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Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

I currently have all of music in Monkeys Audio format. I want to delete these and use either FLAC or Apple Lossless. I used dbPowerAmp a long time ago for Monkeys Audio and it worked well. I loved its simple operation and how it automatically got the track/album information over the internet.

However with this new Apple Lossless format and all of the new ripping programs today, I don't know which program to use. For instance I have iTunes for PC. I suppose that I could use it to rip Apple Lossless but does it also put protection into the rip so that it's playback in other machines and hardware is limited some how?

Before I take on this enormous task of ripping my entire CD collection again, I would like to get some answers to these two questions:

1) What program do you recommend for ripping Apple Lossless from CD's? (And why?)

2) Is it true that Apple Lossless has superior song tag capabilities than FLAC?


Thanks for any help.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #1
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I suppose that I could use it to rip Apple Lossless but does it also put protection into the rip so that it's playback in other machines and hardware is limited some how?


No, there's no kind of protection involved.

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1) What program do you recommend for ripping Apple Lossless from CD's? (And why?)


iTunes would work OK, unless your CDs are badly scratched. In that case, you would have to first rip with EAC for better results.

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2) Is it true that Apple Lossless has superior song tag capabilities than FLAC?


Both have advanced enough tagging for normal usage.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #2
If you primarily use iTunes for organizing your music it makes sense to go with Apple Lossless.  However, if compatibility is more important than I would go with FLAC.  If you have a PC running windows EAC + Mareo is a nice combination for ripping CDs and encoding them into multiple formats.

Sean

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #3
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1) What program do you recommend for ripping Apple Lossless from CD's? (And why?)

2) Is it true that Apple Lossless has superior song tag capabilities than FLAC?[/color]

Thanks for any help.

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1) I would suggest Exact Audio Copy paired with Otto42's iTunesEncode. I can't see using iTunes to actually rip anything unless I just don't care what kind of quaility the end result will be (I only use iTunes to rip on my laptop while i'm working).

[a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=22391&hl=]iTunesEncode[/url]

2) I'm not sure about this one...Apple Lossless uses the mp4 container, just like AAC does...as far as it being superior that up to you. On the other hand, because it uses the mp4 container, things get particularly annoying when you want both AAC and ALE in iTunes at the same time.

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Domain

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #4
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However, if compatibility is more important than I would go with FLAC.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235379"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, if he wants compatibility with the iPod, he surely shouldn't be using FLAC.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #5
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However, if compatibility is more important than I would go with FLAC.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235379"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, if he wants compatibility with the iPod, he surely shouldn't be using FLAC.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235388"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


My bad, I missed the mention of the iPod.  You are correct.

Sean

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #6
If you have Monkeys (which is lossless) and correctly tagged, no need to delete - convert to Windows Media Audio Lossless, then import into the latest iTunes and they will be converted to apple lossless - all with correct tags, all without any loss of audio quality.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #7
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Well, if he wants compatibility with the iPod, he surely shouldn't be using FLAC.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235388"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
My bad, I missed the mention of the iPod.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235401"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I did too, since the OP hasn't made mention of an iPod anywhere.

Nonetheless, Roberto's argument makes sense. One of ALAC's major advantages is its iPod support. But if the OP doesn't have an iPod, I see no incontestable reasons for him to convert to Apple Lossless, especially since s/he's on Windows. If s/he has the intention of using her/his lossless collection for everyday playback and conversion to lossy, I'd recommend either FLAC or WavPack. Converting to either of both should be a breeze as opposed to the hassle with ALAC.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #8
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I currently have all of music in Monkeys Audio format. I want to delete these and use either FLAC or Apple Lossless.

