title
Products            Buy            Support Forum            Professional            About            Codec Central
 
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    4

    External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Hello dBpoweramp,

    First time, long time. I am shopping for an optical drive to accompany me on trips to the local library. My ThinkPad hasn't got one, which is just as well, seeing as what I've read about laptop disc drives is roughly the same as what I've read about "slim" external disc drives. Namely, they may get the job done:

    Drive: Lenovo - Slim_USB_Burner (74 users): Submissions: 575 accurate, 6 inaccurate, 98.9673 % accuracy

    but they're painstakingly slow, and not really designed with routine, long-term use in mind. As I intend to be "that guy" at the local library -- laptop open, optical drive humming, flanked by two stacks of discs; the left one gradually shrinking as the right one gradually grows -- I require the speed and durability these units seem to universally lack. Internet reading on the subject (including in these forums) would indicate that certain drives are better at recovering data from lightly damaged media, while still others are capable of reading/recognizing/ripping optical media from countries outside the United States. Both of these qualities also appeal to me.

    One question I've not yet been able to answer is to what extent USB 3.0 connectivity is of benefit when using Secure Mode in EAC, since the software will be slowing the drive to whatever speed is needed to ensure bit-perfect copies of tracks. As 3/4 or more of the media I'll be processing will be CDs, I'm wondering if a drive with USB 2.0 connectivity will be just as "fast" as a 3.0 one.

    My "money is no object" make/model combo at the moment is the Pioneer BDR-X12UBK. My desktop build uses a BDR-212BLK, which I've had almost no issues with, though it doesn't seem to be able to "overcome" light disc damage like some models purportedly can. A user on another forum suggested that the BDR-X12UBK may just be a BDR-212BLK in an external enclosure. Not that it matters (I don't think) but there's something psychologically satisfying about having two of the exact same model of drive, one operating internally and the other externally. If the USB 3.0 vs. 2.0 debate falls on the side of "no speed benefit with 3.0," I'd have little justification to spend north of $140, and would instead go with some lightly used workhorse model from yesteryear. Which model exactly, I'm really not sure. I think that's where, hopefully, this community comes into the equation. I have found seemingly good to *great* condition LG External Super Multi DVD drives available for as little as $20, including all original cables, packaging, paperwork, software; even a pristine warranty card. A number of models in that product line appear on both the AccurateRip drive offset and 2019 drive accuracy lists.

    And if I've altogether missed something fundamental and should, for whatever reason, go all the way back to the beginning, I look forward to standing corrected.

    Many Thanks in Advance,

    -newmy51

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    57

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    External drives are fine and them not being as good as internal drives is a bit of a misnomer. Clearly early CD ripping tools were designed to work on traditional IDE / SCSI interfaces and buses, but almost any modern drive will work fine via USB.

    I have been using an external Samsung SE-506CB/RSWD drive for all my extensive ripping needs (CD, DVD, and Blu-ray) over a six year period and it is still going strong. My laptop only supports USB 2.0 and I am very satisfied with the ripping speed of CDs using CD Ripper.

    I find it fascinating that some audiophiles employ techniques such as demagging, CD polishing, power conditioning, and vibration isolation to get a perfect rip. After going to all this trouble they will end up with the same rip (and resultant CRCs) as me using a laptop and external drive - that is the beauty of AccurateRip; for almost all CDs (there are currently 4.5 million unique discs in the database) you will know 100% if you have a good rip or not.

    So if AccurateRip checks out, the drive used to rip becomes irrelevant, hence the suggestion to procure a couple of cheap external drives from different manufacturers. Not sure about getting a quiet drive though, most also have flashing activity lights.

  3. #3
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    5,360

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by BOOTP View Post
    External drives are fine and them not being as good as internal drives is a bit of a misnomer. Clearly early CD ripping tools were designed to work on traditional IDE / SCSI interfaces and buses, but almost any modern drive will work fine via USB.

    I have been using an external Samsung SE-506CB/RSWD drive for all my extensive ripping needs (CD, DVD, and Blu-ray) over a six year period and it is still going strong. My laptop only supports USB 2.0 and I am very satisfied with the ripping speed of CDs using CD Ripper.

