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Thread: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

  1. #1

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    Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    Hello -

    I'm trying to figure out what the right process and tools are for ripping HDCDs (mostly Dead) on a Mac.

    Does CD Ripper x dbPowermp do this on a Mac? Is there a workaround? Is it even "worth it" if I'm only playing these through powered speakers off my Mac computer, iPhone, Sonos Amp, Sonos One, etc?

    I don't want to go too far down a rabbit hole, but also want to take "advantage" of the fact that the Dead release stuff on HDCD. Although I've also heard that they don't actually use HDCD???

    Anyway... would love to know...

    Thanks in advance.
    cloz

  2. #2
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    If you include the DSP effect 'HDCD' it will decode the hdcd portion if found.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by cloz View Post
    Hello -

    I'm trying to figure out what the right process and tools are for ripping HDCDs (mostly Dead) on a Mac.

    Does CD Ripper x dbPowermp do this on a Mac? Is there a workaround? Is it even "worth it" if I'm only playing these through powered speakers off my Mac computer, iPhone, Sonos Amp, Sonos One, etc?

    I don't want to go too far down a rabbit hole, but also want to take "advantage" of the fact that the Dead release stuff on HDCD. Although I've also heard that they don't actually use HDCD???

    Anyway... would love to know...

    Thanks in advance.
    cloz

    Most of last 15 years or so of Grateful Dead releases are labeled HDCD. I have tons of it. Turns out, that if certain features of HDCD are not used, then it doesn't matter. For example, the Peak Extension (PE) feature is missing on many of the Dead HDCD CDs. So no need to worry about HDCD. You can google around and find lots of discussion on whether HDCD matters on Grateful Dead CDs. In my opinion it is much ado about nothing. I have hundreds of HDCD disks. I experimented with a few that were known to have PE implemented, and found that doing double blind comparisons of the tracks extracted with the HDCD DSP vs just regular FLAC rips led me to realize that there is no difference I can regularly detect (basically random which version I preferred and super hard to detect differences at all). So for me, I rip to FLAC and move on.

    If you do want to rip using HDCD DSP, understand that the rips are no longer bitperfect back to the CD. So you probably want to rip to FLAC as an archive, then convert to different FLAC using HDCD DSP. See here for more than you probably want to know. Some good links to hydrogenaud.io discussion as well.

    https://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthr...Best-practices

  4. #4

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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    If you include the DSP effect 'HDCD' it will decode the hdcd portion if found.
    Thanks Spoon. I was thrown off because it says "Windows Only" in two places on this website.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 5.04.13 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 5.03.52 PM.png

    Anyway... I gave it a shot. I have no idea if it is any better... sounds like from the comment below that it doesn't matter. The file sizes are certainly a lot larger!

    Thanks,
    cloz

  5. #5
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    yep, file size is larger because it is now a 24/44.1 file rather than a 16/44.1 file.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    Web updated

  7. #7

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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    I'm also in the process of re-ripping my CDs and saved my Dead music for last. I had originally ripped to FLAC with the DSP effect on. However after reading the thread at: https://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthr...ractices/page1, I re-ripped without the DSP effect.

    Using Yate, I can see a UD Tex tag that indicates "HDCD" set to "Yes":

    Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 10.07.23 AM.jpg

    However the audio settings show 16-bit audio.

    Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 10.07.36 AM.jpg

    Before re-ripping the Dead CDs (again with the HDCD DSP effect turned off), it would be great to understand what's happening here.

    Thx in advance for your help.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    That is correct, if you are not processing HDCD in CD ripper then it is how it appears on the CD, 16 bit, it is then up to your player to decode to 20 bits (24 bit)

  9. #9
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    As Spoon says, correct, without HDCD DSP ripping, it will show as 16/44.1 rip. My recommendation (and I have lots of Dead) is to rip without HDCD DSP so that you have a bit perfect copy of the CD. Then, separately, you can use dbpa CONVERTER to convert those albums to different files using the HDCD DSP. Name that album something to identify it as a different set of tracks (e.g., "Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings [HDCD]"). These converted files will be 24 bit. Before you go to the trouble, you may also want to figure out if these HDCD disks actually use peak extension (PE). If not, then there is no benefit in converting to HDCD as it's not using the actual features of HDCD that make a difference. Google around and you can see lots of discussion of this. Not sure if dbpa can tell you this info. foobar2000 with the right HDCD components can identify HDCD and features included. Good luck.

  10. #10

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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    As Spoon says, correct, without HDCD DSP ripping, it will show as 16/44.1 rip. My recommendation (and I have lots of Dead) is to rip without HDCD DSP so that you have a bit perfect copy of the CD. Then, separately, you can use dbpa CONVERTER to convert those albums to different files using the HDCD DSP. Name that album something to identify it as a different set of tracks (e.g., "Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings [HDCD]"). These converted files will be 24 bit. Before you go to the trouble, you may also want to figure out if these HDCD disks actually use peak extension (PE). If not, then there is no benefit in converting to HDCD as it's not using the actual features of HDCD that make a difference. Google around and you can see lots of discussion of this. Not sure if dbpa can tell you this info. foobar2000 with the right HDCD components can identify HDCD and features included. Good luck.
    Thanks garym and Spoon. I'm planning to rip them without DSP effects and simply listen w/out worrying about DSP decoding. I simply wanted to confirm that I can ignore the UD Text that says HDCD=Yes as long as the audio are actually 16/44.1 rips.

  11. #11
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    Re: Ripping HDCDs on a Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by pacoinmass View Post
    Thanks garym and Spoon. I'm planning to rip them without DSP effects and simply listen w/out worrying about DSP decoding. I simply wanted to confirm that I can ignore the UD Text that says HDCD=Yes as long as the audio are actually 16/44.1 rips.

    Yep, and FYI, I listen to most of my HDCDs just as normal CD rips. They sound glorious.

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