Old 28th September 2006, 20:25   #1
gaekwad2
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Updated CD Ripping Tutorial (for Winamp 5.3x)

Contents:

Basics

Ripping Preferences
Encoder
.WAV output
aacPlus (HE-AAC) Encoder v1.24
aacPlus (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.24 (Pro only)
LC-AAC Encoder v1.24
MP3 Encoder v1.32 (Pro only)
MP4/aacPlus (HE-AAC) Encoder v1.24
MP4/aacPlus (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.24 (Pro only)
MP4/LC-AAC Encoder v1.24
WMA Encoder v1.2
FLAC Encoder (Flake SVN r117)
Additional 3rd party encoding plugins:
Ogg Vorbis

Ripping
Output File Settings
Playlist Generation



Basics:

Open the Media Library and select your CD drive in the left pane under Rip & Burn.
Insert a CD, if you have allowed Winamp to connect to the internet it will now use CDDB to get title information. If not (or if CDDB failed to produce the correct info) you'll have to enter it yourself by right-clicking on one of the tracks and selecting Edit CD info.
To rip the whole CD now press Rip and choose Rip all tracks.
To rip only one or a few track(s) select it/them (using ctrl and shift as you would in Windows Explorer), then press Rip and choose Rip selected tracks.

By default it will now rip the CD/tracks to 64kbps aacPlus files and put them into C:\My Music, to change this go to


Ripping Preferences:

The Ripping Preferences can be accessed via the Rip button, or by opening the Preferences window (pressing CTRL-P or right-clicking on Winamp/left clicking on the Menu button (top left in the default modern skin and all classic ones) and going to Options > Preferences) and selecting CD Ripping.
They consist of four tabs:
Encoder
Ripping
Output File Settings
Playlist Generation


Encoder:

The first tab lets you choose from the following encoders:
.WAV output
aacPlus (HE-AAC) Encoder v1.24
aacPlus (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.24 (Pro only)
LC-AAC Encoder v1.24
MP3 Encoder v1.32 (Pro only)
MP4/aacPlus (HE-AAC) Encoder v1.24
MP4/aacPlus (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.24 (Pro only)
MP4/LC-AAC Encoder v1.24
WMA Encoder v1.2
And optionally:
FLAC Encoder (Flake SVN r117)
Ogg Vorbis

Which one to use?
For (relatively) listenable quality at 64kbps and below: MP4/aacPlus
At the other extreme, if you don't want to lose any quality: FLAC
In between: At about 190-200kbps MP3, AAC, Vorbis and WMA Professional are all capable of producing quality that can't be distinguished from the original almost all the time, below that MP3's quality drops faster than that of the other three formats, at 128kbps they're still quite close though.


Recommended settings:

.WAV output

Check Write .WAV header, uncheck Convert to format, filename extension: WAV
This should only really be used if you want uncompressed files either to burn as an audio CD (and even then FLAC may be a better choice) or to use in/compress with another program.
(Convert to format can be used to play with the Windows ACM codecs, use at your own risk though: resulting files may not even play in Winamp.)


aacPlus (HE-AAC) Encoder v1.24

Only recommended if you know you need raw AAC, otherwise use MP4/aacPlus instead. (see there for recommended settings as well)


aacPlus (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.24

Only recommended if you know you need raw AAC, otherwise use MP4/High Bitrate aacPlus instead. (see there for recommended settings as well)



LC-AAC Encoder v1.24

Only recommended if you know you need raw AAC, otherwise use MP4/LC-AAC instead. (see there for recommended settings as well)



MP3 Encoder v1.32

Simple high quality settings:
Quality: --alt-preset fast standard
Everything else left at default.
This setting has been tuned and tested to produce files that are transparent (indistinguishable from the original) even for critical listening by trained listeners. It usually produces bitrates around 200kbps.

