New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTunes

Discuss Max, an open source CD audio extractor and audio converter.
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maxinfo4me
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: INDY USA

New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTunes

Post by maxinfo4me » Mon May 21, 2007 6:06 pm

Hi All,

I just brought my first iMac 20" & MacBk Black (I drive a semi, so I needed one for the road) & hope to be one of the first w/iphone.

I borrowed several CD(s) from my son...accidentally spilling coffee or something on them & am attempting to copy damaged ones to iTunes & then make copies.

While using iTunes: some tracks were freezing iTunes, so after some review I found Max...which is copying the tracks that iTunes missed but, I don't understand formats, encoding, etc. I'm just a Mom trying to make things right.

I'm not sure what settings to use or change, I can see CD has been copied (which I assume is ripped) but, how do I set it to go to iTunes?

I've really tried to read thru Max help, this forum, etc. But, I haven't found any detailed instructions on how to use & setup Max...Everyone here seems to be way above my head (I guess I just don't understand what some items/terms are). What format is iTunes in? & is that the output format you speak of?

One of the main reasons I came to Mac is to feel more a part of the whole process (not just an end-user) than in the 'Windows" world...I've been very impressed w/open source, etc (I have every intention of taking 'user agreements' seriously when it says: you can help with(development, etc). I still have a great deal to learn about various terms, but, if there's something I can do to help -maybe create instructions- in everyday terms - for dufusses like me...let me know. Thanx

Mike1
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:55 pm

Re: New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTun

Post by Mike1 » Mon May 21, 2007 7:13 pm

maxinfo4me wrote:... I borrowed several CD(s) from my son...accidentally spilling coffee or something on them & am attempting to copy damaged ones to iTunes & then make copies.
I think you might try gently cleaning them--just with plain water and a soft cloth, perhaps. People sometimes use quite drastic methods to get scratches out--

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/ind ... topic=2633

--so gentle cleaning should be OK.
While using iTunes: some tracks were freezing iTunes, so after some review I found Max...which is copying the tracks that iTunes missed
That's great. You'll notice under:

Max > Preferences > Ripper

that you can choose between three different rippers in a dropdown menu. If "Basic Ripper" doesn't work for any of these discs try "cdparanoia" instead.
but, I don't understand formats, encoding, etc. I'm just a Mom trying to make things right.

I'm not sure what settings to use or change, I can see CD has been copied (which I assume is ripped) but, how do I set it to go to iTunes?

I've really tried to read thru Max help, this forum, etc. But, I haven't found any detailed instructions on how to use & setup Max...Everyone here seems to be way above my head (I guess I just don't understand what some items/terms are). What format is iTunes in? & is that the output format you speak of?
First you get the music off the CDs--you "rip" it. After that you must encode the raw audio you've ripped into a format a player, such as iTunes, can play. Some formats are more compressed than others, and some of the information can be taken out. This makes the files smaller, so that you can get more of them on a hard disk (or portable device).

It sounds like what you want to do is to reconstitute these CDs or make backups of them, because of the damage. For that you need a lossless format. If that's what you want to do, use Apple Lossless, since iTunes can read that. After ripping the CDs and encoding them to Apple Lossless files, you'd add them to the iTunes library. Open iTunes then choose:

File > Add to Library

Now in the dialog that comes up you "make the path" to where Max put the files. By default it puts them in "Music".

Once the files are in iTunes, if in the "Advanced" section of iTunes Preferences, you have the burning format set to Audio CD, you can burn a CD from those Apple Lossless files.

For normal listening purposes, as opposed to backup, you'd choose a lossy format instead. A good choice would be AAC, but MP3 is fine, too.

To set the format for encoding go to Max's Preferences and in the Preferences Window click "Formats".

In the bottom part of the Window that comes up look for MP4 audio. Both Apple Lossless and AAC are forms of MP4 audio.

Choose AAC for a lossy format for everyday listening. Set an appropriate bitrate and select whether you want variable Bitrate (VBR) or not--for example:

Image

For archival/backup use in that same window you'd select Apple Lossless instead. But Max is so good that you can acually set multiple formats at once, so that you can, for example, encode into a lossless format for archiving and a less-perfect but smaller format for an iPod at the same time.

maxinfo4me
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: INDY USA

New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTunes

Post by maxinfo4me » Tue May 22, 2007 7:51 pm

Thankyou Mike1,

I have gently cleaned them as suggested but many of them split or had so much liquid between the surface they were unsalvagable.

