Should I buy used Plexwriter Premium-U CD-RW external (local)?

vbimport

#21

[QUOTE=Xercus;2759054]… DO NOT remove it from the enclosure if your machine is of a recent make, it will be a waste of time…
The reason is simple, that drive has a PATA interface (40/80 conductors), a standard that no longer exists in many new machines which comes equipped with the SATA interface (7 conductors). This interface succeeded the PATA and was first used in Plextor drives later when PX-716SA was released (if memory serves me right). <snip>
:)[/QUOTE]
My machine is an old DELL Precision Workstation 670 , so it has some old IDE , as well as some SATA; it weighs ALOT.
Given that it has room for 3 - 5.25" drives , would it be a good idea to mount internally ?


#22

Hi PositiveX

Good, I just wanted to save you from the trouble :slight_smile:

External -> Internal:
Unless you have general trouble communicating with USB devices, I can’t see anything to be gained from mounting it internally… apart from being less flexible.

As it is now, you have a flexible driive that you can use when you want to rip your musiccollection and then turn it off afterwards. If you mount it internally, it will start and stop with your machine and accumulate power-on hours when you are not ripping music.

You mention, you want to rip ≈700 CDs which is a lot of work and in my experience, a few days/weeks away from ripping in between is only natural unless you like to dream about CD-ripping at night as well :slight_smile:
During these breaks, you have the flexibility to turn it off. Like others have said before me, the Premium is one of the finest drives ever made, but it must be emphasized that what we all are thinking of is the DAE (Digital Audio Extraction) features.
Notice when you mention scratched discs, we all find other makes and models to be our “choice” and for me, I always start with Lite-On SSM-8515S & Samsung CD-Master 24E SN-124 (Laptop Drives) before moving on to my Plextor PX-230A.
In other words, the Premium should never be your only drive and my advice is you keep it external.

What I would be very serious about is to have EAC set up correctly, Accuraterip and all if you rip your collection to flac (you would probably only like to do ≈700 CDs once) :wink:


#23

[QUOTE=positiveX;2759080]I do have a couple that [S]are[/S] were favorites that skip when played.
I will start another thread for listing the ‘regular / DELL’ CD / DVD s that I have to get opinions on which would handle those badly scratched CD s.?[/QUOTE]
For scratched factory-pressed CDs, ALI-based CD writers are superb. In real world use, they are probably the fastest drive for audio extraction ever made and can occasionally (but not always) perform miracles on scratched discs. If you can verify the result using Accuraterip I would recommend one without hesitation.

There are 3 Benq models which use ALI chipsets: 5224W, 5232W & 5232X (rebadged as Plextor PX-230A, but not worth the exorbitant premium).

The 5232X is preferable, as it uses the same drive mechanism as the Benq DW1640/1650, which is super-smooth at high speeds & has excellent cooling. But all 3 drives seem to have very similar reading performance. (I own an external 5224WU & 2x 5232X.)

But there are a couple of issues. Firstly, although they report C2 errors very reliably, there are some caching issues which if not taken into account can lead to false negatives when re-ripping occurs. Most software either erroneously reports that they don’t cache or significantly underestimates the amount.

I trust the figures reported by Cache Explorer (written by former CDFreaks member Spath), which says that the drive caches and that the amount varies between about 340KB & 1160KB. So the only secure way to use these drives without Accuraterip is to manually set the cache size to 1200KB. As far as I know dBpowerAMP is the only secure audio extraction software which allows one to set the cache size manually.

(There is a very interesting conversation on an audio forum between Spath & Spoon, author of dBpowerAMP, regarding how the PX-230A caches. Each has a different interpretation of the timings. But I think Spath’s technical argument is the correct one and it is on this that my faith in Cache Explorer is based.)

Other drawbacks of these drives are that they do not perform as well reading CD-R discs, or any discs which have suffered other damage (degradation, oxidation, physical damage to reflective layer etc.). And their error concealment (interpolation) is very poor - I often suspect they may not even attempt to interpolate. Although this is actually a big advantage when it comes to audio restoration from badly damaged CDs, when one has to resort to manually repairing every error individually.

For the best all-round performance with CD-R & discs with other damage, I favour a Mediatek-based DVD writer. Mediatek-chipsets have superb error concealment. Samsungs & later Lite-On drives have the advantage of not caching and are pretty quiet. Some earlier Lite-On drives support FUA. (I haven’t tried any Mediatek-based LG or Pioneer drives.)

But when it comes to audio extraction from damaged CDs, it is useful to have as many different drives (with as many different chipsets) as possible.

An NEC-based Optiarc occasionally succeeds where the Samsungs have failed, but is usually worse. I had an LG Panasonic-passed laptop CD-RW/DVD-Rom drive which was an outstanding performer. And my PX-755UF once (and only once) managed the impossible - secure extraction from a disc with a very deep & wide circular scratch, which every other drive failed to complete - but is otherwise not particularly good.

[QUOTE=positiveX;2759080]
? The PlexTools Pro XL 3.16 did not work – it hung up on the splash screen. I tried it with the CD on / off , connected / not to the internet. ?[/QUOTE]
:frowning: That’s a shame. It works fine for me under Windows 8.1. For scanning you can use Opti Drive Control, QPX Tool or PX Scan.