If you want smaller files (~160kbps) at still very high quality use --alt-preset fast medium. If on the other hand some extra safety against artifacts is more important to you than file size: --alt-preset fast extreme (~240kbps).
If file size doesn't matter at all: alt-preset insane (320kbps)

More options:
Since Winamp 5.30 it is possible to use the whole range of variable bitrate settings.
Why variable bitrate? Because it's the only way to get a (near) constant quality.
(At low bitrates abr seems to work better though.)
Mode: VBR new, Joint Stereo
Always use Joint Stereo! (except for mono encodes of course)
VBR Minimum Bitrate: 32
VBR Maximum Bitrate: 320
Generally these values shouldn't be changed, use VBR Q to set desired size/quality. Some (extremely crappy) hardware players produce skips at 320kbps though, in that case reduce Maximum to 256.
Quality: Normal or High (doesn't make a difference, even Very High produces identical results (only with VBR new/mtrh))
VBR Q: This is the actual quality/bitrate switch, its settings are:

VBR Q   resulting bitrate*  remarks
0       245                 same as --alt-preset fast extreme
1       225
2       200                 same as --alt-preset fast standard
3       175
4       160                 same as --alt-preset fast medium
5       130
6       115
7       100                 abr is probably better
8        85                 abr is probably better
9        65                 abr is probably better

*Note: Resulting bitrates are averages over many files, individual results can vary a lot.

For lower (or extra high) bitrates and/or more control about final size:
Mode: ABR, Joint Stereo
Always use Joint Stereo! (or mono)
ABR Minimum Bitrate: 32
ABR Maximum Bitrate: 320
Average Bitrate: whatever you want
Quality: Normal or High
High is quite a bit slower but maybe a little better, Very High is VERY SLOW and not recommended (it's pretty much an experimental setting that may even hurt quality).

And if for some reason you really need constant bitrates:
Mode: CBR, Joint Stereo
Always use Joint Stereo! (can't say that often enough )
Bitrate: whatever you want
Quality: Normal or High (see above)
ABR is always better than CBR though (technically both settings are quite similar, CBR is basically a limited (one could also say crippled) version of ABR).



MP4/aacPlus (HE-AAC) Encoder v1.24

Recommended up to 80(or maybe 96)kbps, above that LC-AAC produces better results.

Stereo Mode:
Up to 40kbps - Parametric Stereo
48kbps or higher - Stereo
At ultra low bitrates Mono probably sounds better though.

When to use Tune for speech should be obvious.

Note: If you want small files for your iPod better use LC-AAC, the iPod (and iTunes as well) can't properly play back HE-AAC.



MP4/aacPlus (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.24

According to its developers, Coding Technologies, this format produces better quality than LC-AAC at high bitrates.
So far the only public test featuring (the previous version of) this encoder is this one at SoundExpert which uses a rather controversial test method based on artificially amplified artifacts.

Note: As above, iPods won't play it at full quality, though in this case the difference won't be nearly as big.



MP4/LC-AAC Encoder v1.24

Recommended bitrates: 96kbps and above
(Personally I'd only use it up to 160 (and only if Ogg Vorbis isn't an option), above that I'd go with mp3. While AAC is technically superior the mp3 encoder is far more tested and heavily tuned and has the advantage of being able to use variable bitrates.)



WMA Encoder v1.2

Available options depend on the installed Windows Media codecs.

Windows Media contains a couple of different formats.
Both ACELP.net and Voice aren't interesting for encoding music.
Windows Media Audio 9/9.1/9.2 is, well, it's fast and relatively decent around 64kbps (but not as good as aacPlus or Ogg Vorbis), at 96kbps mp3 is already better though and above that - forget it.
Windows Media Audio 9/10 Professional is a completely different format, much more like AAC (also quality wise). Unfortunately it can't be played on portables or other hardware players that support WMA.
Windows Media Audio Lossless is, well, lossless (see explanation below). It produces somewhat smaller files than FLAC, but uses a lot more CPU power on playback.



FLAC Encoder (Flake SVN r117)

FLAC uses lossless compression, the downside is that the resulting files are on average more than twice as big as the biggest mp3s, the advantage over mp3 & co is that you don't lose any information, it can be decoded to a .wav that's bit-for-bit identical to the original.
Compared to uncompressed wav you save (on average) over 40% space and gain the option to store additional information in tags.

