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Moguta's Guide to MP3 Ripping
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Gold Chocobo


Member 501

Level 30.26

Mar 2006


Old Mar 3, 2006, 07:35 AM Local time: Mar 3, 2006, 12:35 PM #1 of 43
Moguta's Guide to MP3 Ripping

Here is a replica of Moguta's Guide to MP3 Ripping:

10/4/2005 - NEWS!
LAME version 3.97 has become the new recommended version over the previous 3.90.3 and uses a -V # switch system as opposed to the --alt-presets! The guide has been updated to reflect this new development. (More info)


- First, decide which audio codec you wish to use!
  • MP3 is the most popular format, the most supported, and therefore the obvious choice for most people. However, it is also the oldest & does not nessesarily match up on quality of the newer-generation audio codecs. Additionally, MP3 will introduce gaps in between tracks that were continuous on an audio CD.
    PLAYERS: nearly any
  • Ogg Vorbis is a patent-free, open-source, totally-free audio codec. It excels at low bitrates (less than 128Kbps) compared to the other codecs, and is gapless between tracks. Vorbis is gaining hardware support with several iRiver players & the Rio Karma.
    PLAYERS: WinAmp Full, WinAmp Lite w/plugin, Foobar2000, Windows Media Player w/filter
  • Musepack is generally regarded as the best format for high-quality, higher-bitrate (above 128Kbps) encoding. And it encodes quickly too. The audio plays back gaplessly like Vorbis, but seeking can be a bit slow. There are no compatible hardware players.
    PLAYERS: WinAmp w/plugin, Foobar2000, Windows Media Player w/filter
  • AAC, the official proprietary successor to MP3. Good quality, but like MP3 it introduces gaps between tracks. Unfortunately, the better-quality AAC encoders are included for-pay software rather than available as free commandline encoders like FAAC (which is all EAC can use). iPods play AAC, and probably a few other portables I'm not aware of.
    PLAYERS: most
  • FLAC performs lossless compression, opposed to all the previous codecs which are lossy. You will always end up with the exact same audio that you extracted from the CD, but because FLAC does not selectively discard data like lossy formats, the files are much larger. Decoding takes very little CPU power, which makes for fast conversions from FLAC to whatever lossy format you desire your audio in at the moment. Also useful for archiving, or for those with huge hard drives. FLAC can be played on the Rio Karma and a few other hardware devices.
    PLAYERS: WinAmp w/plugin (in_flac.dll in FLAC encoder bundle), Foobar2000, Foobar2000 Lite w/plugin

First-time setup:

1) Download & install Exact Audio Copy, a good CD ripper, from
http://www.exactaudiocopy.org

2) Download the currently recommended encoder for your chosen format, unzip, and place it in a folder you will remember.

MP3: LAME 3.97 Win32 compile
Ogg Vorbis: Vorbis Tools (includes oggenc 1.0.1)
Musepack: mppenc 1.15v
AAC: FAAC v1.24.1 Binary for Win32
FLAC: FLAC 1.1.2 tools from Sourceforge

3) Run Exact Audio Copy. The Configuration Wizard should pop up (if not, start it from the "EAC" menu).
  • When it asks you, select all your CD drives. (Note: CD-RW drives are typically best for ripping purposes.)
  • Select "I prefer to have accurate results" for each drive.
  • Autodetect your CD drive features. This requires an audio CD to be in your drive.
  • MP3 only: Check "Install & configure the external LAME.EXE compressor." Stop the search, manually find the path where you downloaded LAME, and select either quality option given (this will be changed later).
  • Enter the e-mail address.
  • Select "I am an expert."
4) Open the "EAC Options" from the "EAC" menu.
  • Under the Extraction tab, put "Error recovery quality" at "High."
  • If you have a constantly-on Internet connection, under the General tab select "On unknown CDs, automatically access online freedb database."
  • Under the Filename tab, change the naming scheme to
Quote:
%N - %T
which is basically the format "01 - TrackOneName". You may want to put additional parameters in there too, that's fine, but make sure the tracknumber gets in there somewhere... unless you feel like having the tracks listed in alphabetical order rather than the natural CD order.
You can also put your albums in directories, for example

Quote:
%A\%C\%N - %T
which is "\Artist\Album\01 - TrackOneName"
5) Open the "Drive Options" from the "EAC" menu.
  • Under the Extraction Method tab, it should already be set to "Secure mode with following drive features." If not, change it.
  • This is completely optional: Get a scratched-up audio CD (or scratch a crappy one ) & hit the "Examine C2 Feature" button. If an error is detected during the test, check "Drive is capable of retrieving C2 error info," otherwise leave it alone.
  • Under the Drive tab, hit the "Autodetect read command now" button.
6) Open the "Compressor Options" from the "EAC" menu.
Under the External Compression tab, change the "Parameter passing scheme" to "User defined encoder", and enter the appropriate file exension below.

