Jump to content
Sabeque

Ripping to lossless on a Mac...help please :)

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I have some questions. I apologize if this has already been addressed and also I'm sorry for all of the info but I want to be thorough. :)

 

Objective:

Rip CD collection in highest quality possible to lossless format (as yet undefined).

 

Factors:

~ I'm on a Mac and from what I've read XLD is the best option for accurate rips.

~ I want to be able to tag my files with Artist, Track name, etc. and want compatibility with iTunes without plugins or workarounds, so FLAC is not an option for me.

~ My music is mostly electronic and hip hop (not sure if this makes a difference when choosing the lossless format or conversion settings).

~ Larger file size is not a concern for me. Quality is. HD space is cheap.

~ Many of my CDs are mixed, i.e. gapless.

 

Purpose:

~ To have the highest quality digital backup possible. Many of my CDs are rare or irreplaceable promos. A few are also older and have begun to degrade. I want to convert everything now in the best quality I can so that I can save my music indefinitely.

~ After the CDs degrade more I need another source as close as possible to the original. Therefore I want to have lossless files that I can listen to or use whenever I need to create a lossy (MP3) version for my iPhone.

 

Questions:

~ When trying to convert some CDs in iTunes, some tracks were not converted at all because the CDs were degraded (no scratches, just old). I am hoping XLD can use error correction to "fix" these issues. Does XLD do this kind of correction?

~ I have heard ALAC may not be a good choice because of a theoretical "jitter" issue which compromises quality. Is this true?

~ Assuming AIFF is the best choice based on the factors above, what would be the best settings? I see a lot of tutorials for FLAC conversion but not for AIFF. When I checked the Wiki page comparing lossless formats I also did not see any AIFF reference there.

~ XLD has an option that says somethign about C2 error pointers (if your dirve supports this). How do I know if my drive supports this?

~ If you rip a gapless CD to multiple lossless tracks and then later convert those lossless files to mp3, can you join the tracks as one file when converting to mp3 so that you can remove the gaps? I've had problems playing gapless albums as multiple tracks in mp3 format on my iphone.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make about 10 CD rips with iTunes to ALAC (or AIFF if you don't even want lossless compression) and see if you are happy with that. If so, that is by FAR your easiest option.

 

I am a great fan of XLD, but ripping in iTunes is much easier and 99.9% of the time just as good, at least in my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When trying to convert some CDs in iTunes, some tracks were not converted at all because the CDs were degraded (no scratches, just old). I am hoping XLD can use error correction to "fix" these issues. Does XLD do this kind of correction?

 

Both iTunes and XLD do error correction. XLD is better at reporting errors (iTunes fails silently). It might be worth cleaning the lens on your CD drive. I have some damaged CDs I purchased in 1986, and they ripped fine.

 

~ I have heard ALAC may not be a good choice because of a theoretical "jitter" issue which compromises quality. Is this true?

 

No.

 

~ Assuming AIFF is the best choice based on the factors above, what would be the best settings? I see a lot of tutorials for FLAC conversion but not for AIFF. When I checked the Wiki page comparing lossless formats I also did not see any AIFF reference there.

 

~ XLD has an option that says somethign about C2 error pointers (if your dirve supports this). How do I know if my drive supports this?

 

I don't know.

 

~ If you rip a gapless CD to multiple lossless tracks and then later convert those lossless files to mp3, can you join the tracks as one file when converting to mp3 so that you can remove the gaps? I've had problems playing gapless albums as multiple tracks in mp3 format on my iphone.

 

I think you can do that, but you don't have to convert to mp3. "Gapless" is really just a tag in iTunes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Questions:

~ When trying to convert some CDs in iTunes, some tracks were not converted at all because the CDs were degraded (no scratches, just old). I am hoping XLD can use error correction to "fix" these issues. Does XLD do this kind of correction?

 

XLD will try harder than iTunes to get a correct rip. Ensure the ripper mode in XLD preferences is "XLD Secure Ripper". It's slower than "Burst" mode and slower than iTunes but should be more likely to succeed where iTunes has failed. There's a third mode option of "CD Paranoia III" which you can try if "XLD Secure Ripper" is unsuccessful.

 

~ I have heard ALAC may not be a good choice because of a theoretical "jitter" issue which compromises quality. Is this true?

 

Not true in my experience. ALAC is lossless and the files are created correctly by both iTunes and XLD. Some people have reported hearing differences in sound quality when comparing playback of lossless formats. Put your mind at rest by comparing ALAC and AIFF conversions of some tracks then deciding which suits you. In any case, you'll be able to safely convert from one lossless format to another if you change your mind in future.

 

~ Assuming AIFF is the best choice based on the factors above, what would be the best settings? I see a lot of tutorials for FLAC conversion but not for AIFF. When I checked the Wiki page comparing lossless formats I also did not see any AIFF reference there.

 

Regardless of choice of AIFF or ALAC, a couple of XLD settings should be made to suit your iTunes setup. Post a screenshot of the Advanced tab of iTunes Preferences.

 

~ XLD has an option that says somethign about C2 error pointers (if your dirve supports this). How do I know if my drive supports this?

 

I don't know and I leave the C2 option disabled.

 

~ If you rip a gapless CD to multiple lossless tracks and then later convert those lossless files to mp3, can you join the tracks as one file when converting to mp3 so that you can remove the gaps? I've had problems playing gapless albums as multiple tracks in mp3 format on my iphone.

 

I'm not aware of iTunes being able to concatenate the audio from separate files into a single file. There's a command line program called SoX which can do it. http://sox.sourceforge.net/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re "joining" files - there is an option in iTunes which will let you join the files - but the catch is this must be done prior to ripping the CD in iTunes. For post rip "joining" you will need third party software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×