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I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Afer a lot of thought about the future of my digital audio collection I've settled on Ape with Extreme High Compression.

At first i was going to go the LAME --alt-preset extreme route, but the more i thought about it, I probably won't be happy with the quality in a few years.  So, reading posts on this board finally convinced me.

Why Ape?
  • I'm not concerned with inter-OS compatibilty.
  • It offers the Highest Compression.
  • Lossless is Lossless is Lossless -- I can always convert to a better format later.
  • Some people don't go with Ape because of lack of hardware support -- I think it's just around the corner.  If there isn't a lot of support for Ape in the furture, again, I can always convert.
EDIT: I'm using MAC 3.97, is that the best version available?

I'm using EAC for ripping, and the command line utility (MAC.exe) so I can automatically have it compress after ripping.  Is there anything else I need to know?  (Command line switches I should use, any other utilities i need to be aware of before I start ripping that would makes the process easier, etc.)  Also a handy utility for helping me with tagging would be nice.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #1
Oh, yeah..  The way i do the math it'll take about 5 or 6 200gig drives to rip my collection.  And i'm a paranoid bastard, so I keep offsite copies of almost everything.  So I'm going to need about 12 200 gig drives total.

Anyone know any good deals?

Thanks!

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #2
I'd help you if you agree to send me all your archive in a flourescent media when they become popular

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It offers the Highest Compression.


I guess LA and OptimFrog offer better compression.

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Some people don't go with Ape because of lack of hardware support -- I think it's just around the corner.


I guess with around the corner, you mean 10 years ahead.  The average consumer couldn't care less about lossless.

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I'm using MAC 3.97, is that the best version available?


3.98 is around the corner. Alpha version is released. I don't think it offers much in terms of compression but use of APEv2 tags are important.

Doesn't EAC tag automatically? If I were you I would not extract track by track but get an entire image extraction and use APL files to access individual tracks. And also do not forget to extract CUE sheets. You'll also need them for MakeAPL software.
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.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #3
What's APL, and why not track by track?

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Doesn't EAC tag automatically?


It does, but I think it only tags automatically with ID3 v1.1 tags.  Am I wrong?

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...but use of APEv2 tags are important.


Why?

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #4
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What's APL, and why not track by track?


Because it seems more logical a choice to me. It also preserves the gaps automatically. This way, you'll have a single image file: CDImage.wav to be encoded into CDImage.ape. To access the individual tracks you'll be using APL files. Consider them as bookmarks to your tracks in the file. Try the MakeAPL software. It is in the same folder with Monkey's Audio.

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It does, but I think it only tags automatically with ID3 v1.1 tags. Am I wrong?


Don't know and haven't tried that really. You might use Tag to batch retag them into APEv2. Doesn't Tag support Monkey's Audio files? Oh there you go. That's another reason for using APL files. You won't have individual tracks to bother with tagging. They're extracted from CUE sheet information into APL files by MakeAPL.

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Why?


Because APEv2 tags are better designed and recommended over APE tags. I can't find the link right now. You need APE tag spec page in Frank Klemm's site somewhere.
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.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #5
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EDIT: I'm using MAC 3.97, is that the best version available?

No, use mac.exe version 3.96b7 by Frank Klemm (pipe enabled e well tested) and use preset -c4000 (-c5000 and -c6000 are experimental).

Use EAC with wapet (by Case) for direct Apev2 (better tags) tagging:
wapet (http://www.saunalahti.fi/~cse/files/wapet.zip)
guide: http://www.saunalahti.fi/~cse/EAC/index.html

Remember: current makeApl is buggy; the problem is how to treat the under second field in cue sheet. The field represents frame number, so it is from 0 to 74. However, Makeapl calculates is as 1/100 second.
You must use a perl code by Alpha-S.I.D. or compile by Destroid:
http://www.geocities.com/feedthedead/apl_f...fix_mod_bin.zip

More info on monkey'audio forum (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general), check these threads:

"Differ point between apl and splitted wave"
"Monkey's Audio 3.98a1 available"
"Updated pre-alpha-GUI available"

Don't use 3.98 (ALPHA), very buggy.

