Ripping Format and Storage Format for Music and Media


Hello everyone. This question has been gone over so many time on the forums I hesitate to bring it up again. I spent hours searching through many of the posts and found many of the different answers but still wanted to post the question again to see some opinions. Here are my basic questions and my situation.

Problem: I have thousands of CD’s and hundreds of DVD’s (CD’s being the biggest priority here). A long time ago I ripped the CD’s all to my NAS server using at the time the gold standard of MP3 at 192 kbps. Obviously, that wasn’t very good. Well recently I got a 6TB NAS server!!! I am going to be re-ripping all my music onto that server once and for all. I am not really concerned about storage space although it is always a little bit of a concern but I obviously want to rip in a lossless format. I also use an ipod but I am not completely again having 2 databases of music and I believe I might even have to have 3. One being lossless, the second being MP3 320kbps, the third being the iTunes folder.

Question 1: I believe I am leaning away from just ripping uncompressed lossless music. Not because of the storage space issue so much as the bandwidth issue of sending it over networks be it wireless networks around the house or through the web. (Not shared, just by me if I am out of town and listening through my SSL of something) I don’t know if my bandwidth concerns are valid though. Assuming that my bandwidth concerns are valid, that leads my to my second question…

Question 2: As far as the lossless type, I have seen by far the most recommendations for FLAC or WMA lossless. I believe I am leaning towards FLAC. I have heard that WMA lossless can be corrupted much more easily than FLAC. The flip side of that is I will eventually be using home media servers and would like to be able to transmit my music and media over the network. FLAC (I don’t believe) can be played by anything without being converted, while WMA can. I guess my first bug decision to make is for the lossless format: Uncompressed, WMA lossless or FLAC. This is what I figured out, tell me if I’m wrong:
Uncompressed: Cons - High transmission bandwidth, high storage space. Pros - Easily converted, easily played on anything.
WMA Lossless: Cons - Easily corrupted. Pros - Easily Converted, Easily Played on anything.
FLAC: Cons - Must be converted to be played. Pros - Easily converted, robust.

Question 3: I am borderline OCD when it comes to my organization. (Just look at my question layout here :smiley: ) So I would like a format that would allow the most functionality as far as album art, lyrics, artist info, etc. And a format that would be able to follow through with that and transfer it when being converted to a different format such as when converting from FLAC to MP3. Because of my ‘organizational’ issues, I am cuious about the lossless and lossy interactions. I would like the formats to sync. That is have the same file names (except for the file extensions) and have the same album art and all the same extra information but I don’t even know if that is possible.

I’m sure I will have follow up questions to this but I will leave it up to this for now. I don’t care if it is a paid for program. In fact, if I could find one that would do it all easily I would pay dearly for it. Idealy it would be a program that was even easier to use than EAC but one that ripped both lossless FLAC and lossy MP3 at the same time while creating the same file name but with different file extensions. It would also search the internet for the correct artist, track and album info and put it in whatever format I wanted along with all lyrics and album art. I know I’m probably dreaming, that would make life way too easy. If I found it, I would want the same thing for my DVD’s. Thanks in advance for all of your help on this.


Personally I wouldn’t want to lock myself into a proprietary format controlled by Microsoft for my music collection (WMA lossless).

I think the choice should be between FLAC and APE (a.k.a. Monkey’s Audio). Lots of programs support those formats. APE supports any tag you can think of (I don’t know about FLAC).

The file corruption argument for why FLAC is superior, is in my opinion irrelevant for files you keep on your own systems - otherwise you’d have to worry about file corruption in all your Word & Excel documents, program files etc. The anti-file corruption protection is only relevant for files saved in binary newsgroups where parts can easily be lost during transfer.

I have found APE to be convenient but I can’t say I have experimented very much with FLAC.

Welcome to CDFreaks! :slight_smile:

I rip all my CDs to Flac (Lossless) with EAC ,dBpoweramp or CDex…Flac is great for archiving, tagging, and supported by many SW players as well as several HD players…I can stream Flacs (wireless) to the PS3 which I’ve hooked up via optical to my receiver…I have a Rockboxed Sansa player that supports flac… I can convert from Flac to mp3, aac/m4a, wma etc…I mainly use foobar2k to convert from flac to a mp3 with tags from the flac files including album art, if I choose…Flac [I]is [/I] lossless, as with all lossless formats, you can burn an audio CD from the flac files and not have to worry about losing quality…

Thank you guys for the advice and input so far. The sourceforge link above is helpful. There is so much information about Flac and a lot of it is rather dated that it is hard to know where to start. As such a few of the links to get Flac to play on windows or the codecs for them were no longer working but they did begin to point me in the right direction to find one here.
I guess I just didn’t try real hard before I had an idea of which way I was going to go. I am curious to hear some other peoples input on these subjects. Does anyone have any opinions about the uncompressed or Flac thing?