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Benefits of Ripping with XLD versus iTunes


cfmsp

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Below is a response to a question I received offline. I've removed any personal reference and posted my response below. I do not make reference to Chris' comprehensive ripping strategy due to the specific question I was asked.

 

"I am in the process of ripping my CD collection to an [name removed] raid hard drive that I will take with me - the CDs will remain in [my homeland]. I have been using iTunes to AIFF.

 

What benefits would I obtain if I changed to using XLD?"

 

 

In large part, the benefit from using XLD's ripping software (as compared to iTunes) could be labeled 'peace of mind', although for the perfectionist, or those who are ripping LARGE collections, ripping software like XLD would seem to be 'de riguer', perhaps even using Chris' ripping strategy.

 

To the specific benefits, XLD attempts to correct all errors encountered using the appropriately named and highly regarded CDParanoia engine. XLD also informs you of any errors that could NOT be corrected, whereas iTunes does not. With iTunes you find out later, when listening. :)

 

Secondly, there is the capability to compare your rips to the Accurate Rip database for checksum comparison between other known rips. This is often considered the primary benefit of using XLD, or other rippers with this capability, as this CAN be the ultimate in 'peace of mind', or the source of loss thereof.

 

Additionally, XLD will correct for any offset in the drive itself. The offset correction is automatic, in that XLD defaults to the known settings for most common drives, and you need do nothing. These is (admittedly very) little evidence that offset can affect the sound, despite that it has been reported anecdotally.

 

You can also set up XLD for something called C2 error correction, drive permitting.

 

Finally, XLD offers many options in it's ripping function, seemingly more than anyone could need. For example, the list of available formats to rip to includes formats I didn't know existed. Ditto for options like re-trying with bad disks, scanning disks for potentially bad sectors, etc.

 

WIth pristine discs, iTunes probably (some would say definitely, and Kent Poom famously saiddefinitively') rips as well as other programs, but gives NO indication of any undesirable behaviour with discs that are less than perfect, and thus the aforementioned lack of 'peace of mind'.

 

Others have reported hearing differences between various ripping engines, such as dbPoweramp, EAC, XLD, etc. I've yet to experience this personally, neither have I tried to.

 

The developer for XLD is a very dedicated Japanese fellow, who is constantly improving and/or adding features to XLD. There was a release Christmas Day I think.

 

So, in the end you trade one 'peace of mind' for another. With iTunes, you lose peace of mind due to not knowing if your rips are error-free. With XLD (and other programs), you lose 'peace of mind' due to now knowing if you've set all the available options correctly, or when your rip's checksum does not match the Accurate Rip database, or perhaps even due to wondering whether to re-rip now that a new feature offering even more 'peace of mind' is available. :)

 

Pick your poison,

clay

 

 

 

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Chris,

 

While this particular instance was an old fashioned contact via email, I've received quite a few questions via PM since the feature was installed. Almost always the poster seems to believe their questions are not 'worthy' of being asked on the forum.

 

clay

 

PS, re the ripping software programs - while I don't know from personal experience, I assume that most of the PC-based ripping programs offer all the same pluses as XLD.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

How do I replace previously ripped tracks in iTunes with XLD so that I retain the tags like artwork and such?

 

Intel iMac C2D, iTunes>ALAC>Airport Express, Audiolab 8000CD player, Audiolab 8000S amp, Dynaudio Audience 42 speakers, Chord Rumour speaker cable, Mark Grant Interconnects, Grado SR80\'s, Sennheiser PX100\'s, 5G iPod

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