Bye, dB

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #6
Shoot, the APL fix link is not working. Can anyone post another link? I use APL stuff quite often...
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.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #7
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No, use mac.exe version 3.96b7 by Frank Klemm (pipe enabled e well tested) and use preset -c4000 (-c5000 and -c6000 are experimental).


what is pipe enabled?  and what does the -c4000 switch do?

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #8
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Some people don't go with Ape because of lack of hardware support -- I think it's just around the corner.

What gives you this impression?

I seriously doubt this is going to be happening anytime soon, if ever.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #9
Well, I also said:

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If there isn't a lot of support for Ape in the furture, again, I can always convert.


I see more and more people going the lossless route.  There's gotta be some hardware support.  (I'm familiar with the MusicKeg and so on, but i'm talking about something portable, like the iPod)

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #10
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Well, I also said:

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If there isn't a lot of support for Ape in the furture, again, I can always convert.


I see more and more people going the lossless route.  There's gotta be some hardware support.  (I'm familiar with the MusicKeg and so on, but i'm talking about something portable, like the iPod)

The problem with most lossless codecs though, Ape included I think, is that they require too much cpu time to decode.  I don't think you'll be seeing a portable very soon with the required horsepower to handle this stuff in realtime.  Not only that, but there's memory usage issues and other embedded platform oriented problems to consider for which Ape may not be ideal at all.  FLAC and some more commercial formats are a little different than the rest in that they have been designed from the start with these points in mind, but even then there still isn't much support for them compared to lossy formats.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #11
If they advertise 64kbps WMA as CD quality, I don't know how they'd advertise lossless  Indeed, I don't think any of these companies would include lossless support soon. Because lossless is an overkill for your portable. Those devices are not designed usually for extreme high end quality (included DAC, SNR wise). If you have such a huge archive, going the MPC route might save you more than a grand.

Wait a sec, wasn't there an Ogg FLAC support controversy for iRiver or was it some other company?
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.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #12
Well, I never thought of it that way, but it does take a lot more to process lossless music.  Something a small portable player can't provide.

I demand portability, I can't just sit in front of my comupter for music.  I'm always on the go.  Maybe I jumped the gun on this one.. 

I'll probably go back to mp3 -- a tried and true standard.  Maybe MPC.. we'll see.  I gotta sit on this one.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #13
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I demand portability


Well if so. Monkey's Audio is not a good choice to begin with. If any lossless format would ever get support, the chance of it being Monkey's Audio is slim.

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I demand portability, I can't just sit in front of my comupter for music. I'm always on the go. Maybe I jumped the gun on this one..


Come on those nice 200GB drives would fit in your backpack
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.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #14
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Come on those nice 200GB drives would fit in your backpack

He would be the modern equivalent of Obelix

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #15
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Quote
Well, I also said:

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If there isn't a lot of support for Ape in the furture, again, I can always convert.


I see more and more people going the lossless route.  There's gotta be some hardware support.  (I'm familiar with the MusicKeg and so on, but i'm talking about something portable, like the iPod)

The problem with most lossless codecs though, Ape included I think, is that they require too much cpu time to decode.  I don't think you'll be seeing a portable very soon with the required horsepower to handle this stuff in realtime.  Not only that, but there's memory usage issues and other embedded platform oriented problems to consider for which Ape may not be ideal at all.  FLAC and some more commercial formats are a little different than the rest in that they have been designed from the start with these points in mind, but even then there still isn't much support for them compared to lossy formats.

Rumblings are that the Rio Pearl will do FLAC and Vorbis.

I have a feeling if enough people asked, the Neuros guys would do FLAC too.  It would be great for tapers.  I've offered to help.

Practically speaking, the only thing that has a chance on any portable is FLAC, WMA lossless (yuck) and maybe WavPack 4.

Josh

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #16
Based on current industry trends, I'd probably go with a relatively high bitrate mp4/aac if you demand portability.  Portable support is already here and codecs are improving rapidly.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #17
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.... I've settled on Ape with Extreme High Compression.