I was able to figure out how to configure the ripper to "cdparanoia" (which I assume is the best setting -damaged cd or not-). It's the setting that really worked copying all tracks iTunes missed.

Ok, I think I understand -to set Max to transfer to iTunes: I 1st need to encode it to MP4 audio -Apple Lossless (until I get my iPhone, I think it would be good to already have things ready-Thanx for suggestion to store in diff't formats); 2nd set path (where Max put files)...another silly question - can I store & play music in Max and/or is there a way to auto set Max to store in iTunes? Otherwise am I saving audio files to Music folder (in Max)...is that why I have to open iTunes then save the Max files to iTunes (Library?)?

One last clarification, what is bitrate, VBR & is it the higher the # the better? Is there a place I can go to find out about various Max terms?

Thankyou!

Mike1
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:55 pm

Re: New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTun

Post by Mike1 » Wed May 23, 2007 10:28 am

maxinfo4me wrote:... Ok, I think I understand -to set Max to transfer to iTunes: I 1st need to encode it to MP4 audio -Apple Lossless (until I get my iPhone, I think it would be good to already have things ready-Thanx for suggestion to store in diff't formats); 2nd set path (where Max put files)... another silly question - can I store & play music in Max and/or is there a way to auto set Max to store in iTunes?
No, Max is just a ripper (although Stephen is also working on a player, called Play, available elsewhere on this site).

I think Max will put the files directly into iTunes. I've never done that myself, but I'm pretty sure it will--have a look at Preferences.
Otherwise am I saving audio files to Music folder (in Max)...is that why I have to open iTunes then save the Max files to iTunes (Library?)?
By default it puts them in the main folder called "Music" that Apple puts in your Home area not in any folders specifically belonging to itself. That's the very same folder that Apple puts iTunes's Library in, as a subfolder.
One last clarification, what is bitrate, VBR & is it the higher the # the better? Is there a place I can go to find out about various Max terms?
It's the number of bits used to encode the music per second.

If there's more bits used it's possible to capture more of the information. But that's not necessarily better, since you don't want to use more than necessary. Some passages of music have very little information in them. Variable Bitrate (VBR) is one way of coping with this: the encoder drops the bitrate down where the bits aren't needed and bumps it up where they are. That makes for a good trade-off between quality and filesize.

If you're encoding with an iPhone in mind, AAC format would be a good choice. I'd use 160kbps or even 128kbps for a portable player. I think the iPhone will store a fair bit of music, but probably less than all but the smaller iPods, so you wouldn't want to use an unneccessarily high bitrate. You could tick the VBR box for a little extra security on sound quality, and if the encoder calculates the music as demanding it'll give you a few more bits when it needs to and not when it doesn't.

Apple Lossless would be a better choice for resurrecting these damaged CDs--because that gives you ultimate quality (equivalent to CD), and because iTunes can burn a CD from the format. Apple Lossless would be overkill on an iPod or iPhone, and very few people would be able to hear the difference between Apple Lossless and a lossy format anyway (provided the lossy file was not encoded at a low bitrate). But where space is NOT a problem--as when burning a CD--why not use it?

maxinfo4me
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: INDY USA

New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTunes

Post by maxinfo4me » Mon May 28, 2007 7:43 pm

Mike1...Again many Thanx

I've been able to find a few terms just by google search which truly helped me 2...so now I kind of understand some of the things in the forums a little better.

And of course with your gracious help. Sorry I didn't get back to U earlier but, I had a long haul to deliver this am in Cali. Gotta another p/u in am. It was a nice ride from PA. Got to pass thru IN (where I'm from), but not INDY to far north.

I love my MacBook & I believe after your help that Play will work well & I can still save to iTunes 2.

Your a scholar & a gentleman. Thanx 8)

Mike1
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:55 pm

Re: New 2 Mac & New 2 Max, Just Want 2 Copy CD(s) 2 iTun

Post by Mike1 » Mon May 28, 2007 9:22 pm

maxinfo4me wrote:Mike1...Again many Thanx

I've been able to find a few terms just by google search which truly helped me 2...so now I kind of understand some of the things in the forums a little better.
You're welcome.

I don't know if it's of interest, but there are some articles on audio stuff here:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

A lot of it is Windows-oriented, and some of it for quite specialized things. But there are some nice general articles, too, and a search function.

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