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  1. #1

    Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and apologize if these questions have been asked before but I want to get things right before embarking on ripping my collection of approximately 1000 CDs. It seems like a worthy project to start during these difficult times but I want to avoid making mistakes.

    I plan to use the default settings for ripping to FLAC but would appreciate any advice on whether it's necessary to use "secure rip" for all CDs or just the ones that have scratches. I've read that "burst mode" is much faster and less damaging to one's writer and most of my CDs (90%) are in near mint/mint condition. I realize that some might have factory defects which are invisible to the naked eye, so any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. :-) I also have a generic DVD writer, not a name brand CD writer--will this have a negative impact on the ripping quality?

    I'd also appreciate any thoughts on the naming order of the artist/album or are the default settings the best option? I assume most of my CDs will be in one of the databases but I want to get this right to avoid problems down the road. Also, should the album cover art be kept in the same folder as the album ripped or is there some reason to keep them in separate folders? To me, it seems best to have just one folder (don't know if this is the default setting). Moreover, should each song display the cover art or is it best to just have cover art for the entire album? I don't know if this would use up a lot of space or slow the ripping process down.

    Lastly, I would like to preserve the original file/sound as much as possible and don't want to add any effects to "enhance" the sound but am not clear about "audio regain." Is that needed/recommended when ripping a collection or does this change the original file?

    I really want to get things right the first time as I've tried ripping with other programs in the past but inevitably gave up due to some nasty surprises such as noise, hiss and inaccurate rips but that was quite awhile ago. ;-)

    I think this covers almost everything. I would be grateful for any suggestions that you might have before starting this project. Thank you for any advice you might have on this topic or other matters that I need to consider before ripping my collection.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    1. I'd set to ultrasecure for ripping and leave it that way. The beauty is that if the CD is in the AccurateRip database, dbpa will do a burst rip, see that it matches the AR database entry, and finish. So just as quick as Burst. But if you don't get an AR match, it will automatically move on to the secure rip settings, which you would want it to do.

    2. I use this for my naming setting. Handles compilations, single artist, album artist vs artist, multi-disk or single disk, etc. all automatically. On bottom left of ripper screen there is a "naming" row. Click on SET on the right, then paste this in. This is windows. If you are using a Mac version, the backslashes should be forward slashes.

    [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP]Compilations\[album][IFMULTI]\Disc [disc][]\[track] - [title] - [artist][][IF!COMP][IFVALUE]album artist,[album artist],[artist][]\[album][IFMULTI]\Disc [disc][]\[track] - [title][][]

    3. The only DSP I use in ripping is REPLAYGAIN. I use the default values for TRACK & ALBUM. This is just a couple of tags, it does NOT modify the audio. It just provides information for music servers/players that are replaygain aware the info they need to adjust the volume on the fly. Google "replaygain" for more info.

    4. I use the FLAC at "5" compression (the default). All FLAC is lossless, so this just has to do with file size. I'd recommend 5 or 8.

    5. Don't make the usual newbie mistake (many of us have!) of doing tons of ripping, and then realizing later on that you don't like the tag choices you made (which tags to include, e.g., style or not, how many genres to use, whether to embed album art, or have it included only once in the album folder as "folder.jpg" or "cover.jpg" (I do the latter with cover.jpg). Lots of things. My advise, rip a few CDs and see what you think about how your server/player handles/shows things. Rip a compilation (various artist) CD, rip a few multidisk CDs, etc. Just to get a flavor for tagging, naming, etc. Then if you don't like what you are seeing, you can make changes to naming string, tags used, etc. People here are always happy to help you modify the naming string, answer questions about tagging, etc. LOTS OF THINGS ABOUT THIS SOFTWARE YOU LEARN BY USING!

  3. #3

    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    @garym Thank you so much for your advice and clarifying some things such as the ultra secure setting. I really appreciate your suggestions on points 2 and 5. Yes, it makes a lot of sense to try a range of different discs and compilations by various artists and see how they look and how the media player handles them before ripping my entire collection. I assume they could be edited at a later point but it's better to get it right the first time and save myself a lot of trouble down the road. I agree that there's a lot to learn and hopefully I can avoid some of the more serious pitfalls if I do my homework first before ripping a huge number of CDs. ;-)

  4. #4

    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    @garym: Thank you so much for your suggestions. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain how ultra secure rip works. Your advice on points 2 and 5 are are great suggestions. I will experiment with different CDs and various compilations to make sure I like the format and see how my media player handles the tags before ripping my entire collection. It really makes a lot of sense to do things right from from the onset, rather than to rip a bunch of CDs and waste time later on with editing tags later and cover art.