Again wrong! By the way it´s called "Extra High", not "Extreme". But besides that, this compression-level offers only a little bit smaller files (maybe around 1 % or less) than in the "High"-mode, but needs lots of more ressources (about 2 to 3 times!!!). With "ressources" I mean processor-time for encoding, decoding and also playback in WinAmp. To make it short, it´s an absolutely bad idea to encode in "Extra High". Believe me: "High" is the right way!
Good, to have asked us before....
P.S.:
I have myself also around 100 DVD-R´s burned with APE´s. So.... I must be right. 

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At first i was going to go the LAME --alt-preset extreme route

And to the other formats: To MPC belongs my heart. But to be realistic, I would go for MP3. But again: Why for "alt-preset extreme"? - "Alt-preset standard" is already good enough for 99,9999 % of your musics. Especially if you plan to play them in a portable player, where space is always rare.
My used codecs and settings:
FLAC V1.1.2 -4 / APE V3.99 Update 4 -high / MPC V1.15v --q 5 / LAME V3.97b2 -V2 --vbr-new / OGG aoTuV V4.51 Lancer -q5

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #18
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Shoot, the APL fix link is not working. Can anyone post another link? I use APL stuff quite often...

Maybe you need to go to the webpage to get??

I believe the APL computation bug will be fixed in v3.98 final, but don't quote me on that.
"Something bothering you, Mister Spock?"

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #19
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I demand portability, I can't just sit in front of my comupter for music.  I'm always on the go.  Maybe I jumped the gun on this one.. 

I'll probably go back to mp3 -- a tried and true standard.  Maybe MPC.. we'll see.  I gotta sit on this one.

FLAC is a lossless codec that might get the benefit of portable hardware someday (the 1+ year time-scale?)

If portability is a must, I don't see any reason for choosing MPC despite it's increased quality, as the chances of it getting hardware support are similar to APE/FLAC..

As was suggested, MP4 might offer the compromise for you, higher quality than mp3, but also gaining hardware support and mainstream acceptance

Another option is to continue with your APE backup to harddisks, then use those to encode mp3's for portable play - it takes more space, but you get the best of both worlds

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Again wrong! By the way it´s called "Extra High", not "Extreme". But besides that, this compression-level offers only a little bit smaller files (maybe around 1 % or less) than in the "High"-mode, but needs lots of more ressources (about 2 to 3 times!!!)...

1% of 2400GB is enough to make that worthwhile, unless Dr. M is running his arrays on early 90's equipment.
< w o g o n e . c o m / l o l >

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #20
Thanks for the replies 

I'm still doing some research.  I need to sit on it a little more.  I may end up going with FLAC, or good ole' mp3.  Or I may do as Mac suggested, and go with the best of both world's.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #21
Okay, I've been doing a lot of research and the Neuros Audio Player may soon have FLAC support.

That alone is convincing enough for me to go with FLAC.

The information on FLAC is spread and somewhat difficult to find on the forum.  Are there any utilities I should be aware of if I use FLAC?  What switches do you people use in FLAC?

Also, is there a system similar to the APL files with FLAC?  I've been playing with them in MAC and decided i like that system a lot -- it is just good sense to have one large file and a cue sheet.

EDIT:By the way, what exactly is Foobar2000?  I can't seem to find any information on exactly what it is.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #22
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Also, is there a system similar to the APL files with FLAC? I've been playing with them in MAC and decided i like that system a lot -- it is just good sense to have one large file and a cue sheet.


No.  FLAC doesn't have it. You can find that discussion in a recent thread if you do a search. The developer said it's easy to implement but no one got around to it. I guess fb2k player can do it if you have the cue sheet.

Neuros player is bulky. Lossless is lossless, you can always convert it to another format of your choice. But if I were you I wouldn't count on portable support...
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.

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #23
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Ape included I think, is that they require too much cpu time to decode. I don't think you'll be seeing a portable very soon with the required horsepower to handle this stuff in realtime.


Maybe WMA will see portable support in the future. (except for the fact most people here don't like WMA)

I Have Decided To Go With Ape...

Reply #24
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EDIT:By the way, what exactly is Foobar2000?  I can't seem to find any information on exactly what it is.

Foobar2000 is a software audio player which many around here prefer over others (like Winamp, XMplay, Sonique, 1by1 etc), considering its support for the latest technical achievements in the audio field. I'm sure you'll find plenty of info through its forum that is hosted by Hydrogenaudio and its site.

 
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