess up the quality or overblown the resulting file.
Many players today can read iso files and if not you can still mount the iso under windows and have it show up as a normal cd.
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Hm,I guess unpopular opinion judging by everybody else but I would just use imageburn or some other tool to copy the CDs 1:1 as .iso files that way you are sure that you didn't mess up the quality or overblown the resulting file.
Many players today can read iso files and if not you can still mount the iso under windows and have it show up as a normal cd.
FLAC isn't a lossy process; you're not going to mess up the quality. It has the advantage of then being quickly converted into any other file format needed in seconds.
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Definitely make sure and think ahead of time on a consistent naming scheme and a storage/playing solution. It's better to work out the issues ahead of time to keep from pulling out your hair later.

You don't have to be quite as anal as I am, of course. I've accumulated an enormous number of CDs in the 35 years I've been buying CDs (since I was a little kid) and I only recently got done transferring the entire collection to digital. Thankfully, storage caught up with me during the very long process.

 
Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll definitely go FLAC using Exact Audio Copy.

@DSzymborski
As for organization, my instinct was to simply go:
  • Folder: Band Name
    • Folder: Album Name
      • Files: Song Names
I assume this might've been your first thought as well - any downsides to it?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll definitely go FLAC using Exact Audio Copy.

@DSzymborski
As for organization, my instinct was to simply go:
  • Folder: Band Name
    • Folder: Album Name
      • Files: Song Names
I assume this might've been your first thought as well - any downsides to it?
Downsides:

Encapsulating metadata into the folder structure.
This leads to potentially LONG paths, and inconsistent searching.

For instance, I wish to find all by or associated with David Gilmour.
Part of Pink Floyd, but also his individual albums.

In addition, inconsistent labeling of the CDs. Unless you manually verify and manipulate, AC/DC would be a different folder than AC-DC or ACDC.
That's how my library is now, and its a pain.

A true database would just have individual files, but with columns for Band/Album/Members/SongName. Easily searchable, filterable, sortable.

I'm about to embark on digitizing the last half of my vinyl collection (another 400 or so), and that is a 'thing to be figured out'.
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll definitely go FLAC using Exact Audio Copy.

@DSzymborski
As for organization, my instinct was to simply go:
  • Folder: Band Name
    • Folder: Album Name
      • Files: Song Names
I assume this might've been your first thought as well - any downsides to it?
That's what I do. Where there's just an artist name it means multiple albums. Foobar2000 as a player. Or stream Tidal.

 
A very belated thanks to you all on this - I'm finally getting my butt in gear and getting started on this, and it looks like EAC is the overwhelming favorite.

EAC, bitperfect mode, to FLAC format. I know I've got two, maybe three, potentially troublesome CDs, but I'll ask those (exasperated) questions when I get to them/confirm the issues.
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
OK the install and configure is pretty straightforward. Just follow the prompts as it tests your drive and tell it you want FLAC as the encoder. Using the pulldown select a place to look up your music. I just use the default freedb engine. All is does is look up the CD so it's labeled right. You have to enter an email address to use any of these.



Once it knows what CD you're ripping ( and you selected FLAC in the setup ) use the buttons on the left of the program. WAV rips the file to WAV. No compression. The one under WAV is CMP or compressed. That's what you want for FLAC.

You'll have to manually make a folder for it. I use Artist - Album like shown above. It will give you a report at the end.
 
Reactions: King_V
I've had to use MusicBrainz - somehow, freedb, which I tried first, gives a complaint about not being able to find the site. Strange.

Any which way, this weekend is when I start actually doing some ripping rather than the brief experimental forays I've done thus far.
 

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