This encoder has no complicated options, just one slider. Higher settings mean encoding will be slower (whether this affects the overall ripping speed depends on your drive and CPU) but resulting files will in most cases be slightly smaller.

Note that Compression Factors 9-12 are untested (0-8 are standard recognized settings, 8 is default).



Ogg Vorbis

The most up-to-date encoder is based on aoTuV 4.51b5 (for reference: the official Vorbis 1.1 is based on aoTuVb2) and is available externally via the Winamp 5.33 Essentials Pack.

Recommended settings: VBR Quality 0.5 (~160kbps) is transparent (=indistinguishable from the original) for most people, though extra-critical listeners prefer Quality 0.6. Higher settings generally aren't worth the additional bitrate.
For not-so-critical listening even 0.4 or 0.3 are fine, and if space is an issue you can go all the way to 0 (~64kbps).
Below that aacPlus is definitely better (at 64-80 it's probably about equal).
The additionally available abr and cbr modes are extremely slow and most likely produce lower quality at the same size, use only if you must.



Ripping:

Ripping speed: Depends on your drive and the state of your CDs. Start with the highest possible setting (Unlimited for pro, 8x for free), if you get ripping errors (clicks or jumps) try reducing it and/or disabling the Sonic engine (see below).
(and if that doesn't help use EAC)

Read audio data from CD using bundled Sonic extraction engine:
Try what works better for you.
(For me unchecking it and using Nero's wnaspi32 instead leads to higher ripping speeds but your mileage may vary).



Output File Settings:

Browse to your root music folder eg. your 'My Music' folder (the one in your documents, probably not C:\My Music).

Naming convention:
Absolutely has to include at least the <Title> or # (=tracknumber) field, otherwise all tracks will get the same name and overwrite each other and you'll end up with just the last one.

If you want your files to be put into automatically created subfolders use / or \ to separate the folder name(s) from the file name.

Example:
<Artist>\<Album>\## - <Title>
Will create a subfolder named after the artist (if it doesn't already exist), in this it'll create another one named after the album and in this it will put the ripped tracks, named 01 - NameOfTrack1, 02 - NameOfTrack2 etc.


Tagging Settings:
If you do lots of test encodes you may delete later or plan to move your files elsewhere uncheck Automatically add ripped files to media library database, otherwise keep it checked.
Automatically add tags with metadata to ripped files should only be unchecked if you have some kind of pathological hatred for tags.
Automatically calculate replay gain: yes! (replaygain settings can be found under General Preferences > Playback, existing files can be scanned using right-click > Send To > Calculate Replay Gain)



Playlist Generation:

Create the following playlists:
Media library playlist - will show up in the Library's left pane under Playlists
M3u/pls - will create a playlist file according to the naming convention specified below
What's better, m3u or pls? ugh


Naming Convention:
You can either put the playlist in the same folder as the files by using the same path eg. according to the example above
<Artist>\<Album>\<Artist> - <Album>
or into a separate folder by specifying another name, or put it directly into the root folder so if you want to listen to an album you don't have to go through the subdirectories.



Credit:
DJ Egg, Benski, Hydrogenaudio Forums and Knowledgebase

------------------------------------------------------
Lots of changes, I hope I didn't miss anything.

Fuck this place.
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Old 28th September 2006, 21:13   #2
DJ Egg
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btw, the default Encoder is now MP4/LC-AAC @ 128 kbps, not raw 64kbps aacPlus.
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Old 29th September 2006, 23:56   #3
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^
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Old 30th September 2006, 10:23   #4
Faiakes
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Ok, then in search of the highest quality compressed music file, irrespective of file size or portable player compatibility,

what are the best (highest) settings one should aim for?
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Old 30th September 2006, 10:26   #5
Faiakes
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And by the way. Why use Joint Stereo for MP3 encoding?

Isn't the best MP3 quality setting: CBR, 320, Stereo ?
(irrespective of size)
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Old 30th September 2006, 10:28   #6
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FLAC, it doesn't lose any quality compared to the original.