#24

I am new to the forum as well(Green Newbie) and am following this thread closely.
I am also in the process of ripping my cd collection and am searching to buy one or two cd drives for this operation. So far have used an LG GP60NB50 with CueRipper. AccurateRip giving me all perfect reports. But I need a new drive as I borrowed the LG and I am not sure it is the best drive for the job. My Cd’s are all in good to perfect condition. So from what I gather a Mediatek chipset drive is the superior choice? Is an external optical drive enclosure necessary or the best way to go for an internal drive? The LG I have been using has given me all perfect Accuraterip reports but it is just an external slim portable drive. If I were to go purchase a drive today what would be suggested as my top two choices. I have USB 2.0 (x2) and USB 3.0 (x1) ports available to me. No eSATA port.
Sorry If I highjacked this thread but it is basically inline with my questioning.
Thanks for any/all help.

Sorry after re-reading the last post by Ibex I see that Ali chipsets are (I think) better suited for ripping my factory pressed cd collection.
BenQ 5232x?


#25

I have a BenQ DW1625 available for $20.
There are also BenQ 5232x’s available for a bit more. Would this be a good way to go?
Are there newer drives that are worth looking at or are the older drives superior?


#26

Welcome to the forum.

I don’t consider the Nexperia-based Benq drives (DW1600 to DW1655) particularly suitable for audio extraction. They lack C2 reporting (essential IMO, unless you can verify by Accuraterip) and are not particularly good with damaged discs.

However they are arguably the best consumer CD scanners of all (although if possible, I would get the newer DW1640 or 1650 instead).


#27

If your CDs are in reasonably good condition and the result can be verified by Accuraterip, almost any modern drive will do (c.2002 onwards).

If your CDs do not appear in the Accuraterip database, I recommend using a writer with reliable C2 reporting. Writers are generally preferable to read-only drives. Most modern drives can report C2 errors, but this feature can be ‘broken’ by some USB bridge chips. This is less likely to happen with manufacturers’ own external drives. (Although I experience problems with all 3 of my Renesas-based external LG drives. My Mediatek-based slim external LG is OK).

Only if your CDs are badly damaged does the choice of drive become a significant issue. And even then, no single drive is best for every source of error. It is often a case of trying several different drives and choosing the best result.

For a good all round drive which is still available new, I would suggest buying a Mediatek-based Lite-On or Samsung DVD writer. An NEC-based Lite-On or Optiarc would also be a good choice.

If you live in North America and would like an external drive, a member posted this HP 1270e on Amazon in another thread. It is a rebadged Lite-On drive (probably an iHAS224 B) in a Lite-On enclosure and looks like excellent value for money.

An internal drive would be a bit cheaper and perform just as well. But these days my personal preference is for external drives. They are more convenient and are likely to be more useful in the future as an increasing number of cases don’t have any 5.25" drive bays at all. And it is much more comfortable to rip a large number of discs sitting in an armchair with a laptop rather than being tied to a desk. It is much easier to take a drive out of its internal enclosure than try to find a good enclosure for an internal drive.

My experience is mostly with heavily used (and abused) ex-library audiobooks, typically 8-12 years old and mostly distributed on badly written CD-R of various makes (including some with fake ATIP codes). And even when the discs are in good condition, the publisher has often used a bad audio CD as the source for the duplicator and I find the disc has badly broken audio [I]written[/I] to it. And that’s before considering the stuff I have to clean off discs - milky drink residue is seemingly opaque to the drive’s laser, and what sane person would use fried bacon as a bookmark! :eek:

This is about a difficult as it gets for audio extraction.


#28

Thank you very much Ibex. I really appreciate you input/insight :slight_smile:
I am in British Columbia, Canada.


#29

(""And that’s before considering the stuff I have to clean off discs - milky drink residue is seemingly opaque to the drive’s laser, and what sane person would use fried bacon as a bookmark! “”)

LOL !:slight_smile:


#30

[QUOTE=Xercus;2759099]<snip> External -> Internal:
Unless you have general trouble communicating with USB devices, I can’t see anything to be gained from mounting it internally… apart from being less flexible.
As it is now, you have a flexible driive that you can use when you want to rip your musiccollection and then turn it off afterwards. If you mount it internally, it will start and stop with your machine and accumulate power-on hours when you are not ripping music. </snip> ;)[/QUOTE]
Thanks for the info. ; I did not know this – you convinced me.


#31

I am going to play these flac files in foobar2000 ; using the flac from here : http://www.rarewares.org/lossless.php
I found the offset correction [+30] here : http://www.daefeatures.co.uk/search.php ; & here http://www.accuraterip.com/driveoffsets.htm .
Using a ‘test cd’ EAC gave no surprising capabilites for this drive . The feature detection matched this post : http://www.digital-inn.de/threads/best-settings-program-for-scratched-cds-using-plextor-premium-drive.29386/ :

Current Drive Settings
Hersteller (Brand): Plextor
Modell (Model/Type): Premium
Firmware (Firmware): 1.05
Accurate Stream (Accurate Stream): Ja (Yes)
Audio Puffer (Audio Caching): Ja (Yes)
C2 Fähig (C2 Error retrieval): Ja (Yes)
Lesekommando (Read Command): D8
Lese Offset Korrektur (Read Offset Correction): +30
Ãœberlesen in Lead-In/Out (Overreading into I/O): Ja (Yes)
CD-Text (Read CD-Text): Ja (Yes)
EAC Brennen (EAC Write): Ja (Yes)
Schreib Offset (Write Offset): -30
Ãœberschreiben in Lead-In/Out (Overwriting into I/O): Ja (Yes)
UPC/ISRC schreiben (Write UPC/ISRC): Ja (Yes)
CD-Text schreiben (Write CD-Text): Ja (Yes)
#2 bryanemerson, Mar 11, 2005

? Backing up a bit - [B]Settings ? [/B]
GUI : EAC > Compression options … > [B]External compression[/B] [I][tab][/I] ?

