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  #1  
Old 2007-06-03, 11:34 AM
Mike Lafoote
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Audio - Audience Best File Formats

List,

HELP...

I want to take (mostly) store bought CD's and COPY them to my computer in a format that will allow me to STILL burn a CD for other family and friends from time to time. At the same time I want to preserve the quality as an ARCHIVE in case anything should happen to my "hard copy" music collection consisting about 5000 vinyl's and 2000 CD's. A fire is possible, flooding, angry wife, ex-wife, crack heads, etc.

None of the software I have recognises CDA files. The Windows Media Player COPIES them as WMA files. Since I have no desire to burn MP3's at this time I am concerned about whether or not the WMA's are a good choice to preserve the sound AND allow me to burn CD's to play in the CAR, PORTABLE CD PLAYERS and DESK TOP CD PLAYERS.

I can always convert them to MP3's at a later date if I want to download them or something...right?

I have heard that the WMA's can sometimes be a problem if you want to burn them to a CD. Is this true?

I don't really want to spend time copying them to my computer only to have to convert them to something else besides a WMA if I want to burn a CD. I'd LOVE to be able to just copy them to the computer in the BEST FORMAT to preserve the original quality and still allow me to burn it to a CD later on in time.

I have had so much input that I am now more confused than ever. I just want to make this as easy and effortless as posible.

This issue is ALL ABOUT preserving my music collection and nothing else. Thanks for any info as I am still not sure which way to go at this time.

"Electric" Mike
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  #2  
Old 2007-06-03, 02:02 PM
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U2Lynne U2Lynne is offline
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Re: Best File Formats

You want to use EAC to extract the audio as wav files from the CDs. Then, if you want the files to take up less space for archival purposes, you may use something like Traders Little Helper to convert the wavs to flacs. flacs will take up only about 40-60% of the space that wav files will take up. flacs are also lossless files (wma and mp3s are lossy files) so you may convert them back to wav if you want to burn another copy and the copy will be exactly like the original. I have a link in my sig to the software part of our FAQ.
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  #3  
Old 2007-06-03, 02:17 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

Do not archive your stuff in lossy formats like WMA or MP3. It's a waste of your time and your collection.

Use EAC (application) to extract the WAVs from the CDs and use "FLAC Frontend" (google for that - get it from SoundForge - free of charge) to convert them to FLAC level 8 (yields the smallest file size at the expense of CPU usage when played back).

The FLAC files can be decompressed to yield the EXACT WAV files that came from the CD - hence, you can make a physical CD from them at any time. There's even a drag-and-drop FLAC plugin for Nero 6 (and up).
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  #4  
Old 2007-06-03, 02:54 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

^what they said

just wanted to add, when you rip with EAC use secure mode and be sure to check the error reports after you rip each disc. If you want your copies to be absolutely 100% perfect you have to set your read and write offsets before you start (see here). Since you want to back up your entire collection the best possible way, this is worth the one-time extra effort. Without correct offsets it will still be 99% accurate and better than nero and the rest. You also might want to keep two backups and protect from corrupted data by recopying and running a test on the FLAC files every two or three years. Taiyo Yuden discs are considered the most reliable media on earth right now.
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  #5  
Old 2007-06-03, 02:58 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

and if you'd like to get some Yuden discs cheaply, see here:

http://www.mediasupply.com/taiyonotfuji.html

The silver, unmarked Taiyo Yuden CDRs are still 25 cents each from Joe.



alternatively, if you 'd like to build a server for your collection(s), you can build a 2TB RAID5 array with rock solid Seagate 500GB drives for about $600.00 or so if you are an IT-inclined kind of guy. I do that and I back the array up to a pair of LaCie external USB2 monster drives about twice a year - in case of the unlikely triple failure that would kill my RAID5.
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  #6  
Old 2007-06-03, 09:14 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

If you have the Hard Drive space, I'd say use a program like ISOBuster to rip your CD's into BIN/CUE format. Then, you can burn them again and rip them into any format you want.
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  #7  
Old 2007-06-03, 09:55 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

^inaccurate method with no error correction or error logs, it will create 700MB WAV files and cue sheets that will requre burning and re-ripping ... very poor system imo
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  #8  
Old 2007-06-03, 10:06 PM
Tubular
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Re: Best File Formats

When ripping with EAC, some tracks might copy with 99.7% or 99.9% quality. 100% track quality only occurs if there is no need to re-read a sector. If EAC says "copy OK" at the end of a track, then that track was copied perfectly, no matter if it said 99.5% or 99.9% or 100% track quality. Additionally, if EAC says "no errors occured" at the end of the rip log, then all the tracks were copied perfectly.

Last edited by Tubular; 2007-06-03 at 10:14 PM.
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  #9  
Old 2007-06-04, 01:37 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

EAC is da bomb (.com) yo
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  #10  
Old 2007-06-04, 11:23 PM
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Re: Best File Formats

I dig on FLAC, winamp takes too long to "get ready" to play SHN
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  #11  
Old 2007-06-05, 01:16 AM
spiritinaphoto
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Re: Best File Formats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoochild137
I dig on FLAC, winamp takes too long to "get ready" to play SHN
You're still using Winamp? foobar2000 is so much better.
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  #12  
Old 2007-06-05, 01:29 AM
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Re: Best File Formats

meh, I don't like anything that resembles a phrase that indicates something is "Fucked Up Beyond Any Recognition", plus my techy brother who uses the computer refuses to leave it on anytime I install it.... Winamp works fine...(just everyother time )
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  #13  
Old 2007-06-05, 01:44 AM
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Re: Best File Formats

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritinaphoto
You're still using Winamp? foobar2000 is so much better.
I still use a hotrodded winamp 2.81 for audio and video. foobar is some ugly shit (but incredibly useful for tagging files, gotta admit ).
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  #14  
Old 2007-06-05, 02:26 AM
spiritinaphoto
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Re: Best File Formats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
I still use a hotrodded winamp 2.81 for audio and video. foobar is some ugly shit (but incredibly useful for tagging files, gotta admit ).
How much time do you spend actually looking at your media player? I just look at it long enough to load up some files and go.

Of course, if you make Windows prettier (WindowBlinds, VisualStyles, or something like that), foobar becomes prettier.
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  #15  
Old 2007-06-05, 10:28 PM
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paddington paddington is offline
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Re: Best File Formats

foobar is a dumb player.. I use it for utilitarian purposes, but as a player? nah. Winamp is where its at for me. Now with native FLAC support!
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