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View Full Version : New Collector Question re Lineage, Burning, Quality Loss, etc


ZosoPlayer
2007-01-06, 02:16 PM
Hello

I am a new collector with a ton of questions. If anyone would mind helping me I would appreciate it!

1. I downloaded a show in flac format and want to burn to a cd. Do I need to use eac for this?

2. I am trying to understand how to read a shows lineage and to relate this to what the quality will be and place a value on the show based on the lineage. Is there a place you can direct me that helps explain this?

3. Lets say i bought a bootleg. The cd I get would be considered the 'silver'?

4. It seems to me that to be able to read and understand a shows lineage, you need to understand how quality is lost during various transfers. For example:

Master>DAT>CDR ----> Generally speaking, do you lose quality when a show get transfered from a master (this means the original source of the show, sbd stu or aud, correct?) to DAT? Is there quality loss from DAT to CDR? Or does it all depend on how the show is transfered?

5. When I download a show off the internet and burn it to cd, does that cause a loss of quality? IE, how can tell the spots along the lineage where there is going to be quality loss from the original master?

I have a bunch more but this should give me a good start and lead to new questions. Thank you in advance!

ZosoPlayer

AAR.oner
2007-01-06, 04:22 PM
welcome to The Den :wave:

first off, read thru our FAQ [top of page] for more info...we also have a couple OS-specific guides that will be coming out soon...but to address your immediate questions


1. I downloaded a show in flac format and want to burn to a cd. Do I need to use eac for this?

no...use Trader's Little Helper [aka TLH]: http://thor.prohosting.com/roh0205/

we also have a thread in technobabble re: the program : http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=3904&page=1&pp=15

basically once you have a lossless show [flac, shn, ape], you'll want to do 2 things with it...
1.) to burn an audio cd, decode the flac files to wav using TLH...then burn with whatever program you use [i.e Nero, ONES, etc]
2.) burn a "data disc" of the show to archive for trading in the future...choose the CD-ROM format [or DVD-ROM for multiple shows] and burn the flac files/checksums/info/etc as data on a disc...if yer not familiar with this process, let us know what program you use to burn discs with and we'll be able to help more specifically

2. I am trying to understand how to read a shows lineage and to relate this to what the quality will be and place a value on the show based on the lineage. Is there a place you can direct me that helps explain this?
try using our search feature and entering "lineage"--also select "search titles only"...should be some good stuff in those threads...also check the gloassary of our FAQ for alot of terms

3. Lets say i bought a bootleg. The cd I get would be considered the 'silver'?
typically yes...tho i've occasionally run across boots in stores that were burned to regular CDRs, most of the time they are "Silvers" [i.e they are "professionally pressed" & the underside of the disc is silver -- not blue/purple/green/etc like common CDRs]

4. It seems to me that to be able to read and understand a shows lineage, you need to understand how quality is lost during various transfers. For example:

Master>DAT>CDR ----> Generally speaking, do you lose quality when a show get transfered from a master (this means the original source of the show, sbd stu or aud, correct?) to DAT? Is there quality loss from DAT to CDR? Or does it all depend on how the show is transfered?
there are numerous factors that can cause varying degrees of "quality loss" when transferring...the above situation depends on a number of things:
1. what is the original source? DAT, cassette, mini disc, etc
2. how was it transferred? analog, optical, etc
3. is it a 1st gen CDR copy, or an unknown gen CDR(x) copy? were the flacs/shns made directly from the CDR copy itself? if so, what program was used to extract with [i.e. EAC, xACT, or an inferior program]? is there an "extraction log" which shows more details of the extraction process and its accuracy?

5. When I download a show off the internet and burn it to cd, does that cause a loss of quality? IE, how can tell the spots along the lineage where there is going to be quality loss from the original master?

yes, there can easily be quality loss in a burned copy, which is why you should always archive/trade/seed the original lossless files...for some shows, there may be no definitive master>lossless conversion, and the best known copy might be [I]Unknown Audience > CDR(x) > EAC > .... > flac

when a CDR extraction is "necessary" [due to there being no known direct transfers], there are only a couple of programs which have proven to be reliable at extracting, and include the ability to have a log giving details--these are EAC [windows], xACT [Mac], and cdParanoia [linux]...

feel free to ask us questions about specific shows' lineages here, and we can explain the particulars...

hope that helped a bit...cheers!

