• Ripping CDs In Style: GD3 Review

    The Computer Audiophile CD ripping strategy and methodology article has been one of the most popular writings on the site to date. Some readers have implemented the methodology exactly how it was written while others have put their own spin on it by changing file formats and the number of file copies. Other readers are still searching for a less time consuming way to rip their music collections. Over the last few weeks I've been using a CD ripping approach that's likely to satisfy those who want to get the job done but don't have a couple months of free time to rip 3000 CDs. The approach consists of an automated ripping robot in combination with Get Digital Data's Encode Center and GD3 Tagger software and its GD3 database. The experience was actually enjoyable from beginning to end. I'm willing to bet few if any readers have ever enjoyed ripping CDs.



     


    Let Me Load The Robot First


    Throughout the years we've all had our excuses for not coming when called. I can imagine a couple decades ago when kids were called to dinner from the playground they would say, "Give me one more at bat" or "We have one inning left in the game." The most comical excuse from my childhood was, "Wait 'till I die." A reference to playing video games that could not be put on hold for foolish things like eating or going to bed. Now audiophiles have an additional excuse although it will only delay the inevitable for a few minutes at best. "Let me load the robot first." I've used that phrase numerous times lately while using the automated robot sent to me by Get Digital Data. I frequently uttered the phrase before going out to dinner or leaving the house for any length of time. Great satisfaction can be had when arriving home to a batch of one hundred CDs sitting in the Completed pile on top of a ripping robot. For those of us used to the manual disc-by-disc ripping method this automation feels like we're cheating the system.

    Get Digital Data (GD3) is the company that supplied me with the robot, the software, and initial database access. (Note: I purchased additional access during the review.) GD3 is not a hardware company although one can purchase hardware / software packages from GD3. The heart of the company is its software and GD3 database. The software is used to rip CDs and tag CDs with metadata. The GD3 database is what supplies the software with all the information about each CD ripped. The database is unique compared to others frequently used during the ripping process. GD3 qualifies every entry into the database ensuring accuracy of the text and album art. Unlike other CD databases, users do not have access to directly feed the GD3 database with their own CD metadata.

    A major reason GD3's software and database are so successful is that GD3 also offers a CD ripping service. Its own ripping service uses its software and database heavily day-in day-out. This provides incredible information to GD3 about ease of use and stability of the application, and increases the number and accuracy of entries in the GD3 database. I can't help but think of the much talked about TV commercials where a gentleman touts, “I’m not only the President, but I’m also a client."

     


    The Robot, The Software, The Database

    The formula I used for this review consisted of the following hardware and software.


    Robot.

    Primera Technology's Composer Pro two drive CD and DVD duplicator.
    This is a dual drive CD/DVD ripping robot. It uses highly sought after Plextor drives that are no longer available. According to Doug Strachota of Get Digital Data these Plextors are as good as it gets. The robot I received was well warn-in and had likely seen better days. As a testament to the Plextor drives and the build quality of the Primera robot I did not have a single hardware issue while ripping 1600 discs during the review. The robot I used did not come with a printer as that is used to create printed discs. The speed of each rip was somewhat unpredictable just as it would be for any computer ripping a CD. The key factor in ripping speed is the condition of the CD itself. No ripper worth its weight will rip a damaged disc in the same amount of time as a pristine disc. The Primera Composer Pro robot requires one FieWire port and one Serial port on the ripping computer running Windows. Other operating systems are not supported at this time. The Serial port requirement, for command and control communication, is a bit of a hassle. I haven't had a Serial port on any of my PCs since the early 2000s. I picked up a simple USB to Serial converter and the problem was solved. During the review I connected the robot to my Mac Pro running Windows XP with more memory, CPU power, and drive space than I could use. Other GD3 supported robots can be located at the following page on the GD3 site. GD3 Supported Robots

    Direct links to robot information:


     


    Software.

