iTunesEncode.exe: Use EAC or Foobar to make Apple Lossless Files

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by CardinalFang, Mar 15, 2006.

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  1. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
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    I start this thread with some apprehension. I don't want this to turn into a "versus" thread. I just want to share some information with those who use Apple Lossless in iTunes.

    Last night I bought a new hard drive and added it to my PC. I decided that I wanted to start using Apple Lossless instead of AAC and Lame MP3 on my iPod. But I wanted to rip with EAC, and I hate adding WAV files to the iTunes library, encoding to Apple Lossless, then finally deleting the WAV files from iTunes. I know it doesn't take much effort, but since I was starting from scratch, I wanted the process to be automated.

    Via the Hydrogen Audio Forums, I found iTunesEncode.exe. This is a small command-line program, like lame.exe, that you can call from EAC to encode into AAC or Apple Lossless. It even adds the files to the iTunes library for you. :thumbsup:

    You can download the latest version (for PC only) here:
    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=35242

    The directions for its use are here:
    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=29821&st=0&p=257899&#entry257899

    If you'd rather use it with Foobar2000 for encoding, there are directions here:
    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=40631&view=findpost&p=357399

    Have fun! :)
     
  2. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Very interesting. But why don't you want to use iTunes to rip? Why EAC? I'm not questioning your judgement at all; I'm not knowledgeable in this area and am curious.

    I will say I love Apple Lossless because I can make a special library, have it encode into MP3 or whatever, and still have the lossless version.
     
  3. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

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    Because EAC has more accurate rips. I'm creating a lossless music library on my HD, so EAC is the way to go for me. I rip the CD and get a LOG file, so I know if the rip is good or not. iTunes isn't a bad ripper, but I've had issues in the past, especially with scratched up discs.

    In a perfect world, I'd be encoding to FLAC, but until the iPod supports it, I'm using Apple Lossless.
     
  4. StyxCollector

    StyxCollector Man of Miracles

    If you like and are comfortable with EAC, why not try a few that way and do the same few in iTunes and see if you detect any difference? If you don't and you prefer EAC, just use that.
     
  5. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

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    Well, I've been using the EAC system for a week. I'm pretty happy with it and see no reason to do it any other way right now. :) If somebody else wants to do some tests between iTunes and EAC, I'd be interested in hearing the results. But I'm going to stick with this system. I especially like having the log files, which I am keeping with my lossless files on the HD.
     
  6. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Thanks Keith! I'm definitely going to try this. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  7. boead

    boead New Member

    Yeah but the iPod or any portable device is simply not good enough to distinguish the difference between MP3 and Apple Lossless unless you are comparing 128k MP3’s to a lossless format in which case the differences aren’t due to MP3 vs. lossless but rather low bitrate MP3 are poor. If you make maximum quality MP3 and compared them to Apple Lossless played directly from your iPod you won’t hear an iota of a difference.

    My beef isn’t with the iPod not playing FLAC but rather iTunes not playing FLAC AND the fact that iTunes won’t allow me to setup profiles. I can’t have two or more libraries on a single log-in, that’s a problem for me. I need to have one so I can copy music (MP3 and/or AAC) to my iPod and I like it synced with only checked tracks (the only way to manage 100GB onto a 30GB portable IMO), and the other with ALL my track selected so I can actually listen to them – Duha!

    Since FLAC can’t be played with iTunes, having a library of FLAC and the problem mentioned above means I need a second application just to play them back on.
    I solved the sync-iPod thing by creating another WindowsXP user login that I use to manage my iPod and my primary login for everything else. But I still need a second app to play FLAC with so I am reluctant to use FLAC for that reason not because my iPod doesn’t support it. Hell, I like my iPod but with the fierce competition and wave of new ideas, my next player can easily NOT be an iPod so I choose to make NO decisions based on it.

    I like iTunes 6.x so far, it runs nicely on Windows and is intuitive. I can also use the better sounding Foobar engine for playback. I am a charter owner of Music Match and get lifetime updates for free, yet the last few versions were memory hungry and quirky so I have been shying away from using it, still It’s likely the only other choice for a music application in Windows. Foobar sounds good but its ugly and its GUI sucks, same goes for Winamp in my opinion and I won’t use them.

    So I feel that iTunes is of the better choices for music playback on a PC because it works well, is intuitive and with the Foobar plugin, sounds best. That make sit a all around winner in my book. Apple Lossless seems to be the only logical choice, right? However, the biggest drawback is that ONLY iTunes will playback Apple Lossless.

    I’m becoming more inclined to just save WAV’s, oh but WAV’s can’t be tagged! Isn’t’ that a BIG problem.

    The whole thing sucks!

    And lastly, the audible differences from the average consumer audio chip on a PC isn’t’ capable of discerning between a lossless file and a good quality MP3 so for most, why bother?