Besides, OGG Vorbis is transparent at 128kbps for almost all people (= 192kbps LAME, although 128kbps with the latest LAME is also very good.)

Quote:
Isn't the best MP3 quality setting: CBR, 320, Stereo ?
(irrespective of size)
Yes, but completly useless, as I would be damned if you would hear any difference between 192kbps and 320kbps LAME MP3 on the most music. At this point it would be better to switch to FLAC anyway, (FLAC = lossless, MP3 = lossy) so you can always convert to another format without any quality loss.
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Old 30th September 2006, 10:51   #7
gaekwad2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Faiakes
Isn't the best MP3 quality setting: CBR, 320, Stereo ?
(irrespective of size)
No, it's CBR, 320, Joint Stereo.

The classic article on the subject.
for more information search Hydrogenaudio for "+Joint +Stereo"

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Old 30th September 2006, 13:18   #8
Faiakes
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Quote:
Originally posted by MasterViVi
FLAC, it doesn't lose any quality compared to the original.

Besides, OGG Vorbis is transparent at 128kbps for almost all people (= 192kbps LAME, although 128kbps with the latest LAME is also very good.)

Yes, but completly useless, as I would be damned if you would hear any difference between 192kbps and 320kbps LAME MP3 on the most music. At this point it would be better to switch to FLAC anyway, (FLAC = lossless, MP3 = lossy) so you can always convert to another format without any quality loss.
I am talking about the highest possible fidelity here.

The problem with FLAC is its limited availability.

I can't be bothered to convert from FLAC to MP3 or AAC each time I would need to copy some music files to a portable player.

In fact is there a portable player that supports FLAC (out of the box)?
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Old 30th September 2006, 13:23   #9
Faiakes
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To repeat my original question:

What is the highest quality setting WinAmp 5.3 can provide?

(irrespective of size)
(compressed, not Loseless)
(basically, MP3 or AAC)
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Old 30th September 2006, 13:26   #10
Faiakes
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaekwad2
No, it's CBR, 320, Joint Stereo.
It's settled then (as far as MP3 is concenrned)

Now, is that MP3 setting better than the best AAC has to offer?

(Am I to assume that WinAmp is using LAME?)
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Old 30th September 2006, 14:05   #11
gaekwad2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Faiakes
It's settled then (as far as MP3 is concenrned)

Now, is that MP3 setting better than the best AAC has to offer?
There's no definitive answer.

First of all, it's pretty safe to assume that both will sound absolutely identical most of the time.
Apart from that, Lame is far more tested.
On the other hand mp3 has some design limitations that prevent it from reaching transparency (for trained listeners) in certain cases. AAC is more likely to be able to be transparent all the time, but whether this encoder is...

(One reason to use extremely high bitrates is if you may want to transcode for portable use (but don't have the space for lossless), in that case you'd probably be best off using Ogg Vorbis.)
Quote:
Originally posted by Faiakes
(Am I to assume that WinAmp is using LAME?)
Yes.

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Old 30th September 2006, 14:17   #12
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For mp3, I've always used --alt-preset-standard and now --alt-preset fast standard
though for 320 I'd probably go for --alt-preset insane
But who am I anyway? ;-)

(yeah, I know the --alt-presets are apparently outdated, but hey...)
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Old 30th September 2006, 14:33   #13
Faiakes
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I am not interested in transcoding. It doesn't make much sense to me.

On configuring WinAmp:

I noticed that LC AAC goes up to 320Kbps
while HE AAC goes only up 256Kbps
and both offer only Stereo

Why is that and which is the highest quality setting?
(irrespective of size)

Also the aac+ offers the choice between Mpeg2 and Mpeg4
Why which is the best?

Why should we avoid raw aac?
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Old 30th September 2006, 14:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaekwad2
AAC is more likely to be able to be transparent all the time, but whether this encoder is...
OK, what is this implying?

