Deciding on wheather to rip to flac for my albums & then batch convert

I have been learing more & more about audio digitizing & some people seem to prefer to rip to a lossless format like flac & then batch convert to what ever lossy format, for ipods etc. I have about 300+ to 400 albums, & 2 extra external hard drives, the hard drives are iomegas that I bought in 2004 & 2005. I am not sure if they are 250 or 500 GB a piece, it does not say in the outside of them. I have the tyrial version ofdBpower amp & notice it has flac settings with alot of compression levels. Which should i use? & is flac a good universal format? will it be around awhile?

I came to realize maybe this would be the way to go flac for archiving them batch convert for portable player, that way I do not have to mess with the CDs so many times for re rips. I have gone & done about 30-45 so far in mp3 format, but realize with the lossless I can just batch convert.

To all the ones with experience & know how about this; from a newbie learning a lot, would it be worth it for me to do this? I would have to go back over some of the ones I have done in mp3 format, but then I would continue on with the rest with flac.

I notice dbpower amp while batch converting a flac folder with an album & songs, does not keep them together in a folder with the jpg art like the flac folder, but just puts out the individual songs, is there anyway to get it to keep them together in a folder like how it does when ripping from the original CD?

update; I figured out how to keep the folder structure, but cannot seem to keep album art with a batch conversion from the flac folder/album.

If you are looking to rip CDs, for archiving purposes, then it absolutely makes sense to rip to a lossless format, i.e Flac)…This way you will not have to touch/re-rip your CDs again, since with the lossless files you can convert to another lossless format w/o losing quality, and of course to convert to your choice of lossy formats…
The flac levels are just [I]that[/I] compression levels, [I]not[/I] quality levels…
The default 5 level is what I use…The higher the level the more compression(smaller size), but slower encodes(hardly noticeable IMO)…
In order to rip the art you need the registered version(if your trial period ended), and include/check MetaData in CD-Ripper Options…You can add DSP/Action and include 'Import/export album art…This will also export a folder.jpg file the destination directory you’ve set…You can also add an external image, if you want…

Edit:BTW, you can also encode to two different formats at the same time! Just set rip to ‘Multi-Encode’ and choose your formats…

Do you think my older hard drives I was describing will work? or are they too old? they are iomegas from 2004 & 2005. I think they are 250 gb each, will one of these be big enough for flac copies of 300+ albums, mp3s of these albums & an itunes library?

I was reading the help file for flac in dBpoweramp 7 they way it was described, the lowest level 0 was the least & the highest level was the best, that led me to believe that level 8 was the least amount of compression or best quality. I guess I missunderstood.

Right now I am using the trial version, the art & folder structure seems to be retained when ripping to flac, or doing any first rip, but when I do a batch convert from the flac album, the art is not there, is this where I input a DSP action for art? in the action box for in options for batch convert? does the rest of the metadata stay as well?

right now on the trial, does all the metadata stay & art stay when doing a flac rip? or do I need to register first? I dont want to waste my time ripping if I do not have full functionality of a trial version, if this is the case, I will just register.

If I wanted to make a duplicate Cd to play from the flac file how do I go about doing that? I am very hard on my cds & I will want a copy to play in a Cd player.

I looked at the bottom left corner of the screen at the rip to tab, & click to see the options, but there is no multi-encode option, at least I did not see one. There is flac,mp3,wave,apple,nero,oorg, etc but no multi encode, where else is it? do you mean there is a multi encode function when I am batch converting from the flac files? or is there this option when I am doing the flac rip? I would like to be able to do both flac & mp3 at the same time.

I know I am asking alot of questions, but I want to have a good grasp of this before I start on this big project, it is alot of time & energy. My school classes will start up again later this month & I will not have as much time.