A few questions from the not-quite-newbie audio fan

Greetings CD-Freaks! 

I have trolled these boards for information before to great success and learned a lot but I am yet to get answers to some of my more specific questions. I have been collecting music for the last 7 years and this year I decided that the 200+ hours I have accumulated over that time needed to be organized, labeled, etc., etc. I began shifting everything to a uniform ID3 tag scheme, file naming scheme, and bit rate about three months ago. I have gotten a lot of work done but I have run into a few snags that I hope to get the truth or at least a few educated opinions about the following:

  1. I use CDex and LAME 3.96.1 for all my ripping and I rip most all my music at 128-224 kBit VBR. My question here is simple … Is this a good idea? Should I re-rip at different rates? Is there a different codec I should use? Or is there something I should be sure to do that I may not know do ask? Any and all opinions and info are welcome.

  2. I originally did not want the ID3 tags on my music as they seemed superfluous but after finding that most MP3 players and iPods don’t read the file names but rather the ID3 tags I got iTunes and have been tagging away. Winamp is still my primary player but I am able to label and tag entire folders at a time so iTunes thus it is my #1 choice for tagging. What confuses me is this, using iTunes, I can tag my MP3s with ID3 v1.0, 1.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 … uhhh … help. I know the difference between v1.x and v2.x and that is about it. Which tags should I use? I currently use the 2.3’s as I heard the 2.4’s are not friendly with most apps but I could be wrong.

  3. Some songs are GREAT but have one really crappy part. I have taken to doing my own editing of these and have found that Audacity from Source Forge works wonders. I am curious if this is the best, and if so are there any special tweaks I should use?

  4. Finally, I want to get my hands on some very high quality sound and video equipment when funds allow and I was wondering who I should shop with. Money is not really an object here since I live by the “buy the best, cry once” philosophy (rather than the “I got a great deal on this … just like I did on the four previous failed ones like it” philosophy). At the same time I don’t want to spend more than I have to. In short, what is the best of the best (not 6+ figure priced) in TV’s, speakers, and amplifiers? Again opinions and facts of all sorts are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your any help and info you all can give me, it is much appreciated.

well opinions will vary on this and I’m not a true adiophile as to what hardware you home theatre should be, but I can toss out an opinion to your 1st question.

I don’t use CDEX, heard it a great ripper but never tried it. I use EAC myself, got it after my audiocatalyst became to unreliabe. To my ear, I like 128 just fine but rip at 192, no vbr, just me,but hate vbr…:slight_smile:

Lame is an awsome encoder and is my everyday plugin for EAC, but if you want a lossless encoder, you may choose to look into flac.

ID3 tags make it easier for me to maintain the play in order scheme of what I am ripping, have eac set to tag the file with track number 1st, title, then artist. This is just my preference…:slight_smile:

The hardware forum may assist yu in your home stereo purchase, but think it’s a subjective issue, and no matter how good the hardware is, a crappy rip will sound crappy…:slight_smile:

Thanks ZigZag, I appreciate the help :slight_smile: