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format, eac trouble+?, help...

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first post so hello all! just started to do this thing and already confused. i am selecting the format i want to use for music files ongoing and from all i have read, i was going to rip with eac and use flac files. so i downloaded eac/flac and began. the downloads are going to my documents in individual song files rather than albums and no art is being gathered. is this normal? i am considering just using windows media player/center and wma lossless as it is so easy and creates such thorough album files (art, info etc). this would also be an easy transition if we got a storage unit and home server in the future...help!!!!!!


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thought about it and it may be helpful to explain where i am a bit more,,,


my plan is to use a squeezebox to my thetacasanova, with my hp laptop to control and store. this is just to evaluate and see if i want to move forward. if i do, and i think i will, then i will get cleaner, larger storage and more efficient control. if i like it moving forward i plan to replace squeezebox with transporter...then have transporter modded and possibly run directly to amp.


this should give me a good chance to evaluate different things and also let hardware catch up as i move along (so allot of that can change as new things develop).


so, my initial questions come from my early stage of just trying to adopt a format for ripping, storing and downloading...


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and welcome to CA.


You will find a very good guide to setting up EAC here : http://www.angelfire.com/magic2/hq-audio/l/eac-setup-all.html


The naming scheme I use will create a folder for each artist then, within that folder, a folder for each album. Subsequent additions, by the same artist, will automatically be added to the relevant artist folder. The schema is as follows :


Naming scheme : %D%C%N-%T

Various Artist naming scheme : Various Artists%C%N-%A %T


In order for the EAC to access the freedb, to retrieve the album list, you must enter a valid e-mail address when you get to the Freedb options page. If you don't, it won't work! As far as album art is concerned, EAC does not do this, AFAIK. I always grab mine from Amazon, and save it into the appropriate folder as "folder.jpg" Most media players will then find it and use it. (Each folder - album - ends up with its own folder.jpg)


Alternatively, many people around here are perfectly happy with iTunes, which is easier to set up and will do the job with absolutely no fuss. Ditto Media Monkey and J River. Have a good trawl through the Software section of the Equipment list on this site and you will find much useful information.


If you're happy with what you get from the Theta it might be worthwhile investigating a better way of using it, rather than going for the Transporter. The Transporter max's out at 24/96, as does your Theta. I doubt whether there would be a significant difference in sound, in favour of the Transporter! ;) The Squeezebox/Transporter system also uses their own backend software to stream the content. If this is what you want then fine, but it does tie you down a bit.


I notice that the Theta does have balanced inputs - if I had one I'd be looking at ways of using those. Either a usb/aes converter or a desktop machine with a soundcard fitted with aes outputs. Again, have a look through the 'Reference Servers' in the Equipment section for a few ideas.


Hope this helps.


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thanks so much bob. allot to think about.


why not just rip/store with windows? it seems so much easier than all that and there seems to be no sonic difference.


i am so new to all this i am not sure what direction to go as far as maxing out the benefits of having the theta. any ideas would be appreciated.


i need to order my squeezbox pretty quick so i can get started playing music! i am pretty excited as i really believe it will be the best my system has sounded...


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Both the Squeezebox and the Transporter use Squeezecentre as the music server. That is Squeezcentre takes control of moving the music from your storage device to the playback device. On this page : http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_features.html the only software they talk about being fully integrated into their software is iTunes. It looks as though you are expected to use iTunes as the ripping/managing software and then Squeezecentre will use your iTunes library.


For good control of your media library the Squeezebox duet looks like the way to go - you get the receiver and a great looking remote to control it all with. If the Squeezebox appeals then I would recommend the Duet version, so that you get the remote control. The Theta already has digital inputs and the Squeezebox duet has the necessary digital outputs so you will already be there, as it were, with this setup. No real need for the Transporter, IMHO, as you will already have a more than adequate dac in the Theta.


So, here's the run down :


iTunes to rip and manage your library

Squeezecentre to control the moving of your songs to the Squeezebox

Duet box to remote control Squeezecentre

Digital output - coax or Toslink - from the Squeezebox to the Theta

Theta to speakers - you're done.


At a later date you can add either NAS or USB storage to the computer that is running Squeezcentre and move your iTunes library across to it. Cross that bridge later! ;)


How are we doing?


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with the Squeezebox, yes, use iTunes. And even if you change route later, iTunes will still be fine. If you're not too worried about space then I would rip in .wav format. If you wish to conserve space then rip to Apple Lossless but storage is so cheap these days I'd go for .wav every time.


The extra cost of the Duet versus using your HP laptop is a bit trickier but again, if cost is not too much of an issue, the Duet remote is a very elegant solution and will save you trailing wires, mouse, etc around with you.


Have fun!!


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Which media player will you be wanting to use for playback eventually?


If it is—as you mentioned—Windows Media Player then I would go ahead and use that to rip to your CDs to WMP Lossless.


I recently tested WMP rips and found that the files were identical to files created by EAC and verified by AccurateRip database.


If you later go on to use a Transporter—it sounds fantastic by the way—all three lossless file formats by it, so just use whichever interface you are most comfortable with.


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not sure darren. that is what i am trying to figure out now (player, format etc). it seems if i use the squeezebox, i should use squeezecenter but i have not gotten it yet (may order today). i was planning on getting a start to ripping and downloaded eac but was disenchanted when i realized how much of a pain it was to get art and organize. windows lossless seems logical as i am pc oriented and it is available at most sites. i am not a believer in compression of lossless files being an issue. really just down to selecting the format and player and i think i am done for a while.


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As I understand it, if you use a Squeezebox/Transporter you must use the Squeezecentre software as your media player. The two work together. You then have access to your library either via the remote control/Squeezebox display or, on your computer, via a web interface. so the media player is Squeezcentre.


iTunes is required only to rip and manage your library. I would use iTunes on the basis that it is as good a piece of software as you're likely to find and it is the only one mentioned by SlimDevices that the Squeezecentre is set up to work properly with. Using WMP is likely to lead to you having to manually import your library and 'mess about' in order to keep things updated.


Hope this helps.


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ok. will look into itunes.


i will find out soon. just bought one on ebay (duet)...great buy too! really excited to see how it sounds. the rest of the mess is a krell fpb 600c, krell 3250, wilson watt puppy 7, watch center and surrounds, lexicon rt 10, and a bunch of pretty nice mit cables. i will use the mit reference digital cable i use on my lexicon, i imagine, to go from the squeezebox to the theta digital in.




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That certainly reads like a good bunch of electrickery to me! I shall look forward to reading what you think. Don't be too disappointed about iTunes - it is a great bit of software. ;) and if it ultimately makes life easier.....


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