Originally Posted by mkozlows
Many people like dbPowerAmp and say good things about it. Many people like EAC and say good things about it. When I tried to use those tools to work with FLAC, it was a painful, hair-tearing-out experience. (Edit: Although I went back and refreshed myself on what the issues were, and it turns out dbPowerAmp was working correctly, and the highly-regarded Tag&Rename was totally screwing up and not showing metadata properly. There's nothing wrong with dbPowerAmp, other than that Foobar can handle it, and since you're already going to be using Foobar, there's no reason not to just stick with it.) When I realized that Foobar could do ripping and conversion, converting my library from WMA Lossless to FLAC went from a highly dubious proposition to a feasible and practical one.
As for people strongly expressing opinions, well, I feel strongly about this one. I think that if someone is trying to start up with FLAC, using Foobar exclusively is going to remove a lot of barriers for them and make it far more likely that they'll succeed. (And considering how many barriers Foobar puts up in front of you, with its horrific default configuration, they've got plenty to deal with just in that program...) Other people obviously will feel differently, and will say so. I doubt anyone reading such recommendations fails to notice this, and they'll evaluate things accordingly -- but my hope is that when they're pounding their head on their desk trying to get EAC usable, they'll remember what I said and try Foobar's ripping.
I find EAC to be pretty straightforward, there are excellent guides out there detailing how to set it up properly. One nice thing about EAC (and dbPowerAmp for that matter) is support for AccurateRip, which I don't believe Foobar provides for ripping. If you care enough to store your music as flac, chances are that you want to know that what you're pulling off the cd is perfect, and AccurateRip is definitely a confidence booster. When used in combination with Secure Mode ripping, drive cache disabling, and AccurateRip calibration of your read offsets, I think that's as close as you can get to knowing that you've got a perfect rip. When I'm done with a rip, and the software automatically compares checksums track-by-track against online databases and reports back to me 'Disc Accurately Ripped' I know that I feel a lot better about what I just put on my hard drive.
As for dbPowerAmp, I used it as a player when I first started using flac, then tried winamp, then finally settled on foobar. Although I never really liked the dbPowerAmp player, their transcoder is top notch and couldn't be easier to use. Besides all the nice features I described above, the other thing I really like about it is the ability to change compute priority of the transcode on the fly. As anyone who's done large transcode batches knows, this is compute intensive stuff and for large amounts of music, will run for a LONG time on your computer, days even. With dbPowerAmp, I can just select a dropdown box and select 'Idle', meaning dbPowerAmp will only use spare compute cycles to do the transcode, so your pc is still in a very usable state. Once you're done doing whatever you're doing, and can give higher priority back to the transcoding, you just switch it back to 'Normal'. It all happens very nicely on the fly.
As for tag&rename, yes I felt that pain as well. Been there, done that. Switched to Abander Tag Control, which seems much better for flac.
With regard to your strong opinion, there's nothing wrong with liking what you use and strongly advocating it. It's when you start suggesting that all other opinions should be ignored that people start to get angry, keep that in mind....