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Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:13 am
by Kwigmyre
Hi there,

I read this Computer Audiophile CD Ripping Strategy and Methodology article and am trying to replicate the strategy using a Mac and the MAX ripping software

As per the article I want a FLAC archival copy and an AIFF working copy. I have gone through the settings of MAX which allow me to rip to these two different formats at the same time and to automatically put them into separate folders. Great!

I want to be confident that the FLAC archival copy has all of the metadata and album artwork embedded into the files and will allow me when necessary at a later time to accurately convert the files back into a CD and/or into other formats without loss of information and essentially making a like-for-like copy of the original CD.

Similarly I want to make sure that the AIFF working copy has all of the data actually embedded, and will display and play correctly on both iTunes, Audirvana and my Synology Diskstation using DS Audio.

To achieve this I have some suggestions as well as some questions about the settings in the MAX ripping software.

If anyone has the time to look through this and make useful comments, i will repost with the ultimate settings for achieving the Computer Audiophile CD Ripping Strategy and Methodology with a Mac and the MAX CD ripping software.


What does this "automatically save disc information" refer to?


Moving onto the output FORMAT settings. These are my settings for FLAC but i cant change anything. Is there anything important here that needs to be done differently?


And here are my AIFF settings. Look ok? As you can see I´ve chosen 16bit as this is the format on CD´s. But if copying a FLAC file at a higher bit rate i gues i would have to go in and change this manually. Is there a way to set this automatically so that the file is encoded at the same bit rate as the source file?


Thus you end up with a FORMATS window that looks like this:


And moving onto the OUTPUT window, make sure you use the fileFormat precursor as highlighted below. This creates two folders when ripping, one for Flac and one for Aiff.

But what do the other settings mean? Do i need to change these?


Then there is the RIPPING window. I´m using the Basic Ripper because i haven´t found any evidence that supports using either of the other two options.

But what does the "Rip to a single file" actually do? Should it be selected?
Same question about the "Generate a cue sheet" option and the "Use SHA-256 for sector comparison" option.

I have left "Check for C2 errors" unchecked because im ripping brand new CDs at the moment. When i delve deeper into my old collection i will switch this on. Wize or not?

I assume this "Comparison Ripper Settings" section is the MAX equivalent of an AccurateRip section, because as far as i know MAX doesn´t use AccurateRip.

I´m assuming the Paranoia settings are ok to leave as default and actually have no effect because i´m using the Basic Ripper.


For the MUSICBRAINZ and TAGGING windows i´ve just left these as per their defaults below, any suggestions here?



In the ALBUM ART window I have ticked the "Save album art with output files" to make sure the artwork is embedded into the files. Correct?

PS - i did change the file format from TIFF to JPEG but im not sure if that was the right thing to do..


And finally the ITUNES window. I turned compatability mode on so the AIFF files would display properly in iTunes. But the left the add output files to iTunes library unchecked.


Looking forward to your thoughts and will repost the optimal MAX settings for this setup at the appropriate time.

Kind regards,


Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:22 pm
by badplanner
hey, i'm surprised nobody has responded to this yet. How this set up worked out for you? have you found any settings that you would change?

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:02 am
by badplanner
Actually, just did my first rip with these settings. Seems good to me. Have you decided on any changes?

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:51 am
by Kwigmyre

I't works ok, but im not 100% sure i\m getting bit-for-bit perfect copies. My main concern is that i will be able to use the FLAC files to either re-copy a new AIFF version, or make a like for like copy of the cd.

Areas of confusion are:

Pregap - what this is, whether MAX takes it into consdieration, and if its entirely neccassary.

Embedd cue sheet - im not really sure what this is, compared to for example metadata, whats the difference? Some people say you only need to embedd the cue sheet when ripping to a single file. I'm not sure why you would want to rip to a single file anyway. Whats the advantagte/disadvantage?

AccurateRip - Does the lack of Acuraterip with MAX really matter?

SHA sector comparisosn - no idea what this is and whether we should use it

Check c2 errors - only when burning old cds?

Album artwork - ensuring your embedding a high quality image..

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:20 am
by badplanner
I find myself with the same questions. I wish I could be of more help, but I'm just getting started with all of this myself. Just hoping I don't have to go back an re-rip a bunch of stuff.

oh, one change I did make was to add an MP3 rip to the mix. Pretty much just for when I run. I don't think my running device reads aiff or flac. But that is something for me to look in to.

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:55 am
by sbooth
The rippers in Max are older and don't support AccurateRip, which in my opinion is the best way to actually verify a rip since it is independent of your device and disc. Both Rip (by me) and XLD support AccurateRip calculation so you might investigate using one of them for your ripping needs. But, to try and answer your questions-
  • Automatically save disc information will save the CD tags to a file so the disc will be recognized next time
  • There is no way currently to automatically match the source bit depth for AIFF
  • Your Output settings look good to me
  • Ripping to a single file is a personal decision. Some people like to use a single file with a cue sheet and some like individual files
  • If you're using the Basic ripper the comparison and paranoia settings have no effect
  • The "save album art with output files" option will write a cover.tiff file alongside your tracks

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:53 pm
by Kwigmyre
Hi booth thanks a lot for your reply.

So what you are saying is, that your opinion is its better to use MAX, without accuraterip?

regarding single file and cue sheet - whats the difference? Why would you rip to a single file? And Would you embed a cue sheet if you are not ripping to a single file?

what about pregaps - does max deal with them, are they necassary?

Kind regards

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:54 pm
by sbooth
Only FLAC supports embedded cue sheets- all other formats use an external cue sheet or a textual cue sheet inserted as a comment. Some people like to use individual files because it more accurately represents the original album.

If you are ripping new discs then Max will work, and if you are ripping old discs Max will work, but I would consider using a ripper that supports AccurateRip because you can get external verification of your rip's accuracy.

Max does not handle pregaps in any special way. I can't say if they're necessary or not- it probably depends on the source material and personal preference.

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:55 am
by Kwigmyre
Hi Booth,

thanks again for your help.
one last question i hope you wont mind answering about the cue sheet.
if ripping to single files, should you include a cue sheet or not?

kind reagrds

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:19 pm
by sbooth
I would definitely write a cue sheet (file) in that case. Embedding one in the FLAC file is optional, because not many programs support them.

Re: Ultimate setup for ripping CDs with MAX

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:21 am
by Kwigmyre
many thanks for your help :)