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Ripping on a Macbook Pro

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I've read many of the threads here as well as Chris's excellent lead articles on his ripping strategy and the ultimate luxury equipment for ripping. I recognize that there may well be that "last ounce" of perfection that might be achieved if I used Chris's strategy, the perfect external drive, a dedicated ripping PC, etc. I plan to rip roughly 1,000 CDs and I’d like to do it only once.

My question has two parts:

If I simply use ITunes, with all the proper settings as noted here and on the Wavelength and Ayre sites (among others), will I be sacrificing materially in the quality of the rip? If the answer here is yes, please let me know if you feel the XLD solution is materially superior for both quality and tagging.

If I simply use the internal drive in a Macbook Pro, will I be sacrificing the quality of the rip or potentially threatening the durability of that drive. If the answer to this is yes, please recommend an external drive that is generally available.




MBP13-128gb ssd using VoiceOver to hear the screen, iTunes, Ayre QB-9, McIntosh mx119 & mc207, Thiel CS2.4

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I started ripping my collection via iTunes on a PowerBook about three years ago, and I gave that up when I ended up with too many rips that had little dropouts in them. Even with all the settings optimized (including "use error correction…") iTunes would skip a troublesome spot and leave me with a dropout in the file.


I now use XLD and rip to AIFF with maximum paranoia. With a 1 Gb firewire hard drive going for $179, I can store my whole music collection without compression. In my own listening tests, AIFF sounds a bit more smooth and a bit more open than Apple Lossless. Folks will certainly debate this, but the computer is definitely doing less to handle the file if it doesn't have to uncompress it on the fly for playback.


I don't know that you'll wear out your internal drive, but the internal drives on a notebook are pretty cheap devices. Things may go more smoothly and confidently with an external drive--they aren't too pricey. Even an excellent drive like a Plextor PXQ840u is only $80 from B&H Photo (among others).


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I agree with Xeno here. I'm not aware of any improved quality of ripping by XLD, as compared to itunes, but...and this is a big but, with iTunes you won't find out if there were any errors until you listen to the file later. I use XLD, ripping to AIFF, as Xeno suggests.


I've posted a couple of times about XLD.






OTOH, I've still no personal experience with external rippers.


I will say that if I planned to systematically rip 1000 CDs that I would invest in an external optical drive - probably Teac, Plextor, etc/.


best of luck,




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