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Monthly Archives: July 2010

So most of you who follow this blog know by now that I’m a bit of a music nut. Which is probably why I’ll happily blow up around a thousand bucks a month on CDs.

Unfortunately that attitude has a rather nasty requirement – namely : Shelfspace. The solution – a 1 Tb hard disk, a CD Drive and decent audio ripping software.

As a reforming Winblows user I’d gotten pretty used to using EAC to ensure I get the best rips. Unfortunately I have yet to find a decent alternative on Linux (Feel free to comment if you know of one) so in the meantime  – here’s how you do it.

First Off : I BOUGHT and OWN all the CDs referenced to in the demonstration. This guide is not meant for those lawless morons out there that buy bootlegs or pick up MP3 disks full of hundreds of shitty sounding tracks.

Second Off : I will be ripping to FLAC and encoding to Ogg Vorbis and AAC, since the number of tracks I have means keeping FLACs permanently is rather impractical. Now – If you’re one of the enlightened individuals who does not have an iPod, I would recommend ripping directly to vorbis. Or if you only listen to music on your iPod, rip directly to AAC.

Right so let’s begin

What You’ll need :

1. Your favourite Debian Based Linux system (I used Mint, works perfectly in Ubuntu) haven’t tested in any other – though should work

2. WINE

3. Exact Audio Copy

4. The most obvious – a CD Drive and shitloads of HDD space.

Setups.

Alright, download WINE from your repositories and download Exact Audio Copy

Setting Up The Tools

I’m going to assume you know how to install WINE under your OS. If not, you can find plenty of tutorials on the web.

Installing EAC under WINE is simple – in the newer versions of Ubuntu/Mint you can just right-click on the file called eac-y.yyyyy.exe (Replace y with version numbers) and select “Open With Wine Windows Program Loader”. From then on, it’s a simple windows-esque installation, select a directory to install in, hit the “next” button a couple of times and you’re done.

1.Configuring EAC Part I

When you run EAC for the first time, it should automatically load the configuration wizard. If not, you can find it under EAC>Configuration Wizard.

Like all other wizards, it’s pretty simple to handle. When it comes to the screen where you have to choose between compression screens, select FLAC. Or if you want to rip direct to Ogg you need to select “Nothing right now, I will configure it manually later”

Hit Next a couple of times, enter your email address when it prompts you to (If you want to), hit Next again, select your preferred Naming Scheme and you’re done.

2. Configuring EAC Part II

  • Hit F9 – Navigate through the tabs, making sure all the necessary options are selected. {Just compare it with the screenshots}
  • Hit F12  to bring up Freedb Options – nothing much to do here, just make sure the option that says “On connection error, retry query with another server” is selected.

3. Configuring EAC Part III (Optional)

If you’re ripping either directly to FLAC, Mp3 or Wave you should skip this step. I’ll take you through the installation for the Ogg Vorbis codec, but you should be able to adapt it to any other codec out there as long as you have access to the encoder.

For Ogg, there are multiple encoders available – I know EAC works very well with oggenc – so that’s the one I’ll be using.

  1. Get oggenc here – unzip preferably in the same directory/folder you installed EAC in.
  2. Go to EAC and Hit F11
  3. Check “Use External Program For Compression”
  4. Under Parameter Passing Scheme –  select user defined encoder
  5. Under File Extension – fill in the file extension of the codec you want to encode to, in this case .ogg
  6. Under Program path, you must include the entire system path of the file you oggenc2.exe – the file you just extracted
  7. Under Additional Parameters – select one of the lines listed below:

For q6 rips:
-q 6 -a “%a” -t “%t” -l “%g” -d “%y” -N “%n” -G “%m” %s -o %d

For q7 rips:
-q 7 -a “%a” -t “%t” -l “%g” -d “%y” -N “%n” -G “%m” %s -o %d

For q10 rips:
-q 10 -a “%a” -t “%t” -l “%g” -d “%y” -N “%n” -G “%m” %s -o %d

8. A Short Explanation – the q stands for quality – the highest being 10, the lowest being 2. It changes the VBR ranges of bitrates – 7 is about 160 Kbps if I’m not wrong.
9. The rest of the options basically add tags, specify output files and whatnot  – you can find a more detailed guide about parameters for oggenc here

4. All right, you’re finally done configuring EAC, lets rip some music already

Now that you’re all set up –

  1. Place the CD in the drive, if for some reason, all you see is a list of tracks, without any of the names and the CD Title, Artist, Genre, Freedb and Year are blank; try hitting ALT+G to manually query the freedb database
  2. If that doesn’t work, you basically have no recourse other than manually filling in the track information (Which is a real B*tch when you’re ripping multiple tracks). Sigh, select the first track, hit F2 and get to typing
  3. If you just finished following three, press the little mailbox icon under your drives list – and send your track info to the freedb database, so that some other poor schmuck ripping the same cd later won’t have to redo what you just did
  4. Hit F4, to pre-detect gaps between songs
  5. Hit Ctrl+A and Shift+F6 to rip. You’ll see a tiny little window that displays your progress. Expect it to take about 30 minutes.

And you’re done!