[ul]
[li] Use extenal program [checked (yes)][/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] Parameter passing scheme: “User Defined Encoder”[/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] Program … C:<path to rarewares flac>[/li][/ul]

[QUOTE=Ibex;2759050]
To speed up re-ripping you can disable caching using FUA (add [B]-usefua[/B] to the command line for EAC).
[/QUOTE]
? Can this be included in the " [I]Additional command-line options[/I] " ?
At present , I found a template for this entry on the hydrogenaudio.io wiki , and modified it slightly for a ‘test rip’ :

-3 -V -T "ARTIST=%artist%" -T "DATE=%year%" -T "ALBUM=%albumtitle%" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%" -T "TITLE=%title%" -T "GENRE=%genre%" -T "BAND=%albuminterpret%" -T "ALBUMARTIST=%albuminterpret%" -T "COMPOSER=%composer%" -T "DISCNUMBER=%cdnumber%" -T "TOTALDISCS=%totalcds%" -T "TOTALTRACKS=%numtracks%" -T "COMMENT=%comment%" %source% -o %dest%

? at the start of that line ?

[ul]
[li] Bit rate : 1024 kbps[/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] Delete WAV [checked (yes)][/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] Use CRC check { have seen NOT to use this [B]?[/B]}[/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] Add ID3 tag [checked (yes)][/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] Check for external programs return code [checked (yes)] {Is this for the compressor [B]?[/B]}[/li][/ul]

[ul]
[li] High Quality[/li][/ul]
These settings gave a very accurate rip.
Scanning the booklet art & cropping & saving to png took longer than copying the CD !
.
To recap , I am seeking validation for what I have set , and
? how I can use the command line switch [I]-usefua[/I] ?

Thanks to all for all of this info.


#32

Phew!
First of all, find a CD in your collection which is in the Accurate-Rip database and it will pop up offering to configure your drive. let it do that to have your rips be compared to other rips found in the database. The offset is correct, but still you should.
Your qestions in general are reaching all over, but I will try to put together an answer to life, the universe and everything during the weekend… it will not be 42 though :wink:


#33

[QUOTE=positiveX;2759156]
? Can this be included in the " [I]Additional command-line options[/I] " ?
[/QUOTE]
No, that is for the compressor executable. -usefua is a command line option for EAC itself.

Right-click on the shortcut for Exact Audio Copy and select properties. Then go to the Target box and add -usefua to the end.

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\EAC.exe” -usefua

To test if FUA is working, go to drive options and run cache detection again. This time EAC should report the drive doesn’t cache.

If you wish, you can create a second shortcut for EAC with FUA. But it shouldn’t matter if you use FUA with drives that don’t support it, the command will just be ignored by the drive.


#34

Hi again PositiveX and sorry to be a bit late according to my own set timeframe.

As I said, your questions covered a lot of bases, but that is to be expected as there is a lot to set up and take into consideration. After writing for some time, I found that “to be all over the place” is a somewhat all-absorbing point of departure and decided to split my answer in 3 parts. This along with everything that came to mind while writing was what made up the extra time to get to the finish line. Hopefully, it will serve as a good foundation for further research on you own behalf.

This first part will take a quick recap from start with the installation of EAC and move on to the first part of the setup, the drive settings.
In the second part, I will set up the EAC options, and in the third part, I will explain compression options and EAC ripping… and also try to explain some other elements on the subject of DAE.

I will try to do all this from the perspective of generating what is commonly known as a 100% rip. By that I mean that the settings will be in line with standards set by member only community sites on the net which use scripts to evaluate the log file of a rip. The 100% rip is a derivation of getting a 100% score from these log-checking scripts. It must be noted that these scripts are not very flexible and so there are some settings that can not be set even though your burner supports it. I will make a note of it where relevant.
To answer the question before it occurs, the logfile from the rip done after setting it all up according to the below got a score of 100 (out of 100)

Installing and initial configuration:

The first part is so straight forward I will not bore you with any step by step, but only note the following


It may not be necessary to install the GD3 plugin even though it is pre-selected. Only 10 free CD lookups is included, then it is $7.99 for a lifetime license for EAC users.
If you like, you can check the AcousticID plugin to participate in building an online song recognition database by submitting samples from your rips. As seen above, this is the only option not preselected

Once the installer is finished and EAC starts for the first time, this wizard comes up:


Most will work through this wizard, but there really is no need to. Click cancel and find a well known album in your CD collection. My choice this time was “Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast”, 1998 remaster which I must note as I will be using it as the example throughout this ‘mockup’ guide.

[B]You may have to try a few CDs to find one that is a key disc[/B], but when you find one and the key disc is recognised in EAC the AccurateRip wizard pops up.

A little info about what it expects to find is present, but so far I have never been asked for a second key disc.
Click [B]Configure[/B]


AccurateRip has configured the drive. Click [B]OK[/B] and your done with the process.

Notice that I have yet to do any manual configuration. The above steps should be done first as as it changes what we can configure in the “Offset/Speed” tab in the next part.

EAC Driive configuration:
Contrary to next parts EAC options, the settings we configure here is on a per drive basis, meaning that it will only be valid for the drive in question and not for other optical drives, if any, installed. In other words, it will have to be done once for each drive. The same is true for the AccurateRip wizard.

Now for for the manual part, tap the F10 key on your keyboard and you are greeted by this warning


click [B]OK[/B] at the warning to bring up the drive options.

Click the “Extraction Method” tab if it is not active


There is a resonably good test to detect read features as well as to examine C2 error corection capabilities for the drive present, but the settings for C2 error and audio chaching should look like this no matter the result of the tests, or the log file will not pass scripted logchecking with a 100% score.
In day to day ripping, the above setting works fine, but With that said and when the focus shifts to rescue, there are two obvious tweaks to get that pesky CD to rip. One is to retry the rip in “Burst mode” and the other if the drive fully supports C2. Both may help substantial in succeeding.