    I apologize if this message appears twice. I sent a reply earlier and received a message that it needed to be reviewed first by the moderator but that was sometime ago; I'm afraid the first reply got lost or was rejected for some reason...

    Thanks again for your help!

  5. #5
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by groovester View Post
    @garym: Thank you so much for your suggestions. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain how ultra secure rip works. Your advice on points 2 and 5 are are great suggestions. I will experiment with different CDs and various compilations to make sure I like the format and see how my media player handles the tags before ripping my entire collection. It really makes a lot of sense to do things right from from the onset, rather than to rip a bunch of CDs and waste time later on with editing tags later and cover art.

    I apologize if this message appears twice. I sent a reply earlier and received a message that it needed to be reviewed first by the moderator but that was sometime ago; I'm afraid the first reply got lost or was rejected for some reason...

    Thanks again for your help!

    happy to help. Experiment a bit with some ripping and then post any questions that come up....

  6. #6
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    The only DSP I use in ripping is REPLAYGAIN. I use the default values for TRACK & ALBUM. This is just a couple of tags, it does NOT modify the audio. It just provides information for music servers/players that are replaygain aware the info they need to adjust the volume on the fly.
    When I go into DSP settings, the default I get is "Track Gain". Is there any reason to change from this to "Track & Album"? I mean, if the tracks already have adjustment values calculated individually, what's the benefit of applying replaygain to the whole album?

  7. #7
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    When I go into DSP settings, the default I get is "Track Gain". Is there any reason to change from this to "Track & Album"? I mean, if the tracks already have adjustment values calculated individually, what's the benefit of applying replaygain to the whole album?
    Album replay gain allows the tracks on the same album to retain the intra-album relative volume (dynamics). Using track gain when playing the album would modify this. For example, perhaps an album has a very quiet song/movement followed by a loud song. If you playback using TRACK replaygain, then both songs will sound equally loud/quiet, when they were not meant to by the makers of the album. Some players (all that I use**) are smart about this, and if playing songs from the same album, they automatically use the ALBUM RG value. But if playing a mixture of tracks from different albums will automatically use TRACK RG values. In the old days, TRACK RG was referred to as "RADIO" RG. Because in this case, as in broadcast radio, every song has an approximately equal loudness. And if your player doesn't happen to have such a "smart mode" then it won't hurt to have the ALBUM RG value saved in the tags along with the TRACK RG value. And note that if you are using iTunes/Apple playback, it doesn't use RG values at all. It uses "Soundcheck" called "iTunNorm" or something like that. Note that in dbpa ReplayGain DSP options, you can also add this value. And because iTunes only uses a single volume adjustment value, dbpa allows you to make the iTunNorm value based on *either* ALBUM or TRACK RG values. I personally use an iTunNorm based on ALUBM RG in my own use case when I create mp3 files for use on my iPhone.

    Make sense?

    **In LMS music server/players this is called "Smart Gain" mode.In foobar2000 this is called "by playback order" mode. In Roon it is called "Auto" mode. Here's a good summary from Roon website:

    Roon supports four Volume Leveling modes:


    1. Off - disable volume leveling for this zone.
    2. Track - Performs adjustments on a track-by-track basis. This produces the most consistent volume level during a playback session, but may result in unpleasant jumps in volume during playback of a gapless album.
    3. Album - Performs adjustments on an album-by-album basis. This means that the entirety of an album plays back with the same adjustment, and there are no perceived volume jumps at track boundaries.
    4. Auto - Uses track adjustments when playing adjacent tracks from different albums, and album level adjustments when playing adjacent tracks from the same album.
    Last edited by garym; 01-04-2021 at 07:12 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Album replay gain allows the tracks on the same album to retain the intra-album relative volume (dynamics). Using track gain when playing the album would modify this.
    OK, I think I understand! Please correct me if any of this is incorrect:

    1. If I don't apply any replay gain settings, all tracks will always be played back at the levels they were originally recorded. This is fine if listening to individual albums, but may result in some tracks being much quieter or louder than others when shuffled with tracks from other albums (either individually or as whole albums).

    2. Applying "Track Gain" solves this problem by levelling out the volume of all individual tracks. However, this will also result in deliberately quiet tracks being played back at the same volume as everything else.

    3. Applying "Track & Album Gain" works in the same way as "Track Gain", but if complete albums are played back-to-back (i.e. individual tracks are not shuffled between albums), each album will be recognised as a whole and played back with all the tracks within that album at the original levels relative to one another (i.e. quiet tracks will remain quiet, loud ones loud). Albums are levelled as a whole, relative to one another.

