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Old 09-18-2008, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The "Encoding CD's to MP3's" discussion thread

Not sure if a thread like this already exists.. if so, my apologies to the mods.

Basically I was wondering what everyone encoded their music collection with and at what rate. iTunes settings can be pretty complex (variable bitrate, smart encoding, frequency filters, etc...) has anybody played around with what works and what doesn't?.

I've heard that using iTunes to encode is a bad idea... a lot of people use the plugin "LAME". For anyone familiar with LAME, I just downloaded the script to run it with iTunes. I set it to the highest quality (320kbps) and the conversion (for one song) takes a lot longer then a 320 mp3 w/just itunes. Just wondering what exactly are the differences... is it just a more detailed conversion making it sound clearer? would it be worth my time to import my cd collection using LAME or should I just stick with iTunes alone?
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not an expert on the encoding side but for a start iTunes is usually slower at everything than most other music applications.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I used EAC and the Lame V0. I am very happy with this setting. I did a blind abx test between 320 and V0. Found no differences so I went with V0. Trust your own ears though.

Here's some links that helped me out.
Info about LAME
Ripping Guide
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sweet, thanks... I'll check that out. I've been doing tests but the differences seem to be so minute when you get into the 200-300 kbps range. I actually just purchased a 160gb ipod (the one that is now discontinued... get em while supplies last ) and supposedly you can fit up to 600 albums at lossless quality in that bad boy. If I continue testing and find I don't hear a huge difference from 320 and lossless I may just go w/320... seems stupid to waste so much space for a slight difference.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i use apple lossless quality.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mods, thanks for the move.

Trace... I may look into that now.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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if you're not using EAC you're wrong
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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is that so? I'll check EAC out... nobody likes to be wrong.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, so since I am working with MAC, to rip using EAC is a big pain in the butt. I've decided to go with the program "Max" (which utilizes the "CDParanoia" ripping codec) and converting all of my CD's into "FLAC" (free lossless audio codec) files. From there I can convert them to MP3/AAC or any other format. From what I've read a "FLAC" file is the same exact sound quality as the CD file... just compressed down 30-40 percent (much like a zip file). Seems to be a win win, I have my entire collection on my computer at the best possible quality.

Anyone on a Mac, I highly recommend checking out the "Max" software... it's very versatile and easy to use.
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