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  1. #1

    Ripping Questions - XLD

    Hi All,

    Very new here and have, like many, decided to undertake the daunting task of re-ripping my CD collection again (for the 4th time!). This time i really want to do it right.

    The Audiophile CD ripping strategy seems to be the best resource for doing this, but im using a MAC and therefore XLD to do the rips.

    In a nutshell, my goal is to simultaneously rip two copies of each cd, one AIFF and one FLAC, automatically put them in their separate folders on the MAC. Then later manually, move the AIFFS to a NAS for high quality wireless playback, and move the FLACs to a separate external hardisk for archival storage which can then later be retrieved to both a). convert a fresh copy to aiff for playback or b). convert to mp3 for iPhone playback or c). burn an exact copy of the orginal cd onto a blank cd.

    So really I'm looking for the best XLD settings to achieve all of this.

    Is there a resource somewhere that explains what all the settings in XLD actually mean and do?

    More specifically I had a couple of questions about these settings:

    Format of filename - what string do you use to ensure XLD places the different versions in the appropriate folders i.e. one copy of the album in the FLAC folder, and one copy of the album in the AIFF folder.

    iTunes - how do you ensure that the AIFF files are properly recognisable in iTunes with all metadata in tact? I believe the MAX ripper uses some sort of iTunes compatibility mode.

    Pregap - what is this? It takes an awfully long time for XLD to analyse it. Is it necessary to achieve the audiophile ripping strategy?

    Cue sheet - I read somewhere that this is only necessary if ripping to a single file. Whats the difference between a cue sheet and general metadata?

    Single file - Following on from the above, when would you check this option to rip to a single file?

    Embed artwork - Ive heard conflicting views about this i.e. its not a good idea in case you embedd the wrong or low quality artwork. Any ideas how to ensure you embedd high quality artwork?

    THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR AND ANY HELP AND ADVICE YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GIVE

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by kwigmyre View Post
    Format of filename - what string do you use to ensure XLD places the different versions in the appropriate folders i.e. one copy of the album in the FLAC folder, and one copy of the album in the AIFF folder.
    I played around with this and found that by moving [%f] to the beginning of the string, that XLD will create a folder called AIFF and a folder called FLAC and put a copy of the album in the approrpate folder. The advantage now is that your album foler will be titled "name of album" and not, "name of album [FLAC]."

    Would really appreciate it if one of your readers have any valuable comments

  3. #3
    However..Neither the FLAC nor the AIFF rips are displaying correctly in iTunes, AudioVarna, Fidelia, or DS AUdio (Synology DiskStation)

    My test file is one track off the Here We Go Magic Album, A Different Ship called Intro.

    The iTunes entry has nothing under ´track number.´
    Under ´name´- its 01 Intro, not just Intro.
    Under ártist´there´s nothing
    Under álbum artist´there´s nothing too.

    Any ideas what settings might be causing this to happen?

    scr1.pngscr2.pngscfr3.png

  4. #4
    How about these strings:


    1. [%f]/%A/%T/%n - %t
    2. [%f]/%A/%T (%y)/%n - %a - %t

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by xelor View Post
    How about these strings:


    1. [%f]/%A/%T/%n - %t
    2. [%f]/%A/%T (%y)/%n - %a - %t
    I checked 'add tags to output files if possible' which makes them read better in iTunes

  6. #6
    Must admit I'm a little confused with your methodology ripping both AIFF and FLAC!

    AIFF is uncompressed where as FLAC uses compression albeit Lossless!

    For play back and archiving AIFF is all you need!

    just my 2c!
    Drew.[br]Totem Model 1 Signature\'s

  7. #7
    thats just what the audiophile ripping stratgy says you should do..

    but, for some reason the artwork for the flacs is not embedded. if you look at this snapshot from my MAC finder you can see the files are missing the artwork icon.

    any ideas?

    2012-10-24_2039.png

  8. #8
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    Is there a glossary of format strings that can be referred to such as those noted by xelor?

  9. #9
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    I'm sorry that I can't offer anything for you, but I do have a question...

    I know you're following a recommended process, but why not rip your CD's into AIFF with iTunes (using error correction) and then simply convert your rips to ALAC? XLD will not give you a better rip than iTunes - I think its been shown that iTunes with error correction will render a bit-perfect rip with as high a degree of reliability as anything out there. As I understand it, the recommendation to rip into FLAC for storage is that you get 50% lossless compression that allows you to reconstitute exactly a bit-perfect AIFF copy should your AIFF drive get corrupted. I don't see why ALAC would be any different than FLAC for this purpose. You're obviously using a Mac, so working with FLAC files would require something like XLD - but it seems like you could accomplish the same thing by ripping once to AIFF and converting a copy to ALAC. I'm a rookie at this stuff, so perhaps I'm not seeing the obvious, but it seems like there's a faster and easier way to accomplish the same thing. I hope I'm not revealing some gross ignorance here...

