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Thread: FLAC and MAC

  1. #1
    kaffeine's Avatar No queda el tiempo
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    Well since THIS is the right section for it I'll ask here.

    So now that I'm trying to get all of my music collection in FLAC, I would like to know what do you consider to be the best app to rip from CD, and to encode from FLAC to mp3, as well as the best player to manage the collection (is there a way to play FLAC in iTunes, btw?)

    Also, what is the best quality for the iPod? is it AppleLossless? And for lossy? Is there a way to play FLAC on the iPod besides RockBox (i don't think it works on the last gen)

    I'm currently using Max to encode and Play to play them, and I hear xACT is good as well (thanks znik), but I would like to read your opinions.

    thanks

    Last edited by kaffeine; 03-04-2008 at 03:32 AM.
    This is just like that drug trip I saw in that movie while I was on that drug trip.

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Polarbear's Avatar deep funk BT Rep: +5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaffeine View Post
    Well since THIS is the right section for it I'll ask here.

    So now that I'm trying to get all of my music collection in FLAC, I would like to know what do you consider to be the best app to rip from CD, and to encode from FLAC to mp3, as well as the best player to manage the collection (is there a way to play FLAC in iTunes, btw?)

    Also, what is the best quality for the iPod? is it AppleLossless? And for lossy? Is there a way to play FLAC on the iPod besides RockBox (i don't think it works on the last gen)

    I'm currently using Max to encode and Play to play them, and I hear xACT is good as well (thanks znik), but I would like to read your opinions.

    thanks

    ripping:

    the best software for ripping cds on mac os x is xact. it's the only ripping tool that provides you with a log to make sure you have a proper rip without errors.
    this log can be saved to include it to a torrent. xact is also the recommended software for ripping on E****.

    here's a tutorial found on another forum:

    First off, you are going to want to insert your CD you want to rip, and open up xACT. Then at the top of xACT, click on "util" Select "CD Extraction, and don't select "extract tracks to one file" unless you want the tracks you are ripping to be a continuous track.



    Next click "add" near the bottom of xACT, and a window will come up for you to select where the audio tracks are that you will be ripping. Navigate to the CD in your finder, and select all the tracks. (press Command + A) Then click "Add Files" at the bottom of the Finder window.



    Once you click "Add Files" they will appear in the box in xACT. Then in xACT, click Execute, and another window will appear asking you where to save the WAV files. I just made a folder on my desktop named "Legion of Boom" to match the album name. Once you have that chosen, you can click choose, and xACT will start to extract the tracks.





    After the ripping process is complete, the CD will appear back on the desktop and Finder. xACT will also automatically bring up the ripping log. Scroll through the log and make sure you do not have any errors. It might take a few rips to get all the errors out.



    If you get something like this (image below) you can edit out the error(s) in the log and re-rip the track(s) by going back to "util" in xACT, click Add, and just add the one file that was ripped with an error. To save the text as a log, copy and paste the text from the log in to TextEdit, and delete the track with the error from where the 0% starts to the end of the (0.5 .. 0.5). Then, if the CD tracks that had errors ripped successfully, you can copy and paste the text from the new log in the place of where the track with the error was in TextEdit. If you continuously get errors when ripping a certain track, you might try cleaning the CD.



    Once everything is error-free, save the file in TextEdit as 'albumname.log.txt' and save it to your desktop.



    After you save it, select the file name, and delete the .txt extension. The Finder will then ask you if you are sure you want to change the extension of the file, click "Use .log" and then the file will be named "albumname.log" which can still be opened as a text file.



    Now go back into xACT, and click on "encode" at the top. Select FLAC Compression, and set the compression to 8. check verify. Don't worry about the TTA Compression. Then add the WAV files you ripped from the CD.



    Click on "add" and select the files from the folder you ripped to. Then click Encode, and choose a folder to convert the WAV files to. I chose the same folder I ripped the WAV files to. Now wait for the WAV files to convert. If you want, you can eject the CD from your drive, you don't need it anymore.



    After the FLAC conversion is finished, you can delete the WAV files, you just need the FLAC files now.


    Now you are going to want to tag the FLAC files with the artist name, album name, track titles, etc. You can do this by going to xACT, clicking on "FLAC tags" at the top, and adding the FLAC files you converted. You can select all the files at once to edit multiple tracks by hitting Command + A, then type in the information in the boxes, then hit Enter, or click Write Tags. You can select each song individually to edit track names.


    Next you are going to want to create a Cue file for the FLAC files. In xACT, go to "shntool" at the top, add the FLAC files, select the Cue circle, and then click "Call Shntool." Then save the cue file in the folder the FLAC files are in. (You don't need to rename the cue file at all).