ZosoPlayer
2007-01-06, 06:14 PM
Hi, thank you very much for taking the time to reply. A few things confuse me:

no...use Trader's Little Helper [aka TLH]: http://thor.prohosting.com/roh0205/
I thought EAC and TLH were two competing programs that did the same thing? But after reading your post, it seems like TLH is used to help make an audio CD and EAC is used to help extract the show from an audio CD to your PC, correct?

If I burned the audio CD correctly (ie good media, TLH, good burner, no errors, etc), is it still necessary to have them archived on a data cd? If I want to trade the show, wouldn't I just make a copy of my audio CD?

1. what is the original source? DAT, cassette, mini disc, etc Ok, this is very confusing to me. The original source is the equipment that was used to record the first recording of a particular show, correct? And no matter what equipment was used (DAT, mini disc, etc), that very first media that the recording produced is called the master, correct?

2. how was it transferred? analog, optical, etc
Is there a generally accepted preferred way, which is best analog or optical or...?

3. is it a 1st gen CDR copy, or an unknown gen CDR(x) copy? were the flacs/shns made directly from the CDR copy itself? if so, what program was used to extract with [i.e. EAC, xACT, or an inferior program]? is there an "extraction log" which shows more details of the extraction process and its accuracy? So if the original source is a DAT recording, and the taper tranfers the show from DAT to a CDR, that CDR is considered the 1st generation CDR, correct? So what, or how would we get to a second generation CDR? If you make a copy of the first gen CDR, lets say using NERO, is that now a second gen CDR?

Thank you again! I know for most these are "duh" questions.

spiritinaphoto
2007-01-06, 06:31 PM
Okay, about the question of trading based on an extraction of the audio CD, yes it is preferred that you do keep a data CD (or a data DVD) of the original FLAC/SHN fileset. The problem with the audio CDs is that they don't have the error correction of the data discs, so if your disc gets badly scratched, odds are very good that the files ripped from the audio CD won't perfectly match the originals, while if it was a data CD (or data DVD), your disc would have to be in much worse condition before you'd have problems with the files off the disc not matching the originals (and in that case, you'll be getting corrupted file error messages while the disc copies).

Many traders prefer to trade with those that will send them data discs instead of audio CDs--some will even outright refuse to trade with those who don't store their original filesets on data discs!


As for your numbered questions:

1. Yes, the first thing it was recorded to is the master, regardless of what kind of media it is.

2. Optical (i.e. digital transfers) are preferred where possible, i.e. if the original source was digital, it should be transferred digitally. Analog transfers should only be used if the original source was analog.

3. Okay, here's the point that's going to get confusing--the very first audio CD-R in the lineage is referred to as a master, even though it was not what the show was recorded to. The copy made from the master CD-R would be the first gen CD-R, and so forth.

AAR.oner
2007-01-07, 01:28 AM
no questions a "duh" question when yer tryin to learn something new...hell, we're just happy you care enough to learn and not pollute the trading due to ignorance :thumbsup

spiritinaphoto answered a few of yer ?s, but i'll clarify on a few points:


I thought EAC and TLH were two competing programs that did the same thing? But after reading your post, it seems like TLH is used to help make an audio CD and EAC is used to help extract the show from an audio CD to your PC, correct?
EAC and TLH do two separate things...when downloading/trading lossless shows [flac, shn, etc] you won't really need EAC, since it is used strictly for extracting wav files from an audio cd...