Is there a difference between AAC encoders? Is the Nero one better than the one that comes with WinAmp?
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Old 30th September 2006, 14:48   #15
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320 kbps MP4 AAC LC is probably the highest-quality option with the most compatability. AAC doesn't suffer from as much pre-echo on certain problem samples, because its "short block" is much shorter than MP3's short block.

@gaekwad and others:
It's worth noting that the AAC encoder uses a limited form of ABR. It's usually only -/+ 15%, and it's fairly stable (since CT's target for AAC is streaming audio), but it's not strictly CBR in the same sense as MP3.
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Old 30th September 2006, 15:06   #16
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Mp3 CBR isn't absolutely constant either of course (unless you disable the bit reservoir).
But yes, AAC is VBR by design and can compensate better for changes in the source material.

Quote:
Originally posted by Faiakes
Is there a difference between AAC encoders? Is the Nero one better than the one that comes with WinAmp?
There are always differences between encoders.
To find out which one is better one has to test them. The problem at 320kbps is that they'll all produce perfect results most of the time so you'd have to test tons of samples to see which one fails less often (and/or less hard when it fails).
Also, Winamp 5.30 comes with a new AAC encoder version that naturally hasn't been tested (outside of Coding Technologies) yet so there's no way of saying how good it is.

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Old 30th September 2006, 19:22   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaekwad2
Mp3 CBR isn't absolutely constant either of course (unless you disable the bit reservoir).
But yes, AAC is VBR by design and can compensate better for changes in the source material.


There are always differences between encoders.
To find out which one is better one has to test them. The problem at 320kbps is that they'll all produce perfect results most of the time so you'd have to test tons of samples to see which one fails less often (and/or less hard when it fails).
Also, Winamp 5.30 comes with a new AAC encoder version that naturally hasn't been tested (outside of Coding Technologies) yet so there's no way of saying how good it is.
I'll still using nero...
never had problems with that.
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Old 31st August 2007, 18:33   #18
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Eject CD After Rip

How do I turn the option off to eject the CD after a rip?
I remember turning it on once and now I can't find it to turn it back off. Help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
PsyFy
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Old 7th September 2007, 08:47   #19
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This article is brilliant, I like good music, in, I like good quality music and was looking for some advice on what method to rip my CD's having just purchased a Zen M (60GB) with a pair of Shure E2C's, obviously I'm limited as the Zen will only support MP3, WMA, WAV.

I tried WMA Lossless, but that didn't work so I've cranked MP3 up to 320 max 192 min, the sound is pretty good.

Any suggestions? After reading this article I was thinking of going back and clicking the 'insane' setting.
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Old 7th September 2007, 09:09   #20
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Bumping the minimum bitrate only makes sense if you don't trust the VBR algorithm. But in that case it would make more sense to use ABR with a high average bitrate (keeping minimum at 32 as well, it'll only get used for digital silence anyway) or indeed CBR 320 (alt-preset insane).

Otoh Lame's VBR modes are very well tested so if size does matter the recommendation would be to set minimum bitrate back to 32 and use VBR Quality (0-2 in your case I suppose).

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Old 7th September 2007, 10:28   #21
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So is it just a case of twiddling till you find your niche sound ripping format or are there recommendations?
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Old 7th September 2007, 12:33   #22
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The recommendations are to use --alt-preset fast medium, standard or extreme, or the equivalent vbr settings as described above (which offer more size/quality options to choose from).

For portable listening medium (or even VBR quality 5) would probably be enough but if you want to be safe pick standard.
If you can really hear* problems with preset standard you should report them here.

*in a double-blind (ABX) test

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Old 7th September 2007, 12:49   #23
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Ok mate, cheers for your input!
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Old 19th October 2007, 20:32   #24
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very nice! thanks!
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Old 16th November 2007, 01:33   #25
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ripping

i am trying to rip cds onto my windows 2000 computer. it seems i am not given ripping as an option in the media library list. does anyone know if it is possible to rip with windows 2000?
thanks
much appreciated
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Old 24th November 2007, 20:54   #26
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Re: ripping

Quote:
Originally posted by enchanted356
i am trying to rip cds onto my windows 2000 computer. it seems i am not given ripping as an option in the media library list. does anyone know if it is possible to rip with windows 2000?
thanks
much appreciated
I'm having the same problem. I remember having ripped a cd using this option before, but now it seems that it doesn't exist anymore. Please help, thanks.
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Old 24th November 2007, 22:31   #27
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You should still see your drive(s) in the left pane though.