    Encode Center v2.0 ($199)



    Encode Center is GD3's software application for ripping CDs. Encode Center is a dedicated ripping application that does absolutely nothing but rip discs. There is something to be said about purpose built applications, just like purpose built audio components. Often the jack of all trades is the master of none. Users of Encode Center don't have to worry about a ton of configurations options and downloading CODECS. Setting up EC to work with the Primera robot was as simple as selecting the Composer Pro in a list of supported devices. No additional software to install or convoluted configuration trial and error. EC supports MP3, WAV, and FLAC. That's it. If readers need more CODECs EC isn't the program for them. This is one area GD3 needs to improve upon. Support for a few more formats is a trivial matter and would open up EC as an option for almost every computer audiophile. The software interface displays some nice information while the robot is ripping discs. In addition to the standard Album and Artist data there are columns for Disc Number (number of discs ripped), Ripping Status (percent complete for each disc), Position in Spool (discs position in the spool of completed discs), and Jitter Errors. How could any application be complete without addressing jitter. Only kidding of course. This jitter is not to be confused with "traditional" timing error jitter measured in picoseconds. Jitter errors in Encode Center equate to problems with the disc during the ripping process. Encode Center not only lets the user know there was an error(s) it also displays the exact minute and second within a track the error occurred. This is extremely valuable. As I ripped the Dave Matthews Band album Under The Table and Dreaming the number of jitter errors added up and something seem amiss. I was able to look at EC to determine errors were in tracks between number ten and thirty-four. (Back in college I'm sure this disc made a great coaster for a house guest's beverage of choice.) Fortunately I don't care about most of these tracks because all but eleven and thirty-four are blank. DMB actually has a song title #34 and set it as track thirty-four on the disc. As it turns out track eleven had some inconsequential errors easily identifiable down to the second through EC and thirty-four was fine. Without Encode Center's specific "jitter" information I would have been listening to track eleven over and over listening for glitches. Instead I went right to the trouble spot to access the sonic damage. Encode Center does many things right that standard users will soon take for granted. EC labels albums with different colors, check boxes, and questions marks. These notify users of items they may want to look at with additional care. After spot checking quite a few of these marked albums I realized GD3 had 99% of the albums correct. For example some of my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab discs were correctly identified as such and tagged with the correct MFSL album art. EC notified me there was more than one possible match for the albums only because the standard release of the discs was also in the GD3 database. If GD3 was incorrect I could easily select either release via a drop-down menu and EC would change the metadata. The interface also allows the user to view only errors encountered during the ripping process. This is nice once users are comfortable with EC's ability to get things right and it enables one to peruse through the errors and quickly resolve any issues. After ripping hundreds of discs the list of completed albums gets rather long. Identifying only the potential errors is really nice.

    During the review period I did a lengthy comparison of the GD3 solution and dBpweramp. It was really no contest at all. The combination of the Primera Composer Pro robot and the GD3 software blew dBpweramp out of the water. dBp did not successfully rip more than fifty CDs in a row without running into major problems. I frequently had to restart the ripping process with dBp because it could not communicate to the robot well enough. My guess is this has a lot to do with the drivers written for robot-PC command and control rather than the complete application itself. I downloaded the robot software from the dBpoweramp site for this comparison. Nonetheless, I cannot recommend dBp with this robot. I have not tested other robots with dBp so my comments should not be expanded to include anything broader than what I've stated here.

    Video of Ripping Robot In Action -> 27.58 MB Download

     

     

    GD3 Tagger v1

    GD3 Tagger is the application that one uses to clean up or adjust any metadata on the ripped discs. While it is possible to make some changes from within Encode Center as the robot is ripping, GD3 Tagger is a much better interface and was specifically built for editing metadata. Again, a purpose built application that masters one task. After opening GD3 Tagger and directing it to the location where Encode Center placed the music all the albums load in one of two user-friendly views. I preferred the folder view as it was easier for me to navigate by artist and album in alphabetical order. Clicking on an album on the left part of the screen displays its metadata on the right side of the screen. This is where the options for data clean up save tremendous amount of time over the course of hundreds of discs. For example combing through my albums I came to some Analogue Productions releases without correct album art. Correct album art is critical to me. It's an easy way to identify what remaster or version of an album I am listening to or am looking for in my library. I clicked the Amz button within GD3 Tagger and was directed to Amazon's website with the correct search criteria already entered. I was able to select the album art with the AP logo in the bottom left corner signifying the Analogue Productions remaster (image). Over time little things like an Amazon button make all the difference. Every audiophile is well aware that getting the metadata correct for Classical Music can be a nightmare. No application is perfect although GD3 does have metadata as good or better than any other service when it comes to CLassical music. In recognition of the difficulty Classical music can raise GD3 Tagger has a built-in Classical Editor feature. This CLassical Editor allows one to view and edit if needed some of the extended tags that JRiver Media Center can use very well. Tags such as Conductor, Composer, Orchestra, Chorus, Soloists are easily viewed via this value added feature. As one can see in the screenshot below a large list of Orchestras, as well as the other tags, is present in the Classical Editor. This allows one to scroll the list and select the correct spelling or appropriate formal name for the metadata. As a bonus the GD3 Tagger has a Freedb button to enable lookups in the Freedb database. I used this button about ten or fifteen times but had absolutely no success in finding missing metadata via Freedb. I'm sure there are albums that Freedb contains and GD3 does not, but I can't verify that statement at this time.