MP3: .mp3
Ogg Vorbis: .ogg
Musepack: .mpc
AAC: .aac
FLAC: .flac

(Note: This disables the effects of the "high quality/low quality" buttons & the bit rate drop-down menu. Ignore them.)
  • Browse to the location where you unzipped the encoder. The specific file you're looking for is

MP3: lame.exe
Ogg Vorbis: oggenc.exe (or oggenc2.exe)
Musepack: mppenc.exe
AAC: faac.exe
FLAC: flac.exe (in the "bin" subfolder)
  • Enter under "Additional command line options":
    (These commands determine what methods will be used to encode the audio)

MP3:
Quote:
-V 2 --vbr-new %s %d


Ogg Vorbis:
Quote:
-q * -a "%a" -t "%t" -l "%g" -d "%y" -N "%n" -G "%m" %s %d

Where * is any number from -1.0 to 6.0, higher numbers being higher quality


Musepack:
Quote:
--standard --xlevel --artist "%a" --title "%t" --album "%g" --year "%y" --track "%n" --genre "%m" %s %d

AAC:
Quote:
-q 120 -c 18000 %s %d

FLAC:
Quote:
-6 -V -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s %d

Make sure no extra spaces or discrepancies are included when you enter or copy these commands! This can cause the encoder to fail when it tries to encode the music, and you will just end up with WAV files!
  • You will probably want to check "Delete WAV after compression". UNcheck "Add ID3 tag" if you are NOT using MP3.
  • MP3 only: Check "Add ID3 tag." Under the Offset tab, look at "Construction of the ID3 tag comment field", select "Write following text into ID3 tag comment", and then type LAMEv3.97 -V 2 --vbr-new or your version of LAME & encoding method used, if different. (This is simply used for identification, so you & anyone seeing the ID3 comment can tell what was used to encode the MP3.)
Each time you want to rip a CD:
  • Run Exact Audio Copy & put the audio CD in the appropriate drive.
  • Either enter the CD/track/artist info yourself, or query the CDDB (ALT-G) if you're connected to the Internet.
  • To rip & encode the entire CD, click the "MP3" button on the left. To get individual tracks, select all the ones you want and press SHIFT-F6.
That's it! The End! Once everything has been set up, you shouldn't need to go back & mess with any of the settings. =)

IMPORTANT
- If you try to rip an audio CD that was created from MP3s (or Ogg Vorbes, or MPCs, or AACs), you will only degrade the quality!
- Converting existing lossy codecs, such as MP3, to a higher quality lossy codec/setting will turn out, at best, slightly worse than the original lossy files.
- Converting a lossy file to WAV and then encoding the WAV to lossy will give the exact same results as converting a lossy to another lossy as discussed directly above.
- Therefore, it is only useful to use these settings to rip *original* *full-quality* music (the quality that is lost upon conversion to MP3/Vorbis/Musepack/AAC can never be recovered from those files).

Preventing 'pop's and performing volume equalization

MP3gain is a very useful program that allows volume normalization, maximizing, and general adjustment. Since MP3s are just an approximation of the original file, and since modern CDs are pushed so very close to the maximum storable volume, sometimes an MP3 will go *beyond* the maximum value (this is called clipping, and usually causes pops or static-like noise). MP3gain can bring the MP3's level back down below the maxium to prevent clipping.

It will also normalize song volumes, meaning that it will make MP3s sound the same loudness from track to track. See the program's help file for more information, until I can type the rest of this up.

*Ultimately-ultimate!!!* ripping security

To be even more sure that your rips are coming out perfectly, right click on the selected tracks, then Test & Copy Compressed. After all the ripping, if the CRC field reads "OK" for each track, the test & actual copy were read as the same. If not, the test & actual copy read *differently*, which means one or both is an incorrect rip. Note, that since EAC must do a test extraction in addition to the actual extraction & encoding, Test & Copy will take even longer to rip a CD.

Scientific Lossy Audio Codec Comparisons

- Roberto's Public Listening Tests
Please let me know if there are any others links I should include.

------------------------------------------

Questions and explanations.
{Welcome to the least upkept part of the guide}

Why is it ripping so slowly? I can get 5-10x faster with MusicMatch/CDex/WinAmp/etc!
  • Secure Mode double-reads the CD to make sure there was no read error (i.e. each data sector should be the same when read twice) caused by something on the CD or just a bad CD drive. This is the only mode that can let you know when there is an error, and the only one that will try to get a prominent reading when it finds one.
  • If you absolutely hate the slower ripping speed, or find that the CD is tripping up often on errors & really slowing down, use Burst Mode. Remember, though, that you will have to listen to the music files yourself to determine if there were any flaws in the rip.
I hate VBR mp3s! They always give me problems, and are certainly not high quality!
  • LAME's implementation of VBR (variable bitrate) is markedly improved over any other VBR mp3s you've heard. Audiophile enthusiasts have even done scientific double-blind listening tests to prove that LAME's VBR is audibly "transparent" (sounds no different than the original audio) to most listeners.
What's wrong with 128Kbps?
Why not encode with a constant 192Kbps?
  • Firstly, if you can't tell the difference between 128Kbps mp3s and the originals, do yourself a long overdue favor: buy yourself a better set of speakers, pair of headphones, or soundcard. (Remember that the weaker link between your sound card & your speakers/headphones dictates the sound quality.) However, older folks and those with hearing loss probably won't be able to tell the difference.
  • We use the LAME encoder, as it is considered the best encoder out there for bitrates above 112Kbps. LAME produces better quality mp3s than even the commercial Fraunhoffer encoders. Isn't it great that LAME is free?
  • The -V switch invokes a VBR (variable bitrate) encoding mode in LAME. VBR is, in theory, inherently superior to CBR (constant bitrate). CBR mp3s may at times have too few bits available to encode all the required information in a frame. Or one frame may only need a fractional amount of the available bits to be audibly the same, requiring the rest of the frame to be filled with inaudible data to keep the mp3 at a constant bitrate. A variable bitrate cures such problems of lost audio quality & wasted filespace. (Admittedly, the "bit resevior" in CBR mp3s attempts to resolve this as well, but it is usually much less effective than pure VBR.) Usually, a VBR file will have audio quality equivalent to a 10-20% larger CBR file.
What (generally) are the average bitrates of mp3s using these VBR switches?Why is the encoder set to "User definied encoder" in EAC, when there is already an option for the LAME encoder?
  • Choosing "User defined encoder" and entering -V [0/1/2/3/etc] --vbr-new %s %d effectively disables all other mp3 encoding options in the External Compression tab. This is done because certain quality parameters in LAME can interfere with -V's functionality, even some typically associated with producing hi-quality LAME mp3s. We are merely making sure that these specific VBR quality settings, and the source & destination files, are the only parameters passed to LAME.
Why set Error Recovery to High? Why use Secure Mode?
  • If any kind of error occurs while reading the CD, this tells EAC to rescan this section of the disc the most number of times EAC will allow. EAC will then use the most prominent result found from these reads.
  • The Burst & Fast modes may often make copying errors without realizing this or attempting to make any sort of correction. Secure Mode does rip more slowly, but it attempts to make a more perfect copy of the track than either other mode.
Where can I get more information about digital audio?Why is this post so long?
Because that's how Moguta made it?? :lolsign:

If you have any problems with Exact Audio Copy or LAME, or any additional questions, feel free to contact Moguta.

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by Bloggs; Nov 22, 2006 at 07:28 AM.
Kaleb.G
Kaleb Grace


Member 13

Level 43.47

Feb 2006


Old Mar 17, 2006, 03:34 AM Local time: Mar 17, 2006, 01:34 AM #2 of 43
This is one super spiffy guide, and it is very much up to date as far as making MP3s goes (haven't checked the other codecs so can't comment on them).

If there are any important ripper/encoder version updates, I can update this guide with my changes in a specific color or something. I always go by the advice of the fine people at HA, so it should be fine.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
Kaiten
Everything new is old again


Member 613

Level 29.60

Mar 2006


Old Mar 17, 2006, 07:14 PM Local time: Mar 17, 2006, 05:14 PM #3 of 43
Why don't you add in Monkey's Audio? As far as Windows is concerned, it's the best lossless audio codec (yes, I'm very biased, but the compression ratios are so great).

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Kaleb.G
Kaleb Grace


Member 13

Level 43.47

Feb 2006


Old Mar 17, 2006, 09:32 PM Local time: Mar 17, 2006, 07:32 PM #4 of 43
The compression is better, but FLAC is much faster to decode. I don't see what having Windows has to do with anything. I run XP and have a 3.0 GHz P4, and I still don't regret my switch from APE to FLAC. FLAC also has wider support.

