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  • sound quality: formats & soundcard

    Hi all,
    I have a half-decent audio system setup (see my sig) but i am going without a h/u and dont want to lose any sound quality.
    As for ripping my cd's to a hdd, what is the best format to encode them in.
    I have a 300g (280g formatted) usb hdd which will only be used for audio files, and about 500 cd's in my collection but i wont want all the tracks off of each one. (about 2500 songs total?)
    I am thinkoing of just ripping into mp3 at the higest bit-rate but i installed wmp 9 the other day and the install screens said somthing about it ripping at a higher quality with a smaller size than mp3?
    Is this true and is this format ok with most front ends?
    Lastly, I have a usb soundblaster mp3+ soundcard. Is this up to the job or should i be looking to upgrade it? if so, what to?
    Thanks!
    PB 2.0Ghz, 20GB, 512mb, XPpro. 300GB Usb HDD, Griffin pwrmate, m-audio audiophile fw. BU-353 gps. 2x100w sony amps, 1x150w JBL sub amp, MBQuart front components, 6x9 rear, 10" sub. Audiocontrol epcienter, esp2, 3xs. Clifford G5, Finished, fitted, problems

  • #2
    With that much disk and that little music, why not just use a lossless format like OGG/FLAC or Monkey's Audio?

    -p.

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    • #3
      That sort of thing sounds ideal, I havent chosen my front end software yet, but are most front ends compatable with most types of files? Also, can i still use the id tagging for artist/song ect that you find on the internet? Thanks!
      PB 2.0Ghz, 20GB, 512mb, XPpro. 300GB Usb HDD, Griffin pwrmate, m-audio audiophile fw. BU-353 gps. 2x100w sony amps, 1x150w JBL sub amp, MBQuart front components, 6x9 rear, 10" sub. Audiocontrol epcienter, esp2, 3xs. Clifford G5, Finished, fitted, problems

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      • #4
        Get an Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1LT. The DACs are better than Creative's unless you are going with the latest Creative but then money may come into play.

        For bit rate and format I use EAC with LAME with 192VBR.
        Aura MR62 (F and R)
        My Current MP3s
        IamDefiler.com

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        • #5
          Defiler, have you actually used the Prodigy 7.1LT? I'm wondering how the voltage output is with this card. I'm trying to decide if I should stick with my onboard Asus Pundit-R's audio and output that to an Arc Audio MX-3 to get my voltage output increases as well as splitting my signal through that MX-3 to my Memphis Belle 5ch amp.

          I'd enjoy your opinions/suggestions, thanks.
          replicant
          Audi A4 (flickr pics)

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          • #6
            Most of your typical desktop sound cards won't put out any serious V on the line. You could always run it through an EQ/Pre amp if you wanted though. I used to run it through a 1/2 din Clarion 5 band EQ/Pre amp that put out 7V per channel. It was only about 40 to 50 bucks on eBay or the forums here. The sound was pretty good. You can see my old setup in my sig.
            Aura MR62 (F and R)
            My Current MP3s
            IamDefiler.com

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            • #7
              Thanks for the advice so far,

              I am having a look round the suggestions for encoding formats, do i just download these off the web like the mp3 plug-ins for wmp or do i need special software?
              I would like to try and compare a few with my computer connected to my home stereo and see how much diffrence there is/i can notice!

              For the soundcard issue, I am running a laptop so the interface would either need to be usb or firewire.

              I am running 2 front speakers, 2 rear speakers and a sub.
              With the s/b i planned to run the single pair of phono's/rca's into an audiocontrol esp-2 which will split it out into 4 phono 's and boost the signal a bit, then feed these four into my x-over.

              So, rather than the 7.1 mentioned above, should i not be getting a 2ch stereo card and running as i planned or should i get a 4.1 card and only use my audiocontrol processers on the front speakers?
              Thanks again!
              PB 2.0Ghz, 20GB, 512mb, XPpro. 300GB Usb HDD, Griffin pwrmate, m-audio audiophile fw. BU-353 gps. 2x100w sony amps, 1x150w JBL sub amp, MBQuart front components, 6x9 rear, 10" sub. Audiocontrol epcienter, esp2, 3xs. Clifford G5, Finished, fitted, problems

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              • #8
                I saw a professional review the other day. They told that it is almost impossible to notice the difference between lame 320 and original wave data on a special home audio setup. So I think using lame 320 or even ogg 320 will be fine.
                Car pc integration with ease
                Car mediacenter

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                • #9
                  Cool. From the info off you guys, these forums and a bit of google'in i have come to the following conclusion:
                  As i have 280gig of space and only a few hundred tracks i think my best 'future proof' option is -
                  Use LAME (which is a ripper program) and incode in FLAC (which is the compression method)
                  Correct so far?