What must be taken into account and just as important is the information from Ibex on the subject of chipsets and optical drive models best suited for recovery tasks.
This will, in my experience, influence the result far more than tweaks can ever manage.


[B]Autodetect read command[/B]
Here I simply click on [B]Autodetect read command now[/B] to make sure it is set for the drive once and for all. The setting could probably be left at the [B]Autodetect read command[/B] instead of [B]Read command D8[/B] and still cause no ill effect, but it has become a habit since the early days of EAC to do so.

Swap channels
keep unchecked unless you know your drive swap the channels on extraction. The drives of which I know nothing is as pointed out very few.

[B]Spin up drive before extraction[/B]
This is a leftover from days gone by afaik. If indeed you get errors at the beginning of an extracted audio file, this is your first stop in analyzing the cause. If the error disappear, you have one of these drives. Normally unchecked.

[B]CD-Text Read cabable drive[/B]
should be checked for drives capable of reading CD-Text like the Premium


The topmost part is greyed out as this drive is managed by AccurateRip. Notice that the drive offset is listed. What a sample of sound really means confuse many, but given a samplerate as on CD, there are 44100 of them per second and calculated mathematically it is 1/44100 of a second or a small timeframe of 22.676 microseconds (µs). In light of this, 30 samples is not much, but for a 100% bit perfect rip they are ever so needed. The theory behind this has everything to do with Exact Audio Copy, but is way beyond the scope of this document. I thought I should note it to make you see that this, in reality is a perfectionists game, one that way more people than perfectionists play
The combined read/write offset is calculated from the read and the write offset and while it to falls out of the scope of this document too, we will revisit it ever so briefly later on. when we get to how to find the write offset which is needed to burn back a 100% bit perfect copy

[B]Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out[/B]
Should be checked if the drive supports it like most Plextor drives do. If this function is unchecked, EAC will not address the drive to even try to use what it is capable of.

[B]Current Speed selection[/B]
You can force a lower speed using this, a nice feature when focus is to rescue a CD. In day to day ripping though, just leave it at ‘Current’.

[B]Allow speed reduction during extraction[/B]
This allows EAC to reduce the speed of the drive if a read error occurs. Again, this is a tweak for rescue and can be used with the above to force one particular speed. Keep checked for day to day operation.

[B]Use AccurateRip with this drive[/B]
Used to turn off accuraterip and be able to activate the greyed out Use read sample offset correction and manually set read offset correction. Deactivating it will probably influence the score of your log negatively (though I am not sure). I base my assumtion solely on the fact that your rip will not be compared to the AccurateRip database and so you could risk a 5% deduction even if the rip in reality match the data. The script only knows that it can not find AccurateRip data in the log. Scripted checks comes with no AI and so is just about as flexible as tempered steel.


[B]Gap/Index retrieval method[/B]
Above this is set to Detection method A, but must match your drive and if it takes a long time to detect gaps or detects hillarious big gaps, change to eiter method B or C and retry. there is no facit to what is correct but the fastest usually is.

[B]Detection accuracy[/B]
This affects how many times EAC will re-read the gap and compare. Secure is the most rigid and so I have it set at that level. EAC is all about ‘Exact’


It seemed like EAC failed to detect the write features of the PX-708UF. I had to set the options manually.
I got suspicious though when it failed in burning the Offset CD by pressing the [B]Create Offset Test CD[/B] button as well. In the options, there are no error showing, it just don’t dont work. I realised what was wrong when I got this error trying to burn a CD:

The truth is that while I did the snapshots, I accidentally activated CDRDAO which is not smart in recent operating systems from Vista onwards. Deactivating that, it all works like charm:

Good, then I got to tell you that as well.
I have pasted the tooltips in the screenshot to make them static and hopefully the following easier to follow

[B]Create Offset Test CD[/B]
This function seem to puzzle many, and at the end of the day, calculating offset from scratch is in reality very complicatet, but not here, burn a CD with 0 offset correction to find the combined offset. You do this by detecting the read offset correction using this CD. The answer you get is wrong as EAC will actually be reporting the combined offset for read and write. In other words, do not apply this value as it is only valid for calculating the write correction.
In this case the combined offset is zero and so I just swap plus for minus and so end up with -30 as the write offset correction. The formula is “combined offset correction for read & write - read offset correction”.

[B]Detect Write Features[/B]
This will report if the drive is capable of burning UPC/ISRC and CD text as noted in the screenshot

Well, that concludes this first part. just click OK and you are back in the main interface.


#35

EAC Options:

Instead of using shortcuts, in this case the F9 key to navigate, we may use the menu system.


Select [B]EAC Options[/B]


[B]Fill up missing samples with silence[/B]
This must, for a score of 100%, always be checked.The PX-708UF overreads into lead-in and lead-out and there never will be any missing samples to fill up and the function should never be become active. In other words, it does not matter if the option is checked. If the drive however does not support overreading, this setting will step in and fill up the missing samples with silence. In light of this, make it a habit to check it for any drive regardless. The function can be temporarily disabled for testing if an unknown drive is capable of overreading.

[B]Synchronizing between tracks[/B]
should be checked to remove the possibility of small pops between tracks.

[B]Lock drive tray during extraction[/B]
Optional, but I keep it checked, in case I for some reason happen to click the eject button by accident.

[B]Error recovery quality[/B]
Set to “High”


[B]Use alternate CD play routines[/B] Will take the digital signal from the ribbon cable and not from the analog output of the burner. It does not influence ripping though, only the EAC player routine.

