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What is the best quality (format) to rip cds? (itunes)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I plan on to do a major reconstruction of my music library in the computer because most of my music were not uploaded with the highest quality.

So I am asking, what is the best format for ripping cds in itunes...regardless of how much space each song would take...

And my other question was, when I upload my cds in the computer, would it be a bad idea to browse the internet while I am ripping each cd?

Thanks guys!
post #2 of 29
The "Best" format would be Apple Lossless, imo.
* Sound quality identical to the CD (and PCM in WAV and AIFF).
* Compressed, so it only occupy 60-70% of the original PCM data size.
* Support meta tags and artwork, unlike WAV (and AIFF?).
* Fully supported in iTunes, iPod, ...
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
The "Best" format would be Apple Lossless, imo.
* Sound quality identical to the CD (and PCM in WAV and AIFF).
* Compressed, so it only occupy 60-70% of the original PCM data size.
* Support meta tags and artwork, unlike WAV (and AIFF?).
* Fully supported in iTunes, iPod, ...
x2. If you are going to stick with iTunes and all things Apple and space is not a concern, then definitely rip to ALAC - Apple's lossless format.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
The "Best" format would be Apple Lossless, imo.
* Sound quality identical to the CD (and PCM in WAV and AIFF).
* Compressed, so it only occupy 60-70% of the original PCM data size.
* Support meta tags and artwork, unlike WAV (and AIFF?).
* Fully supported in iTunes, iPod, ...
x3 and trouble free.
post #5 of 29
I maintain an Apple Lossless library and a 320 kbps mp3 library. Apple Lossless is for when I use my computer as a source, the 320 library is for my iPod. Apple Lossless is prolly the way to go for you.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sounds great but I also had another question, if I use both my computer and ipod, is there a way to do both formats?
post #7 of 29
Just to throw this out there:

I use Windows Media Player and rip to their lossless WMA format (so it sounds the same as iTunes lossless or WAV). I do this with all of my CDs. Then when I need to transfer music to my mp3 player (off-brand), I just go to the sync tab in WMP, drag and drop the songs I want to transfer, hit 'sync', and WMP automatically converts the lossless WMA files to whatever best format the mp3 player can take, which I think is 320 or 192 kbs mp3/wma. It's really easy and cuts out having to maintain two separate libraries of high-def and low-def CD rips.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
if I use both my computer and ipod, is there a way to do both formats?
Which "both formats"?
Either way. There are at least two ways to manage two formats in iTunes.
* Using Smart Playlists (Kind = Apple Lossless, AAC, MP3, whatever).
* Using two separate Libraries (need to restart iTunes to switch between them).
post #9 of 29
post #10 of 29
Use ALAC, I use it
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Which "both formats"?
Either way. There are at least two ways to manage two formats in iTunes.
* Using Smart Playlists (Kind = Apple Lossless, AAC, MP3, whatever).
* Using two separate Libraries (need to restart iTunes to switch between them).
I mean when I rip the cds, is there a way to upload ALAC and mp3 (320 kbps) at the same time? Or do I have to upload one format then upload the other format separately?

But I just came to the conclusion that I'll just use ALAC and not worry about the mp3 format...Uploading every cd into the computer is a big enough headache for me...
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
I mean when I rip the cds, is there a way to upload ALAC and mp3 (320 kbps) at the same time?
iTunes only support ripping to one format/codec at a time. But you can always transcode from Apple Lossless to MP3 as a second stage. Or use a different application for ripping the audio CD, which support simultaneous encoding to multiple formats/codecs. Example Max...
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
iTunes only support ripping to one format/codec at a time. But you can always transcode from Apple Lossless to MP3 as a second stage. Or use a different application for ripping the audio CD, which support simultaneous encoding to multiple formats/codecs. Example Max...
Thanks krmathis...

I have the ipod touch (16gb) and I had no idea that ALAC takes up much more space than AAC...I uploaded about 15 cds and I am already past the 16gb line...

Now about converting from ALAC to mp3, does anyone have any recommendations of good converting softwares?

And my other concern was when I rip the cds in ALAC format, then turn the ALAC to mp3...would this cause any problems or have lower quality compared to just ripping cds straight to mp3 format right from the beginning?
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Now about converting from ALAC to mp3, does anyone have any recommendations of good converting softwares?
If you're on a mac you can use Max as krmathis recommended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
And my other concern was when I rip the cds in ALAC format, then turn the ALAC to mp3...would this cause any problems or have lower quality compared to just ripping cds straight to mp3 format right from the beginning?
Nope, it won't be any lower quality, because the ALAC files are unchanged from the CD, completely lossless. A little like ripping to WAV/AIFF and putting them in a zip file, but it's smaller and more easily playable
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
I have the ipod touch (16gb) and I had no idea that ALAC takes up much more space than AAC...I uploaded about 15 cds and I am already past the 16gb line...
ALAC is LOSSLESS okay? It is a direct copy of your CD. Like taking the CD and zipping it. It decreases the file size but nothing like q 0.4 AAC or MP3 or whatever. AAC is MP4 lossy audio and is not comparable. It can be as small or large as you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Now about converting from ALAC to mp3, does anyone have any recommendations of good converting softwares?
Anything should do it. iTunes or Foobar are the easiest. Just open the ALACs then transcode.

Reconsider MP3 unless your playback software/hardware can't handle AAC, AAC is better, the only advantage of MP3 is more widespread compatibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
And my other concern was when I rip the cds in ALAC format, then turn the ALAC to mp3...would this cause any problems or have lower quality compared to just ripping cds straight to mp3 format right from the beginning?
No, although one issue to watch is: make sure your transcoding pipeline maintains tags and doesn't screw that side of things up, if you care about it.
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