TLH is for decoding lossless files to wavs [which you can then burn to audio cd], checking checksums [md5, st5, ffp, etc], amongst other more advanced tasks you'll get into later on

however, TLH does not burn discs, you'll need a burning prog such as ONES, Nero, Roxio, etc for burning

If I burned the audio CD correctly (ie good media, TLH, good burner, no errors, etc), is it still necessary to have them archived on a data cd? If I want to trade the show, wouldn't I just make a copy of my audio CD?

yes, keep a data disk of the lossless shows fileset for trading...making copies of audio cdrs leads to errors, and it is now the standard to trade in lossless

downloading a show from here, lets say its in flac fomat, and then burning an Audio CDR, and then extracting from that CDR for a trade [using EAC], and burning another copy makes an unnecessary generation and can lead to errors, i.e. quality loss

but if you have a data archive of the flac fileset, including the checksum & info text, you just drag the folder from the data disc to yer harddrive, then burn a data disc to send on the trade...no generational change occurs, and the person has a checksum to prove it

So if the original source is a DAT recording, and the taper tranfers the show from DAT to a CDR, that CDR is considered the 1st generation CDR, correct? So what, or how would we get to a second generation CDR? If you make a copy of the first gen CDR, lets say using NERO, is that now a second gen CDR?

there are a few different philosophies on noting format changes in a lineage...here's how i prefer to note lineages
--if the original recording was made on DAT, then it is the master: DAT(M) ***only the media the show was originally recorded to can be cnsidered a master***
--if the DAT(M) is then transferred to a computer and burned to a Audio CDR, then that disc would be considered a CDR(0), since it was burned directly from the master...NOTE: CDR generations only apply to Audio CDRs, not data disks of lossless filesets
--if that Audio CDR "CDR(0)" is then extracted to wav using EAC, and then burned to another Audio CDR, you'd label it CDR(1)...repeat the process with CDR(1) and you'd have CDR(2)...etc

the community wants to avoid any CDR generations in the trading pool, which is why people archive/trade/seed in lossless data format, and only burn Audio CDRs for personal listening purposes

hope that makes sense...i'm a bit tired :wave:

Audioarchivist
2007-01-07, 04:19 AM
Exact Audio Copy also burns discs. It to my understanding does the offset correction thing for writing like it does for reading when calibrated correctly to your drives. In other words it will make bit for bit mirror clones of any CD. The same way there is a read offset of a few samples (or a few hundred) it will write offsets too, unlike many other burning programs I guess...
I don't know of any other programs for burning that give you that option. A few samples out usually don't mean that much, but I figure why shift all the music around and not write the most accurate CD I can. I've been converted to EAC for audio CD burning...

ZosoPlayer
2007-01-07, 04:09 PM
Awesome stuff! Thank you VERY miuch. I think I am getting it. I do not want to start using this forum as my crutch, but let me see if really I GOT IT:

Lineage#1:

Source: Audience
48kHz DAT Master > DAT clone > Audio DVD
AUD recording using DAT <this would be labeled DAT(M)>. Than made an exact copy of the DAT <the clone is still considered DAT(M)?>. Then burned an Audio DVD <this would be labled Audio DVD(0)>? Only thing really missing in this lineage is how he got from DAT to DVD, correct?


Lineage#2:
Source: Audience
1st Gen Cassette>DAT3>CDR4>eac>wav>flac
A tough one... 1st gen casette implies that it came from XXX(0) which came from a XXX(M). We are missing the 2nd generation here, but then it was transfered to a DAT, to a CDR, etc. I would imagine this is questionable quality due to the multiple generations and gaps in the lineage? Not sure if I really got this one.

Lineage#3:

original silver CDs -> EAC (V0.95 prebeta 4) -> wav ->
FLAC frontend (V1.7.1 Etree edition) -> FLAC
The original silver CD means that this was someone's bootleg, most likely a purchased professional bootleg. Than converted to wav via EAC and then converted to flac using frontend <not sure if I understand what frontend is, but made an educated guess>. These flac files should sound exactly (or close to it) like the original silver. No generation loss. Only thing that is missing is the lineage of the original silver bootleg.

Lineage#4:
Souce: Audience
Master>DAT>CDR
This one confuses me a little as well. Does "Master>DAT" mean that the original taper recording the show on a DAT <making it DAT(M)> or that the master was another source and then converted to a DAT <making it DAT(0)>? If the DAT is a DAT(M), than the CDR would be CDR(0). If the DAT is a DAT(0), then the CDR is a CDR(1), correct?

