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EAC vs CueTools vs. dbPoweramp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by buzzy, Apr 12, 2020.

  1. buzzy

    buzzy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    I'm new to ripping my CDs and I have so far tried CueTools (CueRipper) and EAC for creating flac files on my Windows 10 computer. I thought EAC was a bit too complicated to get set up, too many boxes to tick or un-tick, and not knowing what any of it means in a practical sense. I know guys say just run the wizard and it will be fine for most needs, but I didn't find that to be the case. Anyway, CueRipper, which isn't super intuitive either, at least gave me good results off the bat. It puts the files in folders according to Artist/Year-Album/Tracks in that order by default. I love that it sorts chronologically by default so albums within the folder are sorted according to year instead of alphabetically. I know you can change the placeholders in EAC to accomplish the same thing, but sometimes getting the syntax correct can be confusing. The other cool thing about CueTools is its ability to repair rips so they match the database, which I had to do on one CD I bought recently from Discogs. I don't think the other two can do that. dbPoweramp costs $40 and the others are free, but there is a free trial so you can try before you buy. It gets high praise from many for ease of use and features. Hydrogen Audio has forums with a lot of information for EAC/CueTools, though it can get very technical at times. I am going to try the free version of dbPoweramp for a few rips, and if it streamlines the process, will not have a problem forking over the $40. The batch converter thing they mention might come in handy if I want to make MP3s for my phone.
     
  2. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Supposedly EAC allows you to fix rips as well. But I've not yet figured-out how to use this feature.
     
  3. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    I used EAC for years but now use dBPoweramp. I only use CT for the repair function occasionally.
     
    PooreBoy and George P like this.
  4. MrEWhite

    MrEWhite Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    dBpoweramp is where it's at imo. Much more user friendly interface.
     
    luckybaer, tin ears, boots and 2 others like this.
  5. buzzy

    buzzy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Right, It seems practically everything you do in EAC requires a learning curve.

    Were you proficient with EAC? I think if I was comfortable with it, and had it set up the way I wanted, I'd be fine using it, but I didn't get started ripping years ago when EAC was the only option.

    I'm going to give it a try, but I need to stay familiar with CueTools for the reason mentioned above.
     
  6. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Yep, main reason for switching was efficiency. DBPoweramp also has a different way of reading errors than EAC, which works better IME for the occasional scratch on a used CD.
     
  7. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    dBPoweramp is worth every penny.
     
  8. buzzy

    buzzy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    @GeorgeP have you ever used it for anything other than flacs? like MP3s for instance for use on a phone or small player? What do you do if you come accross a CD that can't be verified by Accurip?
     
  9. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Sure, I have ripped to WAV, MP3 CBR, MP3 VBR, you name it. And yes, for my phone I use MP3 VBR.

    I don't recall that happening. I listen to CDs and SACDs primarily. I use dBPoweramp to rip files for my phone, (WAV) files to view in Audacity.

    I also use the dBPoweramp converter all the time, even more than the ripper. It converts quickly and efficiently.
     
    luckybaer and Mike-48 like this.
  10. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    In dpba? First thing I do is, clean the CD. Then I put it into another optical drive and try again. Different drives are quite different in their abilities to read flaky discs. If it's still not labeled Accurate, I see if the dbpa status is Secure with a check mark. If so, the rip is probably good. If not, it may have errors. Most of those still play fine. If I can, I'll borrow the disc from the library or a friend to rip the erroneous tracks.

    dpba has settings that allow error recovery in some cases. Occasionally, those will work.
     
    tin ears, buzzy and superstar19 like this.
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    All ripping databases use user data to populate the database. The data doesn't come from some magic oracle. What most ripping programs will do (including dBPower) is do a secure rip with multiple passes on each track. That information will later be uploaded to the ripping database as a "good rip" which can be used as a reference by other users. Since I have a large collection and a fair amount of independent, non-mainstream music, it is quite common to find a disc that isn't already in the ripping database for Accurip/AccurateRip/whatever.
     
    luckybaer and c-eling like this.
  12. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    I'm glad I went to dBpoweramp (and paid for all the extra tools I probably don't need anyway), but I understand there are more resources online now to configure EAC easier, and more intuitively. But yes, it's a complex utility designed to offer many solutions to many people with different criteria. Thus, the complexity.

    My dream setup would also include a couple of extra CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives attached to my compyooter, just to make the process go faster. My CPU is fast and strong enough to handle all the multitasking, and I'd like to learn to make my workflow faster anyway...got a lot to do here, and that's waaay before I get started with the surround discs...!

    I'm one of those guys who likes to make a job more difficult than it needs to be...but also wants more options than I even know what to do with...just in case I eventually get smart enough to use them all!
     