    Optionally you can create a fingerprint text file, and/or verify the FLAC files by clicking on "checksum" at the top of xACT, adding the FLAC files, click "Checksum" and select what you would like to create. The fingerprint will be saved to a text file automatically, but for the verification you will need to paste the text into TextEdit and save it as a text file manually.


    Now to create the M3U file, relatively easy. Open up VLC, and drag the FLAC files into the VLC playlist area. Then click File>Save Playlist.



    Then for the name of the M3U file, just type in the album name, save it where the FLAC files are, and click Save. You can open the M3U file in VLC and the FLAC files will play continuously.

    ---


    you now have a proper flac mastercopy of your cd. you can convert it into any format you like. for mp3 conversion i recommend any software that uses the "lame" encoder. max (known problems with leo) or xld are just two examples. there's also a method to integrate the lame encoder in itunes. the prefered format should be v0 (smallest size with highest possible quality).
    do not use the itunes internal encoder, it is simply inferior to lame.

    for playback i suggest "play", cog or simply vlc. i haven't found a good flac plugin for itunes.

    i use v0 for ipod playback. on small earphones it's the best format i think. you may as well convert your flac files to apple lossless to listen to the highest quality, but for me that's not worth the work.

    if you want to burn your flac's to an audio cd use toast. no need to convert them, simply drag and drop and toast will burn a cd.

    happy ripping!
    Last edited by Polarbear; 03-04-2008 at 08:47 AM.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    kaffeine's Avatar No queda el tiempo
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    Wow, that's a great guide PB, very informative and I appreciate the ss as well. thanks a lot!
    I'll try it and post if I have any issues.
    Thanks!

    This is just like that drug trip I saw in that movie while I was on that drug trip.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Wilton331's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +6BT Rep +6
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    Xact is definitely the way to go for ripping in OS X.

    As for playing FLAC on your Mac, I like Play. It has a very user friendly interface, and in my opinion is the most like iTunes.


  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Grind$oFine's Avatar get n3rd3d BT Rep: +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60
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    For my own personal rips where I don't care TOO much about quality, I like to use Max since it's so user friendly.

    If I upload somewhere online, I always switch over to Windows and use EAC. EAC is always the preferred ripping program. On Pedro's and I'm sure on E, more often than not they would like to see an EAC secure rip. I've been told directly by a mac-using, staff member at What.CD to always use EAC, and leave xAct for your own stuff. I know Waffles prefers it too, and OiNK always did.

    It can be an inconvenience, but the extra time you put into it will be appreciated by a lot of people.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Polarbear's Avatar deep funk BT Rep: +5
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    xact rips are fine on E.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    Grind$oFine's Avatar get n3rd3d BT Rep: +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60BT Rep +60
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    xACT rips are fine everywhere to my knowledge, and I'm not saying it's a bad program, but it is not the overall preferred method.
    In comparison to EAC, xACT is very rudimentary ripper.
    Like the method shown in your tutorial, you can add other apps to make up for it's shortcomings - but I guess it's not completely ideal - but just works.
    The only reason xACT is allowed is because it produces a log, and no other Mac ripper does (Max). But truly, a lot of audiophiles don't even like the log xACT produces - they don't think it has enough information and it's not as easy to understand.
    And in my opinion, the biggest thing that xACT lacks is that it cannot be set to read offsets - which can be a big deal.
    Just with experience with both programs it's easy to tell there's a big difference.
    xACT is not the equivalent of EAC for Mac, it's simply the best option for Mac users and I think anyone would agree with that.

    And this is not just some biased opinion of mine, this is information I've gathered over the past year or so on music trackers, and a lot of my information comes straight from the trackers' staff - including staff @ Pedro's - and their "quality values" are pretty much the same as E - very high quality standards.

    So I'm not to telling anyone not to use xACT, but if you have the extra time, and you don't mind a little extra effort, and you have the ability - using EAC is worth it.

    I'm not trying to debate, these are just facts.

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Polarbear's Avatar deep funk BT Rep: +5
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    eac is better, but we were talking about a native os x solution. eac runs only with windows.

    i don't use windows ...

    so if anyone asks me what's the best ripping tool for mac os x it is xact.

    you can always tell people to install windows and use windows software, but this is a mac topic.

    again, eac is more advanced and better, but it's a windows software and has nothing to do with macs.

    the question was how to rip to flac with a mac. not what is the best ripping tool.
    Last edited by Polarbear; 05-13-2008 at 09:31 AM.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    lsw0794's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +11BT Rep +11BT Rep +11
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    Xld And Cog Is Ok
    Time and tide wait for no man

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Cog is my choice for playing flac & ape files.

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