    4. Thus, listening to whole albums with "Track & Album" gain applied should basically sound identical to listening with no replay gain applied at all. Only the overall levels of the albums are matched. However, if tracks are shuffled between albums, they are then levelled out individually in the same way as with "Track Gain".

    5. None of these replay gain settings come into play unless the settings in the music player are selected to do so.

    I hope that all makes sense, I don't think there's a simple way to explain any of this!

  9. #9
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    OK, I think I understand! Please correct me if any of this is incorrect:

    1. If I don't apply any replay gain settings, all tracks will always be played back at the levels they were originally recorded. This is fine if listening to individual albums, but may result in some tracks being much quieter or louder than others when shuffled with tracks from other albums (either individually or as whole albums).

    2. Applying "Track Gain" solves this problem by levelling out the volume of all individual tracks. However, this will also result in deliberately quiet tracks being played back at the same volume as everything else.

    3. Applying "Track & Album Gain" works in the same way as "Track Gain", but if complete albums are played back-to-back (i.e. individual tracks are not shuffled between albums), each album will be recognised as a whole and played back with all the tracks within that album at the original levels relative to one another (i.e. quiet tracks will remain quiet, loud ones loud). Albums are levelled as a whole, relative to one another.

    4. Thus, listening to whole albums with "Track & Album" gain applied should basically sound identical to listening with no replay gain applied at all. Only the overall levels of the albums are matched. However, if tracks are shuffled between albums, they are then levelled out individually in the same way as with "Track Gain".

    5. None of these replay gain settings come into play unless the settings in the music player are selected to do so.

    I hope that all makes sense, I don't think there's a simple way to explain any of this!

    Yes, you have the gist of this correct. I would quibble with your use of the word "applying". What you really mean is "using", that is "using Track gain". When we talk of "applying ReplayGain" we are typically talking about another DSP -- ReplayGainApply. This is not just a tag, it actually takes the RG value and PERMANENTLY CHANGES the volume of underlying audio. But that's not what you are doing. Other than that quibble, you're summary is correct.

    Of course the most important part is No. 5. Your music server/player must be capable of USING the RG values. And even if it is, it doesn't mean it can do the automatic "smart" use of ALBUM vs TRACK. For example, iTunes doesn't use RG values at all and even it's substitute, SOUNDCHECK, is TRACK based volume adjustment, unless you use dbpa to artificially make it use ALBUM values.

  10. #10

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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Dear Garym,

    many thanks for your support here as regards the dynamic naming settings: I would like to use yours but for a Mac, so would this make the trick (I saw your comment regarding front slashes)

    [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP]Compilations/[album][IFMULTI]/Disc [disc][]/[track] - [title] - [artist][][IF!COMP][IFVALUE]album artist,[album artist],[artist][]/[album][IFMULTI]\Disc [disc][]/[track] - [title][][]

    Thanks for a check!

  11. #11

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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Sorry Garym,

    another question regarding your recommendation for file name settings:

    In case of a Multi Disk, I would like to safe the full album in one folder, but of course differentiating between the different disks, e.g. Disk 1 -Title 1, Disk 1- Title 2, (...), Disk 2 - Title 1, Disk 2 - Title 2 and so on.
    As far as I understood, you prefer to have each disk of a multi-disk album in a separated folder, right?
    Then, can you please help me, what I would need to change in your version to get my preferred version done (for a mac)?

    Thank you,
    Christian

  12. #12
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple-Fan View Post
    Sorry Garym,

    another question regarding your recommendation for file name settings:

    In case of a Multi Disk, I would like to safe the full album in one folder, but of course differentiating between the different disks, e.g. Disk 1 -Title 1, Disk 1- Title 2, (...), Disk 2 - Title 1, Disk 2 - Title 2 and so on.
    As far as I understood, you prefer to have each disk of a multi-disk album in a separated folder, right?
    Then, can you please help me, what I would need to change in your version to get my preferred version done (for a mac)?

    Thank you,
    Christian
    Try this:

    [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP]Compilations/[album]/[IFMULTI]/[disc].[][track] - [title] - [artist][][IF!COMP][IFVALUE]album artist,[album artist],[artist][]/[album]/[IFMULTI]/[disc].[][track] - [title][][]

  13. #13

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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Great, thank you so much, it works!

  14. #14
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple-Fan View Post
    Great, thank you so much, it works!


  15. #15
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple-Fan View Post
    In case of a Multi Disk, I would like to safe the full album in one folder, but of course differentiating between the different disks, e.g. Disk 1 -Title 1, Disk 1- Title 2, (...), Disk 2 - Title 1, Disk 2 - Title 2 and so on.
    You may be interested in this thread dealing with the same topic:
    Custom Naming

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