Not sure if I passed or not :hmm:

Five
2007-01-07, 04:47 PM
Awesome stuff! Thank you VERY miuch. I think I am getting it. I do not want to start using this forum as my crutch, but let me see if really I GOT IT:

Lineage#1:

Source: Audience
48kHz DAT Master > DAT clone > Audio DVD
AUD recording using DAT <this would be labeled DAT(M)>. Than made an exact copy of the DAT <the clone is still considered DAT(M)?>. Then burned an Audio DVD <this would be labled Audio DVD(0)>? Only thing really missing in this lineage is how he got from DAT to DVD, correct?
the "clone" could be identical to the DAT(M) as any DAT>DAT transfer should be, but there is some chance of errors being introduced so it would be DAT(M)>DAT(1).

the audio DVD would normally be called Audio DVD(1), even tho it is like Audio DVD(0), zeros are generally skipped when changing formats. EG cass(m)>"cdr(0)" would normally be notated as cass(m)>cdr(1).

in the case of this lineage, it is unclear what devices were used for any of the steps including DAT>DAT but often that info is lost in the sands of time and cannot be found unless the person who did the transfer shows up and gives the information.

also, it is probable that the person is listing the "your copy will be..." lineage (ala livenirvana.com) meaning that the files for burning an audio dvdr were created and tested but what has been shared is the files for burning the audio DVDR and not the re-extracted files. I'm not certain which show this is, the other info and files included could give some clues.

Lineage#2:
Source: Audience
1st Gen Cassette>DAT3>CDR4>eac>wav>flac
A tough one... 1st gen casette implies that it came from XXX(0) which came from a XXX(M). We are missing the 2nd generation here, but then it was transfered to a DAT, to a CDR, etc. I would imagine this is questionable quality due to the multiple generations and gaps in the lineage? Not sure if I really got this one.
pretty much... like you said 1st Gen Cassette (aka cass(1)) means it came from XXX(M) could be cassette also or perhaps open reel, perhaps even dat (!?). The 1st Generation Cassette was transferred to DAT, which was copied twice DAT>DAT, thus "DAT3" which was copied to audio cdr and subsequently copied three times CDR>CDR using nero or easy coaster creator or whatever thus "CDR4", which is what the seeder extracted from using EAC to create the FLAC set you now have on your HD. At least the generations are known, often it is gen(x) which could be (1) or (100) and while digital generations are much less important that cass generations, errors can creep in the more times a show is copied digitally using a non-secure method.

Lineage#3:

original silver CDs -> EAC (V0.95 prebeta 4) -> wav ->
FLAC frontend (V1.7.1 Etree edition) -> FLAC
The original silver CD means that this was someone's bootleg, most likely a purchased professional bootleg. Than converted to wav via EAC and then converted to flac using frontend <not sure if I understand what frontend is, but made an educated guess>. These flac files should sound exactly (or close to it) like the original silver. No generation loss. Only thing that is missing is the lineage of the original silver bootleg.
yes, this means an original (thus "silver") bootleg ripped using EAC. The lineage before the bootleg is normally a complete mystery, or else ppl would share the pre-bootleg source if it is available. Bootleggers often use eq and dynamics processing which is taboo in the trading community unless explicitly mentioned by the "remasterer" in the lineage. The small amount of information missing is a re-assurace that secure mode was used and whether the offsets were corrected. When there is an EAC log included, this information can be found along with a full error report that shows explicitly how perfect the rip was.

Some ppl will put Silver>EAC(secure, offsets correct)>FLAC and include the .log file to really put the icing on the cake.

Lineage#4:
Souce: Audience
Master>DAT>CDR
This one confuses me a little as well. Does "Master>DAT" mean that the original taper recording the show on a DAT <making it DAT(M)> or that the master was another source and then converted to a DAT <making it DAT(0)>? If the DAT is a DAT(M), than the CDR would be CDR(0). If the DAT is a DAT(0), then the CDR is a CDR(1), correct?

