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Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

I've seen some answers to my questions in various threads but not all, and not all were complete.  So, here goes...

I've decided to use Flac for encoding my Jazz CD collection, but do like using EAC as the one step process.  I would like to:

1. Rip with EAC
2. Encode with Flac - through EAC
3. Include ID3v1.1 and ID3v2 tags so that other programs can read the tags
4. Create CUE sheets
5. Use Replaygain

Is this all possible through EAC, or do I need to use the FLAC Frontend for this level of detail..  or is this not really a good idea to begin with?

- I'm ok with the setup for getting good rips from EAC and encoding with FLAC in EAC.
- Also, from other threads I think I have the command for adding tags in Flac, for example: (-P 4096 -T "title=%t" -T "artist=%a" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" -T "comment=Bryn4ne :: EAC .9b4, Secure with C2, accurate stream, NO disable cache, read offset correction :: FLAC 1.0.4" %s %d).  If I select the ID3v1.1 and ID3v2 tag options in EAC, will this be included in my FLAC encoding, or do I need to do some command line stuff?  Does the padding option box in EAC work with or confuse the command line option?
- will the CUE sheets I make in EAC work for FLAC files?  Are CUE sheets generic or specific to different file formats?  If different, how would I include them in an EAC command line?
- Finally, how do you, or can you, implement replaygain in EAC?

If you can't do all this in EAC, then that's ok, I guess I'll use the Flac Frontend.  I have two simple questions on this:

1. In the CUE Sheet option, what do you put in the input box.... filenames??
2. For replaygain, is it better to check 'Treat input files as one album' or not?

I know it's a lot, but thanks for any info you can offer, or directions to point me in.  BTW, thanks for a great forum.  Sure glad I stumbled upon so many informative and helpful people.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #1
What parts are and are not covered to your satisfaction in this HA thread on EAC and flac?

C2 and EAC is also a much discussed topic.  What drive are you using?

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #2
something like:
Quote
eac&flac command line:
--replay-gain --tag=ARTIST="%a" --tag=ALBUM="%g" --tag=TITLE="%t" --tag=TRACKNUMBER="%n" --tag=DATE="%y" --tag=DESCRIPTION="flac 1.1.0" %s %d

will give you track type of RG, i have no idea how to make an album RG like that as well.

edit: replaced CODE with QUOTE to avoid layout problems.
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #3
Quote
What parts are and are not covered to your satisfaction in this HA thread on EAC and flac?

C2 and EAC is also a much discussed topic.   What drive are you using?

I'm fine with the C2 and EAC stuff as this is well documented here and other sites.  I have an LG 12x8x32 at work with no C2 support and a Plextor 40/12/40A at home.

Looks like I've got the replaygain answer now.

I've found how to tag in the command line, but does this put in ID3v1.1 and v2 tags?  Do the check boxes in EAC Compression Options apply to Flac encoding as it's not really on in EAC's list and is set User Defined.  I'm not clear on how the different tagging is done.

And are CUE sheets, CUE sheets, no matter whether they are made in EAC or Flac Frontend?

As for Flac Front end:
1. In the CUE Sheet option, what do you put in the input box.... filenames??
2. For replaygain, is it better to check 'Treat input files as one album' or not?

After I encode 300-400 CD's I don't want to realize I've been doing it wrong.

I'm getting there - thanks for the help.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #4
Quote
I've found how to tag in the command line, but does this put in ID3v1.1 and v2 tags?  Do the check boxes in EAC Compression Options apply to Flac encoding as it's not really on in EAC's list and is set User Defined.  I'm not clear on how the different tagging is done.

FLAC-tags are not ID3-tags. So the command line tagging doesn't do anything ID3-ish. Also, when you set user-defined, the check boxes can't do anything, since EAC won't know what command line options are available.

Quote
And are CUE sheets, CUE sheets, no matter whether they are made in EAC or Flac Frontend?

EAC puts all the artist and album info in the cuesheet automagically. That makes up a good info file for archiving.

Quote
As for Flac Front end:
1. In the CUE Sheet option, what do you put in the input box.... filenames??
2. For replaygain, is it better to check 'Treat input files as one album' or not?

I'm not sure on these, so I'll keep my answers and see what some guru passing by will say 

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #5
1., 2. - there are enough information on this in the forum.

3. If you really want ID3 tags, I think that you can use a program like Tag for doing this. using it automatically from EAC will require creating a simple batch file (like: first run flac, then tag). but I don't recommend using ID3 tags for FLAC files. FLAC has a standard way to store such information - built-in VorbisComment, that's much more powerful than ID3v1 and much easier to handle than ID3v2. most programs, dealing with FLACs are able to read this tags, not ID3 (though winamp2 plug-in can read ID3v1 also). also, it's easier to use this way of tagging - flac.exe has options for this (look in smok3 post).