     

    GD3 Online Database.



    The GD3 online database is what makes this whole automated ripping process a success. My biggest fear with ripping hundreds of discs was that my metadata would be incorrect or missing. I imagined leaving the house with a one hundred discs spindle loaded and ready to rip. Only to return home with eighty incorrectly ripped CDs because I didn't verify each rip like I would have done disc-by-disc the manual way. Fortunately the GD3 database is rock solid. As I mentioned previously GD3 has complete control over the database entries unlike the other databases used for metadata. The Gracenote database that is used by iTunes contains mostly user submitted content. A quick glance of the Gracenote site leads one to this statement, "Much of the information in the Gracenote Music Recognition Service (originally known as CDDB) was initially submitted by users and there are inconsistencies. If you find a problem with your information using your software application you may be able to fix it. To fix a problem you find, send a copy of the incorrect entry to us from the application." The GD3 service is not totally without user submitted content. However, GD3 has implemented this feature in a vastly different way. GD3 keeps an online personal database for each user that allows one to retrieve CD customizations they have made in the past. For example, I can submit my Analogue Productions remastered albums with correct album art to my own database via the GD3 Tagger and GD3 will store this metadata for me. If I ever have to rip these discs again GD3 will recognize them and supply only me with the customized album art. Using an analogy I liken the GD3 database to Apple and its tightly controlled products that work as designed whereas the other databases are similar to the Linux open platform that have incredible potential but are also prone to errors and can be difficult to work with.

    GD3 like any good service does come with a price tag. Users are charged on a per lookup bases. As the robot is ripping CDs Encode Center communicates automatically with GD3 to subtract a single lookup for every CD. Within GD3 Tagger it is possible to use the GD3 database as many times as needed, but the application will prompt the user before retrieving any information from GD3. This can be useful if making slight adjustments to metadata allows GD3 to recognize an album and supply additional information. The prices for GD3 Database lookups is purchased in the following bundles, 200 Lookup Bundle ($ 25), 500 Lookup Bundle ($ 60), 1000 Lookup Bundle ($ 110), 5000 Lookup Bundle ($ 525), 10000 Lookup Bundle ($ 1000). The price per lookup ranges from $0.125 to $0.10 baed on volume purchased.

     


    The Discs, The Tags, The Accuracy

    My process for ripping the 1600 CDs during this review was guided somewhat by GD3's own practices.

    1. Remove one hundred discs from either cases or sleeves.
    2. Load the discs into the correct spindle.
    3. Start the robot ripping the spindle of discs.
    4. When time permits monitor the rips for errors on the fly and correct if necessary from within Encode Center.
    5. Upon spindle completion use the GD3 process called clearing. This consists of matching each ripped disc in the spindle with each ripped disc via GD3 Tagger. All the discs are listed in order within the software so clearing can be done fairly fast.
    6. Make any necessary corrections from within GD3 Tagger.
    7. Return to step one.


    One major test of GD3's accuracy came in the form of Sony Music's twenty-six disc box set Soundtrack For A Century. I own this collection and have always been frustrated with the way it's been tagged when ripping. GD3 and Encode Center ripped and tagged this complete collection perfectly. The titles of the discs are followed by (Disc 1) or (Disc 2) in exactly the same format with the same capitalization throughout. This may seem like a simple task but GD3 has been the only database I've used to succeed ripping and tagging Sony's Soundtrack For A Century.

     


    The Experience

    Overall I really enjoyed using the automated disc ripping robot and Get Digital Data's software and GD3 database. I feel like I cheated the system somehow. I ripped 1600 CDs without any major issues, in a short period of time, without babysitting the process. For the vast majority of Computer Audiophile readers who don't have the time or the will to manually rip their entire collection, an automated robot and GD3 will be a great solution. Readers ready to rip their entire collections should also understand there are no silver bullets. Every robot, application, and database has its pros and cons. Selecting the best ripping solution to match one's needs can be a difficult task knowing the time and monetary investment involved with such an endeavor. I highly recommend spending time with Get Digital Data's products and talking to the people at GD3 personally. There's a lot to like about this solution. GD3 has minimized many of the traditional pitfalls of automated ripping and has made it accessible to everyone interested. My final recommendation: Go get a ripping robot and enjoy the holidays relaxing and ripping CDs in style.


