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Thread: CD to MP3

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  1. Member
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    I have tons of CDs I want to convert to MP3. Can someone recommend a free simple quick convertor. All I need to do is convert them, maybe with a normalise feature, but that's not essential
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    There are only a tiny handful of applications that do it properly, Foobar2000 being one of them, and it's free.
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  3. Member Noahtuck's Avatar
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    EAC
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  5. Texan V Bot's Avatar
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    Be sure to go with 320 KBPS, to get the best quality of your mp3s.
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    I use freac for this purpose, although I also have CDeX which I now use for the ripping part of it.

    Note that EAC has some sort of bug that if you try to rip from a BluRay drive, it is as slow as molasses. It's a known bug and as far as I know it's never bene fixed. CDeX has no such bug. EAC works quite well if you have a DVD drive to rip from.
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    Originally Posted by V Bot View Post
    Be sure to go with 320 KBPS, to get the best quality of your mp3s.
    Or use VBR encoding as recommended by the developers for over a decade if you're using the LAME encoder as it's been extensively tuned, whereas CBR hasn't to such an extent.

    Taken straight from the developer endorsed Wiki page...
    Maximum quality is achieved when, regardless of listening conditions, you are unable to detect a difference between the MP3 and the original. As demonstrated by blind ABX tests, LAME-encoded MP3s typically achieve this level of transparency when encoded with the default settings, at bitrates well below maximum.
    Link

    The default setting for the LAME MP3 encoder is VBR at -V2 (~190kbps), and this is where most of the fine-tuning has been concentrated. If you want to waste space with no audible gain in quality the vast majority of the time, ignore the developer's recommendations and go for CBR at 320kbps.
    Last edited by Slipster; 31st Aug 2012 at 19:11.
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  8. Texan V Bot's Avatar
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    I'll have to stick with 320. I don't know of any format that wouldn't differ from the original. I hear a difference, even in FLAC.
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    Originally Posted by V Bot View Post
    I'll have to stick with 320.
    It's up to you. It just seems daft to me to ignore the guys who write the code for the encoder, get involved in extensive public listening tests, and understand how the encoder works.

    Also from the same developer endorsed link above which I guess you may not have read...

    ...CBR mode will maximize the MP3's bitrate and overall file size. The extra space may allow for some parts of the audio to be compressed with fewer sacrifices, but to date, no one has produced ABX test results demonstrating that perceived quality is ever better than the highest VBR profiles described above.
    Originally Posted by V Bot View Post
    I hear a difference, even in FLAC.
    Erm, no you don't, unless something's broken at your end on the decoding side. The 'L' in 'FLAC' stands for 'lossless', which it is. It's bit-for-bit identical to any lossless source within its supported bitrate and bit-depth range, therefore, there is no difference to hear.
    Last edited by Slipster; 31st Aug 2012 at 19:44.
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  10. Texan V Bot's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do. Hear a difference. Put it to the test (of your ears), not what some program tells you or other.
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  11. Member Noahtuck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    I use freac for this purpose, although I also have CDeX which I now use for the ripping part of it.

    Note that EAC has some sort of bug that if you try to rip from a BluRay drive, it is as slow as molasses. It's a known bug and as far as I know it's never bene fixed. CDeX has no such bug. EAC works quite well if you have a DVD drive to rip from.
    I never knew that.
    But I have only ever ripped audio cd's & dvd's from my dvd burners.
    I only use my BR burner for ripping & burning Bluray disc's, I figure I am saving it from unnecessary wear and tare, and now a days who only has one optical drive in their PC ??

    And I must admit, I can hear a slight difference in certain/many FLAC files, but I can hear a major difference in any MP3 regardless of bitrate compared to an uncompressed cd or FLAC file.

    Originally Posted by V Bot View Post
    Yeah, I do. Hear a difference. Put it to the test (of your ears), not what some program tells you or other.
    A test of his ears won't do any good if he is deaf or believes there is no difference because he read something and interpreted it wrong so he thinks there is no difference....