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  13. buzzy

    buzzy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    I bought a used CD recently. It was a replacement CD because I lost the original, I think I left it in the CD drive of an old laptop that died. It's not an uncommon disc, it's the Beatles Revolver, so no chance it wouldn't be in the database. I don't think I could buy it new because it was from the '87 pressings and they have since remastered Beatles CDs. I did a search of the catalog numbers and bought a matching one off Discogs. It played fine, but both EAC and CueRipper found errors in the same spot, so it wouldn't match the database. So I repaired it with CueTools with the help from forum moderator on the HA site. The repair was successful, so I'm glad. Discogs wants me to review the seller, which I haven't done yet. I'm wondering if I should mention the fact that I couldn't get a perfect rip the first time around even though I'll still give a good review since it worked out. I don't have another drive I can try for problem discs like that, maybe I should look for one. I recently purchased the one I have off Amazon, and both EAC and CueRipper found it in their database.
     
  14. buzzy

    buzzy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Nice- I love Audacity, it's great for critical listening
     
  15. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    @buzzy, like many I just wanted to play my CD rips, so just dived in and started ripping without any real thought, used most of the default settings. I started with EAC, which worked fine, moved to dBpoweramp: About Illustrate which is far more intuitive, extremely configurable and powerful.

    I only use a dual core Celeron, but the ripping is quick - if you have a more powerful processor, such as an octa core the encoding must fly, so both ripping and batch converting can utilise the power of your computer in dBpoweramp - this will save you time.

    If you work out how you want to organise your library in advance, folder tree structure, embedded / Folder.jpg, cover art size, capatalise, how you want to handle multi disc sets, compilations etc. you can save an awful lot of time. Being able to set different profiles and the batch converter are incredibly useful features. I didn't use a number of the features early on, but really pleased try are there as and when I have.

    Apart from the excellent software suite in dBpoweramp, the support forum is superb and I have saved a lot of time simply by asking questions there. Having ripped a few thousand CDs I think the small financial investment has been very worthwhile. A few of my friends used the free fully functioning trial to try before buy.
     
  16. eric777

    eric777 Astral Projectionist

    Location:
    Tennessee
    All three are good in my opinion.
     
    mj_patrick likes this.
  17. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elkhart, IN, USA
    EAC, CueRipper and dbPowerAmp are all good choices. dbPowerAmp was the one that ramped up my collection quickly. The "Perfect Meta" feature makes for a fast workflow.

    I have used CueTools to repair many damaged rips, regardless of the ripping software used. As long as the damage is not too extensive and the album is in the database, damaged tracks often can be repaired.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  18. buzzy

    buzzy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Do you guys embed the artwork in the file as a rule?
     
    Randoms likes this.
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Yes. I either do that while ripping or with the program Mp3Tag.
     
    mds likes this.
  20. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Yes. That way, if you move the file or start using another program for playback, the artwork is there. For those reasons, I normally embed ALL metadata in the file.
     
    luckybaer likes this.
  21. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I embed the artwork. It's the most sure way of making sure the artwork stays with the files.

    I do limit the size of embedded artwork to 600x600 or 800x800. Not so much as a limit on the pixels, but as a way to limit the actual file size in kilobytes. Some older devices also had problems playing the files if the embedded artwork was too big in kilobytes. So I limited the size to avoid those problems. And I still sticking with the same restrictions today even though they're less necessary.

    For some albums that have neat cover art I'll embed a 600x600 or 800x800 version and also add a high resolution version as a "cover.jpg" in the folder.
     
    Grant likes this.
  22. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elkhart, IN, USA
    In my "master" FLAC archives, I do not embed art. The reason for that is because even years later, I will occasionally go through the collection and attempt to replace any artwork that might be slightly "potato quality" with an improved source that has become available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
    Randoms likes this.
  23. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    For the master file I write to Folder.jpg for each disc using CD Ripper from dBpoweramp at 1000x1000 pixel size and 300x300 file size. I chose this as it worked with players I used and for compataibility with a different popular digital player, slightly smaller file size and speed if I later changed the art.

    For use in the car I use dBpoweramp to embed to 600x600 pixel and 250 file size (after experimenting this is what was needed for the art to display) either by using a different profile when ripping a CD, or converting from the master file to a memory stick.

    Everything is done in dBpoweramp with the occasional help from the excellent Mp3Tag.
     
    mds and patient_ot like this.
  24. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    +1
     
    klockwerk likes this.
  25. tin ears

    tin ears Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland UK
    dBpoweramp's ID-tag editor let's you easily replace any embedded artwork with a higher quality image.
     

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