If I were you, I would start with thinking why should I do this at all.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #9
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I currently have all of music in Monkeys Audio format. I want to delete these and use either FLAC or Apple Lossless.
As you already have the files compressed lossless (Monkeys Audio), I see no need for you to re-rip the CD`s!
Just transcode from Monkeys Audio to your prefered format.
* FLAC is an easy task, as many programs support both formats.
* Apple Lossless is a bit more tricky. You basicly have 3 choices:
-- Use iTunesEncode as a frontend for iTunes in any program.
-- First transcode from Monkeys Audio to WMA Lossless, then import the WMA files into iTunes and encode to Apple Lossless.
-- Decode to wave/aiff and then encode to Apple Lossless in iTunes.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #10
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If I were you, I would start with thinking why should I do this at all.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235481"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Maybe he wants to use AirTunes?, maybe he wants to use an iPod?
Why do people come with these type of remarks on cases that seem perfectly logical?

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #11
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Maybe he wants to use AirTunes?, maybe he wants to use an iPod?
Why do people come with these type of remarks on cases that seem perfectly logical?
Because the OP's never hinted at any of your guesses. Like I said already, for a Windows user not owning an iPod or an AirPort Express network, there's little to no reason to convert to ALAC.

[span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Edit: fixed quote.[/span]

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #12
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If I were you, I would start with thinking why should I do this at all.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235481"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Maybe he wants to use AirTunes?, maybe he wants to use an iPod?
Why do people come with these type of remarks on cases that seem perfectly logical?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235501"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hmh, in that case he certainly wouldn't concider FLAC as an option. Since that is neither supported on Air Tunes, nor on the i-pod.

So who is overlooking the obvious and perfectly logical here?

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #13
First I would like to thank all of you for the knowledgeable help and very good information. You all have made some very helpful recommendations.
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If you have Monkeys (which is lossless) and correctly tagged

I don’t have them correctly tagged. (Plus I inconsistently used “volume normalization” when I ripped to Monkeys Audio) There were lots of tag inconsistencies and left out information when I converted my cd’s a last time. I want new tags and I figured that a new Apple Lossless rip of my CD collection would be the best solution to repairing and completing my tags. For example, I might have one album that is tagged with the artist “Three Doors Down” and another album from the same artist that is tagged with “3 Doors Down.” Also one tag might be sorted as “Rock” and the other as “Alternative” or something else. This is a headache when I want to create a play list of songs selected by certain traits.

I figured that while I do this re-rip and tag repair that I would use FLAC since it seems to be the most popular for many good reasons. However, I am worried that when it gets it’s tagging information from the internet that it might be inconsistent and incomplete like when I ripped Monkeys audio a long time ago. I figure Apple would not let inconsistencies in the tagging database that iTunes draws its information from since they like having lots of control of their programs and they also sell music online. It would seem logical to me that they would have to keep an accurate database for music. On top of all of that I need a program that can rip with ease of use for end users. I naturally assumed that iTunes would be the logical candidate but I am not sure since I have never used it. Perhaps I am incorrect on assuming many of these things.

Many of you have tried to guess if I will be using an iPod. I apologize, since I should have made mention of that in my original post. The funny thing is that I will be choosing my portable audio player based on the lossless codec that I end up using. Of course if it is FLAC it will be the Rio Karma. If it is ALAC then I want to purchase an iBook for a luggable audio system. And yes the Airport Express/Air Tunes may then become part of my audio system. An iPod might eventually become an option with ALAC in the distant future only if they eventually come out with a model that has less drawbacks/price.

So basically I am more concerned with getting new lossless rips with accurate and complete tags. The choice of hardware will come second.

Again thank you for all of you knowledge and help. I really appreciate it and all of your patience with me.

Thank you,


Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #14
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I figure Apple would not let inconsistencies in the tagging database that iTunes draws its information from since they like having lots of control of their programs and they also sell music online. It would seem logical to me that they would have to keep an accurate database for music.

iTunes gets its CD information from Gracenote, aka CDDB. It also only works if you use iTunes itself to rip the CD's. And it's not a particularly good ripper. A bit slow, and not proven to be accurate.