[B]Disable ‘CD Autostart’…[/B]
Needed to avoid errors triggered by the autostart function kicking in.

[B]Ask before overwriting files[/B]
This is my personal preference to remember to delete data and log if I have to do the rip once more, thus avoiding one and a half rip in the logfile. The log appends to the previous log if it exist.

[B]Show status dialog after extraction[/B]
Serves as a quick view of a god rip when AccurateRip reports [B]Accurately ripped (confidence #)[/B] for all tracks.
[I]The log is automatically saved when we are finished configuring and should not be saved even if the button[/I] [B]Create Log[/B] [I]is available. Always select the[/I] [B]OK[/B] [I]button to avoid an erroneous logfile[/I]

[B]wait for external compressor[/B]
Wait for flac to finish encoding before continuing.

[B]Use language[/B]
Change the language of the interface to your language if different and supported. Just make sure to tick [B]Create log files always in english language[/B] as shown above.


[B]Retrieve UPC/ISRC codes in CUE sheet generation[/B]
Check only if the drive supports retrieving the code. Your Premium have no trouble retrieving them, but not all have that ability and so it must be tested if unknown. The ISRC code has the format seen in the next paragraph. - more info here

[B]Use CD-Text information in CUE sheet generation[/B]
This setting will include information about the artist, album and track in the cue-sheet like this
PERFORMER "Iron Maiden"
TITLE "The Number of the Beast"
FILE “01 - Invaders.wav” WAVE
TRACK 01 AUDIO
TITLE "Invaders"
PERFORMER "Iron Maiden"
ISRC GBAYE9801377
INDEX 01 00:00:00
It is easy to untick ‘Write CD Text’ at burn time if you do not want it to be written. Adding CD text if you want it however, is a tedious task and so it should be checked.

[B]Create ‘m3u’ playlist on extraction[/B]
While they have a troubled past compatibility-wise in the day of different keymaps (ASCII/ANSI) and I hardly ever use them, it is still a ‘best practice’ setting and I do keep it checked

[B]Automatically write status report after extraction[/B].
Very important as this is the setting that helps you never to forget to save a log. After all, EAC is all about perfect ripping and the log should always be present as a verification that the rip is indeed perfect.

[B]Append checksum to status report[/B]
This setting is just as important as the above and will influence the score negatively if not set.
It serves as a guarantee that your log has not been altered after the rip was finished. Incredible as it may sound, in the past there have been incidents were some did alter the log-file manually to make it seem like the rip was 100% when in reality there were errors on one or more tracks. Their motivation is beyond my understanding, but this setting was born out of necessity because of such actions

[B]Convert BMP image files automatically to JPG[/B]
This setting is for the image you see for the album in the main interface of EAC. Pictures with the extention .bmp are uncompressed bitmap files and makes the embedded file big. with this setting checked, EAC will automatically convert the images to jpeg (.jpg) which is ten times smaller. Check!

The setting to [B]On extraction, start external compressors queued in the background[/B] and to [B]Use # simultanious external compressor thread(s)[/B] I have for, reasons revealed later on, never used and so I can not vote any way. However, with todays computers, the waiting time is short enough to say that keeping it unchecked is no drawback.

[B]Do not open external compressor window[/B]
Usually, at the end of extracting a track, a command window opens and you can see the progress of the FLAC encoding process. The window closes automatically at the end of encoding, but if you check this setting, the window will not open. There is no ill effect apart from if the encoding process should hang, you will not see the reason why EAC seem to hang. I have never experienced that happening though, so use your preference. Old-school as I am, I like that window appearing because if I does not, I have accidentally started a ‘uncompressed’ rip.

[B]Submit drive features after detection[/B]
Optional, but I have always chosen to participate by submitting results for new drives I connect.

[B]DO NOT ACTIVATE!!![/B]

The tab contradicts the very idea of EAC as it introduce on-the-fly processing of the sound data on the CD before writing them to disk. This function alone is guaranteed to give your rip a not so perfect score of 0% no matter the rest of your settings. In my opinion, the tab should have been removed before it ever made it to the program. [B]The reason for that is that no action following its activation is “Exact” anymore[/B], and the subject is not even open for discussion.


Naming scheme.
%tracknr2% - %title%
[B]Use various artist naming scheme[/B]
%tracknr2% - %artist% - %title%

If you choose “%tracknr2% - %title%” without path like above, the below will not happen. It means however that directories will have to be created manually.


My chosen setting saves the rip in a subfolder of the default directory which breakes the CUE sheet.

The CUE sheet saves to the default path found in the [B]Directories[/B] tab and currently there is no option to override that behavior that I know of. Due to the above’s “%albumartist% - %albumtitle% (%year%)%tracknr2% - %title%” introduction of a subdirectory, that is now the parent folder of my rip and not very practical. To get around that, I move it to the same folder and that is the action where the CUE sheet breaks.

EAC takes the whole string set above as the CUE “FILE” string and does not interpret “”, resulting in (todays key disk as an example):
FILE “Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast (1982)\01 - Invaders.wav” WAVE

Evidently, the CUE sheet has to be in the parent folder or edited to be usable, the latter is my “least work” solution as I perform a simple batch job in UltraEdit from time to time instead of naming every time;
Replace in all files of type .cue in the “D:\EAC” folder and all subolders
Search for: FILE "*
Replace with: FILE "
Freeware alternatives capable of the above probably exist simple as it is.
Anyway, this restores all CUE sheets to working order and our FILE string has become: FILE “01 - Invaders.wav” WAVE


The default is functional.