Not sure if I passed or not :hmm:
this one looks like a Presence lineage, which requires a small amount of explanation. Presence kept track of format changes but not generation thru the years, so he is saying it came from xxx(m)>dat(x)>cdr(x). the lineage ends at cdr, but the files will be FLAC format, which means the extraction was done using unknown software (EAC if he has a choice) and compressed to FLAC. In the cases where Presence is doing an analog to digital transfer personally, the source info will be listed similar to above and he is using ProTools with an unknown high-quality soundcard. He is very careful to share only the best sources and listens very carefully for errors.

which brings me to my next point, as time goes by you will begin to recognize some seeders and have reasonable expectations for the quality of stuff they pass along to others. The lineage is a tool for determining the quality of what is being shared as compared to listening to the best possible source (many times analog(m), which can never be duplicated 100% perfectly) and also noteworthy is that a worn-out cass(m)>highqual transfer>FLAC can sometimes sound worse than a pristine cass(1)>highqual transfer>FLAC. The lineage usually gives a good clue but your ears will always be the best judge when determining the best possible quality available source.

ZosoPlayer
2007-01-07, 06:56 PM
Excellent, thank you for all that helped me. First class stuff!

Best,

Kerry

Ps. Nice eye Five (indeed a Presence download)

Five
2007-01-07, 11:38 PM
you're welcome, glad I could help out :wave:

tilomagnet
2007-01-08, 08:22 AM
adding a little bit....



Lineage#1:

Source: Audience
48kHz DAT Master > DAT clone > Audio DVD
AUD recording using DAT <this would be labeled DAT(M)>. Than made an exact copy of the DAT <the clone is still considered DAT(M)?>. Then burned an Audio DVD <this would be labled Audio DVD(0)>? Only thing really missing in this lineage is how he got from DAT to DVD, correct?

The term "clone" is sometimes used when labelling DAT copies, because DAT > DAT is, when done properly with a digital connection (optical or coaxial) between playback and recording deck, a completely lossless way of copying. However any transfer, that involves an analog step can never be completely "lossless". So even DAT > analog connection > DAT is not lossless, since it involves a Digital > analog step and an analog > digital step. Thus the resulting copy cannot be considered a clone.


Lineage#2:
Source: Audience
1st Gen Cassette>DAT3>CDR4>eac>wav>flac
A tough one... 1st gen casette implies that it came from XXX(0) which came from a XXX(M). We are missing the 2nd generation here, but then it was transfered to a DAT, to a CDR, etc. I would imagine this is questionable quality due to the multiple generations and gaps in the lineage? Not sure if I really got this one.

I don't understand your statement here. "1st gen cassette" is equivalent to 'Analog master (cassette or reel) > cassette'.


Lineage#3:

original silver CDs -> EAC (V0.95 prebeta 4) -> wav ->
FLAC frontend (V1.7.1 Etree edition) -> FLAC
The original silver CD means that this was someone's bootleg, most likely a purchased professional bootleg. Than converted to wav via EAC and then converted to flac using frontend <not sure if I understand what frontend is, but made an educated guess>. These flac files should sound exactly (or close to it) like the original silver. No generation loss. Only thing that is missing is the lineage of the original silver bootleg.

"Generation loss" when talking about CDR copying is something different than "generation loss" when dubbing analog sources, for example cassettes. When copying cassette > cassette the actual sound is degraded (loss of detail, loss of high frequencies etc.) However even when CDRs are getting copied improperly (for example burning "on the fly" or using an extractor without error correction) the sound itself won't be degraded, but digital errors, such as clicks, pops or gaps at the track transitions may be introduced into the recording.


Lineage#4:
Souce: Audience
Master>DAT>CDR
This one confuses me a little as well. Does "Master>DAT" mean that the original taper recording the show on a DAT <making it DAT(M)> or that the master was another source and then converted to a DAT <making it DAT(0)>? If the DAT is a DAT(M), than the CDR would be CDR(0). If the DAT is a DAT(0), then the CDR is a CDR(1), correct?

Not sure if I passed or not :hmm:

"Master > DAT" does indeed mean that the (analog) master was transfered to DAT at some point and not that the recording was initially recorded on DAT. Once a recording is transfered from one format to another, the resulting copy is called 'zero gen' of the new format. For example Analog master > DAT(0). If the DAT, that the analog master was transfered to, later gets transfered to CDR, the resulting copy is called 'CDR(0)', since it was transfered to an alltogther different format (although it's both digital). Hope that helps.