Author Topic: APE lossless compressed files - How do I rip CD's into this format?  (Read 6042 times)

opacific

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Hello, I have a collection of 400 to 600 cd's, and I would like to rip them using APE lossless compressed.  The music player I have will play these files, but I can't figure out how to get MusicBee to rip them.

I am re-doing my library, because in the past, I ripped MP3 @ 160bps, but I would like a higher quality, since my Ibasso can play the higher formats.

I could do OGG "archiving".  What are your thoughts?  thanks for your help.


mtone

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Use FLAC, not APE. FLAC have identical sound quality, are similar in file size, but has MUCH BETTER support in various applications. I assume your player will play them as well. I cannot think of any reason why you would choose APE over FLAC.
Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 01:41:44 AM by mtone

Zak

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I also suggest FLAC instead, which your iBasso unit also supports (according to their web page).
In theory, decoding FLAC should also be a little less intensive which might give you longer battery time.

Choosing between OGG (or MP3 or AAC) and lossless really comes down to two things:

* How likely are you to tell the difference between lossless and a high bitrate (say 192-256kbps VBR) file, especially on a portable unit when you'll probably be listening through headphones in an external (noisy) environment; and
* How many albums do you want to have available at a time? A lossless one hour pop/rock album will come in at about 400MB, so assuming an 8GB device, you'd only have room for about 20 albums. Compressed would let you store about 80-90 albums, and you wouldn't have to spend as much time swapping over the music.
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Skinjob

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Agree with the others re FLAC over APE.  FLAC has much better tool and player support and is also open source, so it's really the only choice for relatively future-proof archiving.  Last time I checked years ago, APE did not have a proper open source license, so I wasn't comfortable using it as an archive option.   I have over 5000 CDs ripped to FLAC and obviously never wanted to repeat that exercise again.  FLAC offered the best combination of wide support and future-proof assurance due to the non-restrictive open source license.

Regarding FLAC versus high-bitrate lossy, I say use both.  I use FLAC for playback on my stereo at home but transcode to high bitrate MP3 for portable use.  MusicBee is very good at doing this via the portable device synching features and the Format Converter.

To answer the original question about how to rip, I'd recommend cueripper from the cuetools package as the best free option.  I actually use EAC, but only because I put a lot effort into customizing and automating it years ago and haven't wanted to redo it all again for another tool.  But if I was just starting, I'd go with cueripper.

phred

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I'm not familiar with cueripper, but you can also use MB to rip the CDs and encode as FLAC.  Optionally you can tag and add to the MB library.  It works rather well.
Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 08:59:07 PM by phred
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opacific

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The biggest reason I was thinking of APE, was the mere fact I can have lossless AND compressed.  I know if all is FLAC it will be lossless, but it will also be uncompressed.  I did about 100 of my favorite CD's about 8 years ago using Winamp Pro into FLAC, but MusicBee seems to be forward-thinking.

I think that Ibasso has some built-in software to perform FLAC encoding.  Maybe I'll try that first, listen to it and make a decision after that.

Thanks for all your help and input.

psychoadept

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The biggest reason I was thinking of APE, was the mere fact I can have lossless AND compressed.  I know if all is FLAC it will be lossless, but it will also be uncompressed.

I'm pretty sure FLAC is compressed.  WAV files are not compressed, which is why they are huge.
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Skinjob

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FLAC is absolutely compressed.  It's lossless, so it can't compress as much as lossy codecs like MP3, Vorbis, etc., but it's definitely compressed.

It'll vary depending on the nature of the music, but the FLAC file should be about 60-65% the size of the original uncompressed WAV.

My rule of thumb is you'll get about 3.3 albums per GB on average with FLAC.  Again, your mileage may vary, but averaged over 100's of albums it should be in that ballpark.

Bee-liever

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The biggest reason I was thinking of APE, was the mere fact I can have lossless AND compressed.  I know if all is FLAC it will be lossless, but it will also be uncompressed.

FLAC has 9 pre-set levels of compression available (-0 to -8, default is -5)
Just remember that the more compressed the FLAC APE file, the more CPU intensive it is to decode
Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 10:51:56 PM by Bee-liever
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Zak

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The other reason to prefer FLAC is that it is an open source project with a community of developers. APE is a one-man project (like MusicBee). I don't use APE and I'm sure it's a great codec, but you also want to avoid having to re-rip your 600 CDs in ten years time when nothing supports it any more.
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vincent kars

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FLAC has 9 pre-set levels of compression available (-0 to -8, default is -5)
Just remember that the more compressed the FLAC file, the more CPU intensive it is to decode
Are you sure?
As far as I know the higher the "compression level" the more system resources FLAC is allowed to use to find the optimum formula.
As this formula is encoded in the FLAC, decoding is probably equally fast.

https://xiph.org/flac/faq.html#general__asymmetry

Bee-liever

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FLAC has 9 pre-set levels of compression available (-0 to -8, default is -5)
Just remember that the more compressed the FLAC file, the more CPU intensive it is to decode
Are you sure?
As far as I know the higher the "compression level" the more system resources FLAC is allowed to use to find the optimum formula.
As this formula is encoded in the FLAC, decoding is probably equally fast.

https://xiph.org/flac/faq.html#general__asymmetry

Oops. You're right. That was a bad typo. I should have said:
Quote
Just remember that the more compressed the APE file, the more CPU intensive it is to decode

FLAC files take longer to encode at high compression levels but decode at almost the same speed and CPU use across all compression levels.
APE files, at high compression levels, are quicker to encode but are more CPU intensive on decode. An important factor for battery life on portable devices.
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