    Originally Posted by Slipster View Post
    Erm, no you don't, unless something's broken at your end on the decoding side. The 'L' in 'FLAC' stands for 'lossless', which it is. It's bit-for-bit identical to any lossless source within its supported bitrate and bit-depth range, therefore, there is no difference to hear.
    Lossless for FLAC means it is COMPRESSED to a format and can then be UNCOMPRESSED to the original state without loss of original quality, NOT that you can listen to a FLAC file and it will be EXACTLY the same quality as the original UNCOMPRESSED source file.
    It is damn close, but NOT the same!!
    Learn the difference.
    And I do not listen to music on some POS Ipod or other earbud MP3 pocket device......

    Unlike MP3 and other LOSSLESS formats where once it is compressed, the information to compress it that was thrown out or removed, can never be brought back.

    Kind of like Using Winrar or Winzip, it can be uncompressed to it's original state.

    Reminds me of people who say MP3's sound as good as original uncompressed audio or they can see no difference between a VCD and a DVD....

    Noobs who know it all
    Last edited by Noahtuck; 31st Aug 2012 at 22:01.
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  12. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
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    FWIW, and IMHO, people should stop using FLAC and start using better-designed formats like WavPack, TTA and even Apple Lossless --- especially now that it's possible to store ALAC in Matroska
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  13. Member Noahtuck's Avatar
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    Apple Lossless......
    Is there not something like WMP lossless or some other version of lossless crap some corporate institution want's the masses of clueless people to buy into so they can get rich(er) ??
    Something like "apple Lossless"

    Another, of many, obscure formats that most people don't use, except the sheep of the world....

    LMAO!!!!

    Another fanboy buying into the fanboy masses of cluelessness just to be in the "in" crowd.........
    Reminds me of Paris Hilton fans!!!
    LMAO!!!

    If you want lossless, then USE lossless!!!!!
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  14. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
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    Come on, now ALAC is open-source stuff

    Also, FLAC has always been overrated

    At least I am not pushing WMA Lossless
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    Have seen many arguments with audio bit rates including in many forums. For a portable mp3 player or PC, I believe -v2 is best. It gives transparent audio quality and much better on battery for portables (lower bit rate -> more run time, but 128k days are gone).

    Many people say they can here better at 320kbps, which I don't believe. It is better to rip to FLAC than 320kbps mp3. The difference in file size is very less, and you don't loose any audio quality.
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    Originally Posted by El Heggunte View Post
    Come on, now ALAC is open-source stuff

    Also, FLAC has always been overrated

    At least I am not pushing WMA Lossless
    if ALAC is changed to OLAC, then many people may consider it.
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  17. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chicken264 View Post
    if ALAC is changed to OLAC, then many people may consider it.
    Certain people will switch to ALAC only when they find a way to store ALAC in an .OGG file

    You are right, I do not like Vorbis either ^_^
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    Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    Lossless for FLAC means it is COMPRESSED to a format and can then be UNCOMPRESSED to the original state without loss of original quality, NOT that you can listen to a FLAC file and it will be EXACTLY the same quality as the original UNCOMPRESSED source file.
    It is damn close, but NOT the same!!
    Learn the difference.
    Lossless means lossless. A format is either lossless or it isn't. There's no half-way house. You'll be telling people that letters and spaces go missing when you compress then uncompress a text file with WinZIP next. I suggest that you learn the difference between lossless and lossy before misleading others any further than you have already.

    Kind of like Using Winrar or Winzip, it can be uncompressed to it's original state.
    Exactly. So why are you saying the opposite above?

    Reminds me of people who say MP3's sound as good as original uncompressed audio.... Noobs who know it all
    If you consider the developers who've spent over 10 years developing and fine-tuning the LAME codec as well as the thousands of people who've been involved in its testing over that period who claim that, with the right settings, a well encoded MP3 will be transparent to around 99% of listeners with the vast majority of source material to be 'noobs who know it all', yes.
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  19. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    There's a nice Windows Music program called MusicBee and it has a decent secure ripper built-in plus it's a great music management program plus you can use it to sync to Android devices etc. AND it is freeware.

