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I need a Drive to Rip CD's on a Mac Mini


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Currently using a "Super Drive", but I'd like something better.

l'm a Mac guy, so something that would play nice with the Mini & dBpoweramp

will be best.

If it can handle the other formats, that would be ideal.

 

Thanks

 

Have you looked at options available from OWC:

 

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/

 

It might also be useful if you could define what you mean by "something better".

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Have you looked at options available from OWC:

 

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/

 

It might also be useful if you could define what you mean by "something better".

 

Thanks

 

I'm unhappy with OWC's service lately. Not likely to do business with them again.

 

I'm aware that there are better quality drives, but that is where my knowledge ends.

Some can play all or most of the musical formats found on disk, & that is what I'd like.

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Ripping is very hard on the drive. I wouldn't go for anything expensive. A full size external usb drive should work fine. It should be much faster than you Apple drive. Along with a cheaper drive, XLD would be a good investment.

 

Thanks

 

i'm looking for a specific recommendation. Brand: ABC Model: XYZ

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Thanks

 

i'm looking for a specific recommendation. Brand: ABC Model: XYZ

 

I started down this path a few years ago and gave up once I read through the 'CD/DVD Drive Accuracy List' on the dBpoweramp forums and started trying to find any of the highly rated drives available for sale. The reality is that with my generic (OEM Samsung IIRC) CD/DVD burner, dBpoweramp and Accu-Rip, I'm very satisfied with the results. I had some CDs that wouldn't rip accurately due to age, scratches, etc., but CDs are cheap and finding a copy (used or otherwise) that rips accurately is cheaper / easier than searching eBay for used drives that may or may not be any better at ripping a small number of problematic CDs.

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Thanks

 

i'm looking for a specific recommendation. Brand: ABC Model: XYZ

 

It really doesn't matter. You ripping software calibrates your drive and keeps working until you get the best rip possible. (As long as you have it set for the highest quality.) That's why recommend XLD. The software is more important than the drive.

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Can you explain?

 

 

 

Why?

 

Its one of the most thoroughly discussed topics on this site. But just to be clear, whatever drive you are using has to be in working order. Also, from a purely technical perspective, the drive isn't more important than the software because you need to have one or you can't rip anything. So my other post assumes you have a working optical drive.

 

As long as you have a functioning drive, the software you use should determine the quality of the rip. If you look at the ripping tutorial on CA's web site, you'll see this.

 

"In addition to ripping the CD in its native resolution one must use a ripping program that offers a secure ripping feature. This feature compares the checksum of the ripped file to that of others in a global online database. This ensures the rip is at least consistent with a number of other rips around the world. CDs that are not in such an online database are often ripped several times and the rips are compared to each other before the program will consider the rip secure and encode the track. More information about how to accomplish this is below in the methodology section."

 

The ripping software confirms that the rip is good. Expensive drive, or cheap, the rips are held to the same standard. It doesn't matter what drive you use. Also, I use EAC, and there's a calibration process for your optical drive. Programs like dbpoweramp and xld should have the same feature.

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Its one of the most thoroughly discussed topics on this site. But just to be clear, whatever drive you are using has to be in working order. Also, from a purely technical perspective, the drive isn't more important than the software because you need to have one or you can't rip anything. So my other post assumes you have a working optical drive.

 

As long as you have a functioning drive, the software you use should determine the quality of the rip. If you look at the ripping tutorial on CA's web site, you'll see this.

 

"In addition to ripping the CD in its native resolution one must use a ripping program that offers a secure ripping feature. This feature compares the checksum of the ripped file to that of others in a global online database. This ensures the rip is at least consistent with a number of other rips around the world. CDs that are not in such an online database are often ripped several times and the rips are compared to each other before the program will consider the rip secure and encode the track. More information about how to accomplish this is below in the methodology section."

 

The ripping software confirms that the rip is good. Expensive drive, or cheap, the rips are held to the same standard. It doesn't matter what drive you use. Also, I use EAC, and there's a calibration process for your optical drive. Programs like dbpoweramp and xld should have the same feature.

 

Thank you for the explanation.

