Please recommend software

I just got out of school and I’m $30,000 in debt. So I’m not interesting in buying anything I can get for free.

I use Exact Audio Copy to rip CDs, because of the file quality and error correction.

One thing EAC can’t do that I occasionally need is the ability to extract consecutive tracks as a WAV single file. Some songs don’t end cleanly, but blend into the next track on the CD. Van Halen’s Eruption & You Really Got Me are an example of this.

Roxio’s Easy CD Creator can merge two CD tracks into one WAV file. As I paid $100 for the software, I’m not getting much return on my investment. I usually only use it to rip those consecutive tracks and to make backup data CDs. Once in a great while, I use it to edit a WAV file I need to burn onto an audio CD.

I use RazorLame to convert WAV files into MP3 files.

I use MusicMatch Jukebox to edit MP3 track tags and burn audio CDs. That was only $60, and I use it all the time – so I guess it was money well spent. But the MusicMatch software is pretty buggy.

Can anyone recommend freeware that can do the following:

• Merge consecutive audio CD tracks into a single WAV file
• Edit WAV files
• Make backup data CDs
• Burn standard audio CDs and apply volume leveling
• Batch edit MP3 id tags with all the standard info, including album art

Also, is it even possible to burn two consecutive tracks onto a CD so that there is no gap between them, as in the Van Halen example I gave above?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

EAC can extract the WHOLE CD as one huge WAV and a cuesheet.

The “Copy Range” function can extract a range to a single WAV, with the option to “snap track” to jump to the nearest point (start or end) of a track.

Finally, the “Process WAVE” function will allow you to mark breakless tracks in a full wave file - ideal for dividing a live recording - you can also lay down an index 0 at the start of some “between track” stuff (announcement / applause), and an index 1 at the start of the music - if you skip track, you start at index 1, and then it plays through - apart from track 1 index 0 to index 1, which would be a “hidden track” that can only be played by backspacing.

EAC can normalise the entire lump in “Process wav”, or the equalizer can be used to level up ur down a selection (I dipped the applause on a live recoprding, as that was the loudest bit). - I’ve also used LSAMP to apply moderate compression - It’s a rather irritating program to use, but it’s free and does a decent job - When you have settings that work well for you, save them!
A couple of tips, I like to run the SLOW compresser, VERY slow, with a decay of seconds, the control for that is barely off the stop, a moderate attack, and a threshold of 20db or lower (more -dB) - I tweak so that a gain of 7dB is applied, then the fast compressor - higher compression, higher threshold, wrestles the peaks for 3dB more gain - us the clipping reduction, or take some of the gain off, if clipping is a problem - the fiinal output is normalized to 100%, so you don’t need to cut it too fine.

For main writing software (EAC can write, but YMMV), I’d use whatever was with the drive, or failing that, there’s - a very professional looking program - a very LARGE program, and despite the name, NOT limited to XP - I call it the ugly one, but it really is an old standard

There’s also - but the others are a lot “cleaner” this gives you a dose of “Navhelper”, which they keep saying is not spyware, but it’s most definitely unwanted foistware

I read before that Goldwave has many features, some of which should suite your needs, and help you play with the 2sec gap as well.

Just google for it, although it is not an easy software to use.

I seem to remember not being able to find a lot of documentation on EAC. Sounds like I need to look around again, because EAC can do some of the things I need. If I was to put two consecutive tracks down that had no break between them, I would rather like to be able to use indexes properly, instead of just combining two distinct tracks as one single track.