                  If so, my next questions are,

                  1. I have narrowed down my front-end choices to Frodoplayer or centrafuse,
                  Do both these support media in this format or will i have to do 'something' to get it playing?

                  2. Can i get the cd information (artist/song title) from the net as i rip the cd's, and save the info with the file to have it displayed in my front-end on playback?

                  Thanks again!
                  PB 2.0Ghz, 20GB, 512mb, XPpro. 300GB Usb HDD, Griffin pwrmate, m-audio audiophile fw. BU-353 gps. 2x100w sony amps, 1x150w JBL sub amp, MBQuart front components, 6x9 rear, 10" sub. Audiocontrol epcienter, esp2, 3xs. Clifford G5, Finished, fitted, problems

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ok FLAC is the compression codec as well as LAME. EAC would classify as the front end to it. any ripping app is going to use some kind of compression codec.

                    If you use EAC (not sure if it supports FLAC as the codec) it will write basic ID3 tags to the MP3s as they are being written. EAC probably has the best error correction out there. I use Tag and Rename as my ID3 tag editor. It's not as intuitive as most apps but once you learn it, it's a really good editor for tags.

                    On the sound card I wasn't aware it was for a laptop. I would still recomend something other than a creative card. What ever you choose I would recomend, this would be a USB setup most likely, a VIA Vinyl chipset.
                    Aura MR62 (F and R)
                    My Current MP3s
                    IamDefiler.com

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                    • #11
                      Other than external usb soundcard, you can also try Creative Audigy 2 ZS Notebook using PCMCIA slot. it should use less cpu power than usb.

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                      • #12
                        I can vouch for the Audigy 2 ZS

                        I know a lot of people don't like the card simply because it's Audigy, but until there's another PCMCIA card with optic out, it's my best bet - and it's worked great for me (see signiture)
                        Jan Bennett
                        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Red GTi VR6
                          I can vouch for the Audigy 2 ZS

                          I know a lot of people don't like the card simply because it's Audigy, but until there's another PCMCIA card with optic out, it's my best bet - and it's worked great for me (see signiture)
                          I was wondering when you were going to chime in...
                          Aura MR62 (F and R)
                          My Current MP3s
                          IamDefiler.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Defiler
                            ok FLAC is the compression codec as well as LAME. EAC would classify as the front end to it. any ripping app is going to use some kind of compression codec.

                            If you use EAC (not sure if it supports FLAC as the codec) it will write basic ID3 tags to the MP3s as they are being written. EAC probably has the best error correction out there. I use Tag and Rename as my ID3 tag editor. It's not as intuitive as most apps but once you learn it, it's a really good editor for tags.

                            Just to clear this up...
                            There are two stages: ripping, and encoding. Ripping is getting the raw PCM data off the CD, no transformation. Encoding is taking that raw data and running it thru some sort of compression algorithm. They can be done by the same program, but don't have to be. EAC and CDeX are both rippers at heart. Not all rippers are created equal, some audio CDs have problems that a better ripper will handle. Both CDeX and EAC let you encode as you rip or encode from raw PCM (WAV) files later. IIRC, LAME is an mp3 encoder. That's it EAC and CDeX may contain other (like FLAC or OGG) encoders, but I don't think that's the LAME project's code.

                            Finally, which front ends support which formats?
                            My worklog.
                            Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Defiler
                              I was wondering when you were going to chime in...
                              hehe - well, I honnestly got tired of this board...too much sarcasm to get anything good out of it....

                              that and it seems that no matter what you say or how you say it, you will either **** off someone or someone will tell you how wrong you are (no matter what)...

                              just kinda surf it here and there when I get a chance

                              Jan Bennett
                              FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                              Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                              Comment

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