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How accurate is iTunes for ripping music?

927 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 23, 2012 1:54 PM by Eric009 RSS
Eric009 Calculating status...
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Nov 22, 2012 8:33 PM

I've been doing some research and have read in multiple articles that iTunes is less accurate for ripping music than other programs such as EAC. Is this correct or just a myth?

  • the fiend Level 5 Level 5 (6,935 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 2:22 AM (in response to Eric009)

    Hhhmmm!

     

    I had a quick look at EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and noted that its main claims of superiority over "most other audio grabbers" are not in fact superior to iTunes.

     

    • It's free. Well knock me down with a feather, iTunes is free too!
    • It reads audo CDs almost perfectly. Hhhmm! Not exact then.

     

    iTunes has several different formats that you can choose from to rip CDs, including a lossless one. I use high quality headphones and Sound Docks, but have never seen any need to use anything other than iTunes.

     

    Why do you feel the need to use something other than iTunes to rip your music? What are you hoping to achieve by going through an extra step of using EAC, then (presumably) dragging the ripped music into iTunes?

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,080 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 3:32 AM (in response to Eric009)

    It is my understanding (which could be wrong) that EAC and similar are supposed to retry blocks on a CD multiple times to ensure they get the right values. It is also my understanding that lesser applications merely do a single pass and if a particular part of a track has a problem merely rely on the fact that a very slight error is normally undetectable by the human ear.

     

    It should be noted that iTunes does have a built-in error correction option which you can turn on to make it work harder to get the right data from a dodgy CD.

     

    EAC itself does not have a Mac version, nor does it itself support Apple Lossless, it is also Windows only. You can however use it to rip a CD in another lossless format, and then convert to Apple Lossless.

     

    If you want to do a similar process purely on a Mac and are paranoid enough to not trust iTunes itself, then you can use the XLD application for Mac.

     

    XLD has multiple options such as 'CDParanoia' which might be equivalent to EAC, and also its own Secure Ripping which is allegedly even better. The whole point of these is to recover as much original data as possible from the CD even it is somewhat scratched.

     

    See http://tmkk.pv.land.to/xld/index_e.html

    and http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=84992

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,080 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 6:56 AM (in response to Eric009)

    If you can do this on a Mac then XLD may do the job for you as it can rip directly to FLAC or Apple Lossless. Otherwise you would have to use EAC to go to FLAC and then convert to Apple Lossless.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,080 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 8:37 AM (in response to Eric009)

    Eric009 wrote:

     

    But does ripping directly to a lossless format have anything over converting one lossless format to another?

    If you use XLD to rip to Apple Lossless (or FLAC) it can during the rip look up the CD in Gracenote and add the track details to the metadata all in one process. If you rip to AIFF or WAV then since they have poor metadata support by applications, this is not possible.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,080 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 9:12 AM (in response to Eric009)

    XLD is for Mac, EAC is for Windows.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,080 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 10:41 AM (in response to Eric009)

    Eric009 wrote:

     

    So if I was to rip my CD using EAC into the WAV format and then convert them into AIFF, would it be the same quality as if I'd imported them directly into AIFF?

    Yes, but there is no point converting them to AIFF.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,080 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2012 11:30 AM (in response to Eric009)

    What I am getting at is that if you rip to WAV you may as well then convert to Apple Lossless rather than AIFF. If you are ripping to AIFF you again could then convert to Apple Lossless.

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