Since you already have the music in APE format, simply retagging them sounds like the simplest solution. Might I suggest Tag&Rename? It now supports APEv2 tags, and can get tagging information from FreeDB (not particularly consistent, but as consistent as Gracenote is, in my experience) or from Amazon.com (very consistent data, with good quality album art, but may be missing some more unusual and/or rare music).

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #15
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First I would like to thank all of you for the knowledgeable help and very good information. You all have made some very helpful recommendations.[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You're welcome

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I figured that while I do this re-rip and tag repair that I would use FLAC since it seems to be the most popular for many good reasons. However, I am worried that when it gets it’s tagging information from the internet that it might be inconsistent and incomplete like when I ripped Monkeys audio a long time ago. I figure Apple would not let inconsistencies in the tagging database that iTunes draws its information from since they like having lots of control of their programs and they also sell music online. It would seem logical to me that they would have to keep an accurate database for music.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235600"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Your reasoning does make a lot of sense, but unfortunately, in practice it just doesn't work that way. Like Otto42's already explained, iTunes extracts its tags from [a href="http://www.gracenote.com]Gracenote[/url], which is basically a paid-for alternative to FreeDB.

BTW, for clarity's sake: it's not FLAC, Monkey's Audio, or for that matter, Apple Lossless that retrieves its information from any of these online DBs, it's the ripping program that does that, be it EAC, dBpowerAMP, iTunes or whatever. Just to iron out that little inconsistency in your wording.

Whichever ripper turns out your favourite, and whichever CD database system it uses, my advice would be to never put your full trust in any online database. You should always be checking the autoretrieved title information for inconsistencies, spelling errors, and the like. A majority of the titles EAC retrieves from FreeDB for me (that's my setup, BTW) contains at least some or other spelling error, even if FreeDB IMHO is the better one over Gracenote. And by now, you will have guessed that I care about spelling and tagging correctness.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #16
Since you are planning to base your decision on wich portable player on what format you are going to use. I personally would very much recommend to go for the FLAC and Rio Karma combination.

The i-pod does not support gapless playback in any format. This in my opinion contradicts the whole idea of a format beeing lossless.  Althouh it allready is annoying enough with lossy encodes as well.

IMHO a gap between tracks on albums that are meant to be gapless is just as bad as any encoding artifact.

Also FLAC offers much wider support in general instead of the propriety ALAC. You will run into many less problems in case you ever want to reencode them to a different format and it is supported by a much wider range of Software.

I know several people that bought a Rio Karma and a very happy with it and a few people that bought an i-pod and are very unhappy about that decision.

IMHO the i-pod has much more use as a fashion accessory rather then a well thought through portable player.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #17
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1) I would suggest Exact Audio Copy paired with Otto42's iTunesEncode. I can't see using iTunes to actually rip anything unless I just don't care what kind of quaility the end result will be (I only use iTunes to rip on my laptop while i'm working).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235385"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As Roberto mentioned, the iTunes ripper should work quite well for most ordinary uses. Of course, if you have very badly scratched discs, EAC might yield better results.

Personally, I don't understand why people care so much for secure/accurate ripping. In my opinion, checksums aren't much more useful than spectographs are for lossy audio comparison. So what if a bit is flipped, if it's inaudible? I'd venture that most users would find a good compromise between speed and accuracy more appealing.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #18
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Personally, I don't understand why people care so much for secure/accurate ripping. In my opinion, checksums aren't much more useful than spectographs are for lossy audio comparison. So what if a bit is flipped, if it's inaudible? I'd venture that most users would find a good compromise between speed and accuracy more appealing.
Most users perhaps, especially the ones that rip and encode to your everyday MP3 @ 128 kbps CBR.
The lossless supporters are much more likely to be wanting a ... lossless rip of their CD, and that's what EAC comes closest to of all of the lot. Again, if anyone is willing to bother that much about sound quality that s/he's obviously prepared to store her/his audio as 800+ kbps files, then s/he is very likely to be OK with those extra 5 to 10 minutes per album it takes to rip with EAC.