    I find it fascinating that some audiophiles employ techniques such as demagging, CD polishing, power conditioning, and vibration isolation to get a perfect rip. After going to all this trouble they will end up with the same rip (and resultant CRCs) as me using a laptop and external drive - that is the beauty of AccurateRip; for almost all CDs (there are currently 4.5 million unique discs in the database) you will know 100% if you have a good rip or not.

    So if AccurateRip checks out, the drive used to rip becomes irrelevant, hence the suggestion to procure a couple of cheap external drives from different manufacturers. Not sure about getting a quiet drive though, most also have flashing activity lights.

    Great post. I'm in 100% agreement.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    4

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Great post. I'm in 100% agreement.
    Thanks for your replies, BOOTP & garym. I'm wondering how to reconcile your remarks/experience above with those of the comments below, taken from a couple fellow rippers with a lot to say on the merits of one drive (or drive type) versus another.

    User 1:

    There's two major classes of external drive. There's integrated controller/bridge boards and then there's actual SATA bridge board interfaces that leave the drive controlling to the discrete drive inserted into the enclosure. For ripping you want the latter. you can rip just fine but much more slowly with the former. With the latter you can swap the drive out of the enclosure at will. Another good indicator is a separate power supply.

    User 2:

    I have three 5232Xs with different firmware, the drive maybe is the best ripper for common problematic CDs (both scratchs and plant pressing issues) I ever have. It's better than TEAC W540E, Plextor PX-716SA, Panasonic SW-5583 (they're also good rippers), but the verdict just only base on common CDs. 5232X can recognize HTOA correctly but can't rip the hidden track. 5232X have a poor support for CCCDs. There're about half enhanced CDs will get sync error on last track by 5232X, and another half enhanced CDs 5232X works fine. Since I have three different firmware 5232Xs, I think maybe it's a chipest problem, unless the firmware of PX-230A can resolve these issues, I don't think PX-230A is worth than 5232X.


    I never found a 5232W, but for the good performance for common CDs and the poor support for specific CDs of 5232X, I wonder another ALi based drive. Last year I bought a brand new Benq 1650V also base on ALi chipset. I haven't check HTOA with this drive, for CCCDs the drive better than 5232X but still poor, and the drive don't have any problem with all enhanced CDs. But for the common CDs, the drive only have simliar level with Lite-On iHAS124 W (the top 1 of dBPoweramp's CD/DVD Drive Accuracy List 2016), TEAC W540E, Plextor PX-716SA, Panasonic SW-5583 both better than the drive.

    Each problematic CD have its own problem, no one can promise you anything only base the scan pitcure that you give. For example, some CD pressed by PMDC USA even it have many tiny scratches it can rip by all my drives without any problem, and some CD pressed by PDO UK, even it is brand new without any scratches, it still can't get a accurate rip by any drive I have.

    I don't have Benq DW1640, but I have a Benq DW1650 also use Philips chipset, from my side PX-716SA is better than DW1650. I also have a RENESAS based LG GGC-H20L, PX0716SA also better than it. I never have a NEC based drive, so I don't know how good or bad of the Optiarc and Pionner NEC based drives. The two Lite-On, OK, let's ignore Mediatek based drives...

    There're about 30 problematic CDs all my other drives failed (include PXC-716SA, and in fact 716SA is not the best, W540E and SW5583 both a little bit better than 716SA), only 5232X can get a accurate rip, accurate rip means test and copy CRCs match and can get confidence from ARDB or CTDB if there have data preset.


    I understand the notion that, at the end of the day, if your rip is accurate and successful, it doesn't really matter how you got it, and some discs can't be read, and anything beyond that is just details, excessive ephemera for the gearheads -- for most use cases. My use case will necessarily involve more disc formats from more parts of the world and with more damage from use and handling than the average person, which may raise the status of those "details" to important issues and considerations.