4. here we go...

first, there are standalone CUE sheet files (.cue) files. these are independent from audio format you use (e.g. mp3, mpc or flac). EAC creates such files when you rip entire disc to one file. mp3cue plug-in for winamp2 can use them with flac.

second, flac has a way to store cuesheet right in the flac file. this is not very useful right now, because no program I know uses it. anyway, to insert cuesheet into flac file you should use --cuesheet=<file> option on command-line to flac.exe. <file> is the name of valid .cue file (described above). this is exactly the thing you specify in FLAC front-end.

5. add --replay-gain. this will add both track and album gains (with the same values, if you encode one file at once - not very logical, imho).

as for "is it better to use 'Treat input files as one album'" or not: if you have separate .wav files for all tracks in album and encode them all at one, it's better to use it. this will calculate proper album gain for this album. in other cases it doesn't make much sence. but this only makes difference if you use "album mode" for replaygain in your player.

edit: noticed that you write FLAC 1.0.4. you need 1.1.0 to use replay-gain and built-in cuesheets.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #6
Thanks to everyone for all the great help.  I think I have it now.  I'm going to use this command line in EAC:

--replay-gain --P 4096 --T "title=%t" --T "artist=%a" --T "album=%g" --T "date=%y" --T "tracknumber=%n" --T "genre=%m" --T "comment=EAC .9b4, Secure with accurate stream, NO disable cache,NO C2 :: FLAC 1.1.0" %s %d

I did notice that the "genre" option doesn't seem to work, but that's the least of my worries.

I won't deal with album gain, not too sure if I really need all that now.  I'm sure I could probably add it later if it really became something important.  I left the padding in there so I could also add future tagging if needed.  I think I'll just keep using EAC's cuesheets for info and archiving.

One last question.  Is there any way, or application like Encspot, to view the info you have encoded into your flac files?  It would be great to see the level of compression and all that stuff.

much thanks again...

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #7
If you play these as albums, you don't want to use the track level replay gain data for playback.  That's more suited to compilations or jukebox (shuffle) type play.

You don't need 2 hyphens for the -P or -T switches.

shntool works with flac and will report out that kind of info.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #8
I've hunted through the replaygain stuff but can't find anything about whether I need a replaygain application in the EAC directory, or where to get it if there is one.  Do you only have to put the option in the command line and Flac will do it all?  I did find a vorbis replaygain.exe - will this work?

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #9
you don't need external "replay-gainer" for flac. flac encoder will do everything for you (if you use --replay-gain). it calculates gain while encoding.

oh, and -P 4096 is not needed with 1.1.0, since it's the default.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #10
Quote
I've hunted through the replaygain stuff but can't find anything about whether I need a replaygain application in the EAC directory, or where to get it if there is one.  Do you only have to put the option in the command line and Flac will do it all?  I did find a vorbis replaygain.exe - will this work?

If you can't do the album gain from EAC you can add it later with metaflac, e.g. "metaflac --add-replay-gain *.flac"

Josh

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #11
Thanks for the info.

What does the 'align on sector boundaries' do in Flac Frontend?

I'm able to get everything I'd like in my Tags with Flac Frontend except the genre field.  I've tried most of the options in EAC for music genre, but the Autodetect feature in Flac Frontend doesn't seem to pick any of them up.  Any suggestions?

How do most people encode their Flac's - with EAC command line, Flac Frontend, or...?


Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #13
I don't see how you could do album replay gain with EAC, as it's passing only one file at a time to flac.    It would require a modification to EAC to work, I'd think.  Also, if  you are thinking about using replay gain be sure you understand it.  These pages are a start.  Someone pointed out the issue that if you decode to wav with replay gain using output from some players, you are no longer getting a lossless copy of the original but a gained copy.  Not sure about that, but something to keep an eye on.

You should look at the shntool link and the 2 txt files inside the zip package for more explanation of what align on sector boundaries is, for two reasons.  First, because shntool will examine your wavs and tell you if you even need to worry about that.  Second, because you have to be very careful in how it's used - the files have to be processed in the exactly correct track order or it screws things up worse than when you started.  I can't imagine ever using that feature via EAC's command line, even if it supported it.

The good news is, if you are ripping CDs the align on sector boundaries issue shouldn't come up.  It's usually only a problem for files you receive in already-encoded (shn or flac) format.  It typically results from someone mis-using an audio editor, and not cutting the wav file on a sector boundary (1/75th second).  (Eg in Cool Edit you have to set it to Snap to Frames.)  I don't think it's possible to create that error when you are ripping a CD.  In any case, use that feature very carefully!

I can't think of a good reason not to use the command line if you are ripping a CD.  You can always follow up with a second  pass for album replay gain, etc.

The last set of files I encoded did put Rock into the genre, are you getting anything at all?  If not, fool around with it a little more, it seemed to work but that could have been an illusion that it was working.

