Using a G4 as an upsampling source
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scrypt

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A rather useful discussion of the G4 as an upsampling source (and file-playing alternative to SACD DVD-A) occurs here. Tips are given, the efficacy of error correction on various CD burner models is discussed, G4 alternatives to the PC program *exact audio copy* are suggested and cards that allow one to use a Mac as a home theater processor are mentioned (if not endorsed). "Drink me, use me, discard me as is your wont," the thread brays politely.

Excelsior.
 
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Joe Bloggs

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How do you use the G4 to play SACD and DVD-A??
 
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kelly

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I just read this thread and I'm somewhat frustrated that the original questions the thread proposed were not answered very well.

The largest one being this (paraphrase):
What is the Apple equivalence of Exact Audio Copy? How does one make a bit perfect copy of a CD to file format on a Mac.

There doesn't seem to be a good answer for this.

A question the thread does not propose but should have is this one:
If the Sonica is already using an algorithm to produce a 16/48 bitstream from a 16/44.1 sound file, isn't this impacting the final quality of the sound? Is there a simple way to export a 16/44.1 bitstream from the USB output?

In my many searches, I have found that such a device does not presently exist commercially. This frustrates me greatly.

Beware of some misleading statements in the thread. SACD and DVD-A cannot currently be ripped or played back from the Mac no matter what kind of DAC you have. It remains to be seen whether this is an eventuality and the RIAA would certainly like it not to be.

On home theater: As strange and illogical as it may seem, he's probably right to compare the output of his Mac to the Fajourda. When Fajourda was the only company producing a standalone DVD player that produced progressive scan, many home theater fanatics opted to build DVD players from their PCs instead. Early DVD drives had incompatibility issues but once these were worked out, the quality was unbeatable.

Unfortunately, the PC itself is not the world's greatest environment for AV components and the drive mechanism itself may be a bottleneck. However, with the high quality video output of many video cards (including those built into the Macs), the net gain here is high quality video playback.

If you've read this thread and read some of the other debates on Head-Fi, you can probably understand why I'm so irritated by the recording industry's stance on copy protection and such. Converging a home theater, audiophile system and PC should be quite doable and the single largest blockcade is liscense lawyers working for content providers. If the money they wasted on that was directed toward improving public image, reworking pricing modesl and creating new delivery mechanisms, I can only imagine how much more enjoyable this hobby could be.

Imagine if I were reading a thread over in the music forum and decided I wanted to try out one of the awesome SACD recordings you guys were gushing over and to do so all I had to do was to click a link and finalize my purchase - then have the entire uncompressed SACD image shot directly to my hard drive where I could play it back through my audio system. I do think this kind of thing will happen anyway, it's just frustrating that I may not live to see it.
 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
What is the Apple equivalence of Exact Audio Copy? How does one make a bit perfect copy of a CD to file format on a Mac.

There doesn't seem to be a good answer for this.


Depends on how hard you look (or search the forums)




To paraphrase from some of my own posts:

The old Mac standby "Toast Audio Extractor" does multiple-pass, bit-by-bit extractions. I personally talked to some of the developers of it, and they claim it does as good a job as EAC. I don't know if that's true, but comparing an EAC extraction to a TAE extraction, finding they aren't bit-for-bit identical, and thus claiming that TAE isn't as good is flawed methodology (I bring that up because one of the people in the thread that Scrypt linked to made that claim).

Besides my conversation with a developer, here's a quote from an interview with the Roxio Product Manager for Toast:

Quote:

[Toast 5 will] also do a bit for bit, or raw mode, copy of any CD," said Nemechek, enabling users to produce backups of CDs that older versions of Toast may previous have balked at.




There's also the Mac freeware AudioCDRescue, which was originally designed to "rescue" damaged audio CDs, but has become popular for the same reason EAC is popular on the Windows side -- it continues to make passes until it's extracted the data perfectly (or until it realizes that the CD is damaged too badly to do so
)
 
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scrypt

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I'm aware that the thread I mentioned above can be a bit twee. However, it does have the virtue of opening the discussion to people who are looking for solutions to important but inadequately addressed problems. It doesn't consist of a lot of people kvetching/drooling over the Mac, comparing it to the PC or wondering how to execute various rudimentary tasks.