Settings for creating preview of songs for catalogs, I have never used it


My default path for ripping for this setup. The general advice is to keep this path short and not containing any personal information like your user account appearing in the path. This makes sense avoid hitting Microsoft maximum number of characters fof path and filename combined. This logical only limitation is defined in the MAX_PATH constant to 260 characters (D:\256characters{Null terminator}=260), but it varies (in Microsoft Office it is 219 and for folders it is 248 both including final null terminator). It also makes sense from a security standpoint.


[B]Upper all characters (on writing)[/B]
Capital letters are more compatible with stand alone CD players so I keep it checked

[B]Inlude artist in the CD-Text track title entry (on writing)[/B]
Cosmetic, but som CD players does not display artist, only the name of the track. Here you can compensate for the shortcoming by checking this option

[B]Disable copy protection flag on adding audio files to the layout editor by default[/B]
Here you can make it default to disable adding the copy protection flag to the CD when writing. If it is present on the CD, it will be added to the CUE shet when it is saved. It can be disabled from the Editor as well if need be, so I do not set it as default.

[B]Use CDRDAO for writing in the EAC layout editor[/B]
I use this for burning on my XP installation, but it does not work on Windows 8.1 and should be unchecked
The popup tip is informal and so I made it static.


Many are the stories of an inferior SPTI (SCSI Pass Through Interface) implemented in Windows XP, when compared to the older ASPI (Advanced SCSI Programming Interface) from Adaptec. In the screenshot it also becomes evident why I do not have any extra compressor threads or start them in the background as mentioned earlier - the processor is monocore.
Even though being old school, my advice unless particular needs require, use SPTI.


Seemingly uninteresting, the plugins tab is where you can activate and deactivate the plugins installed.
However, there is support for plugins to have options. In this so far latest incarnation of EAC, two plugins are installed if all is checked during installation.
I thought I should mention it as I can not recommend you activate the option in the AcousticID plugin. The reason is simple, I do not know if this will negatively influence the score you get in automatic log-checking. Personally, I have chosen to participate by sending samples, but do not care to have information therof in my log-files
That is all setup done here, klick OK and when back in the main interface.

This concludes this part of the EAC setup. In the next and final part, We will be setting up the external compressor and I will go through the ripping process. In addition, I will try to explain some of the other aspects of digital audio extraction.


#36

Compression options:

First, tap the F11 key on your keyboard to bring up the compression options.


Here there is nothing to do as everything is greyed out. this is caused by the fact that I have activated “Use external program for compression” in the [B]External Compression[/B] tab.


[B]Use external program for compression[/B]
This has to be checked or the other settings will be greyed out.

[B]Use file extention[/B]
.flac

[B]Program, including path, used for compression[/B]
If you install a new version of the Flac encoder in your system, you must remember to update the path here. If not, EAC will continue to use the old one at this path.

[B]Additional command-line options[/B]
This setting I found in a document on the net, but the url was not working any more (http://blowfish.be/eac/Caaok/caaok-eac-1.html). Still these are the settings I adopted and they work good:
-8 -V -T “ARTIST=%artist%” -T “TITLE=%title%” -T “ALBUM=%albumtitle%” -T “DATE=%year%” -T “TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%” -T “GENRE=%genre%” -T “PERFORMER=%albuminterpret%” -T “COMPOSER=%composer%” %haslyrics%–tag-from-file=LYRICS="%lyricsfile%"%haslyrics% -T “ALBUMARTIST=%albumartist%” -T “DISCNUMBER=%cdnumber%” -T “TOTALDISCS=%totalcds%” -T “TOTALTRACKS=%numtracks%” -T “COMMENT=%comment%” %source% -o %dest%
-8 is the maximum and preferred compression by all sites on the net. If you buy a FLAC download from an official site, your download will be compressed -8

There are a bunch of options and from the tooltip, you get:
%source% | source filename
%dest% | destination filename
%original% | original filename (without temporary renaming)
%ishigh%…%ishigh% | text “…” only when “High quality” selected
%islow%…%islow% | text “…” only when “low quality” selected
%haslyrics%…%haslyrics% | text “…” only when lyrics exist
%hascover%…%hascover% | text “…” only when storing cd cover is
| enabled and cover exists
%crcenabled%…%crcenabled | text “…” only when “CRC checksum” is selected
%title% | track title
%genre% | MP3 music genre
%year% | year
%cddbid% | freedb ID
%artist% | track artist
%lyrics% | lyrics
%lyricsfile% | filename of lyrics text file (ANSI)
%bitrate% | selected bitrate ("32 … “320”)
%comment% | comment (as selected in EAC)
%tracknr% | track number (same as tracknr2%)
%tracknrl% | track number (at least I digit)
%tracknr2% | track number (at least 2 digits)
%tracknr3% | track number (at least 3 digits)
%totalcds% | total number of CDs in the given CD set
%cdnumber% | number of the CD
%composer% | track performer
%trackcrc% | CRC of extracted track
%coverfile% | filename of CD cover image
%numtracks% | number of tracks on album
%albumtitle% | CD title
%albumartist% | CD artist
%albumcomposer% | CD composer
%albuminterpret% | CD performer
%% | the “%” character

Use the string as a “best practice” and if needed add from the list aove.

[B]Bit rate[/B]
I don’t know why as I do not believe it is relevant for flac or lossless, but I have always set it to maximum
High quality
Same as above
Delete WAV after compression
Unless there is a good reason not to, I recommend you check this to avoid the harddisk filling up with both a uncompressed and a compressed version of the same file
Use CRC check
Not recommended
Add ID3 tag
Flac should not have ID3 tags written
Check for external programs return code
Check to have EAC issue a warning if the encoding process failed. Recommended


It is for ID3 tags leave as is


Remove all checked items but the last to have the cover image from the main interface written to the folder.

