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Thread: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

  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 groovester View Post
    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 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?
    Glad I found this post, as I am in exactly the same situation, although only have around 500 CDs to rip! I have things set up the way they are shown in this guide (with C2 error pointers disabled):
    http://www.dbpoweramp.com/cd-ripper-setup-guide.htm

    I was also unsure whether I should include ReplayGain in the DSP tab or not. I would like to check I've got my facts right.

    Basically, if I include a replay gain tag, I can still listen to my music at the level it was recorded by disabling the replay gain function in my music player. However, if I want to shuffle a group of tracks from different albums (e.g. to listen as background music) then I can enable the function and all tracks will be played back at a similar level. Is this correct?

    If this is the case, why have I read people claiming it "clips" files during playback, or otherwise degrades sound? I usually listen to my music on a portable device with no replay gain setting (that I know of) but it might be a useful feature to incorporate for the future.

    Also, is there a file naming setting that just saves the track name as the file name (i.e. not with the artist name added to beginning of the file name)? I'm sure there must be a reason for the default setting, if someone could explain then maybe I'll just leave it as it is.

    One other thing! On hi-res tracks I've downloaded (flac), the compression appears to be anywhere between 30-70% (mostly 40-50%). Is there a compression setting that usually results around in 50% compression? The HDCD I ripped last night came out at about 60% compression on the default setting 5 (which is what I'll probably stick with).

    Just trying to get things sorted out so I can get this all done with as few mistakes as possible! Will spend a couple of weeks playing around with the settings as recommended. Thanks.

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

    Basically, if I include a replay gain tag, I can still listen to my music at the level it was recorded by disabling the replay gain function in my music player. However, if I want to shuffle a group of tracks from different albums (e.g. to listen as background music) then I can enable the function and all tracks will be played back at a similar level. Is this correct?

    ALL CORRECT

    If this is the case, why have I read people claiming it "clips" files during playback, or otherwise degrades sound? I usually listen to my music on a portable device with no replay gain setting (that I know of) but it might be a useful feature to incorporate for the future.

    THIS INFO YOU'RE READING IS MOSTLY, IF NOT ENTIRELY, NONSENSE (CERTAINLY THE 'DEGRADES SOUND' PART). CLIPPING IS WHEN RG IS ADDED THAT *INCREASES* THE VOLUME (WHICH RARELY HAPPENS BY THE WAY), AND IN DBPA, THERE IS A SETTING IN THE REPLAYGAIN DSP REGARDING AVOIDING A RG SETTING THAT CAUSES CLIPPING. YOU HAVE TO TICK A BOX TO OVERRIDE THAT SETTING. DON'T CLICK THAT BOX, AND YOU WON'T HAVE CLIPPING.

    Also, is there a file naming setting that just saves the track name as the file name (i.e. not with the artist name added to beginning of the file name)? I'm sure there must be a reason for the default setting, if someone could explain then maybe I'll just leave it as it is.

    YES, YOU CAN CHANGE THE FILE NAMING SETTING TO WHATEVER YOU WANT. DYNAMINC NAMING SETTINGS IN LOWER LEFT OF CD RIPPER SCREEN. I USE THE FOLLOWING WHICH AUTOMATICALLY HANDLES COMPILATIONS AND MULTIPLE DISKS. (EDIT, THE FOLLOWING IS FOR WINDOWS, ON A MAC, THE BACKSLASHES BELOW SHOULD BE CHANGED TO 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][][]


    One other thing! On hi-res tracks I've downloaded (flac), the compression appears to be anywhere between 30-70% (mostly 40-50%). Is there a compression setting that usually results around in 50% compression? The HDCD I ripped last night came out at about 60% compression on the default setting 5 (which is what I'll probably stick with).

    THE PERCENTAGE ALL DEPENDS ON THE NATURE OF THE AUDIO, ETC. I USE THE DEFAULT SETTING 5, BUT THERE IS NO MAGIC TO THIS. MANY PEOPLE USE 8. I ASSUME YOU REALIZE THAT THE COMPRESSION OF THE FLAC FILE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOUND QUALITY, LOSSLESS NATURE OF FLAC, ETC.

    Just trying to get things sorted out so I can get this all done with as few mistakes as possible! Will spend a couple of weeks playing around with the settings as recommended. Thanks.