     

     

     

    Additional information available from the Get Digital Data website or via more traditional routes.

    Address:
    GD3 Data, LLC
    6637 Broadway St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46220
    Telephone:
    main: 317-567-5065
    fax: 317-567-5064
    toll free: 800-714-4744

    Email:
    info: info@getdigitaldata.com


     

     

     


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    Comments 31 Comments
    1. t0mb0's Avatar
      t0mb0 -
      Hi, your two articles on CD ripping are interesting but they both seem to skip what is likely to be the main issue for picky audiophiles ripping CDs, i.e. have you got a bit perfect rip? Accuraterip (in e.g. EAC or dbPoweramp) is the only real way of verifying this that I've found by having online databases of album hashes. Does GD3 do this also? i.e. is it more accurate aswell as being more convenient?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      HI t0mb0 - Perhaps I buried the following information too deep in the previous ripping article.<br />
      <br />
      <i>"The green letters and numbers below the column CRC indicate the track has been ripped and the checksum matches that of others in the database. The number in parenthesis in the Rip Status column next to AccurateRip indicates, "The rip had no detectable errors and agrees with [X number of] other people (they have ripped the same track and had the exact same result), an agreement from AccurateRip ensures an error free rip" according to the dBpoweamp website. The second graphic displays what dBpoweramp considers a perfect rip with ten Accurate tracks out of ten possible."</i><br />
      <br />
      GD3 uses the EAC ripping engine and allows one to configure how thorough it should rip a damaged album. I'm not sure the, "main issue for picky audiophiles" is the bit perfect rip of a disc. It is among a few very important issues. Without proper metadata there is no finding a specific track among 100,000 songs. In addition getting a "perfect" rip can take 5 to 10 to 24 and more hours per disc if one uses very secure ripping modes via EAC or dBp. This is unreasonable for many "picky" audiophiles, myself included. There comes a time when a new disc needs to be purchased. The notification of ripping errors can help identify these issues.<br />
      <br />
      Like everything else in life an appropriate balance must be struck for each person. Some will wait 24 hours for a disc to complete ripping while others won't wait over four minutes. Some people demand the CRC check against an online database while other use iTunes with absolutely no feedback. GD3 may rest somewhere in the middle with its jitter error notification. <br />
      <br />
      Thanks for the post. You've raised a very valid point.<br />
      <br />
    1. ldolse's Avatar
      ldolse -
      I agree with T0mb0 that AccurateRip/bit-perfect verification is the most critical feature for me. Metadata is important, but it's pretty much a given that any ripping program will have it (granted with varying quality). Quick ripping is important too, but that can generally be configured by the user to get the desired affect.<br />
      <br />
      I'm still not clear on the answer to T0mb0's question though - does GD3 use AccurateRip? The reply above refers to the Dbpoweramp article. Are you saying that because GD3 is using the EAC engine that it's also using EAC's Accurate Rip feature? Are logs also written to each folder so you have a record of how the rip executed?
    1. ldolse's Avatar
      ldolse -
      For those not looking to spend several grand on a ripping station this may be of interest:<br />
      http://www.primerastore.com/bravorental
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi idolse - As far as I know GD3 does not use AccurateRip™.
    1. t0mb0's Avatar
      t0mb0 -
      I guess that GD3 with a robot may be a good option then for ripping hundreds of CDs where you don't want much user interaction and aren't too bothered about verifying the correctness of the results.
    1. wing's Avatar
      wing -
      Thank you very much for an excellent review. I first came across MF Digital ripper when I purchased a Sooloos system and the Sooloos' modified MF Digital 7604 a few months ago. I have found the robotic system very practical and cost effective for ripping large CD library like mine. However, I have always found the Sooloos ripping software in the MF Digital ripper very limiting. Your introduction of GD3 system has offered an excellent alternative. I have already emailed GD3 and I look forward to trying out the GD3 after vacation. Thank you.
    1. Encore's Avatar
      Encore -
      Is it possible to buy and use the GD3 Tagger and the database for CD's that one has already ripped? <br />
      <br />
      My situation--and I bet I'm not the only one--is that I have ripped my collection before I really knew what I was doing. My CD collection contains 2/3 classical music, and of course this is where I have the biggest problems with the tagging.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Encore - I tried to use GD3 Tagger with CDs that I'd already ripped using another application. I couldn't get it to work at all. I received some errors about unreadable Table of Contents. <br />
      <br />
      It would be a great enhancement.
    1. dougstrach's Avatar
      dougstrach -
