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iTunes vs EAC/Lame

I've been reading this forum for a long time now, and based on recommendations here have been using EAC/Lame with the alt presets.

Anyways, I've got a new pc now and have a bunch of cd's to rip. I've been using iTunes and its really easy to rip with that. So how does it compare to EAC/Lame?

I did search the forums but got no definite answer. How is the iTunes MP3 encoder if I use VBR in it? Can it compare to Lame? The iTunes encoder isn't true vbr though, more like ABR, as whatever bitrate I set in preferences the resulting vbr mp3 is very close to that.

Basically, if iTunes comes close to eac/Lame, I would much rather use that. Makes it a lot easier to rip cd's! I won't be using the iTunes AAC encoder as I need MP3 files. So is there a large difference in quality b/w the two?

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #1
No definite answer? Roberto's MP3 128 kbps test shows that Lame is definitely better than iTunes MP3.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #2
Yes, at 128kbps Lame is better, but what about encoding at about 192kbps vbr? Have any such tests been done? Or 256VBR? Does that compare to Lame?

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #3
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I've been using iTunes and its really easy to rip with that.

Really, then pray tell me why it is easier. In EAC you just press a single button, how could it be any easier than that?
The object of mankind lies in its highest individuals.
One must have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #4
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Yes, at 128kbps Lame is better, but what about encoding at about 192kbps vbr? Have any such tests been done? Or 256VBR? Does that compare to Lame?

High bitrate presets of LAME(--alt-presets) have been heavily tested here while iTunes' high bitrate mp3 settings haven't.

You could try to ABX or ABC/HR yourself, it's the best and only way I can tell.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #5
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I've been using iTunes and its really easy to rip with that.

Really, then pray tell me why it is easier. In EAC you just press a single button, how could it be any easier than that?

Oh come on.. what about configuration ? setting up everything?.. iTunes is pretty much, after first installation: insert cd -> press "import" button -> done, and then you have properly tagged, sorted, (if enabled) volume levelized (not normalized) and imported (into the iTunes database) rip.

You can't say that about EAC.
myspace.com/borgei - last.fm/user/borgei

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #6
Your chances of getting a high quality bit-for-bit rip are much higher if you use EAC's secure ripping mode.  I think there is some error correction in iTunes built-in ripper, but it is probably not up to par with the quality of EAC.  To maximize the chances of getting a high quality mp3 encoding, you should start off with the highest quality source as possible, and EAC is the way to do that.

I guess it comes down to how concerned you are about quality.  Particularly if you have some old CDs that may be scratched, on average, EAC/Lame will give you higher quality rips than iTunes.
I just discovered Opus. Holy mackerel!

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #7
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I think there is some error correction in iTunes built-in ripper, but it is probably not up to par with the quality of EAC.

I tested iTunes with a slightly scratched CD and it produced typical reading errors (slight clicks) while EAC had absolutely no problem with that disc. So iTunes is really not up to par.

My recommendation: EAC. You have to tune the settings only once!

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #8
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Oh come on.. what about configuration ? setting up everything?
...
You can't say that about EAC.

setting up EAC is pretty easy if you don't  need something weird, and if you want something strange, you can allways ask here  ... i don't get why people keep complaining about it

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #9
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setting up EAC is pretty easy ... i don't get why people keep complaining about it

The average Windows user is afraid of having options. 

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #10
If you want to use iTunes to rip, you should consider using AAC rather than MP3. iTunes' MP3 performed badly in Roberto's test, and iTunes' AAC keeps coming out at the top. Still, on heavily scratched discs where there is a benifit of error correction, iTunes won't give as good results as EAC.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #11
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Oh come on.. what about configuration ? setting up everything?

If you do not set up anything, its default behaviour will be like iTunes. Those options, like offsets, make all the difference as well as its secure ripping. Otherwise do not set up anything and do a Burst rip which will give you what iTunes gives.
The object of mankind lies in its highest individuals.
One must have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #12
  Bought a iPod Mini and started to use iTune.
VERY poor sound, flat,not sharp, dull,,, even AAC 320K.
Then I tried EAC+LAME, -preset standard.
Result was MUCH better and very differnt from iTune.
I do reccomend try to encode some music by iTune (320K AAC), then
compare LAME standard. You must be recognize huge quality difference.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #13
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  Bought a iPod Mini and started to use iTune.
VERY poor sound, flat,not sharp, dull,,, even AAC 320K.
Then I tried EAC+LAME, -preset standard.
Result was MUCH better and very differnt from iTune.
I do reccomend try to encode some music by iTune (320K AAC), then
compare LAME standard. You must be recognize huge quality difference.

I've had incredibly good results with iTunes AAC encoder at roughly 160 kbps. Sounds excellent. But I have not had any luck with iTunes ripper, so lately I've been using EAC to rip to WAV and then encoding with iTunes (and tagging with Tag&Rename).

iTunes AAC is good, but not good enough to go and rerip all my music with it. Not yet, anyway.

iTunes MP3 encoder is poor. I'd stick to LAME if you need to stick to MP3 for compatibility or some such thing.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #14
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I've been using iTunes and its really easy to rip with that.

Really, then pray tell me why it is easier. In EAC you just press a single button, how could it be any easier than that?

The thing is iTunes is a 0-click affair

insert cd, it automatically tags it, encodes it, normalizes it, sorts it, names it, files it and ejects it

all that's left is album art if you're so inclined

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #15
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all that's left is album art if you're so inclined

Not that I could ever get cover art to work reliably in iTunes...very frustrating, led to uninstall.  But I never used it for ripping/encoding nor would I.  Very happy w/EAC.
Was that a 1 or a 0?