    YES, RIP A FEW CDS, DIFFERENT TYPES (VARIOUS ARTISTS, MULTI-DISK ALBUMS, ETC.) TO GET A FEEL FOR WHAT SORT OF OUTPUT YOU GET. THEN YOU CAN ADJUST THINGS TO SUIT YOU IF NOT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. YOU CAN ALWAYS ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS HERE AND GET HELP ON DYNAMIC NAMING STRINGS FOR FILE NAMING TO SUIT YOU. IT'S TOTALLY FLEXIBLE.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    ALL CORRECT
    Fantastic, looks like I'm ready to get started then!
    Thank you!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    YES, RIP A FEW CDS, DIFFERENT TYPES (VARIOUS ARTISTS, MULTI-DISK ALBUMS, ETC.) TO GET A FEEL FOR WHAT SORT OF OUTPUT YOU GET. THEN YOU CAN ADJUST THINGS TO SUIT YOU IF NOT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. YOU CAN ALWAYS ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS HERE AND GET HELP ON DYNAMIC NAMING STRINGS FOR FILE NAMING TO SUIT YOU. IT'S TOTALLY FLEXIBLE.
    OK, so I've been working through some of the settings to see what happens, and now have a couple more questions.

    First of all, when I enter the Dynamic Naming values suggested, the naming information in the bottom left corner shows up with [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] at the beginning of the naming string, i.e.:

    [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP]Compilations\Alb...

    With the default setting, there are no such values at the beginning, i.e.:

    Album Artist\Album\TrackNum Artist - Title

    Is this correct? Just wanted to be sure before using it for all my rips!


    The second question is to do with C2 error detection.

    The first time I tried ripping with "C2 Error Pointers for Error Detection" enabled, every attempt resulted in a failed rip. As a result, I disabled C2 Error Pointers and continued as outlined in the Setup Guide, getting accurate rips:

    Ripping Method: Secure
    Enable Ultra Secure Ripping
    Minimum Ultra Passes: 2
    Maximum Ultra Passes: 4
    End After Clean Passes: 2

    I later noticed the checkbox "8KB Transfers (C2 Pointers over USB / Fireware)". As I'm ripping from an external USB drive, I tried again with both this and the "C2 Error Pointers for Error Detection" boxes checked, reconfigured the Ultra Secure fields and (perhaps not surprisingly!) it worked:

    Ripping Method: Secure
    Enable Ultra Secure Ripping
    C2 Error Pointers for Error Detection
    8KB Transfers (C2 Pointers over USB / Fireware)
    Minimum Ultra Passes: 1
    Maximum Ultra Passes: 2
    End After Clean Passes: 1

    A couple of the discs I did test rips with came back with errors (and also skip on the same tracks during playback), so I put them in the drive and clicked "Detect C2 Support" to make sure C2 pointers are supported. The message came back "C2 errors were detected and will be used." Just out of curiosity, I then ran the check with a couple of perfectly playable, unscratched discs, but still the same message appeared.

    Is it normal for the drive to detect C2 errors on both scratched and unscratched discs, or should I check again using a really badly damaged disc (e.g. the simulated damaged audio CD as described in the Setup Guide) to make sure things are working correctly?

    Sorry if this is all a bit long winded, and thanks in advance for any advice.

    Oh yes, have a Merry Christmas!

  10. #10
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    There are drives which report to support C2 pointers, but in reality the C2 pointer support is faulty. So you better turn C2 pointers off for drives which report errors continously. AccurateRip will still work, even if C2 pointers are turned off.


    Dat Ei

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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    OK, so I've been working through some of the settings to see what happens, and now have a couple more questions.

    First of all, when I enter the Dynamic Naming values suggested, the naming information in the bottom left corner shows up with [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] at the beginning of the naming string, i.e.:

    [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP]Compilations\Alb...

    With the default setting, there are no such values at the beginning, i.e.:

    Album Artist\Album\TrackNum Artist - Title

    Is this correct? Just wanted to be sure before using it for all my rips!


    The second question is to do with C2 error detection.
    yes, the MAXLENGTH is correct. This is something I added to make sure that file name including directory path is not too long to be recognized by a Windows machine that has a file name length restriction. It's not required, but can't hurt anything, and every so often the limit on length may actually catch something that is too long. I've ripped thousands of CDs using that naming string with no issues using those files in different settings.

    But before you rip everything, I'd rip some regular CDs, some various artist/compilation CDs, and some multi-disk CDs in your library. Then look at how the results are organized and named on your computer to see if that suits you. That naming string suits me, that's why I use it, but others like other organization schemes. For example, I have the disks of a multidisk CD show up as separate folders under the album name folder. Some prefer that all the tracks end up in the same album folder (no separate disk folders), with a file name such as "1.01 - track name", 2.01 - track name, etc. (that is, the DISK number appearing just before the track number. Note that all this is related to the file names and folder names. It has nothing to do with the metadata contained in the tags themselves, which is what most modern players use for showing you what is playing. And some users prefer the "various artists/Compilation" CDs to show up in a "Various Artists" folder rather than a folder called "Compilations", which is what I'm using.