    MusicBee website: http://getmusicbee.com/

    *** EDIT ***
    When I say it has a "decent" ripper I mean it probably isn't as good as using EAC (which is the king) but it's much simpler to use and it is a secure ripper and since the program is free and easy-to-use then I think it is a great choice for many people. Plus if the OP really just wants to rip to MP3 then he doesn't need the LOG/CUE that EAC makes anyway.
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    freac uses the old cdex engine, just use that. I am curious about those who claim to hear a difference between wav & 320kbps stereo mp3 - are you listening through $50 grand speakers?
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  21. Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    Lossless for FLAC means it is COMPRESSED to a format and can then be UNCOMPRESSED to the original state without loss of original quality, NOT that you can listen to a FLAC file and it will be EXACTLY the same quality as the original UNCOMPRESSED source file.
    Funniest thing I've read for a while...... it just goes to show some people will hear what they want to hear.
    Here's a thought. Take a wave file. Compress it using FLAC or another lossless format. Decompress the FLAC file back to wave again. Compare the two wave files. Feel free to show us the differences.
    If you're saying playing a FLAC file somehow changes the sound of the audio in some way, compared to playing the uncompressed audio directly, could you explain why? In what way would the FLAC version be decoded differently when playing it directly than when decoding it to a wave file first?
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    Noahtuck - I only have BD drives in my PC, which is how I found out about the EAC bug. I used to use EAC for ripping but when faced with rips taking 45+ minutes per CD, I did some research and found out about the bug. I switched to CDeX for ripping to get the times back to a realistic amount.

    The following article disagrees with your understanding of how FLAC works on playback.
    http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/KB/WAV-FLAC.htm
    Scroll down about 40% to see the "What happens if you play FLAC?" section.
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  23. Member Noahtuck's Avatar
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    I am not even going to waste my time arguing with the clueless dipshit.
    MP3's can be made to sound as good as the original Uncompressed Audio.....

    That would be like saying, but they spent years to perfect compressing video to a 10th of the original quality but you can get it back and most people can not see (hear) the difference.

    The MP3 argument alone shows how clueless you are!
    I don't give a $h!t what setting you use, an MP3 at 320 will never be or sound anywhere near as good as the original uncompressed source.
    And most people probably can not hear the difference because they have cheap crappy audio equipment and use cheap Ipods or other cheap crap to listen to music through cheap earbuds.

    But as far as listening to FLAC files, yes, most can not tell the difference and 99.9% of the time I hear no difference, but listening to a FLAC file is NOT the same as listening to OR the original uncompressed source!!

    When you check the properties between a FLAC and the original UNCOMPRESSED source, the FLAC is lower bitrate, etc.

    I am not arguing that FLAC is not a great thing as I use it & listen to it all the time, but it is NOT the same as the original uncompressed audio.

    And it is LOSSLESS when you "convert", "uncompress", "extract" it back to the original file, unlike converting an MP3 back to wav, but when it is in FLAC form it is NOT the same as the original uncompressed source file.
    Last edited by Noahtuck; 1st Sep 2012 at 21:22.
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    Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    most people probably can not hear the difference because they have cheap crappy audio equipment
    define "cheap" <$50,000??
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    Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    I am not even going to waste my time arguing with the clueless dipshit. The MP3 argument alone shows how clueless you are! I don't give a $h!t what setting you use, an MP3 at 320 will never be or sound anywhere near as good as the original uncompressed source.
    O...K... I would have said that it shows that I believe the scientific evidence that's there for all to see rather than me being a dipshit, but I guess we'll have to agree to differ on that one.

    And most people probably can not hear the difference because they have cheap crappy audio equipment and use cheap Ipods or other cheap crap to listen to music through cheap earbuds.
    It's been proven time and time again that the kind of artifacts generated by lossy audio encoding tend to be audible on almost any audio equipment regardless of price/quality if the listener in question happens to be sensitive to such artifacts. This is fairly common knowledge amongst those who understand lossy audio encoding.

    But as far as listening to FLAC files, yes, most can not tell the difference and 99.9% of the time I hear no difference, but listening to a FLAC file is NOT the same as listening to OR the original uncompressed source!!
    On the basis that the reconstructed output is bit-for-bit identical to the input, yes it is.

    When you check the properties between a FLAC and the original UNCOMPRESSED source, the FLAC is lower bitrate, etc.
    Something's gone horribly wrong with your encodings if it's not being stored to losslessly reconstruct to the same bitrate and bit-depth as the original source file. I suggest you check a few of your FLAC files' bitrates and bit-depths with MediaInfo before jumping to any illogical conclusions regarding lower bitrate.

    I am not arguing that FLAC is not a great thing as I use it & listen to it all the time, but it is NOT the same as the original uncompressed audio.
    Yes it is. As I've already said, if you're genuinely hearing a difference then something is going wrong at your end during the decoding phase.

