Which version of Plextools is best for making Audio CD backups on 712A?

Hi everyone,

I recently bought a 712A and want to start making backups of my music cds for the car. I’m going to order a bunch of Verbatim DataLifePlus CD-R 80min 48x from here: http://www.cd-rmedia.co.uk/cgi-bin2/details.pl?id=v40xjc

Anyway, I seem to recall reading a while back that the Audio CD copy function was broken from (and including) v2.13 onwards. Is this correct? I really only want to use Plextools for making Audio CD backups, so it’s important that I have the best version for this purpose. I want my copies to be as perfect as possible, so would appreciate some feedback.

Many thanks.

I use EAC 0.95 PB5 for that task … earlier plextools versions may not recognize the 712A correctly (especially Read/Write offsets).

So, ah, I shouldn’t use Plextools for making Audio CD backups?!

Plextools Pro works fine for me, both for ripping and for CD backups. :slight_smile:

ET

Is there any particular version I should be using, though? Was v2.12 the last version to have correct Audio CD backup capabilities?

I have a 712A and a Premium, and I am using the latest version 2.18. I have no problems with CD/DVD copy so far.

Regards, :slight_smile:

ET

eltranquil, compare the CRCs of the original CD and the copy in EAC, Secure mode. With recent PTP versions the only way I get them to match is when doing on-the-fly copy. And even that is not guaranteed with all CDs. It would seem that when error correction is triggered, the audio data is not read/written correctly, so you get wrong CRCs.

So far the only way to make a 100% exact copy every time is to use v2.12 (earlier may work too). This may be a problem specific to my sytem, though. I’m in the process of getting a new motherboard (same chipset, different mfg), and will post an update when it is in.

I second that … but I use EAC (better FreeDB access and filename tools compared to PTP) to create the cuesheet (if the first pregap isn’t longer than 2 seconds) and then use PTP 2.15/2.16/2.17 to rip twice with both the 712A and the Premium … the wav images are being compared with EAC afterwards … I never encountered a single problem or wav image mismatch thus far with latest PTP versions …

@Never_Again,

when I said “no problems” of course I was referring to CRC/WAV Compare functions of EAC, but I didn’t say that explicitely, my fault!
I have not found any discrepances so far, with several audio CDs, and at least with versions 2.16, 2.17 and 2.18 of PlexTools.

@JeanLuc,

you are using an excellent ripping strategy. IMO, lack of CUE sheets support is a serious weakness of PlexTools, so using EAC for that and PTP for the “dirty work” is a great idea. :iagree:

ET

Thanks for all the replies, everyone.

Never Again, what kind of PC setup do you have at the moment, and what setup will you be changing to (could you please be specific)?

My previous setup was as follows:

Asus P4T533-C (rev. 1.03, f/w 1011) (850E chipset)
P4 3.06 GHz 533 MHz FSB
1024 MB Kingston 1066MHz RDRAM (non-ECC)
Asus Radeon 9600XT/TD 128 MB @ AGP 4X
M-Audio Audiophile 24/96
Promise Ultra133-TX ATA controller with four HDDs
Plextor Premium (f/w 1.05) & Plextor PX-712A (f/w 1.05) on the internal IDE ports (each a master by itself)
Win2000 Pro w/SP4
M$ IDE drivers

Last week I swapped the Asus mobo for an Intel one - D850EMVRL. The old one developed issues with Soundblaster emulation under DOS/Win98 after some experiments with trying to plug the PC speaker lead into the SBLive! soundcard earlier this year. There were some sparks and the system appeared to go dead for a few minutes. Heh.

Nevertheless it recovered just fine and I burned many a quality CD and DVD on it thereafter as well as doing lots of other intensive stuff. I experienced no problems whatsoever under Win2000; it just seems that some part of the board that handles NMI (non-masked interrupts) got affected, hence problems with DOS apps.

So as soon as the new mobo was in, I did a fresh install of Win2000 and got to some testing. To cut the long story short, the PTP’s CD/DVD Copy problem remains even with the latest version (2.18). It is only natural to rule out the hardware as the culprit, 'cause if there is something wrong with the h/w how come v2.12 produces perfect copies every time?

All you folks that reported that recent versions work fine must be either doing Copy on-the-fly or copying CDs that are in pristine condition. I had success with one of those; then had a few goes at my lightly abused copy of Phish-“Rift” and none of the tracks’ CRC matched the originals’. Copying on-the-fly worked, but I’m extremely reluctant to use that mode. I am strictly a copy-to-image-burn-at-your-leisure kind of guy =).

I have a hunch that the problem is that when writing image files error correction either does not kick in on trouble spots, or else is broken in the recent versions.

To sum up, the latest version of PlexTools Pro that is guaranteed to produce faithful audio CD copies is v2.12. That is the version that comes on the DVD-ROM bundled with PX-712 drives (or you can PM me for details). Install the 2.12 first, then rename the executable PlexTool.exe in your Plextor directory (typically %system%\Program Files\Plextor) to something like PlexTool212.exe and go ahead and install the latest version over it. Should you need to copy an audio CD, shut down the current version completely (so that it doesn’t show in the sytem tray) and fire up the 2.12. I’ve done this for a while and experienced no adverse effects.

Install the 2.12 first, then rename the executable PlexTool.exe in your Plextor directory (typically %system%\Program Files\Plextor) to something like PlexTool212.exe and go ahead and install the latest version over it. Should you need to copy an audio CD, shut down the current version completely (so that it doesn’t show in the sytem tray) and fire up the 2.12.

Now there’s a great idea Never_Again , I could have developed the procedure too
when I used it for a non-related (to recording) program , but have You tested
all the different configurations ?

  1. With 2.12 “alone”
  2. With 2.18 “alone”
  3. With the “2.1812-hybrid”

I assume You compare the CD’s burnt under the 3 setups .
Why don’t You test JeanLuc’s “excellent ripping strategy” and compare it with Yours … :smiley:

Hey , why don’t JeanLuc test Your method too and compare with his strategy ??? :smiley:

Ladies & gentlemen , place Your bets ! :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

I have tested all versions since 2.12. Each being an upgrade of an unmodified 2.12 done on a vanilla (i.e. only Intel INF update installed) Win2000+SP4 install. That’s a lot of coasters.

I doubt you could call my current config as “hybrid”. v2.18 does have a few settings that v2.12 doesn’t and they are saved in the registry, but v2.12 simply ignores the settings it does not recognize. As far as I can see, neither version interferes with the other.

Jean-Luc’s strategy is definitely an overkill; besides it bears no relevance to the subject discussed here: audio CD copying. I have no beef with PTP’s DAE tool - it has always performed as expected. It is the CD/DVD Copy that is screwed up.

two years on,
I’m wondering has Plextor software improved, or, is this still the case - 2.12 being recommended over more recent versions ?

It’s now at version 2.35 - that’s [I]PlexTools Professional[/I] - that’s what’s being discussed above, isn’t it -
not [I]PlexTools Professional XL or LE[/I] ??
(both at version 3.12)

The big gotcha when comparing Plextools extraction with other software is that you have to take the read offset into account - it is perfectly possible to have a perfect audio file with a different offset to the one extracted by other software. I prefer to use a null test to check audio files and the files extracted by Plextools pass this test with no problems.

Cheers

James.