Correct me if I'm wrong but normally the calibration of the drive need a reference CD supplied by Philips with different signals.

From my understanding the drive read the information, not the software or it's the opposite?

 


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Can't speak to calibration, but I agree that the software is important and the drive is less so. While I wouldn't say get a super-cheap piece of junk, I would agree that you shouldn't spend too much on a drive. Get one whose expense wouldn't make you upset having to dump it after a year or two of intensive ripping of 100s of CDs. (Might last much longer than that - but it might not.).

 

After the internal SuperDrive in my 2009 iMac died, I got the little Apple External USB SuperDrive. I've ripped a couple hundred CDs with it and it's still good as new. Speed doesn't really matter, because in most cases you're only going to get ripping speeds of 2X to 6X when you're using secure ripping (which is slower than non-secure ripping). It's possible that with a full desktop-sized drive in a bulletproof enclosure you might get 9X or 10X rips in some cases, but the results won't be any different.

 

The only thing I know good ripping software does is set the offset of the drive. XLD does this through a local database. The offset isn't absolutely essential for secure ripping, but if it's not set right then when you do a secure rip and check it with the AccurateRip database, all of your results will say something like "accurately ripped, with different offset." That's usually the signal that your drive offset isn't set properly in the software.

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"The only thing I know good ripping software does is set the offset of the drive. XLD does this through a local database. The offset isn't absolutely essential for secure ripping, but if it's not set right then when you do a secure rip and check it with the AccurateRip database, all of your results will say something like "accurately ripped, with different offset." That's usually the signal that your drive offset isn't set properly in the software."

 

I haven't used xld in a while, but I think you're right.

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Can't speak to calibration, but I agree that the software is important and the drive is less so. While I wouldn't say get a super-cheap piece of junk, I would agree that you shouldn't spend too much on a drive. Get one whose expense wouldn't make you upset having to dump it after a year or two of intensive ripping of 100s of CDs. (Might last much longer than that - but it might not.).

 

After the internal SuperDrive in my 2009 iMac died, I got the little Apple External USB SuperDrive. I've ripped a couple hundred CDs with it and it's still good as new. Speed doesn't really matter, because in most cases you're only going to get ripping speeds of 2X to 6X when you're using secure ripping (which is slower than non-secure ripping). It's possible that with a full desktop-sized drive in a bulletproof enclosure you might get 9X or 10X rips in some cases, but the results won't be any different.

 

The only thing I know good ripping software does is set the offset of the drive. XLD does this through a local database. The offset isn't absolutely essential for secure ripping, but if it's not set right then when you do a secure rip and check it with the AccurateRip database, all of your results will say something like "accurately ripped, with different offset." That's usually the signal that your drive offset isn't set properly in the software.

 

So if there is undetected errors the software will still find them?

The error correction is in the software?

Are you sure that different brands don't only stick their names on different enclosure and share the drive with others?

Is the same drive from different manufacturing batch have the same offset?

Is the CD even from the same manufacturer but different mastering machine have the same offset?

What make you sure that the data base is reliable?

 

Sorry,but I still have a long list of questions, you look so sure of your statement.

But if you don't know, please start your posts with IMHO and speak about your experience.

 


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So if there is undetected errors the software will still find them?

The error correction is in the software?

Are you sure that different brands don't only stick their names on different enclosure and share the drive with others?

Is the same drive from different manufacturing batch have the same offset?

Is the CD even from the same manufacturer but different mastering machine have the same offset?

What make you sure that the data base is reliable?

 

Sorry,but I still have a long list of questions, you look so sure of your statement.

But if you don't know, please start your posts with IMHO and speak about your experience.

 

I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can, and I will try to stick to what I believe are facts rather than my opinions.

 

Error correction usually refers to what a CD player does during playback when it has trouble reading the data on the CD. This is "undetected," to use your word, because most of the time you never hear it - we cannot tell if or when our CD players are using error-correction. The only time we can hear it is when it fails - the scratch or defect on the CD is so bad that the CD player's error-correction cannot compensate, and so the CD skips, or we hear digital ticks or clicks.