The only difference is that they're no longer placed under 'Rip & Burn' (but if you preferred it that way you can even bring it back by going to Preferences > Media Library >Tree Options tab and checking Group CD/DVD drives under the 'Rip & Burn' parent).

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Old 4th December 2007, 12:02   #28
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Very useful, thanks!
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Old 8th February 2008, 00:47   #29
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Ripping (importing) Kareoke

I have lots of Kareokes (CD+Graphis)that I would like to import on my Winamp. It is already setup for me with Kareokes that I had years ago but want to add some.

How do you do it?

Appreciate the help

Thank you!

Steve
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Old 12th February 2008, 04:18   #30
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When I got winamp pro, I wanted to rip cds, but then I realize that I have no encoder whatsoever ! Where can I get them?
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Old 12th February 2008, 10:25   #31
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Reinstall Winamp and make sure you select them in the installer. If you have the Lite installer, you will need to download the Full or Pro ones.


#winamp on irc.tehflap.org — Winamp ATF Reference
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Old 25th March 2008, 23:35   #32
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I try to rip with WinAmp but even though the naming is set to ## - <Title> all the files are named to Desktop.mp3 (or whatever encoder I use) and all overwrite each other. Any idea why this is happening?
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Old 25th March 2008, 23:38   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by rock.freak667
I try to rip with WinAmp but even though the naming is set to ## - <Title> all the files are named to Desktop.mp3 (or whatever encoder I use) and all overwrite each other. Any idea why this is happening?
This is a bug in the beta version of 5.53.
Please read the first post in the thread about 5.53. it will answer a lot of questions.
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Old 26th March 2008, 00:02   #34
rock.freak667
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Well then I guess I will reinstall 5.52 and see then

Last edited by rock.freak667; 26th March 2008 at 01:13.
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Old 29th March 2008, 19:36   #35
Labarum
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Newbie here:

Been trying to rip in 5.3 with FLAC and the output just seems to vanish. Switch to OGG and it works perfectly. I installed both plugins in an identical fashion and did everthing else the same. Any tips?

Last edited by Labarum; 29th March 2008 at 20:11.
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Old 25th September 2008, 06:58   #36
auzzibear
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the tutorial is very helpful thanks just one thing, how can I set my mp3 rip options to be exactly 128bit rate? I currently have it on preset fast standard at set min 128 and max 128 but still some rip tracks turn out 126, can anyone help? thanks
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Old 25th September 2008, 10:51   #37
gaekwad2
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaekwad2
And if for some reason you really need constant bitrates:
Mode: CBR, Joint Stereo
Always use Joint Stereo! (can't say that often enough )
Bitrate: whatever you want
Quality: Normal or High (see above)
ABR is always better than CBR though (technically both settings are quite similar, CBR is basically a limited (one could also say crippled) version of ABR).
The lower bitrate results are caused by the encoder using 32kbps for silent parts, but since the VBR algorithm wasn't designed to be limited that way you'd probably better use CBR (or ABR) anyway.

Fuck this place.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 23:34   #38
wildkippy
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making my file tunes into MP3's for uploading to garageband.com website

mr. gaekwad, please help me. i have a simple prob. and i'm quite dumb as far as the new sound tech. i have some tunes in my files. i'm trying to upload these tunes to "garageband.com" , a musician's website for showcasing songs. I've used a free trial successfully with a system called YEO GraBBER but MY trial has expired. so i purshased WinAmp for the sole purpose of making my songs into format MP3 so i can upload them to various websites like garageband.com. I can play my tunes but i'm having a hard time understanding how to Rip these tunes to MP3's. i think it has something to do with my files . can you offer me some help in this? i'm not getting anywhere & i paid $25.00 for this service. thanks, tom comis.
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