      The answer to this is Yes and No. Probably No. In order for a CD database to be highly accurate, it must use an identifier within the CD which is also highly accurate. GD3, and nearly every other identification database uses the Table of Contents or TOC from an original CD. If you used Ripfactory software or dBpoweramp to originally rip your CDs, you may have the original TOC stored in the ID3v2 tag (in dBpoweramp there is a setting to store RAW TOC in the ID3 tag).<br />
      <br />
      If the GD3 Tagger can access the original TOC of the CD, then you can do a lookup against GD3 to see if we have better metadata or the correct cover art. Many of our commercial customers who like dBpoweramp are able to use it to rip their CDs, yet use the GD3 Tagger program to edit and store metadata with the embedded TOC.<br />
      <br />
      FINGERPRINTS<br />
      There are some databases which have started using track fingerprints to identify specific songs, but this solution falls short in a few areas. First, we have not yet been able to test an algorithm which has a high probability of matching back to the original fingerprint created by the CD. Believe me, we have tested them all! Second, once you know a track from the fingerprint, it becomes very difficult to figure out which album that track belongs to since specific tracks can be on hundreds of albums.<br />
      <br />
      I agree with you that this would be a cool feature to implement and that it could help solve a lot of issues for those users who ripped CDs using poor metadata sources. This is essentially why we have stressed the accuracy and consistency of GD3 for years, but unfortunately, most ripping programs and software managers simply glance over metadata. Most feel that if they have Gracenote or FreeDB it is good enough. We don't agree and this is where you'll see that GD3 stands above any other commercial database available today.<br />
      <br />
      Doug Strachota<br />
      GD3 Data, LLC
    1. Encore's Avatar
      Encore -
      Thanks for a thorough answer, Doug. I have used dBPoweramp, but I haven't actively selected having the TOC stored. But as I understand you, if I were to do a rerip in dBPoweramp and make sure that the TOC is saved in the ID3v2 tag (which I haven't heard of before now, BTW ;-), I could use the GD3 database? <br />
      <br />
      I might look into renting an automated solution like the one described in this article, but I'm not sure if there's one available in my country (Denmark).<br />
      <br />
      Best<br />
      Jens
    1. t0mb0's Avatar
      t0mb0 -
      I think that at least one of the paid-for flavours of dbpoweramp includes GD3 metadata lookup (along with two or three others) anyway so there's probably no need for a two pass solution.
    1. dougstrach's Avatar
      dougstrach -
      I did see that Primera does rent the robotic loaders for $299.00/week here in the US. You may check with Primera to see if this program is available in Denmark.<br />
      <br />
      http://www.primera.com/bravorental.html<br />
      <br />
      Doug Strachota<br />
      GD3 Data, LLC
    1. Encore's Avatar
      Encore -
      Thanks, Doug. I'll check that out before I set out.<br />
      Jens
    1. MusicTrax's Avatar
      MusicTrax -
      Note that the dBPowerAmp people now have low-cost robot CD changers and an automated version of their ripping software available. This will rip to WAVs, FLACs, MP3s, AACs, Apple Lossless, you name it -- and can be configured to batch converts two sets of files, like one lossless and the other as MP3s. I think this is a far more economical solution.<br />
      <br />
      My own experience is that you can't rely on any of these programs ripping CDs accurately because of the flaws in the metadata. You still need to do a lot of manual intervention in order to "groom" the data (as some of the ripping services call it). I would rather do this than pay 5 cents a CD for the information.
    1. wing's Avatar
      wing -
      Very interesting. May I ask where can it be found?
    1. MusicTrax's Avatar
      MusicTrax -
      Sure. dBPowerAmp's batch-ripping solution is described here:<br />
      <br />
      http://dbpoweramp.com/batch-ripper.htm<br />
      <br />
      Again, I'm not convinced that unattended robotic CD ripping will work, because of the increased possibility of bad rips, wrong CD identification, bad metadata, and computer hiccups. I think a human being has to keep an eye on things in order for it to work.<br />
      <br />
      When XM Radio ripped about 25,000 CDs for their library about ten years ago, they used humans on shifts, working 24/7. I think that's extreme for most people, but I think it's reasonable for one person to use three rippers at once (and three simultaneous copies of the program on one computer) and check everything manually. This will be much faster than a robotic ripper, but the trade-off is the manual labor. Still, I've been able to do at least 25 CDs an hour this way, more if I fire up multiple computers.
    1. dougstrach's Avatar
      dougstrach -
      MusicTrax,<br />
      <br />