    Thanks for your continued contributions to this helpful topic,

    -newmy51

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    4

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by BOOTP View Post
    I find it fascinating that some audiophiles employ techniques such as demagging, CD polishing, power conditioning, and vibration isolation to get a perfect rip.
    I also wanted to respond directly to this part. I have to ask why fixing something broken/damaged to make it not broken/not damaged is on this list of things you seem to consider superfluous in the practice of disc ripping. I'm sure that audiophiles or others who employ these methods only do so when they cannot read or rip the disc in question without repairing it first. Do you mean to imply that there are rippers out there who do these things as a rule, automatically, prior to any attempt at ripping? If so, I also find that fascinating, and unbelievable.

  6. #6
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    5,360

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    My short answer, is that in ripping about 8,000 CDs, I've found that just about any old inexpensive optical drive (internal or external via USB) works well. In fact, having 2 or 3 options is best, as some CDs won't rip well on one drive but rip just fine on another. And the most important thing is that once one has an AccurateRip match, the odds of your rip NOT being a bit-perfect rip is effectively zero. So AccurateRip is the key, not optical drives. (Note, I agree that pre-AccurateRip in the olden days of ripping, the choice of optical drive could be important.)

  7. #7
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    439

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Hello all and Happy New Year!

    I'll give you my take on this: First, if you get an AccurateRip match, you can't do any better, the probability of you getting the same error(s) as previous rippers is infinitesimally small. (Note, if the pressing is bad, you may be getting an accurate bit perfect rip of a track containing a manufacturing error. In that case, your only hope is that a different pressing (or a download) doesn't have the error, but that is not a ripping error). It doesn't matter what you ripped it on, at what speed, or anything else, if the checksum matches, you are OK.

    Similarly, if you use a reasonable secure ripping protocol, (not burst) and your rip comes up as secure but either the track is not in the AccurateRip (like many of my Caribbean CDs) or it comes up as secure but different than the AccurateRip checksum (most likely because it is a different pressing) (without any re-rips) you can be pretty confident your rip is bit-perfect. In my secure ripping, I rip every track not in the AccurateRip database a minimum of three times (at least one Ultra Secure pass). It is very, very unlikely that a damaged CD will rip with exactly the same errors three times in a row. And in these cases, the device you use to rip the CD has no effect on the end result.

    Now some caveats: Before I retired, I designed audio systems for TV facilities for a living. (And did a little location recording on the side). Back about 15 years ago, we were building a new TV studio which included an automation system for recording and playing back tracks (mostly music). The same system used in hundreds, perhaps thousands of radio stations to originate their automated programming. The computer, with its built-in DVD-R drive lived in a rack room behind the control room. We needed to provide a remote drive to allow the audio operator to rip CDs from the operating position at the console. My solution was to purchase an external portable USB player and connect it to the computer using a USB extender.

    I did some research of the then specifications of external drives and was surprised that basically all of the external "DVD" drives had a maximum ripping speed of 24X, as compared to basically all internal drives with a maximum ripping speed of 48X. Not good when speed is of the essence when ripping (irrespective of the fact that many CDs due to yet never explained manufacturing limitations won't rip at much more than 8X in many drives). But I did find that many external Blu-Ray drives, but not all, were spec'd to rip audio CDs at 48X. I bought a Blu-Ray drive, much more expensive than the DVD drives, for that reason. And inexpensive internal drives, used externally with SATA to USB adapters, are almost all rated to rip CDs at 48X. So if you are concerned with ripping speed, you may want to use an internal drive with a SATA adapter, or a more expensive Blu-Ray external drive. Now that was 15 years ago, but you still might want to look at the specs of the drive you are about to buy, to see what the maximum ripping speed is for CDs.

    Now, bad CDs: If you have re-rips and don't get an AccurateRip match, that is another issue. From my experience, any re-rip that doesn't give an AccurateRip match, or any re-rip on a track not in the database that you don't rip a second time in a different drive and get the same checksum is probably not bit accurate. And different drives are more likely to be able to read a marginal CD without re-rips than others. Not always the same drive is better, it depends on the type of damage and to some degree, chance as to how the particular drive, or that make of drive deals with the particular CD damage.

