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Is this a good external cd ripping drive?


greg788

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I'm just getting started and I need to rip a bunch of CD's. Rather than put the wear and tear on the Macbook Pro's drive I'm looking at this:

 

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/VLU2SD22X/

 

It's USB only and, being from OWC, is definitely Apple friendly. It uses a Pioneer drive, which I've been told is a good choice.

 

Thoughts? Other suggestions?

 

I'm aware of the mythical (and out of production) TEAC and Plextor drives that DBPoweramp expounds but they're unubtanium.

 

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Want some of the Unobtainiu?... All you need is access to a good avatar...

46557_gal.jpg

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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You'd not be put off because dBpoweramp only works with Win. If you have a Win PC nearby, you can rip your CD collection in any Apple format and import it to your Mac for playing. Look at Pure Audio or Amarra for hi-res plays.

 

Juan[br]DigiBit Team

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Tell you my thoughts on this. Which many will dispute. All this worry about ripping is mostly paranoia.

 

BTW, I used just the drive you are looking at to rip about one third of my 600 CD's.

 

I used software that compares reads multiple times to see if they are the same, and will re-read if they aren't. I settled on letting it read 3 times due to time constraints. I had a couple of aborted attempts where I tried to do 10 or 15 CD's per evening rather than all at once. By the time I had done just over 150 CD's I decided even this was cooling my desire to continue.

 

You know how many non-matching reads I had in that time? 6 tracks total. 3 of those was on a brand new never played CD. So only 4 CD's mis-read at all for a total of 6 tracks out of more than 1700 tracks and all were corrected with an additional read. Less than one third of one percent with half of it from one apparently badly pressed CD. I tried that bad CD on three different machines, the OWC external drive on Windows Vista, an NEC internal DVD drive on a linux machine, and a definitely low end internal Dell Laptop drive. 2 of those 3 tracks gave trouble on all three machines.

 

Since I was doing multiple reads I even let all this happen at max drive read speed.

 

I completed the remainder of my CD's with one read only, and didn't worry about it.

 

I also read again the problem CD and kept some of the mis-reads. I listened carefully thru my main rig, and again with headphones. I simply cannot hear any difference. Whatever bits were changed must have been minimal, and apparently to me inaudible.

 

I was originally of the same mind as most people, and didn't want to permanently rip faulty files to listen to for perhaps years. I eventually decided such rips are rare and furthermore most of them probably inaudible. I also began to think about real time playing over a CD player. Some of my CD's go back to the very first year of CD availability. I take care of them, but some have been scuffed somehow over the years. I also once had a player that showed when the error correction was happening. You know what, other than a test CD I never saw that engage more than a handful of times in the years I owned it. If you listen to real time CD replay from a player or transport it might misread slightly. Though I think it rare. Apparently even rarer to rip a file wrong. Sure it can happen. I bet most are inaudible.

 

In the end, I decided life is too short, this process pretty resilient, and ripped away with one read at max speed.

 

If you are just uncomfortable with doing that, you can rip at slower speeds, or use software that reads multiple times and compares the result. I really think it over kill to let it do that more than twice though.

 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Use itunes set to error correction mode and get on with it. Even DbPoweramp and the comparison database they use, accurate rip, has a built in flaw.

 

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=AccurateRip#Drive_read_offsets

 

You'll get fine rips even from itunes.

 

Then you can experiment with how the usb cable you are using with your external drive affects the sound of the rip, like I am. Don't believe it....... try a cheap no name cable and then a $10 Belkin or $50 Wireworld and see if you hear the difference in the rips.

 

Don't even ask me how it can be, I have no clue, but I do have ears:)

 

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"Even DbPoweramp and the comparison database they use, accurate rip, has a built in flaw."

 

The information in that wiki is about 2 years out of date, the flaw was corrected in AccurateRip v2. Thanks for pointing out the wiki though, I will update it.

 

Spoon- dBpoweramp & AccurateRip

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