Best methods for music archiving?

Recently been thinking of transferring all of my CDs to my pc, but dont want to use MP3… I want to retain as much of the audio quality as possible… I know there is always a tradeoff between quality and size and have been looking into lossless audo solutions… however, I know this roughly halves the file size, but retains all the quality. With the relatively low price of large capacity hard drives, and dual layer dvds… storage space is not too much of an issue, but I dont want wavs either!!!

I am therefore looking for a good ripper, and encoding solution, and after reading several articles/forums, have come to the conclusion that Monkey’s lossless audo, and maybe EAC would give the best results…

Anyone got any advice, or recommendations??

In addition… a suitable player… I made the mistake of buying MusicMatch, and regret it ever since, due to its file compatability, or rather lack of it… Winamp seems to be the best around???

Cheers

For a start, add www.hydrogenaudio.org to your list of Internet destinations, it’s to audio and codecs, what this place is to CD and DVD!

Of the lossles codecs, Monkeys and FLAC seem to get the most attention, and FLAC can also be combined in a format (Matroska?) which can hold other informations, such as cover images and descriptions.

The better lossy codecs, even LAME MP3 in “extreme” or “insane” mode, are normally “transparent” on the majority of material, but lossless is certainlty better if you can spare the space.

The Foobar player with plugins, may be a good choice - not pretty, but functional, and generally well supported with official/unofficial plugins for common and less common formats.
http://www.foobar2000.org/

Cheers for the link… and info!

there probably is no “best” method. Currently i use WMA lossless. i used to use flac and still do sometimes as flac seems to play back fast and can potentally archive a smaller file. but the difference may be negligable. but as you say with hdd disks being so cheap these days the file size isn’t overly important.

best to try out all the different ones yourself and remember because they are lossless you can change your mind later and convert them all to another lossless format without loosing any quality.