Nevertheless, if you or someone else wants to write a Monkey's Audio guide, I'd be glad to append it.

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
Star Man Aevum
DWN037


Member 1020

Level 8.57

Mar 2006


Old Mar 18, 2006, 07:15 PM Local time: Mar 18, 2006, 06:15 PM #5 of 43
How strange.

I had tested to see what the difference between 3.90 and 3.97 were and noticed in my test track that there was a difference in file size and 3.97 has better compression.

However, it worked with that one track. I've been trying to rip a CD and now it's only ripping them as WAV files. Any solutions?

I was speaking idiomatically.
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Mar 18, 2006, 07:51 PM #6 of 43
Are you using EAC? Check to make sure there isn't a typo in the commandline you're having it send to LAME.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
Star Man Aevum
DWN037


Member 1020

Level 8.57

Mar 2006


Old Mar 18, 2006, 09:10 PM Local time: Mar 18, 2006, 08:10 PM #7 of 43
There are no typos in the command line in EAC.

FELIPE NO
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Mar 19, 2006, 08:00 AM #8 of 43
Hmm.

Stupid question if there ever was one, but are you sure you hit the button for ripping to MP3 and not the one for ripping to WAV?

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?
Star Man Aevum
DWN037


Member 1020

Level 8.57

Mar 2006


Old Mar 19, 2006, 04:20 PM Local time: Mar 19, 2006, 03:20 PM #9 of 43
Yes I did.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Mar 19, 2006, 05:27 PM #10 of 43
Hhhmmm....... well I can't think of anything else, but if you can show me a screenshot of EAC's MP3 settings, maybe something will stand out to me.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
Star Man Aevum
DWN037


Member 1020

Level 8.57

Mar 2006


Old Mar 19, 2006, 06:10 PM Local time: Mar 19, 2006, 05:10 PM #11 of 43
How so very strange.

The encoding method I was using was:

Quote:
-V 2 --vbr-new --add-id3v2 --pad-id3v2 --ta "%a" --tt "%t" --tg "%m" --tl "%g" --ty "%y" --tn "%n" %s %d
Yet, all that would happen is that I'd get WAV files. I pulled that from the LAME Wiki. Hmm, oh well.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Kaiten
Everything new is old again


Member 613

Level 29.60

Mar 2006


Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:51 AM Local time: Mar 22, 2006, 09:51 AM #12 of 43
Originally Posted by Star Man Aevum
How so very strange.

The encoding method I was using was:



Yet, all that would happen is that I'd get WAV files. I pulled that from the LAME Wiki. Hmm, oh well.
Hmm, start with "-V 2 --vbr-new" and work your way up from there. One of the switches *could have* broken LAME's ability to encode properly (I have problems adding more than -V 2 --vbr-new with LAME and foobar2000 all the time, its command line can be picky).

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
Raijin
Wonderful Chocobo


Member 210

Level 21.25

Mar 2006


Old Mar 26, 2006, 11:45 AM Local time: Mar 26, 2006, 06:45 PM #13 of 43
What's the command line to encode in 320kbps please?

EDIT: Ok just seen it!

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ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Mar 26, 2006, 08:08 PM #14 of 43
Well in case anybody else stumbles upon this part of the thread and doesn't care to search.........

-b320 %s %d

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
Kaiten
Everything new is old again


Member 613

Level 29.60

Mar 2006


Old Mar 26, 2006, 11:38 PM Local time: Mar 26, 2006, 09:38 PM #15 of 43
Originally Posted by ArrowHead
Well in case anybody else stumbles upon this part of the thread and doesn't care to search.........

-b320 %s %d
Why'd someone use 320kbps? -V 0 (aka --preset extreme) works and doesn't use too many bits for the low complexity samples in the file. It'd be nearly impossible to find anyone who can tell the difference between -V 0 and 320.

FELIPE NO
Tir
Sneaky


Member 1176

Level 12.28

Mar 2006


Old Apr 23, 2006, 05:55 AM Local time: Apr 23, 2006, 02:55 PM #16 of 43
Originally Posted by Star Man Aevum
How strange.

I had tested to see what the difference between 3.90 and 3.97 were and noticed in my test track that there was a difference in file size and 3.97 has better compression.