    Regarding C2 errors, as @Dat Ei notes, even drives that report working with C2 error checking rarely do. I find that in almost all my drives, I do NOT tick the "use C2" errors. As noted, AccurateRip matching and Secure ripping still works just fine.
    Last edited by garym; 12-25-2020 at 08:07 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    There are drives which report to support C2 pointers, but in reality the C2 pointer support is faulty. So you better turn C2 pointers off for drives which report errors continously. AccurateRip will still work, even if C2 pointers are turned off.
    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Regarding C2 errors, as @Dat Ei notes, even drives that report working with C2 error checking rarely do. I find that in almost all my drives, I do NOT tick the "use C2" errors. As noted, AccurateRip matching and Secure ripping still works just fine.
    Thank you for the advice. I thought it was a bit odd that the unscratched discs were coming back with the same message as the scratched ones. I'll rip without C2 error pointers enabled from now on.

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    yes, the MAXLENGTH is correct. This is something I added to make sure that file name including directory path is not too long to be recognized by a Windows machine that has a file name length restriction. It's not required, but can't hurt anything, and every so often the limit on length may actually catch something that is too long.
    Thanks again. I wasn't sure why the [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] part was showing up in highlighted text in the Naming field when the [MAXLENGTH]80,[IFVALUE] part of the default setting doesn't appear. If that's the way it's supposed to be and it works then I'm happy to leave it that way.

    By the way, is there a button that resets ALL fields back to their default settings?

  13. #13
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    There are drives which report to support C2 pointers, but in reality the C2 pointer support is faulty. So you better turn C2 pointers off for drives which report errors continously. AccurateRip will still work, even if C2 pointers are turned off.
    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Regarding C2 errors, as @Dat Ei notes, even drives that report working with C2 error checking rarely do. I find that in almost all my drives, I do NOT tick the "use C2" errors. As noted, AccurateRip matching and Secure ripping still works just fine.
    Thank you. I thought it was a bit odd that the unscratched CDs came back with the same message as the scratched ones. I'll rip with C2 error pointers disabled from now on.

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    yes, the MAXLENGTH is correct. This is something I added to make sure that file name including directory path is not too long to be recognized by a Windows machine that has a file name length restriction. It's not required, but can't hurt anything, and every so often the limit on length may actually catch something that is too long. I've ripped thousands of CDs using that naming string with no issues using those files in different settings.
    Thanks again. I wasn't sure why the [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] part was showing up in the Naming field when the [MAXLENGTH]80,[IFVALUE] part of the default setting doesn't appear. If that's the way it's supposed to be then nothing to worry about. I'll probably change the "Compilations" part to "Various Artists" as I already have files stored in a folder with this name.

    By the way, is there a button that resets ALL fields to default?

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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    Thanks again. I wasn't sure why the [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] part was showing up in the Naming field when the [MAXLENGTH]80,[IFVALUE] part of the default setting doesn't appear. If that's the way it's supposed to be then nothing to worry about. I'll probably change the "Compilations" part to "Various Artists" as I already have files stored in a folder with this name.

    By the way, is there a button that resets ALL fields to default?
    Hmmm,both the "MAXLENGTH 240" and the "MAXLENGTH,80, IFVALUE" (if using default) show up in the dynamic naming field settings for me. To be clear, the [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] stuff is showing up in the dynamic naming string. It should NOT be showing up as part of your resulting actual file name from ripping. If it is, that's an error and you've left off one or more of the '[]' items in the string. The string I use is again (and note the double '[][]' at the end.

    [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][][]

    To return to default, just under the dynamic naming field settings box, to the far right, is a button for returning to default settings.
    Last edited by garym; 12-26-2020 at 07:45 AM.

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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Hmmm,both the "MAXLENGTH 240" and the "MAXLENGTH,80, IFVALUE" (if using default) show up in the dynamic naming field settings for me. To be clear, the [MAXLENGTH]240,[IFCOMP] stuff is showing up in the dynamic naming string. It should NOT be showing up as part of your resulting actual file name from ripping.
    No, it isn't showing up in the resulting file name, only in the naming field in the bottom left of the screen. It isn't a problem, I just wanted to be sure that's the way it was supposed to be. You can see what I mean here (shows default selected):
    naming_field.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    To return to default, just under the dynamic naming field settings box, to the far right, is a button for returning to default settings.
    Is there a way to clear the Naming field once I've decided on the strings I want to keep? I'll probably try a few more, and wanted to remove those that I don't need. I imagine uninstalling and then reinstalling the software would reset everything, but seems a bit extreme.

    PS. I posted my last message twice, not sure if you can delete one of them (*12/*13).

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