Software recommendations...
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KenW

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First, I REALLY miss the search feature on this board and sincerely hope it's brought back.

Now for my questions. Presently, I use the quick and easy Veritas RecordNow to make CD-R copies of discs I own but have been looking for greater accuracy in the copy process. From many accounts, EAC seems to be the hands down winner. Any others I should consider or is this the free king of the hill?

Next, presently, I do most of my ripping in .wav but am considering FLAC as a space saver without compromise of quality. Right now I'll be using my pc as my storage unit but haven't ruled out a new player somewhere down the line. FLAC is only supported by a few players and of those, the only one I'd seriously consider buying is the Rio Karma. Again, any alternatives to FLAC....free ones that is? Any news of other players supporting FLAC on the horizon?

Finally, Windows Media Player stinks IMO. I've used Creative players and WinAmp both of which I prefer to the WMP. Any alternatives to consider here?

I've got an "opportunity" since a hard drive failure sans backup...yeah, I know...stupid of me...has me starting over using Windows XP. Any suggestions greatly appreciated and yes, I will now forever more BACK UP my data.
 
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cmascatello

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EAC is all you need look at for ripping.

Any lossless CODEC will save you space on your hard drive when compared to WAVs. FLAC, APE, and now, Apple Lossless are all alternatives that will not cost you a penny. The Karma supports FLAC and the iPods with dock connectors (3G and mini) support Apple Lossless. The nice thing about the lossless CODECs is that you can go from them back to WAV (and therefore and lossy format) without much effort. Personally, I am going to convert a bunch of FLACs to AL so I can use them with my 3G iPod.

WinAmp and Foobar2K are the best regarded playback platforms in these forums. Foobar is probably a tad more "audiophile" in its feature set but WinAmp has more plugins and a more complete skinning engine. I also use iTunes quite a bit and it makes life with the iPod very easy. One last option to consider is Media Center (J. River, I think) -- this has support for most CODECs and is a pretty good "Swiss Army Knife" poiece of software.
 
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divad6719

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I use.

Exact Audio Copy for ripping,
Foobar 2000 for multiple reasons, the mass tagger and FreeDB tagging of files are excellent features. I also use it to play back the stuff that iTunes doesn't.
iTunes for encoding to AAC and now Lossless (I used to use FLAC, but I think I would be silly to spend £300 quid on an iPod and not use it to full potential)

Other worthy programs are CDex (ripper/ encoder), Speex Frontends (for different encoders inc. FLAC, search Google) and although I've never tried it I've also heard good things about J. Rivers Media Center.

 
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Stephonovich

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My only question to you is why you're wanting lossless on a portable. I once did, until I realized that I had trouble telling the difference (on my setup, anyway) between a LAME 3.90.2 --aps or OggGT3B2 -q6 and the original, so how on earth could I tell the difference on the move?

Believe me, the differences are very, very subtle. Less shimmer on cymbals, slight loss of clarity on applause, that sort of thing. If there's background noise, or you're doing an activity, you won't notice it.

(-:Stephonovich:)
 
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divad6719

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Quote:

My only question to you is why you're wanting lossless on a portable.


Because it's there


1. I, for one, very rarely listen on the move, I work away from home for a month at a time and I use it primarily as a traveling "CD collection", listening in my room at night.
2. I also archive some of my CD's (with FLAC) but as I said I'd be as well using AL and having the option of listening to the AL files on the iPod.

It comes down to the fact that different people may have different uses for their players and besides this is way off topic. Sorry all.
 
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