[span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Edit: fixed quote.[/span]

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #19
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Personally, I don't understand why people care so much for secure/accurate ripping. In my opinion, checksums aren't much more useful than spectographs are for lossy audio comparison. So what if a bit is flipped, if it's inaudible? I'd venture that most users would find a good compromise between speed and accuracy more appealing.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235766"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I use EAC because it will tell me when the rip goes bad, whereas iTunes won't. EAC is also faster than iTunes with the error correction on.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #20
Well, seeing how things have progressed, and considering that i'm currently in the process of reripping my entire collection (going on five days solid with at least two weeks to go), I thought I'd chime in on a few things.

From the tagging perspective, the only way to assure consistancy is to come up with your own (or follow someone else's) standard and follow it. None of the online databases are very consistent, and while it might take some work out of the process, I find it much better just to fill in the tags manually... or if you want to save some typing get the tags from FreeDB/CDDB and then manually check them all. I would guess within the thousands of songs i've ripped so far, 25% of the information from FreeDB have mispellings, or are just flat wrong.

From the ripping perspective, everyone will have their opinions, but if your going to rerip to loseless I can't see using anything other then EAC (or PlexTools if you own a Plextor drive). If you can be sure you've had a good rip, whats the point of lossless? Also, so far as I know, there are no other software products that support offset correction...

And from the format perspective, its all in what your trying to accomplish. Even though I use Monkey's Audio, I would probably suggest FLAC because of its portability, especially if you are looking at some sort of portable player. Apple Lossless is a bad choice for the iPod, as it is horribly demanding on the battery life (you get better battery life with WAV)... that said I also use Apple Lossless on my 40GB iPod, only because I bought it specifically to take the place of my CD player (it never leaves the dock). Yes... its not gapless... but a willing sacrifice to gain 100+ albums without having to change a CD.

Anywho, you can always go the other route and retag all of your existing files. Having been stuck at a computer for 5 solid days ripping, I would probably opt for that option if I had it.

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Domain

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #21
Also, you could use EAC and rip to a single wav file and a cue sheet.  Then mount the cue sheet with Daemon Tools.  Once mounted iTunes recognizes the mounted cue sheet as a cd.  From there you can import it into iTunes as Apple Losssless.

For me I used Apple Lossless for awhile because I wanted to use 128 QuickTime AAC but after discovering that it was aweful (for my ears) I switched back to Lame -abr 128.  Now I use [EAC --> FLAC --> Foobar --> lame -abr 128 --> fooPod] to transfer to my iPod.

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I also use Apple Lossless on my 40GB iPod, only because I bought it specifically to take the place of my CD player (it never leaves the dock).[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235903"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I would highly discourage this because the iPod has a 9meg cache/memory.  With the large filesizes (anything over 9megs) with Apple Lossless the harddrive will be constantly spinning, which dramatically decreases the life of the product.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #22
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Anywho, you can always go the other route and retag all of your existing files. Having been stuck at a computer for 5 solid days ripping, I would probably opt for that option if I had it.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235903"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


What are you trying to acomplish?  If you are trying to go from Apple Lossless to Flac you can use dBPowerAmp.  The impression I'm getting is that you are transcoding from Apple Lossless to Wav.  In that case I think you are on your own because outside of iTunes, wav files do not have a standard tagging from like ID1v1.  Maybe there is some information in the Wikis.

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #23
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I would highly discourage this because the iPod has a 9meg cache/memory.  With the large filesizes (anything over 9megs) with Apple Lossless the harddrive will be constantly spinning, which dramatically decreases the life of the product.
The iPod have 32 MB memory!

Best program for Ripping Apple Lossless from CD's

Reply #24
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I would highly discourage this because the iPod has a 9meg cache/memory.  With the large filesizes (anything over 9megs) with Apple Lossless the harddrive will be constantly spinning, which dramatically decreases the life of the product.
The iPod have 32 MB memory!
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=235928"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You're wrong. MJ is right. Just check Apple's site.

Reg. the original post, I would just use the "K.I.S.S" method & use iTunes...

 
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