  10. #10
    Trouble maker... Audio_ELF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockrabbit View Post
    Must admit I'm a little confused with your methodology ripping both AIFF and FLAC!

    AIFF is uncompressed where as FLAC uses compression albeit Lossless!

    For play back and archiving AIFF is all you need!

    just my 2c!
    As I recall, Chris' ripping strategy used FLAC as a "master" copy on the basis that it was the most widespread supported format - unlike AIFF it is supported on most music server hardware (Linn DS, Naim ND, Aurality, etc) as well as all software players.

    Eloise
    ...in my opinion / experience...
    While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.
    And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by avta View Post
    Is there a glossary of format strings that can be referred to such as those noted by xelor?


    i dont think so.. it's just a case of trial and error - and seeing what works best for you. They key for me was to put [%f] at the beginning so that when ripping three different formats at the same time they are put into the correct folders AIFF, FLAC and MP3..

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kwigmyre View Post
    thats just what the audiophile ripping stratgy says you should do..


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Can anyone comment as to why the artwork is missing?

    Also - is it correct to have the cue and log file appear as it does here?

  13. #13
    A little update to where we stand with my original questions:

    Format of filename - what string do you use to ensure XLD places the different versions in the appropriate folders i.e. one copy of the album in the FLAC folder, and one copy of the album in the AIFF folder - Use [%f]/%A/%T/%n - %t

    iTunes - how do you ensure that the AIFF files are properly recognisable in iTunes with all metadata in tact? I believe the MAX ripper uses some sort of iTunes compatibility mode - Check the option 'add tags to output files if possible'

    Pregap - what is this? It takes an awfully long time for XLD to analyse it. Is it necessary to achieve the audiophile ripping strategy? - no conclusion yet

    Cue sheet - I read somewhere that this is only necessary if ripping to a single file. Whats the difference between a cue sheet and general metadata? - ripping to multiple files instead of to a single file is better for getting an exact copy of the cd. not sure about the difference between a cue sheet and metadata but you should still embedd a cue sheet even if ripping multiple files. Can you tell from my screen shot whether my cue sheet is actually 'embedded?'

    Embed artwork - Ive heard conflicting views about this i.e. its not a good idea in case you embedd the wrong or low quality artwork. Any ideas how to ensure you embedd high quality artwork - has anyone signed up to the AWS service? Its a bit of a headached to set up, and i still havent got it to work. Is it worth it?

    I had a couple of other questions /points i wanted to add to the list:

    Sample rates - the rippping stragy suggests ripping to 44.1khz, but some of the FLAC files from HD tracks are 48 and over. So when ripping our archive copies of these kind of files should we match the base sample rate or still chose 44.1?

    Using the archival copy - I'm doing some tests to make sure i can use the archival copy for what it was intended. But i'm having problems with both buring, and converting. Burning using Toast loses doesn't match the track numbers, or the pregap information and actually has audio drop outs at 2 seconds before the end of each track. Converting to a fresh AIFF version results in metadata issues. I will report back with more details on this.

    Re-ripping - If you burn a copy onto a cd, is the idea to then be able to re-rip a bit for bit (re)copy?

  14. #14
    Trouble maker... Audio_ELF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwigmyre View Post
    Format of filename - what string do you use to ensure XLD places the different versions in the appropriate folders i.e. one copy of the album in the FLAC folder, and one copy of the album in the AIFF folder - Use [%f]/%A/%T/%n - %t
    Do you actually need the suqare brackets around the %f? WOuldn't that make folders called [FLAC]; [AIFF]; [ALAC]; etc?

    Wouldn't %f/%A/%T/%n- %t be better?

    Cue sheet - I read somewhere that this is only necessary if ripping to a single file. Whats the difference between a cue sheet and general metadata? - ripping to multiple files instead of to a single file is better for getting an exact copy of the cd. not sure about the difference between a cue sheet and metadata but you should still embedd a cue sheet even if ripping multiple files. Can you tell from my screen shot whether my cue sheet is actually 'embedded?'
    As I understand it cue sheets basically describe the detail of a larger file. i.e. if you ripped Beethoven's 9th Symphony as a single file, then the cue sheet might describe individual tracks...