Well then, that settles the setup part completely (well, almost), let us go on to rip CDs.
Before we do however, you may want to save your work in a profile. You do so by going to the EAC menu and select “Profiles” and “Save Profile”

EAC the day to day how-to:

I always taken comfort in having a program I could rely on when ripping my collection, and EAC have never turned me down. That is, on two occations there were a difference between the test crc and the read crc while keeping a status of ‘Copy OK’. Now with around 2000 rips, it is still a brilliant statistic and so it is a program I can wholeheartedly recommend.

there are a few things to note before ripping the CD, but let me start off with this picture of the database menu:

There are more as well, but once you have verified downloaded data for the CD (They are often wrong and should be checked), I usually start at 0 (the menu is not at its correct location in the screenshot) to have any invisible flaws like “unwanted spaces” corrected.
as you can see, there are more corrections available if the downloaded data have other flaws.
I named this step 0 as it is no general recommendation to do so, but I will recommend using it to save you the occational trouble.

That brings us to the genearal recommended MUST DOs, they are all in the Action Menu:

Here I numbered the entries 1, 2 and 3 to make it easy to follow, I did modify the placements of the submenus to make the graphic as small as possible. Before you start executing the numbered steps though, verify that [B]Append Gaps To Previous Track (default)[/B] is checked.

1 “Detect Gaps” or tap the F4 key on your keyboard. This is important to have the gaps written to the log file. If this step is not made, there will be no information about the gaps in the log. If the process seem to hang, use too much time, bring up the drive options and go to Gap Detection and follow the guidance above concerning the tab. Then retry.

2 Copy Selected Trackor hold down [Shift] and tap [F6] on your keyboard to start ripping your CD

3 once finished, verify that the process went ok and when you are back in the main interface, Choose [B]Create CUE Sheet[/B] - [B]Current Gap Settings[/B] to save the CUE sheet (please note my comments about CUE sheets for the Filename tab in EAC options).
The [B]Current Gap Settings[/B] should be identical to choosing [B]Multiple WAV Files With Gaps… (Noncompliant)[/B], but use the recommended as it will catch the difference if for some reason EAC is no longer appending the gap to the previous track.

That is basically all there is to it. I choose not to go through the main program step by step as I have done more or less with the options. The above is the required way to rip to have a 100% score. A closer look at the ‘Action’ menu reveals that you can copy the entire disc as an image as well as copy only a range. while these are NOT recommended, the next part must include information thereof.

EAC - The red track - aka HTOA - aka Hidden Track One Audio:
From time to time when you insert a CD you notice that the first track is red!? You probably wonder and then just rip the CD and it works without errors. Then you forget about it until next time it happens… DON’T! you have hit one of the CDs in your collection that includes a hidden track before the first track, commonly known as HTOA.

O.K. it is time to stick my head in the lion’s den - I have to! There simply always been way to many opinions out there and most of it just don’t add up. Now, this is going to be technical at times
First, if you search, you will guaranteed find someone voicing the opinion that it is related to the drives ability to overread. While overreading has everything to to with DAE and the ability to produce 100% bit perfect rips, it has nothing to do with the ability to rip HTOA.
Then there will be a plethora of other information which for the most part is wrong, so much of it I doubt you will be able to separate truth from fiction.

[B]So, what is the fact about HTOA then?[/B]
First of all it is hard to rip as it is related to the optical drives firmware supporting read before the track 01 index 01 marker.
Secondly, to explain that, I will have to bring up the standard for CD audio - The Red Book from Philips.
It all comes down to the “fact” which most manuals for CD-burners will tell you… “The gap before track one should always be set to a minimum of 2 seconds, if set shorter, it may lead to physical damage of your CD player….” As a sidetrack, that is just a shitload of crap (mind my language), the worst you will experience is skips or that the CD won’t be recognized. It is correct that according to the Red Bok, the gap must be at least 2 seconds long, but the Red Book standard does not force the CD-player to read it, on the contrary, they are supposed to start at track 01 index 01.
Let me repeat that! They are not supposed to read anything before the track 01 index 01 marker and so track 01 index 00 will not be read even if the lead-in is 10 minutes. That is the facts, but probably not common knowledge even in 2015

One thing to note is that you must do either a single image/cue rip of the entire CD or rip a range to successfully lift the HTOA track off the CD. It is also noteworthy that any other hidden track (i.e in the lead-in to track four) can be ripped with any optical drive, it is just the lead-in to track one that’s tough

OK then, let me go back to the originating information that caused me to read the standard and start learning systematically, thereby finding facts. The following information was snapped from thread back in 2005 by a user of this board Pio2001 - (I owe you a big thank you and hope you don’t mind).
It has served as a foundation for most I have been able to pick up and learn ever since and so I pass it on to you unmodified apart from adding his closing comments:

The detection of the ability to read into lead-in must be based on read errors only.
The program asks the drive to read before track 1. If the drive returns a read error, the program says “this drive can’t overread”, and if the drive returns music, or silence, the program says “this drive can overread into lead-in”.
The program is not supposed to know if the audio before track one is actually silent or not !

