Monday, September 14, 2009

Not so EAC-y

Every website or online forum I surfed to stated the same thing - the best ripping software is Exact Audio Copy (EAC). It is also supposed to be the best sounding too.
So I had no choice but to download EAC even though MediaMonkey also has a ripping function. Downloading EAC was quite easy - just go to www.exactaudiocopy.de and click the download version V0.99 prebeta 5 button.
It was when I tried to configure the settings that I realised that I knew very little about all this hitech mumbo-jumbo.
For example - what is the Fraunhofer Codec (or the LAME/Blade/Gogo DLL)?
What is Accurate Streaming, Audio Caching or C2 Error Info? What is "retrieve UPC/ISRC codes in CUE sheet generation? What is a 'Big Endian' byte order?
What is the difference if I were to use bit rate of 32 kBit/s instead of 1024 kBit/s?
What does "Delete WAV after compression" mean?
I am not sure what I clicked but somehow I managed to get EAC to copy the tracks of Simon & Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme CD. They may not have been of the highest resolution, but they sounded okay on the Altec Lansing computer speakers.
That was when I started googling and found lots of sites on step-by-step guides to secure CD ripping and how to configure the options available in EAC, how to verify the drive options, how to set the encoder options, etc.
EAC has options for beginners and for the experts. I'm sure it is good enough for the pros.
After much clicking here and there, I managed to configure it (hopefully) correctly and ripped KD Lang's Hymns of the 49th Parallel which I am listening to even as I am writing this.
It was ripped in FLAC format (to get that codec I had to download it) and it was a bit perfect copy of the CD.
It certainly sounds better than most of the MP3 downloads that I have in my library.
This is another step forward in my journey of discovery of this new medium called computer audio which I believe is the future of the music industry and hi-fi.

1 comment:

  1. Lam - Me and my friends have been using EAC for many years now, and certainly have no complains... all the time I just rip to WAV, since $/GB storage is getting cheaper, so no need to compromise because of file size. If you have read 'The Art of building computer transport' there is a lot of good info there on ripping and hardware config.
    DS

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