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Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

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Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

I use dbPowerAmp CD Ripper on my iMac to rip my CDs to my NAS Server using Lossless uncompressed FLAC as the saved file format. This results in an average file size of 10.1MB per minute of track time, so an average CD takes about 470 > 480MB of space.

Having said that for me the space isn’t an issue but I am of the opinion that when played back through my Network Streamer, Amp and Speakers there is a marked difference in audio quality compared to that of say an MP3 variant.

So I was wondering what others thought about this or what file format and why you use it.

P.S. Mods, this thread is not about software or help so can this be left in General please.

12 REPLIES
DaveyH
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

I use FLAC for archiving CDs but I can tell you this, in double blind/ABX testing you wouldn't be able to hear a difference between FLAC and medium to high bitrate MP3s. It's amazing what you can't hear when any unconscious influence is removed.

And you can easily test this for yourself with Foobar2000 and the ABX comparitar plugin. Take a FLAC file make an MP3 copy and then use the ABX comparison plugin to listen to them. I you can reliably tell a difference between them I'll eat my cat...

Audiophiles convince themselves of all kinds of easily disprovable nonsense, and the hi-fi industry is full of Charlatans and snake oil salesman only too willing to sell BS products that pander to their nonsense.

Pete11
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

I use mp3 as my preferred format, ripped at 160 cbr. The tracks sound ok to me and the file size per track (depending on length of track) is around 3 or 4 meg. To rip the cd's I use FreeRipmp3 but it also does other formats such as wav etc. It's easy on resources, doesn't clutter the registry and is very simple to use. Having said that it depends on what works for you. I suppose everyone will have their preferences. Thumbs Up

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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

I have to ask then if that is the case then @DaveyH why do you use FLAC over say .MP3? I don't think my hearing a difference in quality is just in my head, I have thousands of tracks on my NAS in various formats but some of them just sound so much better than others. Of course it could be down to what is playing them back as well.

DaveyH
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

Simply because storage space isn't an issue, and should I need to convert formats for any reason in the future I would rather do it from a lossless format than a lossy one. It may be irrational but I just don't like the idea of transcoding from one lossy codec to another.

And as I said I use FLAC for archiving CDs , i rarely listen in that format. 

ffox
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

It depends where you are, what date/quality the equipment is and what date/quality your hearing is.  I agree that FLAC sounds better (even to my old ears) than mp3 on decent hi-fi equipment, but I can't play FLAC in the car.  Given the background road/engine noise that isn't a problem.

DaveyH
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.


Mook wrote:

I don't think my hearing a difference in quality is just in my head,

Then do the ABX test and prove me wrong.

 

I have thousands of tracks on my NAS in various formats but some of them just sound so much better than others. Of course it could be down to what is playing them back as well.

Differences in quality will be down to the mastering and recording process and how much dynamic compression was applied (do some reading up on the loudness wars) etc, rather than from how the end result is encoded

 

 

 

 

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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

OK @DaveyH, that's something for the weekend Thumbs Up

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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

I’m unable to use the foobar2000 as I don’t have a Windows machine with sound capability on it. I’ve also done a bit of reading on the subject of ABX and it appears there are some that dismiss it while others swear by it.

Given what I have read, even though I have not done the test, I am willing to stand by my original statement as regards the difference in quality I perceived while listening. As regards my hardware (Streamer, Amp and Speakers) it may not be top of the range, considering what you can pay, but new you wouldn’t see change out of 3K for it. Yes I know some in the ABX camp will argue it makes no difference what hardware you use, but I for one would certainly contest that.

DaveyH
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.


Mook wrote:

I’m unable to use the foobar2000 as I don’t have a Windows machine with sound capability on it. I’ve also done a bit of reading on the subject of ABX and it appears there are some that dismiss it while others swear by it.

Given what I have read, even though I have not done the test, I am willing to stand by my original statement as regards the difference in quality I perceived while listening.

 

Yes audiophiles usually. 

I've been there, done that and got the t shirt, so there isn't an argument you can make I haven't seen a million times before.

So I know its futile arguing my point, but I equally stand by my point, that when you remove bias/influence the perceived differences tend to disappear.

I have tested it incidentally...

 

So I'll leave it there

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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

As I have no way of proving my position I’ll will agree with you and ‘leave it there’. But that shouldn’t stop others from contributing if they want to.

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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

Rip to flac then convert if you need to. End of story.
As long as you can stream flac round the house then no issue, but if you want to do on-the-fly re-encodes then it maybe.
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Re: Your thoughts on your audio ripping format of choice.

I tend to encode in FLAC then make a copy as an MP3 or OGG depending on the end-use, usually keeping bitrates above 160kbps, anything below and my ears pick up on "missing pieces" (I'm an oddball with sensitive hearing that picks up on poor bitrate, it's why I hate DAB radio so much, it's disgustingly low-bitrate)... Smiley

 

As for the audiophilia territory of arguing over what the human ear can hear, I don't go into that sort of thing, as long as my music is nice and clear, I'm happy, given I suffer tinnitus anyway then there's no point being picky over perfection... Smiley