The last time

I have decided once and all to end my dependence on re-ripping my music CD collection. I have completely revamped my strategy of digital music and organizing it. The reason is simple: I want flexibility in the future. When new formats come out, I want to be able to instantly convert my collection to them.

Why this sudden change?

I recently discovered with horror (i.e: blowing up my ear drums) that my iPod when connected to my car stereo does not use Sound Check. As a result, I constantly have to switch the volumes of songs.

I also recently decided to start using the LAME 3.97 Beta with the -v 2 quality setting for encoding my music. However, all of my old music files were encoding using a wide-range of settings and versions of LAME.

For now on, this is the process I will use for digital music:

  1. Rip CD’s using Exact Audio Copy and encode directly to FLAC (with setting 5)
  2. All FLAC files are stored on my 120 GB external hard drive.
  3. Using foobar2000, add all ReplayGain tags.
  4. Convert these FLAC files to MP3 using the LAME 3.97 Beta encoder, with the resulting MP3 files already preprocessed with ReplayGain (essentially skipping the step of using mp3gain)
  5. Add the resulting MP3’s to iTunes 6 with Sound Check enabled.

With all of that, I will no longer have to worry about re-ripping my collection. If some hotshot new AAC VBR encoder is released for example or if some miracle results in OGG support with the iPod, I can basically start up foobar2000 and have it output to the new format overnight while I’m sleeping. With how fast computers are today, I estimate it would take at most a day to convert from FLAC to any new format.

I’m psyched about this. Guess I am going to be busy over the next few weeks getting my collection ripped one last time.

One thought on “The last time”

  1. I’m using the G4-optimised Mac build of Lame 3.96.1 with iTunes with the –alt-preset standard setting (which is equivalent to 0v 2). The files it produces are very high quality, and not too big either usually.

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