While we're on the subject of Exact Audio Copy:

I've never had a problem burning exact CD copies (including crossfades) in Toast and the current version, 5.2, is no exception. What I have *not* been able to find for the Mac is a ripping utility that incorporates the crossfades and transitions from a CD into an album's worth of mp3s (ideally LAME-encoded). If you're listening to an mp3 CD, you ought to be able to enjoy the sound-object's gestalt, not just savor its various body parts. Autopsies are fun, but sometimes you want access to the entire specimen, not merely an arm or a spleen.

Technically, you can use my gear to load an *original* DVD-A-quality recording. What you can't do, of course, is record optically from a DVD-A source because those machines are crippled.

I share Kelly's frustration over copy protection issues and have remained irked for a half a decade. What bothers me most is not having a portable 24/96 recorder for original music and field recording. It's criminal that the highest quality portable recorder is still a fifteen-year-old DAT that records at 16/48. There's just no reason to handicap musicians that way. Thanks to Sony et al., I suppose I'll end up buying a laptop and a few extra boxes to cram into a case.
 
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kelly

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Does Toast do offsets?
 
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scrypt

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
Does Toast do offsets?


I'll have to look into that. Toast will reproduce the offsets and fades on the original CD but I haven't checked the newest version to see if it allows you to manipulate crossfades and offsets with any degree of sophistication. I just upgraded to Jaguar last month and had been using Jam 2.8 on my OS 9.2.2 drive for detailed crossfades and various other minutiae. Some engineers use other programs as well, but I've always used Toast and Jam as they're supremely easy to hack.
 
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kelly

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scrypt
I meant drive offsets.
 
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scrypt

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Ironic choice of words then, since I spend half my life tinkering with offset times in Performer, ProTools and Peak.

Odd. I was just looking at Toast 5.2 and couldn't find a way to offset the drive itself. Perhaps there's another term I ought to be looking for instead.
 
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balcar

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check out Mac software N2MP3. It does a pretty decent job of ripping cd's.
 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by scrypt
I've never had a problem burning exact CD copies (including crossfades) in Toast and the current version, 5.2, is no exception. What I have *not* been able to find for the Mac is a ripping utility that incorporates the crossfades and transitions from a CD into an album's worth of mp3s (ideally LAME-encoded).


Scrypt:

Am I understanding you correctly that you want to avoid the artificial spaces in between tracks that CD-burning apps often put in when burning an MP3 CD?

If so, burn your CDs in iTunes (or at least use iTunes to rip the MP3s). Select multiple tracks, then Advanced -> Join CD Tracks; this will create a single MP3 file from the tracks, preserving crossfades and transitions.

Of course, the downside is that you won't be able to skip between the tracks in that file; but you said you wanted to enjoy the original non-track-delineated presentation anyways
The other possible downside is that I don't know if the iTunes add-ons for LAME encoding will work with this tip.
 
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scrypt

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MacDef: Interesting. Then the MD-like solution would be to join the CD into one file, slice it into song segments and then set one's meTunes and memememePod to play tracks globally without pause or crossfade. Perhaps if I forward this information to my stalker, he'll embrace a new time-consuming hobby and stop e-mailing requests that I wear leather pants. (Why does the public library allow these people to send e-mail in the first place? The man is not even confined by prison walls.)

Balcar: Thanks. Will do.

To any who might be interested: I've just ordered the black Plextor 48A drive and an aluminum USB 2.0 Firewire enclosure. I do this knowing full well that iTunes probably won't recognize it but I shall not care two whits of an iamb because Plextors are excellent for 1. bypassing copy protection and 2. burning CDs that can be recognized by older players. I'll report on how well the thing works with iTunes and Toast on a G4, if anyone happens to be interested. I won't be picking up the new Yamaha text-tattooing CD-RW for reasons mentioned above, though the built-in laser did give me pause for a nanoflinch.
 
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phonatic

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If you run Mac OS X, you can use XCDRoast (see xcdroast.org). I believe it can do most or all of what EAC users expect. It uses lib-paranoia to read CD sectors repeatedly until it gets one without errors. You can re-verify rips against the CD tracks, and so on. Bit quirky, but useful software. It's one of the best rip/burn packages on the Mac, especially considering it is free software. Requires an X11 installation.
 
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scrypt

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Phonatic:

Thanks for mentioning xcdroast, which I'd not heard of before. If the program does what you say, yours will have been one of the most useful posts on this thread [(]if not the most useful).

I'm downloading xcdroast as I type.
 
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