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Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:30 pm

Hi all

Got some CDs to rip to my hard drive.

My common sense tells me that this is a digital extraction process and ALL programs that do it will give the same result in terms of sound quality.....

Am I right? Can I use anything?

Cheers

Max
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:41 pm

I should add that I have foobar2000 installed, and I'm running a quite old version of it..... v1.1.6

Am I ok to use that?
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:26 pm

Hi Max,

If you're really ripping WAVs from a DVD or CD-ROM then you'll get a bit-for-bit copy.

However, if you're ripping Audio CDs then it's a bit more complicated, and a search in these forums should throw up some detailed discussions we've had here in the past.

The bottom line is that with a 'good' CD you're highly unlikely to hear any audio changes when you rip data from it, although it might not all be a bit for bit copy.

However, with an old/scratched audio CD you might be better off using one of the more specialist rippers that could take considerably longer (by reading each audio chunk several times until it grabs several bit-for-bit copies and can thus be sure that it's got exactly the right data).

The champion in this area is usually the freeware Exact Audio Copy, which I first discussed this one way back in SOS October 2004:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/Oct04/articles ... cian.htm#4


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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:14 am

Thanks Martin.

I'm hearing good things about dBpoweramp too; although that's not a free programme......

Will check both out and see whether dBpoweramp is worth paying for.

Cheers
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:37 pm

Get yourself a drive that can generate C2 error flags and you'll make the process far faster as it won't need to read each sector multiple times. For software I'd go with EAC or Plextools which are both free. There's no need to spend money on this.

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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:50 pm

Thanks James.

I was thinking of getting a new drive soon as the two Pioneers I have often won't eject without a poke with a thin screwdriver. So that's a good idea.

Can you recommend any drives which generate C2 error flags?

And will they generate C2 error flags even when ripping to Wav and FLAC?

Many thanks
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:03 pm

Li-rocchi wrote:And will they generate C2 error flags even when ripping to Wav and FLAC?

The C2 error flags are part of the CD red-book error detection/correction system -- they relate to the fact that you're reading CD audio from a disc, and having to do with the end destination or format.

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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:08 pm

Thanks Hugh.

So to clarify... Are they helpful when ripping CDs? Or just when checking whether the CD itself has errors?
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:40 pm

The important thing here is that some drives will output a flag in the data when they encounter a C2 error (or worse) while others don't - no matter how bad the error. EAC was written in the days when very few drives (possibly only the Plextor PX32) would output a flag when it encountered an error during a CD rip. Consequently, in those days, it was very likely that you would end up with glitches in your extracted audio and not know about them unless you listened to all the extracted files. EAC came along with its multiple pass algorithm and the quality of extraction improved dramatically.

I'm afraid I haven't kept up with the capabilities of modern drives (I still have enough old Plextors to keep me going at the moment) so I can't really help with which drives are good for audio extraction and which require the full features of EAC to work.

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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:12 pm

Thanks for all the help guys. I'm a little further along in my decision as to what I'll do..... I'll most likely use dbPoweramp as it has certain features and a GUI that is apparently better and easier to use than EAC. Plus it is easier to set up (apparently). I'll use it to rip in a single pass to FLAC (for play back on PC using foobar) and mp3 (for play back on iPod).

With all that in mind, I'm still a little confused and uncertain as to whether I should press on and use the Pioneer drives I already have, models: DVR-215BK and DVR-216BK. Or whether I should buy a new drive that can detect errors, as discussed above. Sorry if I'm missing anything obvious or being thick. I'm just not clear on how the drive detection will help in the ripping process, how the detection works with the ripping programme, etc.

So any further words of clarification or advice would be hugely appreciated.

Many thanks
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Scramble » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:49 pm

It sounds like you're over-thinking this. Unless you are needing to rip for some demanding purpose where absolute accuracy is required, or you have some badly-scratched-and-difficult-to-read CDs, then anything will do. If it's just for listening on an mp3 player then it *especially* goes that anything will do. You just won't hear the intermittent errors, any more than you do when playing the CDs themselves (big glitches excepted).
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby feline1 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:20 am

Li-rocchi wrote: I'll most likely use dbPoweramp as it has certain features and a GUI that is apparently better and easier to use than EAC.