However, it worked with that one track. I've been trying to rip a CD and now it's only ripping them as WAV files. Any solutions?
I have same problem, and I did everything just like the guide said. Does anyone have any clue what's wrong here? Otherwise I'll just have to use some other ripping program.

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Apr 23, 2006, 07:11 AM #17 of 43
Originally Posted by Kaiten
Why'd someone use 320kbps? -V 0 (aka --preset extreme) works and doesn't use too many bits for the low complexity samples in the file. It'd be nearly impossible to find anyone who can tell the difference between -V 0 and 320.
Because just technically speaking, 320kbps CBR will give you the best quality MP3 has to offer.

Originally Posted by Tir
I have same problem, and I did everything just like the guide said. Does anyone have any clue what's wrong here? Otherwise I'll just have to use some other ripping program.
Check the "compression queue"… ? With EAC open, try holding Ctrl and pressing Q.

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by ArrowHead; Apr 23, 2006 at 08:24 AM.
Tir
Sneaky


Member 1176

Level 12.28

Mar 2006


Old Apr 24, 2006, 08:03 AM Local time: Apr 24, 2006, 05:03 PM #18 of 43
Originally Posted by ArrowHead

Check the "compression queue"… ? With EAC open, try holding Ctrl and pressing Q.
And what should I look from here? I'm sorta new to this stuff, so any help would be fine.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Apr 24, 2006, 03:57 PM #19 of 43
Well if it's full of listings, then jobs have been sent to the compression queue but haven't been performed.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to use EAC's compression queue. All I can really suggest is to make sure "make all compression tasks sleep" is turned off and try ripping a CD again.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Kaiten
Everything new is old again


Member 613

Level 29.60

Mar 2006


Old Apr 24, 2006, 06:24 PM Local time: Apr 24, 2006, 04:24 PM #20 of 43
Originally Posted by ArrowHead
Because just technically speaking, 320kbps CBR will give you the best quality MP3 has to offer.

Check the "compression queue"… ? With EAC open, try holding Ctrl and pressing Q.
Yeah, but I feel using 320kbps CBR over -V 2 or -V 0 like saving a CD as a wav file as opposed to a FLAC, it wastes space and doesn't improve quality. I'd love to see an ABX test of someone being able to discern -V 0 from 320kbps, it's damn impossible unless you have dolphin hearing.

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old Apr 24, 2006, 10:44 PM #21 of 43
Originally Posted by Kaiten
Yeah, but I feel using 320kbps CBR over -V 2 or -V 0 like saving a CD as a wav file as opposed to a FLAC, it wastes space and doesn't improve quality. I'd love to see an ABX test of someone being able to discern -V 0 from 320kbps, it's damn impossible unless you have dolphin hearing.
True. Still some people will want to do it. And wasting space for an infinitessimally better quality is better - as far as dumb moves go - than hurting the quality.

Also, you never know, but some circumstances may dictate the need for an as-good-as-possible MP3 but require CBR. Then you would want to use 320kbps.

Most amazing jew boots
Argentis
RyuFAN


Member 4057

Level 31.90

Mar 2006


Old May 30, 2006, 08:55 AM Local time: May 30, 2006, 02:55 PM #22 of 43
Quoting
"MP3:
-V 2 --vbr-new %s %d"

are there any higher quality (224-320) VBR codes like this (apart from the 320 CBR "-b320 %s %d")?

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?

Last edited by Argentis; May 30, 2006 at 09:00 AM.
seanne
²°°


Member 69

Level 35.40

Mar 2006


Old May 30, 2006, 09:14 AM Local time: May 30, 2006, 04:14 PM #23 of 43
Originally Posted by RyuFAN
Quoting
"MP3:
-V 2 --vbr-new %s %d"

are there any higher quality (224-320) VBR codes like this (apart from the 320 CBR "-b320 %s %d")?
There are. Read all about it here.

FELIPE NO
ArrowHead
Scadian Canadian


Member 2020

Level 20.25

Mar 2006


Old May 30, 2006, 09:18 AM #24 of 43
Originally Posted by RyuFAN
Quoting
"MP3:
-V 2 --vbr-new %s %d"

are there any higher quality (224-320) VBR codes like this (apart from the 320 CBR "-b320 %s %d")?
-V1 --vbr-new %s %d

-V0 --vbr-new %s %d

Most amazing jew boots
Argentis
RyuFAN


Member 4057

Level 31.90

Mar 2006


Old May 30, 2006, 12:00 PM Local time: May 30, 2006, 06:00 PM #25 of 43
Thanks guys!!!! XD

Jam it back in, in the dark.
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