Ripping and Max/iTunes

Discuss Max, an open source CD audio extractor and audio converter.
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joijwall
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:54 pm

Ripping and Max/iTunes

Post by joijwall » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:29 pm

Happy New Audio Year everyone!
I'm a recent HDD+DAC person, and want to rip all my cds. But to find out the best way to do this is not easy, believe me! I found three main paths:
1) Since I'm on Mac OS X 10.5, the simplest way is to go for iTunes and Apple Lossless. Maybe with the Error Correction flag set?
2) But then I found Max. Seems more trustworthy than iTunes, but should I use comparison or cdparanoia mode?
3) But even on Max forums the windows/linux based EAC seems to be the reference. Should I use a PC with EAC, rip to WAV and import/convert in iTunes?
My next problem is iTunes. When ripped in Max and imported to iTunes, I can't fetch the track names from iTunes CDDB. How can I make it work?
I've found a workaround for EAC: rip to WAV, use Toast to burn a disc image, mount it and import the "cd" to iTunes in Apple Lossless. Should work also for Max. But what happens to quality in this long chain WAV, cd-image, Apple Lossless?
I'm not skilled in programming, but when I tested the rippings above and checked the byte size in Finder, no method gave the same size.
Thanks! /Joachim
PS
Byte result table for two different songs (the first, in the first column, was error corrected in EAC):
1. iTunes -> Apple Lossless
2. iTunes Error Correction -> Apple Lossless
3. Max comparison -> Apple Lossless (MPEG-4)
4. Max cdparanoia -> Apple Lossless (MPEG-4)
5. EAC "default setting" -> WAV -> Toast cd-image -> iTunes Apple Lossless

File size in Finder:
1. 15151309, 15364271
2. 15151222, 15365431
3. 15146524, 15365174
4. 15149647, 15367080
5. 15155999, 15370150

EAC sizes is bigger, especially the first track that had errors (a scratch)

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

Re: Ripping and Max/iTunes

Post by Mike1 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:06 pm

joijwall wrote: When ripped in Max and imported to iTunes, I can't fetch the track names from iTunes CDDB. How can I make it work?
iTunes will only get track information for CDs. There are third-party tools that will work on already ripped tracks by querying the FreeDB. For example, there's the FreeDB Tagger tool in Media Rage.

Otherwise, you're out of luck. I generally just use Max's built in ability to query the CD at Music Brainz and I then tidy up whatever information that sends back and save those changes before ripping.
I've found a workaround for EAC: rip to WAV, use Toast to burn a disc image, mount it and import the "cd" to iTunes in Apple Lossless. Should work also for Max.
Seems a bit of headache compared with simply importing from the original CD itself. And isn't the disk image essentially an attempt to "recreate" that original CD? If you've got that original, why not use it rather than a "copy" ?

If how EAC handles "offset correction", or the fact that one can check one's rips against those of others via the AccurateRip database, or whatever ... are really important to you--and I'm not at all sure any of this is important myself--then why not use it to encode to FLAC? The FLAC format is as good a format for long-term archiving as any. It's lossless, so while it has all the information it's not bulky (unlike uncompressed formats like WAV or AIFF). Do that and you've got something that can be kept and potentially used at any time now or in the foreseeable future on any platform--or converted later to whatever's the lossy flavour of the moment. And FLAC files are not so large that they can't be moved between your machines on a small USB thumbdrive, or moved across your home network over ethernet in a few minutes. And Max besides being a great ripper/encoder is also, of course, ideal for transcoding between formats, so you can use Max to convert those FLAC files to AAC or MP3 or Apple Lossless or whatever. And, if you wish, you can play FLAC files directly on OS X using S. Booth's other program, the audio-player, Play, which is also available from this site. FLAC is also nice because there's a tool for it that you can run to check the integrity of your files.

I think I'd just use Max. But if you must use EAC, why not use it to encode to FLAC and then use Max as a convertor?

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