    In that case, it has been my experience that most internal drives (even when used external with SATA-USB converters) are much better at being able to read damaged (particularly scratched) CDs and get three passes of the same checksum without re-reads than the particular few external or built-into laptop drives I've tried. Just personal experience. And I've found that one particular model of drive is almost always better in getting 'clean" (no re-rips) rips from scratched CDs. To the point that when I rip a CD in one of my other drives (I often run five or so instances of dBpa simultaneously, and there are several makes of drives attached), and I get re-rips, then I move it to one of that model drive, and many times it rips without re-rips. That model is the SH-224, marketed (in the past) by Samsung and others. A couple of caveats, first: I've had damaged CDs that slowed down to close to zero speed or error'd out on that drive that ripped (with re-rips) on other drives. If you are serious about ripping with best results, you do want a variety of drives to attempt to rip damaged CDs in. Second: some of my SH224 drives were purchased new (when they were plentiful and new) Others were purchased used on eBay. Not all have the same firmware, and it may be that different firmware deals better or worse with damaged CDs.

    One warning from personal experience, don't try to rip a even slightly cracked CD. It may well explode at ripping speed which can be several thousand RPM. I've still got bits of aluminum plating and plastic ground into the carpet. If you really want to attempt to recover the audio, play it in real time and capture the resulting audio. And be careful, you may be unpleasantly surprised with a loud bang and shards of CD everywhere!

    Regarding non bit-perfect rips. The advantage of bit perfect is you basically don't have to worry, the end result will play back without any audible error that wasn't in the original recording. But beyond that, many bit errors, particularly those that creep in during re-rips are inaudible or insufficiently audible to make the track unlistenable. Each frame of the CD is 1/75 0f a second. That frame can be pretty screwed up without your ear being able to hear the bit errors (If you ever were involved in the recording business and saw the compromises that are sometimes made in recording pop music, you wouldn't fret over a frame or two of messed up audio on your CD. Furthermore, often the bad frame has only a few unreadable bits in it. Inaudible squared!

    Why don't re-rips that "pass" always give you bit error free rips? Because it is a probability game. Particularly if the error only involves a few bits, and the ripper comes up with different random bit patterns on every pass of the re-ripping, if you have the maximum number of re-rip attempts set high enough, sooner or later you'll get enough matching re-rips that the software will say it recovered the audio when in fact it recovered random noise. But almost always, it doesn't matter. If you are anal enough, listen to each track that has re-rips to see if they sound OK. Otherwise accept them if they didn't error out, and only worry about it if you hear an error when you finally get around to listening to the track. I've had a few tracks with literally thousands of re-rips that obviously ended up with many bit errors that, when I listened to them, I could hear no problems. (I usually try to take the time to listen to tracks with large numbers of re-rips after I finish ripping them, but the ones I remove are few and far between.

    Now about polishing CD's etc. If the CD passes Accurate-Rip or rips securely without re-rips, I put it back away, it is as perfect as it was when manufactured. If I see re-rips without an AccurateRip match, I often try ripping then and there in a different make drive. If I get the same checksum (green) then it is pretty certain I have a good rip. Or it may now rip without re-rips and/or match the AccurateRip checksum. If so, I'm good. If it is still bad, I'll try washing the CD with soap and water. Even perfectly clean looking CDs are sometimes "repaired" this way.

    Beyond that, I've tried polishing scratched CDs with Brasso, sometimes successfully enough to get them to at least play. I usually don't have the patience. I'll usually look on eBay for another used copy. There are a couple of rare CDs that I've been searching on eBay for over a year for, I ripped the tracks that will play, and skipped the others until I get another copy.

    Demagging, hey there is nothing in a CD that is magnetic, pure foolishness. Power conditioning, if your power is that bad, either you need an electrician or a new device, not a power conditioner. Power conditioners may have some place if you are doing analog recording or transferring phonograph records and have really noisy power, but I'd be looking at problems with a power supply or your interconnecting wiring first. Ripping CDs is purely digital (except for the analog part of listening to the results). Vibration isolation? If your ripping drive is shaking so much as to cause it to skip, you have a problem. Those paper labels on the CDRs are an issue, beyond that, a reasonably steady table should be fine. Don't try ripping CDs in your laptop held in your lap...