    1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso (15 minutes)
    2. Scherzo: Molto vivace – Presto (12 minutes)
    3. Adagio molto e cantabile – Andante moderato – Tempo primo – Andante moderato – Adagio – Lo stesso tempo (16 minutes)
    4. Recitative: (Presto – Allegro ma non troppo – Vivace – Adagio cantabile – Allegro assai – Presto: O Freunde) – Allegro molto assai: Freude, schöner Götterfunken – Alla marcia – Allegro assai vivace: Froh, wie seine Sonnen – Andante maestoso: Seid umschlungen, Millionen! – Adagio ma non troppo, ma divoto: Ihr, stürzt nieder – Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato: (Freude, schöner Götterfunken – Seid umschlungen, Millionen!) – Allegro ma non tanto: Freude, Tochter aus Elysium! – Prestissimo, Maestoso, Molto Prestissimo: Seid umschlungen, Millionen! (24 minutes)

    Obviously the queue sheet says more than that and more technical but thats the basic idea...

    Sample rates - the rippping stragy suggests ripping to 44.1khz, but some of the FLAC files from HD tracks are 48 and over. So when ripping our archive copies of these kind of files should we match the base sample rate or still chose 44.1?
    The idea is that you should keep the rip at the same sample rate as the original source. That is 44100 for CD but if you download a HD Track file then you should convert from FLAC to another format keeping the original rate.[/QUOTE]

    Eloise
    ...in my opinion / experience...
    While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.
    And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

  15. #15
    HI!

    Many thanks for your help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
    Do you actually need the suqare brackets around the %f? WOuldn't that make folders called [FLAC]; [AIFF]; [ALAC]; etc?

    Wouldn't %f/%A/%T/%n- %t be better?
    Maybe but its all the same to me as they are only temporary folders. The files will then be moved to other locations/devices..

    Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post

    The idea is that you should keep the rip at the same sample rate as the original source. That is 44100 for CD but if you download a HD Track file then you should convert from FLAC to another format keeping the original rate.
    Thanks for this, makes sense to me!

    Anyone have any more ideas about the rest?

  16. #16
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    XLD site was kind enough to provide an answer to my question. I also noticed that if you hover over the format field a window appears with this info. The quote marks are mine:
    " %n: Track number
    %D: Disc number
    %t: Title
    %a: Artist
    %T: Album title
    %A: Album artist
    %c: Composer
    %y: Year
    %g: Genre
    %f: Format
    %i: ISRC
    %m: MCN
    %I: DiscID "

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by avta View Post
    I also noticed that if you hover over the format field a window appears with this info.

    %g: Genre
    Means that if I want to have also sorts by genre,
    then I should choose the string as [%f]/%A/%T (%y)/%g/%n - %a - %t

    This leads to the question of how reliable/useful is the genre info from FreeDB...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by kwigmyre View Post
    Can anyone comment as to why the artwork is missing?
    Have the same pain...

    kwigmyre, c
    ould you solve the problem of the missing (flac)artwork ?

  19. #19
    Freshman Member a.dent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelor View Post
    Have the same pain...

    kwigmyre, c
    ould you solve the problem of the missing (flac)artwork ?
    Try Preferences, CDDB, tick automatically connect to CDDB

  20. #20
    Thanks, I had already chosen this setting!
    Oddly enough, the artwork in Aiff and AAC is enclosed, unfortunately not in Flac...

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by dmagnus1 View Post
    I'm sorry that I can't offer anything for you, but I do have a question...

    I know you're following a recommended process, but why not rip your CD's into AIFF with iTunes (using error correction) and then simply convert your rips to ALAC? XLD will not give you a better rip than iTunes - I think its been shown that iTunes with error correction will render a bit-perfect rip with as high a degree of reliability as anything out there.
    This is incorrect. iTunes has no way of checking that what it rips is 100% bitperfect and accurate. We use XLD or RIP on the Mac because they DO check what they rip against the AccurateRip online database and reports back (within the log) if the rip is accurate or if there were errors.

    All error correction (within iTunes) does is do it twice and compare the results. If there's an imperfection/scratch that's unique to your CD, you may well get the same result both passes and be none the wiser...

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by xelor View Post
    Thanks, I had already chosen this setting!
    Oddly enough, the artwork in Aiff and AAC is enclosed, unfortunately not in Flac...
    No worries! If artwork is shown in the initial mask when XLD is getting metadata, it will be enclosed in FLAC files. It's just that a Mac can't display the artwork in FLAC files unless imported into a software with the ability of genuine FLAC playback. FLAC files may look as if the artwork were missing in Finder, but played via e.g. Amarra, it's there.

    Greetings from Switzerland, David.