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Thread: RE: Ripping Level Question (help?)

  1. #1
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    Question RE: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Hi folks

    I very recently joined this forum and have already posted an 'introduction'. I am using the dBPowerAmp 'trial' and have some novice questions:

    Is there an actual manual/PDF/Video/tutorial which instructs how to RIP a CD into FLAC please?

    I would to RIP at like the highest audio quality but am unsure as to which setting I need to choose in the drop-down menu? Please see screenshot.

    There is a 'recommended' level, a 'highest' level, and an 'uncompressed' level?

    Many thanks in advance for any kind assistance offered here.

    Paul David Seaman
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Da Man
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    See:

    https://www.dbpoweramp.com/cd-ripper-setup-guide.htm

    For a step by step guide to setting up.

    All settings for FLAC are lossless, that means they all decode to identical results, identical equals highest possible quality.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    All settings for FLAC are lossless, that means they all decode to identical results, identical equals highest possible quality.
    Thanks Spoon.

    So you mean that all of those 10 options provide the exact same results? That's OK, but if so, WHY have all of the different (10) settings?!

    Cheers,

    Paul

  4. #4
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Hey Paul,

    the 10 levels represent 10 levels of slightly different data compression (not audio compression!). So the files only differ in slight different file sizes.


    Dat Ei

  5. #5
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlick View Post
    Thanks Spoon.

    So you mean that all of those 10 options provide the exact same results? That's OK, but if so, WHY have all of the different (10) settings?!

    Cheers,

    Paul
    for FLAC, different levels relate to how much (in file size) the FLaC file gets shrunk too (relative to a WAV file). Higher numbers mean smaller file size. But you'll notice that in some cases the size is not that much different. And as spoon points out on the DECODING side, all these FLAC files are bit identical when played back. In the olden days, disk space was not as cheap and some folks liked to eeke out a bit of extra space by using "8" compression. Space is pretty cheap and small these days so not that relevant. Also, in the old days, there were some players that struggled with decoding (playing back) FLAC files compressed at the highest level (my Squeezebox Transporter used to have issues with 24/96 FLAC files at "8", but not at "5").

    Finally (and I'm speaking for myself here, not Spoon) there are a few audiophiles (audiophools?) that are scared of the word compression and have problems with the concept of bit perfect decoding, so for these nervous folks Spoon added the FLAC option of no compression. So essentially, these are WAV files that allow the tagging, etc. benefit of FLAC without the file size compression.

    I've always just used the default FLAC compression level of "5".

  6. #6
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    Question Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    ...the 10 levels represent 10 levels of slightly different data compression (not audio compression!). So the files only differ in slight different file sizes.
    Thanks Dat Ei,

    I am a newbie but I have been trying to learn about these things since I bought CUBASE a handful of years ago. I am aged 48 and a very late starter on computers etc.

    Well, I actually did try out (comparing) RIPPING the same CD at 3 x different 'levels' over the weekend. One at level '5', '10' and 'uncompressed'. The file sizes where different (as you would expect). Then I listened (through quality equipment) the the same 30 x seconds (excerpt) on each version. I could hear ZERO difference! Then finally, I compared all 3 x FLACs to the the ORIGNAL hard-copy CD and, again, could detect ZERO difference!

    What really confused me was that the ORIGINAL CD file size (of the track) was circa 25MB. But the 'uncompressed' FLAC was ten times this amount; yet ZERO audible difference?!

    But as you kindly say, it is not the AUDIO which is being compressed but the DATA.

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlick; 07-26-2017 at 11:37 AM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
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    Question Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Hi GaryM,

    Thanks very much indeed for assisting.

    Here is (basically) my current situation and plans:

    I recently purchased a Sony 'NW-A35' Walkman with a 64GB micro-sim off Amazon. Because, 10 x years ago or so, I inadvertently ripped most of my CD collection to 'WMA' format, I am looking to re-rip my favourite CDs to FLAC and onto my new Walkman; as well as purchasing high-quality FLAC d/l versions from reputable sites.

    Gary, do you therefore recommend I use the level '5' (recommended) setting for this duty, please?

    Cheers,

    Paul

  8. #8
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlick View Post
    Hi GaryM,

    Thanks very much indeed for assisting.