 

During secure ripping to a computer, a CD drive doesn't use error correction. And so to use your language, a secure ripping software program will indeed "find undetected errors" on a disc. In other words, it will find errors that your CD player can correct on-the-fly as it plays, but which are still errors - problems with reading the data from the disc. (But keep in mind that every CD player/drive is different - so your CD player might be able to read a scratched part of a disc with no problem at all while the CD mechanism in your computer drive might detect an error there. Or vice-versa - your CD player might need to use its error correction on a scratched part of a disc, but your computer CD drive might be able to read it with no problem, and therefore it would not see it as an error.)

 

It is important to note that reporting errors only happens with a secure ripping program. And only secure rippers will repeatedly re-read an error part of a disc to try to get a perfect result.

 

Non-secure rippers - like iTunes for example - will not report errors. iTunes does have an option to apply error-correction during ripping. I assume this is similar to what CD players use during playback, but I am not 100% sure. You can think of an iTunes rip with error correction as a digital recording of the playback of a CD player. So if your CD player has to use error correction, the result might sound perfect to you, but technically it will not be a bit-for-bit-perfect accurate rip because the error correction is guessing, and sometimes it will probably guess wrong. So there will be some stray 1s where there should be 0s and vice-versa. The same is true for an iTunes rip with error correction enabled. Usually this inaccuracy is not audible - but in my experience if you rip, say 100 CDs with iTunes, you are likely to find small audible glitches (clicks or a very brief bit of distortion) on maybe 2 to 5 percent of them, depending on the CD drive used during ripping, and on the physical condition of your CD collection.

 

A secure ripper - which is software, not hardware - will instead try to get an accurate rip through two main methods: (1) It will re-read every bit of info on the disc until it gets two consecutive reads with identical results. For a disc with no errors on it, this means a secure ripper will read each part of the disc twice. For a disc with errors on it, a secure ripper will re-try to read it a defined number of times until it either gets two consecutive identical results, or until it reaches the defined max number of retries. Most secure rippers will report any retries in the ripping log after a rip is completed. (2) The secure ripper also will compare the ripping results with the online AccurateRip database. This is an extra level of security. For example, it's possible (although very rare) that the ripper will get an identical result two times in a row on a certain part of the disc, but the result still does not match up with what several other rippers have gotten on their CDs using their software and CD-drive setups.

 

The result is that a secure ripper will tell you (1) If your rip matches other rips in the Accurate Rip database, and (2) if any retries (more than 2 passes) were necessary in order to get that accurate result.

 

As for CD drives, yes, the company/brand that sells the external CD reader drive is not necessarily the same company that made the actual CD mechanism inside the drive. There are all kinds of combinations of drive brand and internal mechanism. But in most cases your computer can tell you what actual mechanism is inside the case - and secure rippers like XLD usually can detect the mechanism and automatically apply the correct offset.

 

So it is definitely possible that you might see an external drive from Company A for $50 and one from Company B for $150 and both have the exact same actual drive mechanism inside. It could be that Company B is trying to rip you off - or it could be that Company B provides a well-damped metal case and a very sturdy power supply while Company A uses a crappy power supply and a flimsy plastic case.

 

And it also is possible that Company A makes 10,000 external drives with the same model number for the same price, but some of them have Mechanism A inside and others have Mechanism B, and maybe one of those two mechanisms is faster, or quieter, or better able to read scratched discs, or whatever.

 

All of this is hard to know, and hard to predict and compare before purchasing.

 

That's why my recommendation - and this part is my opinion - is that you decide if you want a desktop-type drive (larger, and requiring its own AC) or a laptop-type drive (smaller and usually powered straight from the USB plug) - and then buy one that seems decently well-built and within your budget.

 

Hope this helps!

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I seem to remember reading something when Meridian switched from designing bespoke CD transports (my last dedicated CD player was a 506.24) to incorporating commodity PC drives into their players that there were only a few manufacturers left actually producing transport mechanisms with no new innovation beyond lowering manufacturing costs. I think this is pretty clear when you look at the selection of OEM drives available on Newegg or at your local MicroWarehouse.

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I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can, and I will try to stick to what I believe are facts rather than my opinions.