    Much of this is common sense. But some people would rather throw lots of money at something instead of using common sense, and claim there is a difference for all that money they spent. There are places spending money is worthwhile, for instance in making backups of your collection. Wired Ethernet is typically more reliable than WiFi. Bluetooth uses compressed audio, so those wave files you are playing aren't going to play with as much "quality" as hard-wired. But if it is in your (noisy) car or on your jogging headphones, I defy you to hear the difference. Etc.

    Again, Happy New Year.

    John

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    4

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your continued replies. The sense I'm getting -- from a composite of the various places I've asked these or similar questions -- is that internals generally > externals/slims/laptop drives, with the exception of possibly the beefier Pioneer and Panasonic BDR externals which utilize a comparably beefy internal BDR drive in an overpriced external enclosure. Given that overpriced-ness, I think I would rather build/salvage my own enclosure than pay Pioneer (or any other manufacturer) an extra $50 for theirs. Cheap, old, second-hand external optical drives are abundant, whose drives might be in questionable condition, but the enclosures I would imagine are far longer lasting. I'm assuming, as well, that there would be no compatibility issues between a newer optical drive and an older (~2005-2015) enclosure. Are those assumptions correct?

    Cheers,

    -newmy51

  9. #9
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    439

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Electronically there is no need for an enclosure to hold an internal drive used externally. It is already enclosed in a metal/plastic enclosure probably more rugged than most external drives. I don't use any additional enclosure, although I may make one to more solidly hold the three drives piled up on top of my tower editing/ripping machine. Right now I'm using black plastic electrical tape to keep them from slipping off. I did loose one drive when I knocked it on the floor breaking the SATA connector on the back.

    When I travel, I usually take one of my loose internal drives, the SATA to USB adapter, and one of the brick power supplies to power the SATA drive. It all just sits plugged together on the table top when in use. And molded SATA connectors are probably more rugged than those darn micro USB connectors you charge your phone with that break when you just glance at them...

    All the rare 5 1/4 drive enclosures are horribly overpriced. I never bought one.

    John

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    3

    Question Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Hi John,

    Thank you for the helpful post. I am new to ripping CDs with dBpoweramp. I am having problems ripping a brand new CD (The Beatles Abbey Road 50th Anniversary set). 3 songs on the b side are taking hundreds of re-rips and then not playing correctly. One of the songs happens to be the longest on the album and the three songs are part of the famous combined short songs on the b side of the album. In one case the songs will play fine on my phone with iTunes, but will not play from the Sonos app from my PC. The same files.

    I'm using a cheap LG slim portable DVD writer. I'm ripping as high quality as possible and at slowest speed.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Mark

  11. #11
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    5,360

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkE55 View Post
    Hi John,

    Thank you for the helpful post. I am new to ripping CDs with dBpoweramp. I am having problems ripping a brand new CD (The Beatles Abbey Road 50th Anniversary set). 3 songs on the b side are taking hundreds of re-rips and then not playing correctly. One of the songs happens to be the longest on the album and the three songs are part of the famous combined short songs on the b side of the album. In one case the songs will play fine on my phone with iTunes, but will not play from the Sonos app from my PC. The same files.

    I'm using a cheap LG slim portable DVD writer. I'm ripping as high quality as possible and at slowest speed.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Mark

    I recall a few folks over at the Steve Hoffman music forums complaining that they were having trouble ripping some of these 50th Anniversary Abbey Road CDs. In any case, always good to have a 2nd or 3rd optical drive (can be cheap ones) for ripping, as a CD that won't rip on one drive sometimes rips on another. And by the way, ripping at the slowest speed is not correlated with getting better quality rips (sometimes this actually hurts the ripping process). Better to let dbpa automatically adjust the ripping speed. A lot of folks seem to get this wrong on the internet.

    edit:
    https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa....884675/page-2
    Last edited by garym; 01-18-2022 at 02:43 PM.

  12. #12
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah USA
    Posts
    59

    Re: External CD/DVD Drive 2021

    The drive only matters if you're ripping hidden first tracks. My very expensive Blu-ray drive just produces silence on them. The 5 dollar one, that probably got pulled out of a Dell, works just fine. Anyway, you could probably have a few external drives ripping at the same time on the same laptop.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •