Ripping CD's - Is iTunes good enough?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by colby2415, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. cmcintyre

    cmcintyre Forum Resident

    Thanks Tim, very interesting.
     
    Tim Müller likes this.
  2. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Thank you.
    Read more on Wikipedia:
    Compact Disc Digital Audio - Wikipedia
    I am not sure about what your software option of "error correction"actually really does.

    It could do what the other poster supposed, setting the drive into "CD player mode".
    Or, set the software into a mode where the software itself interpolates between errors?


    Anyways.

    That clever error detection and correction scheme of CD Audio is really fascinating to me. That's one of the reasons I have so much respect for all these clever engineers who contributed to the inventions of digital audio and finally the CD.
    It's clever thinking, thorough understanding of electrical, mathematical, statistical and computer sciences, and practical problem solution abilities, in a team of engineers from different schools and experiences.
    Ah, and that CD standard still has not been made obsolete or audibly surpassed even almost 40 years (1982 until 2018) after it's invention.

    As a sidenote: MusiCassettes (the Philips compact cassette system) enjoyed compatible upgrades, such as stereo, Dolby B and C noise reductions, Chrome, Ferro-Chrome and Metal-Tape formulations; Dolby HX.

    The vinyl received some upgrades, like Direct Metal Mastering (DMM), sharper needle cuts (as a result of quadraphonic CD-4 technology), maybe better vinyl formulations or processes.

    And, still, all these could not reach the quality of CD.

    CD could not be improved in a compatible way, because it was digital, and the format was fixed early as 82. But, still, almost no commercial available recording utilizes CD sound qualitiy up to it's full potential.

    These engineers did a really great job.
     
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  3. KevinP

    KevinP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daejeon
    Hope so.

    I'm away from my home for one year. I have access to only two computers with a drive: a laptop with Linux and Sound Juicer, and my temporary office computer. My office computer will not install anything that isn't on a pre-approved list, and iTunes is the only ripping program that is. I've never used their software before, but it's my only choice here.

    For CDs I buy, whatever. Even if the rip isn't as good as EAC, I can live it. I mean, I have the CDs.

    But this university does have an amazingly well-stocked CD room in the library....

    iTunes is fast though. Alarmingly so.
     
  4. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I didn't say that. What I meant is that Apple has no incentive to improve the ripping capability because the whole point of iTunes is for the user to buy the music from their store.
     
    Steve G likes this.
  5. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Is there a way to compare my iTunes rips to the AccurateRip database to test their accuracy?
     
  6. Floyd47

    Floyd47 Member

    Location:
    Texas
    I've been using XLD on my Macbook Pro since 2011 or 2012 to rip my CD collection. After I set it up the first time, I haven't changed the settings and I've had great luck with it. I've only run into a handful discs that wouldn't rip, and sometimes I could get them to rip by using a different CD drive.

    A few weeks ago, I ripped a CD, and it said there were some read errors, but it also said all the tracks were accurately ripped. Does this mean it was able to reread those sections to get the accurate rip? I don't think I had ever seen that before. I had always seen no errors, 100% accurate, or it would be a disc that would get stuck and never finish ripping.
     
  7. Yes.
    With the caveat that I have never tried these methods on an iTunes rip. And These programs are Windows. No Mac versions.

    dBpoweramp's PerfectTUNES can verify ripped lossless files against AccurateRip to determine if the ripped files have errors. I have bought and used dBpoweramp for ripping, but have not even downloaded or tried PerfectTUNES. I don't know how well it works.

    CUETools can also verify previously ripped lossless files. It will verify against both AccurateRip and it's own CTDB (CUETools DB). To verify a previously ripped CD you'll select all of the files and have have CUETools generate a CUE file for those files. Then use CUETools to verify that CUE file to determine if the rip has errors or not. This generally works. The generated CUE file is not going to be the exact same as the CUE file generated when ripping the CD. If the generated CUE file is close enough you'll be able to match the files in AccurateRip and CTDB. If it isn't close enough then it won't find any matches. I've never tried this with an iTunes rip. I don't know if an iTunes lossless rip will generate a CUE file that is close enough.
     
  8. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    You call that a collection? Yer gonna need some disk space. And foundation work.
     
    BluesOvertookMe likes this.
  9. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    I have a question born entirely out of ignorance*- is Apple's lossless format proprietary to it, such that you are stuck using Mac related equipment and/or cannot migrate the ripped files to a different format/platform?

    ____________
    I have been a vinyl only guy forever, though over the years have accumulated many CDs and have now started buying older CDs for records that are priced in the stratosphere. I'm primarily interested in high quality Redbook playback using a transport and DAC-gear I'm still evaluating for purchase- but seeing this thread, and knowing Apple as a Mac user for other things prompted the question. Thanks.
     
  10. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Another. Not proprietary.
     
  11. Apple made ALAC open source in 2011. It is no longer proprietary. Even before 2011 there were reverse engineered versions of ALAC available. ALAC is available on other platforms and non-apple portable players and even in car stereos. ALAC can work outside of the Apple ecosystem. FLAC is more popular outside of the Apple ecosystem, but still, there are many products outside of the Apple ecosystem that do support ALAC.

    Any file in ALAC can be converted to FLAC with no loss. And any FLAC file can be converted to ALAC with no loss. No matter which format you decide on you'll be able to convert to the other one later if the need arises.
     
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  12. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Thank you for a very clear answer, HS.
     
  13. anorak2

    anorak2 Active Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    One thing is odd though. CD uses a spiral track like vinyl records, and it contains no file system. Essentially it's just a sequential audio stream with track marks and a time code. There is nothing wrong with it as such, but it gave engineers a headache when they later shoehorned the CD-ROM format onto this structure.

    If IT engineers (and not the music industry) had designed the format, they would likely have defined concentrical tracks like on harddisk and floppy disk, and a file system with filenames and directories, where each audio track would have been an individual file. With DVD they went that way, to an extent anyway. A video DVD is just a special case of a DVD-ROM with files and directories.
     
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  14. A CD format with a file system would have made early CD players impossibly expensive. They didn't have affordable microprocessors back then. The CD format was designed so that it could be read with simpler circuits and minimal micro-processing. The CIRC error correction was designed so that it could be processed using hardware logic rather than needing to be decoded using software running on a microprocessor. If they made the CD format have a file system then you now need a microprocessor and minimal OS to read that file system. And that was just not possible to do affordably back then.
     
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  15. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    I'm certainly a newbie at this as well... anyway, I've been using fre:ac because it was recommended on the FLAC site and it's free and seems to work. I just rip CDs straight to FLAC and my player will play them gapless - so there are no extra steps and no extra files. My player won't play ALAC gapless, only FLAC or .wav. I know iTunes will make .wav files if you set the preference and then go root around to find the files it makes, but fre:ac will just let you choose where you put the files and then it makes a nice folder of your files that is clearly labeled, etc. It doesn't seem to have to get tags off the internet or anything. So my question is: is it so simple? Are there any dangers to that program that I have not experienced yet. It's just CDs and they sound okay as FLACs. I guess they are supposed to sound identical but I haven't made real comparisons - they don't sound anywhere near as good as DSD64 but they sound okay. It's a free program and there really is nothing at all difficult about it. I figured the FLAC people would not steer you to something bum.
     
  16. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    Windows I assume?
    Again EAC or dbPoweramp will check your rips against a DB or rips and check for accuracy. I would never suggest wav files, better AIFF as Wav lacks any provision for Metadata. But Flac, ALAC, Wav and AIFF can be converted one to the other with no sound losses. They are all lossless. The key is to get the rip correct. This is where EAC, XLD and dbPoweramp are superior.
     
    cmcintyre likes this.
  17. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    no, Apple. I play them on an OPPO.
     
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  18. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    The same programs I mentioned run on OSX.
     
  19. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    so you are saying that you believe EAC rips more accurately than fre:ac? as I said fre:ac was recommended by FLAC, but EAC is also free so I could compare. I really don't want to have a program comparing my drives to a data base and I doubt if there are many copies of what I rip in there anyway. But if you are saying the software itself is more accurate then of course I would prefer to have more accuracy. When I listened to one disc I ripped (Carter Symphonia with Oliver Knussen conducting) the first time I heard the CD it sounded better to me than the first time I heard the rip but it might have just been familiarity breeding audio contempt and me looking harder for trouble. It's a virgin disc so I really doubt if there are any errors on the CD. It's Deutsche Grammophon "20 21". Anyway, I'm willing to give EAC a shot if you recommend it. I can't be bothered with dbPoweramp because it costs money and the site is a turn-off anyway...
     
  20. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    :whistle::wave::whistle:
     
  21. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    Oh sorry - I mean - to find iTunes rips you have to go into music/iTunes/iTunes media/Music, not music/iTunes/music mind you - and then find which version of the song it stored as a .wav file and where it stored it - if you put a CD in that isn't a modern CD in the Apple Music data base, it will call it "Unknown" and will automatically have labeled the tracks "track 1" "track 2" etc., and there will be 86 albums called Unknown so you will have to sort them by date and so forth. With fre:ac and presumably with other software, you insert a CD and it asks you where you want to save it. With iTunes you have to go into preferences to see what format you have set up and configure your preferences before you rip whereas on fre:ac you have a scroll down menu right where you start and you just pick the format you like. Etc. But their directory structure is a nightmare. I have no idea why music/iTunes/music is even in there. I think it's for the people it wants to rope into buying all iTunes and Apple Music and synching their devices etc.
     
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  22. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    You are free to use whatever program you wish. This is what makes EAC and dbPoweramp different.

    AccurateRip
     
  23. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    also with iTunes, some clever rappers have figured out how to tag song lengths or manufacturing codes or something so they get extra royalties, and sometimes if you rip your own CD that you just made in the studio iTunes will immediately label it as an alt version of some rap track
     
  24. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    My rips go where I've created a directory. I've named my external hard drive "MUSIC" and initially pointed iTunes there. Now, I click on the MUSIC icon on my desktop and all the artist folders are right there in alphabetical order. Not sure what you have going on there but mine couldn't be simpler. I listen to a ton of super obscure music. The last two CDs I bought had 200 each manufactured...instantly recognised. I can't remember the last time I had an unknown CD. Are you saying that you have iTunes configured to use Apple Music as the database to fill out artist and track names? Also not sure why one would have a need to constantly change the rip format/settings. I set it on ALAC and left it. If I occcasionally want to turn some of those files into MP3 or whatever I go in and change it then and then only. I've also never heard of anything being automatically names some rap track. What a mess. Must be a Windows thing.
     
  25. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    I'm in a business where I frequently have to email people MP3s but I never listen to them myself so I need to switch back and forth a lot
     
    Synthfreek likes this.

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