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Ripping and the Jitterbug

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Had an interesting experience recently that I thought I'd share. As I reported in an earlier post, I've been ripping a lot of CDs lately, one at a time, and having a rough time of it: Many errors that required repeated passes and slowed things down a lot. Some--maybe 1 in 4 CDs--started ripping frame by frame, which takes forever. This was mainly with an LG ripper/writer that's rated for pretty high speed. (See my earlier post.)


Someone here suggested the power supply might be causing this, and this gave me an idea. I had an Audioquest Jitterbug lying around. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's a passive USB-treatment device that you plug into your computer; it receives the USB cable. It conditions the USB's 5V supply and the data channels. Many have reported that it makes the music sound better.


My external USB drive uses external power, but I thought I'd try it anyway, since it would at least be able to condition the data lines.


By the time I thought to try this, I wasn't far from finished. But the effect on ripping was dramatic. I ripped more than 100 CDs with the jitterbug (after ripping hundreds without). I went from having an error with every third of fourth CD to NO ERRORS on the final 100 or so CDs. None. The process went much faster.


This tells me two things: Despite what skeptics have claimed, the Jitterbug actually does something. It's not snake oil. (Whether it improves the sound I cannot say, since I haven't yet tried it for this, its intended application, although people I know and whose ears I trust report improvement, and I believe them.) Anyway, it apparently cleans up the voltage levels sufficiently to eliminate errors when ripping with a cheap (although not the cheapest; I paid more than $50), crappy USB drive.


If you're ripping CDs and its going slow, give the Jitterbug a try.



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