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Author Topic: Music file format question  (Read 169 times)

Supreme Pizza Of The DPRK

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Music file format question
« on: 17 May, 2017, 04:26:11 am »
I'm about to being ripping my cd collection to my PC to make accessing songs easier, since most cds are in storage right now. What file format would you suggest I rip them as? I currently use windows media player and will be streaming to wireless audio devices, so sound quality doesn't have to be audiophile quality, but it wouldn't hurt to future proof. I'm not an apple person so Itunes is out

any advice on file formats, ripping software and playback programs is appreciated

(Ideally I want a file type that isn't likely to be obsolete in the future)

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #1 on: 17 May, 2017, 08:22:20 am »
.mp3 is fine and should play on almost anything. Any bitrate over 160 is indistinguishable from CD to all but the keenest ears on all but the nicest speakers/headphones. In the unlikely event that the format gets deprecated in the future, I'm sure some kindly soul will come up with some software that will let you transcode the files to the format du jour.

FWIW, iTunes is a bit of a mess, but you can safely ignore all the store/movie/radio stuff and it works perfectly well as a music player for your own library of locally-stored MP3 rips, which is all I use it for.
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NapalmKev

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #2 on: 17 May, 2017, 08:25:41 am »
If your after good quality copying and a future-proof format iTunes probably would be your best bet. It's free, and it's far superior to Windows media player, IMO.

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IndigoPrime

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #3 on: 17 May, 2017, 08:32:23 am »
If iTunes is out then so is Apple Lossless. If I was ripping all my CDs again, I'd rip to that, archive those files and then compress copies to either 320kbps MP3 or AAC. Failing that, is rip to WAV, archive those and then do the compression. (Using this method, you can then in future compress from source quality if you need to. Similarly, anyone ripping DVDs would do well to first rip to an IMG or similar before downsampling to MP4 and the like.)

Pyroxian

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #4 on: 17 May, 2017, 09:41:13 am »
Does iTunes still try and take over your PC, and replace all your tags / album art with what it 'thinks' is the correct version?

NapalmKev

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #5 on: 17 May, 2017, 10:05:28 am »
Does iTunes still try and take over your PC, and replace all your tags / album art with what it 'thinks' is the correct version?

It gives you the option to select from a list if you are online and you only get album covers if buying digitally.

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Supreme Pizza Of The DPRK

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #6 on: 17 May, 2017, 10:09:04 am »
No FLAC love? I was under the impression that being open source it would be the most future proof.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #7 on: 17 May, 2017, 01:31:59 pm »
I suspect ubiquity beats anything else. My inkling is MP3 will kick around for a long time, in terms of widespread support, much like JPEG. AAC's widespread use suggests something similar. But then this is also why I'd recommend first ripping to lossless. WAV is very likely to be around for the very long term, and will include a straight copy of the highest quality from the CD. Whatever formats then show up in future, you can relatively easily convert across your backed-up data (assuming you spin up the HD every now and again, to ensure it's still alive).

As for iTunes, I don't recall it ever 'taking over' anything. I know some PC users get weirdly annoyed at the way it files and organises documents, but that's an option rather than mandatory. (Personally, I've always liked that. The iTunes folder structure is entirely open, unlike the opaque database structure in the likes of Photos.) Metadata is optionally downloaded, too. This stuff's all in the General and Advanced tabs of the app's preferences.

WhizzBang

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #8 on: 17 May, 2017, 04:11:38 pm »
My preference is OGG vorbis. I keep away from MP3 as I sometimes find myself noticing swishy type noises, and once they are noticed they don't go away. I think OGG is the best format but it is not the best supported as it is not in the interest of companies like Apple to support it natively.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #9 on: 17 May, 2017, 04:36:20 pm »
OGG's mired in licensing issues, hence why Apple won't touch it. Again, though, it makes naff-all difference what you compress to if you have the originals knocking around on a hard drive somewhere. (This is something I wish I'd been able to do when I digitised most of our music collection in 2002, using the then forward-thinking 192kbps MP3. Now hard drives are so bloody cheap, people have no excuse.)

sheridan

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #10 on: 19 May, 2017, 08:51:29 pm »
You don't need to rip to more than 160kbps - as you get older you won't be able to hear all the subtle tones anyway ;)

gurnard

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #11 on: 22 May, 2017, 01:46:05 pm »
I have been using Audiograbber for years.
http://www.audiograbber.org

It will rip to loads of different formats but I rip to WAV and MP3 on  a Windows system.
It rips the CD to WAV and then encodes to MP3. I keep the WAV so I have an uncompressed version of the song and the compressed MP3.

Simple to use and run also has a button to link to FreeDB to get the song details and can read CD-TEXT from the CD and such.

When I am ripping Vinyl I rip to FLAC and MP3. Mainly due to the software I use for that (Audacity)

Good luck with it all.

sheridan

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Re: Music file format question
« Reply #12 on: 22 May, 2017, 06:07:31 pm »
I have been using Audiograbber for years.
http://www.audiograbber.org

It will rip to loads of different formats but I rip to WAV and MP3 on  a Windows system.
It rips the CD to WAV and then encodes to MP3. I keep the WAV so I have an uncompressed version of the song and the compressed MP3.

Simple to use and run also has a button to link to FreeDB to get the song details and can read CD-TEXT from the CD and such.

When I am ripping Vinyl I rip to FLAC and MP3. Mainly due to the software I use for that (Audacity)

Good luck with it all.

Yeah, I used to use audiograbber when I used Windows (tend to use Rhythmbox now).