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This doesn't seem right.

I've started the process of burning my CDs onto my new hard drive. I'm using FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Compression) for the high quality recordings, such as my classical stuff, and high-quality mp3 for the other stuff. I'm finding some results that don't seem right.

The FLAC converter will apparently only convert from WAV files. So, first I have to rip the CD to WAV and then convert the WAV to FLAC. This seems tedious. Plus, I get an "unexpected EOF" warning after each conversion, though the file seems to play back just fine.

The mp3s are another issue altogether. You'd think, since they are inferior quality to either FLAC or WAV, that they would be quicker to rip. But no! Ripping at the highest settings (e.g., VBR 0), each CD is ripping at .3 to .4 realtime. At that rate I'll never get everything transferred.

Is this typical?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
All audio encoding from CD is necessarily a two-step process; first you need to rip the CDDA tracks from the CD, then you need to encode them into whatever format you are going to use. Some software makes this look like a single step, by running the rip and encode in simultaneous threads, but it is still doing both steps. I do not know why you are getting an "unexpected EOF", unless something is wrong with your ripping software--I have never had that problem myself. What software are you using to rip from CD? I typically use cdparanoia, but I do not know if it is available for windows.

It makes sense to me that the MP3 encoding would take longer than the FLAC encoding, as higher levels of compression tend to require more CPU time to achieve, even with lossy compression like MP3. Both FLAC and MP3 should take longer than ripping to WAV, as ripping to WAV is just CDDA audio with a header added. That said, some MP3 encoders are faster than others. I usually use LAME, which encodes at several times realtime on my system.

You are ripping/encoding with a laptop, right? CPU, memory, drive speeds, bus speeds, etc. are all usually quite a bit slower on laptops, which may be part of why it is taking so long to encode, but better software should help.
Jan. 16th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)

I couldn't get LAME installed on my Windows system. However, Tubby suggested that MusicMatch or iTunes could convert to mp3 faster than WinAmp, which is what I've been using.

I think what I'm going to do is rip to WAV during the day so that I can get as much on my laptop as possible and then set things up to convert to mp3 or FLAC while I sleep. (This would all be so much easier if I were doing it on a linux box!)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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