    And it is LOSSLESS when you "convert", "uncompress", "extract" it back to the original file, unlike converting an MP3 back to wav, but when it is in FLAC form it is NOT the same as the original uncompressed source file.
    That's exactly what I've been saying all along, but you keep arguing with yourself by saying the complete opposite.

    If you're still convinced that FLAC as a format isn't lossless for some reason, please explain your reasoning and provide some scientific evidence.
    Last edited by Slipster; 2nd Sep 2012 at 04:34.
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  26. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Slipster View Post
    If you're still convinced that FLAC as a format isn't lossless for some reason, please explain your reasoning and provide some scientific evidence.
    I've never been convinced that flac is completely lossless. There are some fanboy geeks out there who are convinced that ripping a DVD with AnyDVD gives you a better quality rip than DVDFabDecrypter.
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  27. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    FLAC should sound the same "as is" without needing to decompress it first back to a WAV file.

    Having said that if someone seems to hear a difference between playing a FLAC file vs a WAV file (of the same FLAC converted back to said WAV file) then that seems wrong.

    Except perhaps based on how they are doing the comparison.

    Different DAC's affect the audio and then there is normal computer playback vs bit perfect playback (using say ASIO or WASAPI) and all kinds of things. Hell you could have 2 CD's that are exactly the same and get different sound if one is playing on CD player A and one is playing on CD player B and they aren't using the same DAC's (or connection cord to receiver etc.)

    But if you do a proper A/B test using the same equipment they should sound the same. An example might be using FooBar2000 (which has A/B listening built-in or maybe it's a plug-in but I know it has it) and you are using WASAPI and you have a USB DAC and using quality headphones etc. etc. then they should be identical.

    However I could imagine (ok I'm guessing) that perhaps if you aren't using bit perfect playback that maybe (yeah I know I'm stressing maybe here) that a WAV and FLAC could sound different depending on what's going on behind the scenes of the OS (hence the use of things like ASIO and WASAPI). Maybe they are using one media player for the FLAC and another for the WAV and that is affecting it somehow.

    Perhaps the person is comparing them in an incorrect way such as comparing the FLAC played back from the computer VS the "WAV" as a CD in a CD player. Even if both are hooked up to the same stereo equipment this would change things since the DAC would be different, different signal cords and path etc.

    There are variables and that is why if you are going to do A/B listening tests you need to do it correctly and using FooBar2000 with ASIO or WASAPI seems the best (as far as I know).

    Obviously this is directed at the comments made by Noahtuck and I don't mean to be slamming him with said comments but pointing out that there are a lot of pitfalls to proper A/B playback that he might have missed on which would obviously color his thoughts and comments to the degree that we've seen.
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    I've never been convinced that flac is completely lossless.
    Which part aren't you convinced about? FLAC itself not being lossless, or the playback of a FLAC file not being lossless?

    It's definitely lossless as a format. This is easily proven by comparing the MD5 checksums of an original WAV file versus that of a FLAC file decompressed to WAV. If they match (which they always do) then both are identical.

    @FulciLives: Nicely put.
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    Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    The MP3 argument alone shows how clueless you are!
    I don't give a $h!t what setting you use, an MP3 at 320 will never be or sound anywhere near as good as the original uncompressed source.
    I never said anything about "an MP3 at 320" as VBR encoding has been recommended over CBR in most cases by the LAME developers for over a decade as that's where the vast majority of the fine-tuning has taken place.

    Despite the fact that you don't seem particularly interested in polite debate, I've put THIS together for you or anyone else interested in listening. It's a pair of WAV files, one of which has been through an MP3 conversion process in VBR mode with a setting of '-V0' before converting back to WAV to ensure that both go through exactly the same playback chain at your end.

    Bear in mind that this is the only CD in my collection of 100+ where I can almost immediately tell the MP3 encoding from the lossless source without the need for ABX testing, so you should find this to be a very easy test if MP3 sounds as awful to you as you say it does.

    As you seem convinced that MP3 "will never be or sound anywhere near as good as the original uncompressed source", I'd appreciate it if you could tell me which you think is which, and in what way they sound different to you. Maybe you happen to be one of the 1-in-100 'golden ear' individuals who can nearly always tell MP3 from lossless regardless how good the encoding may be.
    Last edited by Slipster; 2nd Sep 2012 at 07:17.
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