    Here is (basically) my current situation and plans:

    I recently purchased a Sony 'NW-A35' Walkman with a 64GB micro-sim off Amazon. Because, 10 x years ago or so, I inadvertently ripped most of my CD collection to 'WMA' format, I am looking to re-rip my favourite CDs to FLAC and onto my new Walkman; as well as purchasing high-quality FLAC d/l versions from reputable sites.

    Gary, do you therefore recommend I use the level '5' (recommended) setting for this duty, please?

    Cheers,

    Paul
    I'd recommend level 5 for FLAC, but it really doesn't matter. Any level is fine (although I think "uncompressed" FLaC is a bit silly).

  9. #9
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    I'd recommend level 5 for FLAC, but it really doesn't matter. Any level is fine (although I think "uncompressed" FLaC is a bit silly).
    Cheers Gary,

    So, if I use level '5' and compare the end file to the hard-copy original CD version, audibly there should be no detectable difference? I mean, it will be as close a version of an exact copy as I will get; compared to the frequency-loss and general deterioration if using 'mp3' or WMA'?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlick View Post
    Cheers Gary,

    So, if I use level '5' and compare the end file to the hard-copy original CD version, audibly there should be no detectable difference? I mean, it will be as close a version of an exact copy as I will get; compared to the frequency-loss and general deterioration if using 'mp3' or WMA'?

    Thanks,

    Paul
    It won't "should be close" it is EXACT bit-perfect copy. Not just close but PERFECT. And this is true of FLAC file at any level (uncompressed thru 8). FLAC is lossless. mp3 or wma are LOSSY codecs and are completely different.

  11. #11
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    FLAC compression is like zip compression - it is lossless. You can decode and reencode back and forth without any loss.


    Dat Ei

  12. #12
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    Question Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    It won't "should be close" it is EXACT bit-perfect copy. Not just close but PERFECT. And this is true of FLAC file at any level (uncompressed thru 8). FLAC is lossless. mp3 or wma are LOSSY codecs and are completely different.
    Many thanks Gary,

    I will stick with level '5'. I won't bother with the upper-resolutions.

    Can you, yourself, detect a significant difference between a d/l 'mp3' (say from Amazon), or a 'WMA' (as I originally ripped to), compared to a hard-copy CD ripped to FLAC using 'dBPower', please?

    Cheers,

    Paul

  13. #13
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    FLAC compression is like zip compression - it is lossless. You can decode and reencode back and forth without any loss.
    Thanks Dat Ei,

    But do I need to d/l any CODECS (to my PC) for 'dBPower' to function? Or is everything I require all provided within the 'trial' d/l, please?

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlick; 07-26-2017 at 03:00 PM. Reason: spelling

  14. #14
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlick View Post
    Thanks Dat Ei,

    But do I need to d/l any CODECS (to my PC) for 'dBPower' to function? Or is everything I require all provided within the 'trial' d/l, please?

    Cheers,

    Paul
    everything comes with dbpa program, including the trial. you don't need anything else.

  15. #15
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    Re: Ripping Level Question (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlick View Post
    Many thanks Gary,

    I will stick with level '5'. I won't bother with the upper-resolutions.

    Can you, yourself, detect a significant difference between a d/l 'mp3' (say from Amazon), or a 'WMA' (as I originally ripped to), compared to a hard-copy CD ripped to FLAC using 'dBPower', please?

    Cheers,

    Paul
    I've done ABX tests (double blind tests) using foobar2000 player and its ABX component, and I typically can't detect any difference between a mp3 file (ripped with a decent program) and the FLAC (original CD). This is almost always true at 192kb or above. Mostly true at 160kbs or above. I can often (but not always) pick out the lossy mp3 at 128kbs.
    p.s. I don't rip to FLAC because I think I can hear differences between a good mp3 and FLAC. I do it because FLAC is lossless....rip once, rip right. And just a comfort level knowing that I have bit perfect copies of the CDs. I made the mistake years ago of ripping about 5,000 CDs to lossy mp3 when I didn't know any better. I'm almost done reripping them to FLAC.
    Last edited by garym; 07-26-2017 at 03:08 PM.

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