 

Error correction usually refers to what a CD player does during playback when it has trouble reading the data on the CD. This is "undetected," to use your word, because most of the time you never hear it - we cannot tell if or when our CD players are using error-correction. The only time we can hear it is when it fails - the scratch or defect on the CD is so bad that the CD player's error-correction cannot compensate, and so the CD skips, or we hear digital ticks or clicks.

 

During secure ripping to a computer, a CD drive doesn't use error correction. And so to use your language, a secure ripping software program will indeed "find undetected errors" on a disc. In other words, it will find errors that your CD player can correct on-the-fly as it plays, but which are still errors - problems with reading the data from the disc. (But keep in mind that every CD player/drive is different - so your CD player might be able to read a scratched part of a disc with no problem at all while the CD mechanism in your computer drive might detect an error there. Or vice-versa - your CD player might need to use its error correction on a scratched part of a disc, but your computer CD drive might be able to read it with no problem, and therefore it would not see it as an error.)

 

It is important to note that reporting errors only happens with a secure ripping program. And only secure rippers will repeatedly re-read an error part of a disc to try to get a perfect result.

 

Non-secure rippers - like iTunes for example - will not report errors. iTunes does have an option to apply error-correction during ripping. I assume this is similar to what CD players use during playback, but I am not 100% sure. You can think of an iTunes rip with error correction as a digital recording of the playback of a CD player. So if your CD player has to use error correction, the result might sound perfect to you, but technically it will not be a bit-for-bit-perfect accurate rip because the error correction is guessing, and sometimes it will probably guess wrong. So there will be some stray 1s where there should be 0s and vice-versa. The same is true for an iTunes rip with error correction enabled. Usually this inaccuracy is not audible - but in my experience if you rip, say 100 CDs with iTunes, you are likely to find small audible glitches (clicks or a very brief bit of distortion) on maybe 2 to 5 percent of them, depending on the CD drive used during ripping, and on the physical condition of your CD collection.

 

A secure ripper - which is software, not hardware - will instead try to get an accurate rip through two main methods: (1) It will re-read every bit of info on the disc until it gets two consecutive reads with identical results. For a disc with no errors on it, this means a secure ripper will read each part of the disc twice. For a disc with errors on it, a secure ripper will re-try to read it a defined number of times until it either gets two consecutive identical results, or until it reaches the defined max number of retries. Most secure rippers will report any retries in the ripping log after a rip is completed. (2) The secure ripper also will compare the ripping results with the online AccurateRip database. This is an extra level of security. For example, it's possible (although very rare) that the ripper will get an identical result two times in a row on a certain part of the disc, but the result still does not match up with what several other rippers have gotten on their CDs using their software and CD-drive setups.

 

The result is that a secure ripper will tell you (1) If your rip matches other rips in the Accurate Rip database, and (2) if any retries (more than 2 passes) were necessary in order to get that accurate result.

 

As for CD drives, yes, the company/brand that sells the external CD reader drive is not necessarily the same company that made the actual CD mechanism inside the drive. There are all kinds of combinations of drive brand and internal mechanism. But in most cases your computer can tell you what actual mechanism is inside the case - and secure rippers like XLD usually can detect the mechanism and automatically apply the correct offset.

 

So it is definitely possible that you might see an external drive from Company A for $50 and one from Company B for $150 and both have the exact same actual drive mechanism inside. It could be that Company B is trying to rip you off - or it could be that Company B provides a well-damped metal case and a very sturdy power supply while Company A uses a crappy power supply and a flimsy plastic case.

 

And it also is possible that Company A makes 10,000 external drives with the same model number for the same price, but some of them have Mechanism A inside and others have Mechanism B, and maybe one of those two mechanisms is faster, or quieter, or better able to read scratched discs, or whatever.

 

All of this is hard to know, and hard to predict and compare before purchasing.

