After going to all the effort to get the neato playlist working on my site, plus the new speakers for my PC, I thought it might be nice to have some better quality mp3s, and so I am currently in the process of re-ripping them all at a higher bitrate.
I’m using [url=http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/]EAC (Exact Audio Copy)[/url] to do the ripping from the CD to a WAV file, and then using the [url=http://lame.sourceforge.net/]LAME[/url] encoder to create the mp3s. The instructions provided by [url=http://www.ping.be/satcp/cd2mp3-en.htm]The Coaster Factory[/url] on how to configure and use EAC and LAME are extremely useful, since they are both very powerful products and not entirely intuitive as far as some of the advanced options go.
All in all, I’m pretty impressed with the results – many CDs which I have had trouble ripping in the past have proved no problems for this software, and the LAME encoder seems to do a very good and fast job. I’m ripping through the ripping quite quickly !! It does help to have three machines ripping/encoding at once, and DVD-ROM drives seem to do an excellent job at ripping CDs.
For those who care, I decided on encoding to mp3 format using a variable bitrate (VBR) from a 256kbps basis. This is approximately twice the bitrate I used in the past, with each file coming out at around 8-9MB on average, but diskspace is cheap, and I don’t use no lousy 64MB portable mp3 players, and I don’t swap them over the internet, so file size is not a problem for me. I am also ensuring that all of the ID tag information is complete – and even filling in some of the blanks and submitting it to the [url=http://www.freedb.org/]FreeDB[/url] CDDB to update their CD database.
I’m very happy with the quality so far, the real test will be to burn some mp3 CDRs and play them through my stereo system using my DVD player.