Personally I'm not going to put cuesheets in or use replay gain until they are supported on all the platforms (the current Mac front end doesn't appear to work with 1.1.0), as I don't want to create any incompatibilities for my Mac friends.  Cuesheets are just as easily done in a separate file.  It will be a nice feature when it gets implemented everywhere.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #14
I think that I'm getting into the more is bigger and better.  When you learn new things you really have to be careful and filter what is really necessary from what is really advanced stuff that you may not need.  I realized I only wanted to encode my CD collection for archiving and playing them at work.  I would like just clean, clear archives.  For these reasons I'll just rip and tag them properly.  I'll make cuesheets separately with EAC.  I agree with buzzy that when certain features become standards and widely adopted, I'll either add or incorporate them to my encoding.  I'm sure if it's popular enough, someone will find a way to do this with existing files.  If not, at worst, I'd have to decode and re-encode, but at least I'd have good clean files to work with.

One last question then, how important is it to fiddle with offsets in EAC?  I currently don't do this.  I know the procedures appear to be well documented here, but I've read in different threads about people going to great extremes about what they are doing to set this up, and yet others say just leave it at the default.  Does it really matter that much?  If so, to what degree to you have to go to get good rips?  I'm getting mostly 100% and some 99.9% accuracy rips in the log file, but can you compare your wav to the cd?  Doesn't wav compare only compare different wav files?

Thanks for all the helplul information.  It's great to be working so globally with you all... wish our governments could do the same. 

PS.  if this is now drifting to a different topic, please let me know and we can move it.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #15
> One last question then, how important is it to fiddle with offsets in EAC? I currently don't do this.

Well, normally the offsets are on the order of 0.01 seconds, so not a huge deal.  But a lot of drives are documented, so if you are ripping lots of CDs it's probably worth the effort.  It's a lot easier if you are just trying to figure out the read offset, which is all you need for ripping.

> I'm getting mostly 100% and some 99.9% accuracy rips in the log file,

Assuming you mean quality, this says more about the condition of the CD than about the accuracy of the rip.

> But can you compare your wav to the cd? Doesn't wav compare only compare different wav files?

You can rip it more than once and compare wav files, but of course it's going to have the same read offset each time.

One more thing, I know you said you thought you had C2 figured out, but I'd really urge you to make sure your drive is really good at it.  Last I heard some folks still think you shouldn't use it with EAC at all.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #16
Quote
One more thing, I know you said you thought you had C2 figured out, but I'd really urge you to make sure your drive is really good at it.  Last I heard some folks still think you shouldn't use it with EAC at all.

EXACTLY!!  That's what it is that I figured out... don't use it.  My drive at work is an LG CD-RW CED-8120B and it doesn't support C2 or drive caching, so that's ok - EAC will have to do all the work.  At home is a Plextor 40/12/40A so I could use Plextools, but that brings in a whole other can of worms with command line stuff as it doesn't appear to support Flac.  I'll be doing most of the ripping at work as it much more convenient.  I do have a regular CDR drive, Creative CD5233E, I could also use.  It does support C2 and tests show that it "works".  Hmmmm... think I'll stick to the basics.

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #17
I have two comment fields in my encoded files.  One is from EAC ID3 Tag comment field and the other from the Flac command line in the EAC Compression options.  Are these redundant, or should both be left in as they are different, ie ID3 vs Flac tags?

Format:  FLAC
Details: 44100 Hz Stereo, 886 kbps, playtime 06:40
Tags:    ID3v1, ID3v2, FLAC
Title:  Besame Mucho
Artist:  Diana Krall
Album:  The Look Of Love
Year:    2001
Track:  5
Genre:  Jazz
Comment: EAC .9b4, Acc Str, NO C2&Cche
Encoded By=Exact Audio Copy  (Secure mode)
comment=EAC .9b4, Secure with accurate stream, NO drive cache,NO C2 :: FLAC 1.1.0

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #18
Quote
My drive at work is an LG CD-RW CED-8120B and it doesn't support C2 or drive caching, so that's ok - EAC will have to do all the work.

If your drive doesn't support C2, yes EAC will work harder on scratched discs, but if your drive DOES NOT cache, this makes things easier for EAC and will speed up your rips a lot.

However most drives DO cache, nearly all modern plextors, Lite-on's (apart from and older model with older firmware). It's quite interesting yours doesn''t, how did you determine it?


Cheers,

Kristian

Definitive answers on FLAC in EAC

Reply #19
Quote
[However most drives DO cache, nearly all modern plextors, Lite-on's (apart from and older model with older firmware). It's quite interesting yours doesn''t, how did you determine it?

I've use EAC a number of times to test the LG CD-RW CED-8120B, and in each case it says that the there is NO drive caching nor C2, only accurate stream.  Yet, on Satcp's site this model is specified and says there is no caching, but there is C2... interesting.  To be safe, I have them both disabled.

 
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