      I can understand your skepticism on automated ripping, as there hasn't been well designed software that actually pays attention to the issues you mention. Double picks, CD miss-handling, damaged discs, metadata, etc., all run pretty nasty interference to an unattended process. As Chris describes very well in this article, it's not only the use of an automated ripper, but the reconciling process of the GD3 Tagger software which combine to deliver a process that is quite unique in the market and does pay quite a bit of attention to alleviating most of the issues of unattended ripping.<br />
      <br />
      When we ripped tens of thousands of CDs for Lala about 5 years ago, we did it all with 2 people with a few autoloaders and didn't have to work in 24 hour shifts. The only way that this was possible was because of our unique reconciliation process. As you very well state in your comments, the real bottleneck is not really the actual ripping of the CDs which can be done using several machines or even manually. The real bottleneck is the reconciling of the collection on the hard drive versus the CDs you just ripped. <br />
      <br />
      If you look closer at the GD3 Tagger software that we provided Chris for this review, you'll see that you are able to view a collection of CDs in a variety of different ways. Most importantly, you can view them in the exact same order as the autoloader ripped them. This view allows you to list them in descending order just as they are on the output stack of the ripper (say from disc 100 on top, to disc 1 on the bottom). Any other tagging software will list everything just as it is on the hard drive, then the reconciliation process is impossible or extremely time consuming.<br />
      <br />
      I don't think I could agree more with your comments that auto ripping without reconciling is a pipe dream and that most software available does not include or provide any mechanism for reconciling. I encourage you to take a look at GD3 Tagger to truly understand the entire process which Chris does a very good job at explaining in detail in this article.<br />
      <br />
      Doug Strachota<br />
      GD3 Data
    1. MusicTrax's Avatar
      MusicTrax -
      Doug commented: "Any other tagging software will list everything just as it is on the hard drive, then the reconciliation process is impossible or extremely time consuming."<br />
      <br />
      Naaa, it's doable. A program like dBPowerAmp can be easily configured to just automatically put every album (CD) in its own folder. Load the newest-ripped folders into an MP3 Tag-reading program (like iTunes or something more sophisticated), using the "created by" dates, and just check them by eye. It takes less than a minute per CD to verify that everything is OK.<br />
      <br />
      Bear in mind that as two CDs are ripping, I'm checking the tags on a third right before it's ripped. The only thing that slows me down in manual mode is if lots of changes have to be made, which happens on rare occasions. Having access to four different sources of CD metadata (which dBPowerAmp provides) helps quite a bit.<br />
      <br />
      The reality for me is that three standalone Firewire CD rippers and one copy of dBPowerAmp cost less than a couple of hundred bucks. Any other solution -- particularly one using a robotic ripper -- doesn't make economic sense for me. Especially with a 5 cents charge per disc for metadata. And I'm confident that the quality of my Plextor drives and the AccurateRip software is giving me zero compromises in terms of the data. I can also get more done simply by running multiple drives at one time. One single-drive robotic system can only do -- at best -- a dozen CDs an hour. I can do at least double that using three drives.<br />
      <br />
      I readily admit that for people who don't have budget concerns, your solution (or any of the commercial ripping companies) work fine. I also know database management fairly well, and I've often worked with keeping track of vast amounts -- petabytes -- of film data files in post-production here in LA. My methods only work if you have the time, the expertise, and the equipment to do it right. But I can do this in a fraction of the cost for any standalone system.<br />
      <br />
      BTW: every major motion picture ever made, even those shot digitally (like the recent "Avatar," use human beings to input all the data. It's a necessary part of the system. Once you get good at it, you can manipulate, move, rename, and adjust the metadata very quickly. Granted, it helps if you're an inveterate nerd, but that goes with the territory.
    1. dougstrach's Avatar
      dougstrach -
      MusicTrax,<br />
      <br />
      Again, your comments on right on target. If you have all the time in the world, and understand all the nuances of CD ripping software and ID3 tagging, manual ripping will save you a lot of money in exchange for the time required. There's a great article which Chris does that covers the manual ripping process and how to configure dBpoweramp for the best outcome. I think it was one of his most popular topics to date.<br />
      <br />
      For those that want an automated process, GD3 Tagger was designed to be the tool that can handle the "petabytes" of data so that a user can maximize their time and output CDs at a much faster rate with the same quality as a manually operated process or workflow. It's not a free solution, but there is certainly a need for tools that make work a bit easier as well as maximize time.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks again for your comments.<br />
      <br />
      Doug