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Thread: rip mp3 cd to flac

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    rip mp3 cd to flac

    I receive Zune credits monthly which I use to download CDs to my zune collection. After burning a CD from my zune collection, I use DB Poweramp CD ripper to convert it to a FLAC file for use on my home system (Linn Majik DS). The files show as "Secure" but not "Accuraterip". My question is whether the resulting quality is equal to what I would have if I ripped the music from an original CD instead of purchased downloads.

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru xoas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Durham, NC

    Re: rip mp3 cd to flac

    As far as I know, the FLAC files should be exactly the same quality as the soource they were taken from. You can't use AccurateRip except when you are ripping audio files from a standard audio cd from a store. If you made a copy of a standard audio CD and tried ripping from that copy, AccurateRip really wouldn't help you there either. I think this may be the question you meant to ask. And, if so, you can stop here.

    You also did raise (perhaps without intending to) a second question, one that is confusing to many noobies. That has to do with the quality of audio files in different kinds of formats. I'm not sure whether the tracks you are downloading from Zune are already in mp3 format (and if so, at what kind of settings) and/or if you are converting these tracks to mp3 format (or are converting them from one set of mp3 settings to another during the burning process). But there should be a difference between the quality of the original CD of these tracks as compared to the quality of the same tracks converted to mp3 (whether by Zune or by yourself), regardless of setting.

    If you are a purist, the answer stops here. Tracks created in CD format are going to be higher quality than the same tracks converted to mp3, regardless of setting and that will never change. Mp3 is a lossy codec, meaning that you lose some of the original audio information when you convert from standard audio CD format to mp3. Once lost, you cannot restore this information by converting back from mp3 to standard audio CD format or to a lossless audio codec (meaning a codec that preserves all of the audio information from the original source) such as FLAC.

    If you are more practical, the next question to ask is whether this difference is important to you. If you can't tell a difference between the tracks from the original CD and the same tracks converted to mp3, then they are equally good and the mp3 tracks have the advantage of taking up less file space. If the files you are downloading from Zune are already in mp3 format, then you have already lost whatever audio information is going to be lost (unless you convert to a more compressed file setting within the mp3 format or you convert these files to a different lossy format such as wma (lossy) or to ogg). In this case, if your home system can handle mp3 the question is why not leave the files in mp3 because converting these files to FLAC will not restore the audio information that was lost when the mp3 files were created. If your home system doesn't play mp3 files, or if it doesn't like to try handling files of different formats one after the other, or if you just like being consistent, that is fine too.

    If you have the option of downloading these Zune files in FLAC format, you could convert them to mp3 for your Zune or for an mp3 cd for your car, and save them in FLAC
    for use on your home system. In this case, you would be preserving the quality of the original source CD.

    If you are in the practical camp, be aware that there are certainly some levels of mp3 settings which will make a difference in audio quality that you will be able to hear and that you will further deem to be less than acceptable. So make an effort to find where this difference lies for you. If you care much about the music you listen to, the effort will likely pay off.

    Now aren't you glad you asked?

    Best wishes,

  3. #3

    Re: rip mp3 cd to flac

    Thanks for your explanation xoas. That was what I thought too. Just like images, once you convert (or accept it) in lower quality format, as in MP3, then there is no way to get the original quality back. So burning a CD and then converting back to FLAC won't help...

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