In fact the CD layout is like this :
Lead-in : can’t be played back by any drive, but nonetheless features some audio frames, as a buffer.
At the end of the lead-in, the audio track begins. This point is Track 01 Index 00, and the absolut time is 00:00:00:00.
Then, there is a compulsory pregap, that is two seconds long. The end of this pregap is only materialized by the numbering of the audio sectors. The absolute time is then 00:00:02:00, and the audio sector is number 0.
From this point, CD Players can playback (as long as you rewind first in order to reach it), and DAE programs can extract “by range” (from sector 0 to sector xxxx ; There are 75 sectors in one second).
Then, after a possible hidden track, the track 1 begins. This point is Track 01 Index 01. The absolute time and sector number can be as high as we want. From this point, CD Players automatically start the CD playback, and DAE programs extract “by track”.
Some drives can’t read before track 01 index 01.
Some drives can, but can’t overread into “lead-in”. Which is a wrong statement, because it actually means that they can’t read the compulsory pregap, or in other words, can’t read negative audio sectors (from -150 to -1).
Some drives can read all along from Track 00 Index 00 (sector -150, Absolute time 00:00:00:00). They may even overread into the actual lead-in if you tweak the registry.

In some cases, you are forced to overread into the pregap. In the two CD with hidden tracks that I’ve got the audio actually started in the pregap, and it was not possible to get the beginning “by range”, or “index based”. The extraction starts 2 seconds too late. (they are Elegia - From within, and a CD by Juantrip whose title I forgot).
There is also a problem with Mike Oldfield - Discovery, but this one has no hidden track. It is the track 1 that begins too early ! And no way to rewind on the CD Player, not to get the missing part “by range”.
The solution is to set the read offset correction to a very low value. But since EAC doesn’t accept values low enough, it must be done directly in Windows registry, in the EAC setup. Then start EAC, and rip without displaying the drive options.
You can then set -88200 as read offset correction, if you want to get the whole pregap “by range”. Asking for the range 0/150 will actually read the range -150/-1


If the designer wants the drive to read before track 1 index 1, the drive can, and if he doesn’t want, then the drive can’t.

One must also take into consideration that the index information is repeated all along the audio, in the subcode channels, together with the track number, absolute time, SCMS, pre-emphasis, etc.

Also note, as I write above, that the only way to rip earlier is to set the lowest possible read offset correction value in the EAC drive properties. And if this is not enough, you can tweak the registry entry for the read offset correction in order to set even lower values than EAC can accept in its GUI. The audio track begins around -88200 in the real lead in but I’m not sure if the lead-in features any audio data (we can check in the ECMA-130 specs).

Now that was a clarifying post “grande excellence” and was to become my wake-up-call to knowledge instead of opinion.

Hopefully, the information provided, will be of help to you and I leave you with one other advice; learn to play like a child again, let the play be your goal, it is the best way in becoming good at any program you use.


#37

[QUOTE=Ibex;2759206]<snip>
-usefua is a command line option for EAC itself.

Right-click on the shortcut for Exact Audio Copy and select properties. Then go to the Target box and add -usefua to the end.

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\EAC.exe” -usefua

To test if FUA is working, go to drive options and run cache detection again. This time EAC should report the drive doesn’t cache.

If you wish, you can create a second shortcut for EAC with FUA. But it shouldn’t matter if you use FUA with drives that don’t support it, the command will just be ignored by the drive.[/QUOTE]
Your idea for a “pre - made” Windows shortcut is excelent ;
I will use this on my next CD copy – still need to make money [I]somehow[/I] to
buy a used HDD ; : ( unemployed in the USA).
.

[QUOTE=Xercus;2759368]<SNIP>
Now that was a clarifying post “grande excellence” and was to become my wake-up-call to knowledge instead of opinion.

Hopefully, the information provided, will be of help to you and I leave you with one other advice; learn to play like a child again, let the play be your goal, it is the best way in becoming good at any program you use.[/QUOTE]
Dear EAC user ! ! ! !
I am taking this time to[B] Thank You [/B]profusely
prior to reading through everything.
:bow:
“I bow at your effort”

These posts should be ‘sticky’.


#38

I haven’t had time to completly analyze the guide Xercus .
It looks good from what I can tell .
My FLAC commands are some shorter than yours but that is my preference.
If you want to do .mp3 this is a good one:

-V0 --vbr-new --add-id3v2 --pad-id3v2 --ta "%artist%" --tl "%albumtitle%" --tt "%title%"  --ty "%year%" --tn "%tracknr%" --tg "%genre%" -ms %source% %dest%

I posted some of the “Blowfish” guide in the forum but it is old & I don’t agree all the settings it suggests are the best . If you want to take a look at it it’s Here

I have a little something to add but I need to do it & take some images.


#39

@Cholla
I never do .mp3 from CDs (I am a lossless [all formats in one] kind guy) and so I can not vote either way. Whenever I have to convert for my car USB stick, it is always done from flac using Easy CD-DA extractor (I have a very old lifetime registration and so there is no need for a freeware).
However, I would be more than interested in constructive critique as to my best practice settings. No matter how hard we try, there is always room for improvements and I enjoy being educated any way possible. That is the bottom line whatever i write in here :slight_smile:
It will also be in the interest of PositiveX and others if you can find the time to go through it all and add remarks.:clap:


#40

Doing proof-reading yourself is not recommended as that seem to guarantee you miss some obvious candidates.
The guide above is no exception in that respect. just skimming through it now, I realize two flaws immediately.
First of all, the wrong graphics is present for the tab Catalog. the correct image should have been

Then another obvious flaw is for the [B]Writer[/B] tab where I fail in informing that to be able to find the combined read&write offset to calculate the write offset of a drive, you will temporarily have to disable the AccurateRip feature or the button [B]Detect Read Sample Offset Correction[/B] in the [B]Drive/Offset[/B] tab will be ‘greyed out’.

There may be more, but I’ll rather await Cholla’s report. However the above are both of the kind that makes it hard to understand what on earth I am talking about and so must be noted.
(Gramatically, the guide may leave a lot to be desired though. Being Norwegian, I belong to the homongus group that are masters of broken English only and so it is to be expected :iagree: - to be the internet language is going to help American and British English develop so good in the future :disagree: )