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #16
In my old pc, I had spent many hours setting up EAC. It does take quite a bit of time. Once that is done, you are guaranteed as perfect a rip as you can get in this world.

Now I've got a new pc, and not having so much time, didn't want to go set up EAC all over again... thats why I asked if iTunes was up to par.

From the above, it seems iTunes is still quite a ways off, so I'm going to stick with EAC for now. But for those asking why not use EAC - iTunes does make it a lot easier to rip - even compared to a properly set up EAC. There has been a lot of usability testing on iTunes, and it shows. I hope Apple keeps improving it. iTunes is slow - it was a really bad idea to store everything in an compressed xml file.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #17
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Not that I could ever get cover art to work reliably in iTunes...very frustrating, led to uninstall.

Eh.. care to elaborate? 

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #18
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iTunes is slow - it was a really bad idea to store everything in an compressed xml file.

Compressed? Mine's plain text. And it's always been pretty responsive on every machine I've tried it on, even with tens of thousands of songs in the library.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #19
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iTunes is slow - it was a really bad idea to store everything in an compressed xml file.

Compressed? Mine's plain text. And it's always been pretty responsive on every machine I've tried it on, even with tens of thousands of songs in the library.

Mine's also plain text, and pretty responsive on a XP2000 with 14088 songs in the Library.
myspace.com/borgei - last.fm/user/borgei

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #20
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Quote

Not that I could ever get cover art to work reliably in iTunes...very frustrating, led to uninstall.

Eh.. care to elaborate? 

About 2/3 of the albums worked fine initially for cover art - I could click on the "click here to add cover art" and choose my file.  However, I have several albums where iTunes will display "cover art not editable" or something like that and I could never figure out a way around it.  All of my albums were ripped/encoded in the same way (EAC/LAME MP3 APS), so I'm not sure what was special about those albums where iTunes wouldn't let me associate cover art.  Someone suggested it might be file folder permissions, but changing permissions didn't help and weren't different between the folders anyway.

As bad as that was, even when I could associate the cover art, iTunes would forget the file association at random while using iTunes, or sometimes completely forget all associations when restarting iTunes.

I googled for some advice - found some posts of people with similar problems but nobody with a solution.  I'm using Win2k SP4.

Because the cover art and some of the database features were things I liked that Foobar couldn't do as easily it kind of negated the usefullness of iTunes for me -> uninstall.  My overall impression of iTunes was one of a solid beta release, but not quite prime time - a little surprised for a v4.  I would be willing to give it another whirl if the cover art issue was fixed.  It is nice for playback.  I wouldn't use it to rip or encode or tag or transcode, but nice playback GUI.
Was that a 1 or a 0?

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #21
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About 2/3 of the albums worked fine initially for cover art - I could click on the "click here to add cover art" and choose my file.  However, I have several albums where iTunes will display "cover art not editable" or something like that and I could never figure out a way around it.

I had that problem on a few albums. Completely removing all tags and readding them fixed it. I dunno what the deal was, exactly, but if iTunes can't grok the tag properly, then it won't let you add cover art to the file.

No big deal, I used Tag&Rename to remove the tags and added them back from an allmusic.com lookup. It even got the cover art for me that way. I didn't have a lot of files with that problem, but it did tend to be all the files in an album that had it. Since they were all ripped the same way (EAC/LAME -aps), I can only surmise that I had some weird version of LAME at some point that screwed things up a bit.
Why? Because these same files tended to be the ones that needed fixing in other ways too. Several had VBR issues, where iTunes would show the wrong time and wouldn't ff/rewind correctly. iPod had the same trouble on the files. Found a program called "VBRFix" that fixed something in the header and voila, problem solved.

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #22
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all that's left is album art if you're so inclined

Not that I could ever get cover art to work reliably in iTunes...very frustrating, led to uninstall.  But I never used it for ripping/encoding nor would I.  Very happy w/EAC.

Select your albums songs, get info, drag a jpg to the artwork box... it has to be under a certain magic size to go in without trickery, something like 150KB

I get all my coverart from amazon, easier than scanning... and I can drag directly from my webbrowser to the artwork box

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #23
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iTunes is slow - it was a really bad idea to store everything in an compressed xml file.

Compressed? Mine's plain text. And it's always been pretty responsive on every machine I've tried it on, even with tens of thousands of songs in the library.

I find the biggest slow down is the auto-updating smart playlists... if you disable the auto-update then it speeds right up... otherwise its always pausing to recalculate the playlists

iTunes vs EAC/Lame

Reply #24
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About 2/3 of the albums worked fine initially for cover art - I could click on the "click here to add cover art" and choose my file.  However, I have several albums where iTunes will display "cover art not editable" or something like that and I could never figure out a way around it.  All of my albums were ripped/encoded in the same way (EAC/LAME MP3 APS), so I'm not sure what was special about those albums where iTunes wouldn't let me associate cover art.  Someone suggested it might be file folder permissions, but changing permissions didn't help and weren't different between the folders anyway.

There shouldn't be a file association :-\

iTunes embeds the artwork in the ID3 tags (I use ID3v2)

BUT it won't let you edit the artwork if you don't have permission to modify the files, or if they're not ".mp3" or ".m4a" or if the ID3 tags are mighty corrupted (I find switching them to ID3v1 back to v2 will uncorrupt them)

 
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