    I’m a fussy audiophile and find it takes a lot to hear the differences between a WAV and a maximum quality MP3 unless I use an audiophile DAC. Even a good quality M-Audio Delta can only subtly convey the differences so the basic source components are the bottleneck not the actual recording (software).
     
  8. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

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    I'm archiving on the hard drive. The fact that I'm putting it on my iPod is secondary to some extent.

    I can hear a difference anyway... at least between lossless and 160 AAC, which I previously used for my iPod. Especially when listening to stuff like Steve's Bad Company disc.
     
  9. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

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    Guys, reread the first sentence in my first post. This isn't a bitch session or a debate on FLAC vs MP3 vs ALAC vs AAC. Or iPod/iTunes vs. another brand. I'm just passing on information that I feel would be helpful to other forum members. If it's useless to you, don't bother posting. I don't want a debate. Rather, I'd prefer to hear what other people think of using this method, and if they had any problems.

    The only issues I have had is 1) once in a while, maybe every 10 discs, I get one track that doesn't encode. I'm not sure if the error is with iTunesEncode, iTunes or EAC. It's easy enough to rerip that one track though; 2) Apple Lossless will sometimes hiccup on the iPod. No big deal to me though... it happens less than any portable CD player I've used (not many).
     
  10. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    :agree: :thumbsup:

    I have installed iTunesEncode and have done about 10 tracks as a test with EAC. The process, once I had everything set up properly, has worked flawlessly so far.

    Again, thanks for the heads-up, Keith!
     
  11. Using iTunes, select the "use error correction" option and you should get rips as "accurate" as EAC, at least on a per-track basis. Have you tried that option?
     
  12. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    I've tried it. IME there have been times when iTunes, even with error correction activated, couldn't read certain tracks from some of my older discs properly. EAC rips these reliably and well.
     
  13. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
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    Yes, but I use EAC for the logs since I'm archiving to my hard drive. Besides, on a couple discs I have had errors when using iTunes in error correction mode.

    Why is everybody trying to convert me to using iTunes! :confused: I've been evangelizing iTunes since it's debut. I feel it's one of the best, most intuitive Music Library programs out there, especially for tagging (especially when combined with Apple Scripts when using a Mac). I never said I didn't want to use EAC and would have preferred to use iTunes. Did anybody read my first post??

    I'm sorry, I do appreciate that you guys are trying to help me out. But I never really said I needed it. :D I guess I'm just getting frustrated that every thread remotely discussing software, operating systems and lossless & lossy ends up with two sides trying to convince each other that their way is best. That debate has it's place, and can be fun sometimes. I've been known to go there. :D But I have no interest in discussing it in this thread. I wanted to hear from people that have tried iTunesEncode. I wanted to turn some folks onto iTunesEncode as well. I know there are a lot of EAC users here, and Foobar users as well. This can be very useful for them.
     
  14. Oh no, that's not what I was doing. I just was not sure if you were aware of iTunes' error-correction option. Because you were using EAC in tandem with iTunes, I thought I'd mention it. If EAC works for you, good!
     
  15. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

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    Sorry Billy. I am a first rate GROUCH today. I don't know why. No offense intended in my reply. :angel:
     
  16. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Question for you Keith: Do you know if there's a way to utilize iTunes' "Join Tracks" feature in connection with this? Can something like that be done within EAC?
     
  17. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

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    Aside from ripping an image wav file of the entire CD, no. And iTunes will only Join Tracks from CDs, not from files already in your iTunes library.
     
  18. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    That's what I thought; thanks.
     
  19. However, there are lots of utilities that will allow you to do this manually. Just paste one track to the end of the other and save. I use Quicktime Player, but I'm sure tons of other apps are out there that'll work . . .
     
  20. metalbob

    metalbob Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I have been testing this out and it does encode with iTunes, but it is compressing with regular AAC and NOT working with Lossless even though that is selected already. Any suggestions?

    BOB
     
  21. metalbob

    metalbob Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey

    I just tested it again and I have Lossless selected prior to the rip. Somehow, it encodes at 160kbps and the settings are changed to that as well. In EAC, there is no way to shut off the Bit Rate so it's set at 320kbps.

    BOB
     
  22. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
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    Go by these instructions... they are better than anything I posted above:

    http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showpost.php?p=1007243&postcount=1

    The difference is that an earlier link has this command-line:
    -e "AAC Encoder" -a "%a" -l "%g" -t "%t" -g "%m" -y %y -n %n -i %s -o %d -d

    While the correct one should be:
    -e "Lossless Encoder" -a "%a" -l "%g" -t "%t" -g "%m" -y %y -n %n -i %s -o %d -d

    Make that correction and you should be good to go. :) (Remove -d to prevent iTunesEncode from deleting the original Lossless file that is copied into iTunes).
     
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