How To Rip your music Part 2
So we covered ripping to mp3 in a previous article and now we are going to take our stab and the next level of ripping your music.
MP3's are great, and for most people it will be all they need, but there are some that don't want to settle for anything less then an exact digital copy of their CD. And once again when it comes to this there are people in many different camps that are all very serious that their way is the best and only way.
We are going to try and cut through some of the bull and give you some of our thoughts. We here are networkingaudiovideo.com are big fans of open source solutions so we will discuss getting your music converted to the FLAC standard.
The de facto standard for high quality ripping of your music is a program called EAC( Exact Audio Copy ). EAC doesn't have the most user friendly interface, but its power is undeniable.
There is a great guide over on Slimdevices site that has a great introduction for learning the basics. The main upside of ripping all of your music in FLAC is that you now have an exact digital copy of your CD. If you want to turn them into MP3's you can easily do it with a script.
The beauty of FLAC is that it is a true digital backup of your CDs. If you follow smart guidelines for backing up your music you won't ever have to worry about dragging your CDs out of their big box that you stored in the basement. The digital copy you made of them is all you will need.
An added benefit of having your music all in FLAC format is that a bunch of players can decode and play FLAC files. This means that you are able to stream the highest quality digital music files in your house. Audiophiles swear that FLAC files sound better then your regular MP3 files. We tend to agree with them, but we have friends at Bose that have done studies that the human ear really can't distinguish between a MP3 recorded at a proper bitrate and a FLAC file. And we like to say here that if it sounds better to you then it sounds better...period!
The major downside of keeping all of your music in FLAC format is the size of the files. Ripping a CD into FLAC takes up nearly four times as much space. While storage these days is very cheap it might not work for everyone so this is something you need to think about before you go down this road.
Basically our advice is that if you are going to spend a bunch of money on a good stereo system and speakers to listen to your digital music what is a few extra hundred bucks for extra storage for all those FLAC files.
This is a truly personal choice so we don't want to push to hard either way, just giving everyone our perspective on things. We like FLAC for many reasons, but the main reason is that it gives you a complete perfect backup of your CDs. So you can ( assuming you have the disk space ) have a directory on your network that keeps all of your files in FLAC format and another directory that is a copy of your FLAC directory just converted into MP3. This way you can stream your MP3 music wherever you like and feel safe in the knowledge that your CDs are perfectly preserved in digital format. We love the idea of flexibility and that is what FLAC gives you.
Do what you want, we just wanted to give you our opinion...happy ripping :)
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Posted by David Ficocello at March 15, 2007 10:53 PM