But EAC is a piece of piss to use!
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:27 am

Scramble wrote:It sounds like you're over-thinking this. Unless you are needing to rip for some demanding purpose where absolute accuracy is required, or you have some badly-scratched-and-difficult-to-read CDs, then anything will do. If it's just for listening on an mp3 player then it *especially* goes that anything will do. You just won't hear the intermittent errors, any more than you do when playing the CDs themselves (big glitches excepted).

Maybe you're right....? But I want to make sure I get it right. I'll eventually get rid of all my CDs and have them ripped as mp3 for portable devices and wav or flac for home use. In all I have over 2000 CDs so I only want to go through the process once! With regard the condition of the discs, with so many of them there will be a fair mixture and some will no doubt have damage/scratches.....

feline1 wrote:

But EAC is a piece of piss to use!

I've never used either so I cannot say personally. But I have read in MANY places people saying that dbpa is easier to set up and configure, is laid out better than EAC, and has features which are not present in EAC. I've not once read anyone saying the opposite to be the case.....


Thanks for the responses guys.
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby feline1 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:28 am

Li-rocchi wrote:
feline1 wrote:

But EAC is a piece of piss to use!


I've never used either so I cannot say personally. But I have read in MANY places people saying that dbpa is easier to set up and configure, is laid out better than EAC, and has features which are not present in EAC. I've not once read anyone saying the opposite to be the case.....


You could've downloaded it, installed it, configured it (using its wizard - which takes about 3 mouse-clicks) and ripped about a dozen CDs already in the time you've been blethering on here

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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:28 pm

Such a charming tone..... I'm quite a fast typer, so I don't think your right! Besides, I'm at work and away from my PC.

Anyhow, my latest question was actually regarding the hardware (drive) choice. So perhaps you can keep your replies on topic whilst at the same time working on your manner?
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby feline1 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:53 am

well sorry, but the cynic in me was beginning to suspect that this thread was actually a marketing exercise by dBpoweramp, to get their commercial software pimped up in the Google rankings.

But I guess this is unlikely as (a) you already have several hundred posts on the forum and (b) live in Norwich
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:00 am

If dB Poweramp is any good it will tell you whether your Pioneer drives can output C2 flags (or don't they do a demo version).

If you followed our suggestions to try EAC or Plextools you would already know the answer. They're both free so there's no reason not to give them a try.
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Li-rocchi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:54 pm


James - which Plextors do you use? And on the off chance, are any of them for sale?!?!?!

I have not installed anything yet (not been home much). But a little googling has revelaed that my Pioneers DO have C2 error detection, but are not that great at it. They get brilliant reviews as drives for everything apart from reading. So perhaps not the best choice for ripping a huge collection.....


Li-rocchi wrote:I'm quite a fast typer

feline1 wrote:(b) live in Norwich


@feline1 - yes; even with my webbed hands I'm quite quick.....


Thanks guys.
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:19 pm

Hi Max,

I've got a collection of different Plextors from my days helping out with Plextools' development but I'm afraid they're not for sale as most of them are pre-production models.

If your drives can flag C2 errors then that's a big plus. Don't get hooked into some of the more obscure arguments about offsets - they're usually pretty small and most CD's are mastered to allow for CD player offsets and muting delays.

Edit: Just checked a couple of reviews and I see what you mean about reading ability. However, the C2 flags will tell you if there is a problem and I would guess that most of your discs will read fine with the drives you have.
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby The Elf » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:07 am

I've got a PC World off-the-shelf bargain-bucket PC in my office and even that has a CD drive that generates C2 error detection (or so EAC tells me...).
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Re: Will all wav ripping programs sound the same?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:35 am

The Elf wrote:I've got a PC World off-the-shelf bargain-bucket PC in my office and even that has a CD drive that generates C2 error detection (or so EAC tells me...).

Yes, the feature seems randomly included on today's £20 optical drives. Any surviving Plextor units, from the days when Plextor WERE offering something special, will be getting pretty tired by now. And development is unlikely to continue, as CD follows DAT and MiniDisc into oblivion. We have easier ways of storing and transmitting a GB of data now.
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