 

That's why my recommendation - and this part is my opinion - is that you decide if you want a desktop-type drive (larger, and requiring its own AC) or a laptop-type drive (smaller and usually powered straight from the USB plug) - and then buy one that seems decently well-built and within your budget.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Do you realise that all what you said is wrong :)

 


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I seem to remember reading something when Meridian switched from designing bespoke CD transports (my last dedicated CD player was a 506.24) to incorporating commodity PC drives into their players that there were only a few manufacturers left actually producing transport mechanisms with no new innovation beyond lowering manufacturing costs. I think this is pretty clear when you look at the selection of OEM drives available on Newegg or at your local MicroWarehouse.

 

This is what you think:)

 


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Do you realise that all what you said is wrong :)

Do you realize it's incredibly obnoxious - and a complete waste of time - to ask questions and then tell someone their entire response is wrong without bothering to point out what exactly you feel is wrong.

 

So please do go ahead and point out which specific points of mine are wrong - I am eager to learn.

 

Otherwise, though, you are trolling and should kindly take a seat.

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Do you realize it's incredibly obnoxious - and a complete waste of time - to ask questions and then tell someone their entire response is wrong without bothering to point out what exactly you feel is wrong.

 

So please do go ahead and point out which specific points of mine are wrong - I am eager to learn.

 

Otherwise, though, you are trolling and should kindly take a seat.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/optical-drive-25421/

 


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Currently using a "Super Drive", but I'd like something better.

l'm a Mac guy, so something that would play nice with the Mini & dBpoweramp

will be best.

If it can handle the other formats, that would be ideal.

 

Thanks

 

..and am very happy with it, but it's a few years old now and probably not available any more. You may like to check out this pretty recent comparison and decide which features are most important to you:

 

The Best External Optical Drives for DVDs and Blu-rays | The Wirecutter

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I am eager to learn.

A cd player or a drive will always perform error correction it's part of the reading process, error are detected by the drive and software have nothing to do with that.

The only benefit of a software is to choose the format in which you want to store your files and some other features but ripping is the drive and only the drive makes the quality of the rip.

Now if you have any question I'll be more than happy to answer.

 


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Thanks for that link.

 

The role of jitter and other electrical and electronic issues with reading CD data is of course important. But in the context of ripping, where the software/drive combo can do multiple passes because there's no requirement to stream in real-time, it's not at all clear that these design considerations are terribly important, so long as the resulting drive can accurately read discs with no errors and with zero or minimal retries.

 

If you disagree - if you are in the camp that says the sound quality can be impacted by what drive did the ripping even if the resultin rip is bit-perfect - then we can agree to disagree, because there's no point in going down that rabbit hole, especially since that goes beyond what the OP seemed to be looking for.

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A cd player or a drive will always perform error correction it's part of the reading process, error are detected by the drive and software have nothing to do with that.

The only benefit of a software is to choose the format in which you want to store your files and some other features but ripping is the drive and only the drive makes the quality of the rip.

Now if you have any question I'll be more than happy to answer.

 

Just saw this part of your response. "Ripping is the drive and only the drive makes the quality of the rip." Surely you must realize that when I - and others - told the OP that the software is important, we were referring to software that allows for secure ripping. Software like iTunes that has no ability to do a secure rip or tell you whether or not the rip is bit-perfect, is not a good solution for people who want truly high quality rips. Surely you would agree with that, yes?

 

So the software is in fact important. Now, whether it's XLD, Foobar, EAC, DBPoweramp - I agree that any well-designed software that can do secure rips and check with the AccurateRip database will be more or less equal for ripping.

 

As for the drive, if you are using software that does secure ripping and checks the AccurateRip database, then whether or not the drive itself uses error correction becomes irrelevant. If the drive uses error correction during ripping, but the error correction guesses wrong, then the rip will not match up with the AccurateRip database. If the drive uses error correction and it guesses right, then it doesn't matter - the result of the rip is accurate.

 

To put it another way, Yes of course, it's a very good idea to have drive with a well-designed, well-built motor and power supply, to reduce jitter. And I absolutely would want a drive that could produce accurate rips without excessive retries and other errors. But I would never rely on a drive's design specs and build quality INSTEAD OF secure ripping and the AccurateRip database.

 

So if you could be more specific about what you mean by the "quality of the rip," I think that would be very helpful. Thank you.

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