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Ripping Strategy

Discussion in 'Music' started by Towen7, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Until now I've only ripped a few dozen discs. Some were in mp4, mp3 and AAC in iTunes. Some were mp3, wav, and WMA in Windows Media Player.

    I plan to re-rip what's already been done and work my through the rest of my physical library. The trick is that I want everything in a lossless format that can be handled by both iTunes and WMP.

    What's the best way to do that?
  2. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    I'd say FLAC in case you ever get a Squeezebox (native format, allows ff/rew)... but I have no idea if iTunes and WMP can handle it. WMP probably, but Apple may have their "our (lossless) formats only" thing in place?
  3. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    From what I can tell... WMP, WMC, nor iTunes (can handle FLAC).
    Is there some way to transcode audio files in bulk? In other words, can I rip a stck of discs to WMA, than use some utility to transcode everything to AAC (or mp3 or whatever)?
  4. Rope

    Rope Well-Known Member Famous

    I ripped my entire CD library to WMA lossless with WMP. Very fast, and I used STAMP ID3 tag editor to embed all the art work for Squeezebox Touch. I've no regrets in choosing WMA lossless as my compression format.

  5. Kazaam

    Kazaam Well-Known Member

    There's probably something out there for "WMA Lossless", but I can't say for certain.

    But what I do know is that iTunes can do a large bulk conversion of your Apple Lossless ripped CDs to AAC (or MP3). That's what I did and it was much faster than physically ripping the discs a second time, obviously. To do it I selected all of the music files (choose 'select all' from pulldown menu) and then under the 'Advanced' pulldown menu I selected "create MP3 version". It sounds kind of messy the way I've described it, but it was really quite easy to do and very worthwhile.

    On the other hand... iTunes kinda sucks for actually embedding the artwork into the files. If you tell iTunes to automatically download artwork, it might fetch some artwork and it'll display in iTunes and on iPods, but the artwork isn't actually embedded---so it doesn't show artwork when using non-Apple stuff. Thankfully, there is a method within iTunes that allows you to manually embed artwork into the file itself, but that's quite a bit of work. (It's easy to do for one or two discs, but it would be a pain in the ass to do hundreds of albums.) Anyway.. I do this now for all of my NEW rips. But there are quite a few albums from my initial big batch of CD rips that don't have the embedded artwork (as there were just too many to do at the time; besides I won't really noticed the difference so long as I use Apple products).
  6. Rope

    Rope Well-Known Member Famous

    FLAC would possibly be the most versital format. I've never attempted to convert a WMA lossless file to MP3. I don't have a reason to do so.

  7. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The reason for wanting the music in two formats is because I want to use Windows Media Center and the Xbox 360 to play tunes in the house (WMA) but I use an iPod touch for music and podcasts (and apps) outside of the house (AAC).

    There are hacks for WMC to recognize other formats but... for the sake of stability I'd rather not go there. I suppose mp3 would be good enough for the portable stuff but I still need a way to transcode everything in bulk. If iTunes has a utility that'll do that than I'll assume that WMP does too. I'll keep digging.
  8. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I use WMA-Lossless and WMP will convert them the low bitrate WMA or MP3 on the fly for portable media and portable player with synchronizing.

    I know FLAC will work with iTunes and WMP because my Apple-fanboi best friend uses FLAC on his allApple rig and I've used FLAC in WMP. That's what I'd use. I imagine Itunes will convert audio files when synchronizing to ipods.

    In my rig WMA-lossless works perfectly with my Squeezeboxes.
  9. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    I'm almost sure MediaMonkey (there's a free version) can do the bulk transcode... It's what I use for all my ripping and music management.
  10. nats

    nats Well-Known Member

    pauly,did you get a chance to listen to any of those discs? just need a yey or ney to whether they sound lossless or compressed.
  11. Kazaam

    Kazaam Well-Known Member

    It can, if one so chooses. Unfortunately, unless things have changed since I last looked up this feature, this method only allows for converting to 128 AAC which may not be good enough for some users. (Myself included, though some songs were passable in less critical environments.) As such, I keep two libraries in my iTunes---one of Apple Lossless for at home and another of MP3 at 192, which I find acceptable for traveling with the iPod.
  12. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    I have, sorry so slow, but I haven't had a chance to really compare in detail the Dirt Settlers tracks from your CD to the ones I downloaded from amazon... I will try to do that soon.
  13. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous

    Unless Flac is universally supported by both Apple and WMC/Xbox, I think you're best bet is to stick with MP3 as it is going to be more universally accepted as opposed to Flac. The downside is, MP3 is not lossless.

    If SQ is a top priority, then I would see which one is more important to you and choose that or just live with having two versions of all your media. If SQ isn't "that" important, then encoding to the quality variable bit rate in MP3 is your best most simple solution.

    WMP may have changed a lot since I last used it, but I never could get WMP11 to play nice with my Flac files, so I now use Winamp as my main player for the PC.
  14. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    WMP won't rip FLAC files nor will WMP or WMC play FLAC files without a hack to change the codec. I have no idea if hacking WMC on the host computer will let me play FLAC files on an extender device. Either way I'm not interested in doing all of that.

    Sound quality isn't too important for the portable files so I guess mp3 would be fine. WMP will (from what I've read) transcode from WMA to mp3 when syncing BUT... the problem is that WMP won't sync with my iPod Touch. To get the music to said iPod I'd need to convert the WMA files into an iPod friendly format and import those into iTunes. If I'm going to have to transcode all the files anyway I thought I may as well transcode them to another lossless format.
  15. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I downloaded MediaMonkey but the free version won't covert to Apple Lossless. The MediaMonkey player will play AAC files but I have to purchase their $10 a plug in to use it to convert WMA lossless to AAC.

    It will convert to FLAC but iTunes does not natively support the format without a plugin. Thats fine for the PC but this exercise is to get music on my iPod. I cant tell for sure if iTunes will convert FLAC to another format when syncing so I'm just useing MediaMonkey to convert all of my WMA lossless stuff to high bitrate MP3s.

    So here is the whole strategy-
    1.) Because I had stuff in different formats all over the place I deleted all of the music from both WMP and iTunes libraries
    2.) Created separate WMP and iTunes library folders
    3.) Ripped my entire (rather modest compared to some) CD collection to WMA lossless in the WMP library over the course of several days.
    4.) Used MediaMonkey to convert the WMA lossless files in the WMP library to 256K MP3s in the iTunes library. The WMA lossless to MP3 conversion of the entire library took about 7 hours.

    Now I have lossless versions for streaming to my Xbox(s) and mp3 versions for playback on my iPod. Going forward I'll just rip/convert as soon as I buy anything. Doing it one disc at a time takes only a couple of minutes. It'd be nice if there were just one space efficient lossless format that work across MS and Apple platforms without a bunch of hacks and plugins.

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