Just wondering

I was just wondering if my understanding or recent experience is correct or not. I have been trying to rip (covert to mp3) some CD audio books. And, I wanted the files to be as tiny as possible.

I am using XP PRO SP2 and I experimented with several demo programs at different settings, and ended up with Xilisoft CD Ripper as my prefered program. (I am using MPEG-1 at 32 kbps in Mono. This seems to produce the smallest files, and I am generally satsified with the sound quality, since I want to do is listen to books on my cellphone.)

But, I was experiencing some odd phenomena. I kept getting an odd rythmic clicking sound that sometimes appeared in the background of the recording. This clicking sound is not really loud, but it is annoying during an otherwise “perfect” recording.

Some of the other ripping programs I tried also generated some strange artifacts at low bit rates (like cut-off words at the beginning of files), but Xilisoft CD Ripper is the only one that ever produced this particular clicking sound.

I tried re-converting at increased “Read Overlap” settings on Xilisoft CD Ripper and for a while I thought that that had solved the problem, but, it returned on different CDs. The clicking sound does not occur all the time, but when it appears on a particular track and seems to “stay there”, even when I try recording that particular track again.

Well, recently I tried disabling the “On-the-fly MP3 Encoding” and finally that seems to have solved the problem. But, I am now wondering what was going on, and whether or not it is likely to “strike again”.

As I understand it, by disabling the “On-the-fly MP3 Encoding” forces Xilisoft CD Ripper to create WAV files first, and then covert those into mp3. Can anyone explain to me why this seems to be improving the quality of the recordings?

Do you think that this will really solve my problem, or am I likely to get this clicking sound again on another different CD. (One problem is that I don’t know for sure if the problem there or not until I listened to entire recording, and in the case of audio books that can be many hours.)

If you think that creating WAV files in advance has really solved my problem, why can I not use “On-the-fly MP3 Encoding” (which is faster)? In other words, what is wrong with my computer?

Do I need a better sound card? (Does “On-the-fly MP3 Encoding” somehow pass through the soundcard? I am using a cheapo motherboard GA-K8VM800 motherboard with integrated audio, and I sometimes here strange -but different from the clicking sounds mentioned above- coming out of my speakers when the computer is on, even though no audio is being played.)

Would a faster CPU help? (I use a Sempron 3100+) Or, do I need more memory? (I have 1 GB)

All comments, suggestions and advice welcome. Thanks for your help.

Welcome to CD Freaks :slight_smile:

The information on the CDs is actually WAV already, but has a different header (i.e. labelled as something different) to it to make it play in a standalone CD player.

Compressing full resolution CD Audio down to 32kbps in mono is quite a lot of work for the computer to do, but also there may be gaps in the delivery of the CD data to the processor if the buffering of data from the CD drive isn’t that great. We come across this problem a lot with DVD copying, and for that reason doing anything ‘on-the-fly’ isn’t really recommended.

After you transfer the data to the hard drive, it can be supplied to the processor much faster and therefore the interruptions in data flow which might have produced the clicks, is less likely to be occurring.