Shall we make a FAQ?

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GodsMadClown

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[size=+2]How to Ask Questions.[/size]

[size=+2]What sort of [equipment] should I get?[/size]
To make useful recommendations, you need to give proper information.​
  • Give your budget.

    How much are you willing to spend to listen to good sound? You might think this computer hobby is expensive but, the amount you could spend for audio can make what you spent on your new computer look like pennies. However unlike high priced computer gear, audio gear does not really become obsolete. Good gear can give years, even decades of excellent service.​
  • Tell us how and where you might use the equipment.

    Do you use you computer audio to listen primarily to music, do you play lots of games, and do you ever watch movies on your computer? List a few kinds of music, games, and movies you like. Give us the size of the room, and how the speakers are going to be placed.​
  • Tell us what other audio equipment you have on hand.

    It makes little sense recommending uber-speakers if you plan to run them off some crappy integrated sound implementation. Also, where available, old speakers or receivers might be rolled in to the solution to produce good sound for rather little money.​

[size=+2]How Should I Ask for Technical Support?[/size]
Please provide post as much information as possible. Tell us about your audio hardware, software involved, operating system, and other computer hardware. Describe how everything is connected and how to recreate the problem. Too much information is better then too little. Please be as clear as possible and try to use proper punctuation and grammar.​

[size=+2]Dealing With Soundstorm[/size]

[size=+2]What is Soundstorm?[/size]

It is motherboard-integrated sound with an implementation that conforms to a standard developed by nVidia and Dolby Labs. Motherboard manufacturers must use the nForce2 MCP-T south bridge and have an onboard SPDIF connection (optical or coaxial). The nForce2 is the only PC audio solution that uses the Dolby ICE (Interactive Content Encoder) to encode any audio signal real-time into Dolby Digital 5.1.

[size=+2]I want digital surround sound output on my gaming audio, but I don’t have Soundstorm. What can I do? [/size]

Sorry. You can’t do it¹.

Some computer speaker manufacturers have now designed systems with included decoders so that they can play back digital output. However, digital decoder hardware doesn’t going to come for free. It is likely that the additional cost of the decoder came at the expense of quality in the speaker and/or amplifier subsystems, in order to keep the price competitive. Decent analog connections don’t cost much. In the majority of cases, the quality of the amplification and speaker components is vastly more limiting than the quality of the connections. It is preferable to have the most of your purchase price going to pay for quality components. With analog output, fidelity is dependant on the driver and soundcard implementation to provide a quality analog signal.​
¹This might change in the future but is true for currently available consumer hardware.​

[size=+2]Dealing With Creative[/size]

[size=+2]How do I make the new Creative drivers work with older Creative soundcards?[/size]


[size=+2]Dealing With Setup[/size]

[size=+2]How do I set up my speakers?[/size]
Trial and error.
There are many variables to proper speaker placement that we cannot hope to cover in this FAQ. The best way to answer that question is trial and error combined with critical listening. Here are some ideas.
  • Read the manual.
  • Position the speakers as best you can in a circular pattern around your normal listening position.
  • Occupy said listening position and check your results with an audio track you know well.
  • adjust position of speakers until they sound the best to your ears.

With that said, here are some pictures from Dolby.

Generalized 5.1 setup.

5_1_speaker_setup.gif


Generalized 7.1 setup.

7_1_speaker_setup.gif

[size=+2]Do I need that funny cable that connects my optical drive to my soundcard?[/size]

No. It's an obsolete means of transmiting audio from an optical drive. Modern versions of Microsoft Windows support digital audio extraction, which makes the analog cable redundant.​

[size=+2]How do I connect my PC to my home theater system? [/size]

The quickest and easiest way to connect a PC to a home theater system is to use a 1/8" jack-RCA adaptor. Plug the 1/8" minijack end into the appropriate soundcard output, and plug the RCA ends to an available input on your audio equipment.​

3_5jack_RCA.jpg


[size=+2]How do I connect my PC to my home theater system to get surround sound? [/size]

If your motherboard supports Soundstorm, then you can encode the multichannel audio to Dolby Digital, and output it via S/PDIF to the receiver.

Otherwise, you need a receiver with multichannel analog inputs. Get 3 minijack-RCA cables like the one pictured above, and route the soundcard's L/R, SL/SR, Cent/Sub outputs into the respective inputs on your receiver.​

[size=+2]Dealing With MP3s
(and other compressed audio)
[/size]


[size=+2]How do I make good sounding MP3s? [/size]

Use Exact Audio Copy. Configure LAME as an external decoder. http://www.bestmp3guide.com/ is a good introduction to setting up Exact Audio Copy​

[size=+2]What is the best MP3 (et al.) player software?[/size]

Whatever you like, really. Pretty much all are free. Download them and play around.
Foobar2k and Winamp both have lots of plugins.​
 

SilverMK3

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Let me expand on what's already been said:

DTS = Digital Theater System (Sony)
It is used a lot in theaters because it is delivered as a compact disc which is played in sync with the 30mm film. It is not subject to the pops and scratches normally heard when dust or bad splices interfere with the projector's ability to read the data from the film. It is higher resolution than Dolby Digital, but you need a trained ear or several hundred thousand dollars worth of audio equipment to distinguish between the two.

nVidia Soundstorm
A certification developed by nVidia and Dolby Labs. Motherboard manufacturers must use the nForce2 MCP-T south bridge and have an onboard SPDIF connection (optical or coaxial). The nForce2 is the only PC audio solution that uses the Dolby ICE (Interactive Content Encoder) to encode any audio signal into Dolby Digital 5.1. This is the only way to get digital 5.1 sound to your home theater receiver, the alternative is to use the 3 analog outputs coming out of the back of your sound card.

Note that using the analog outputs on a Soundstorm certified nForce board is not any better than using most other onboard solutions because the sound gets processed by the underperforming Realtek codec rather than a more powerful one like Creative's EMU or the one in your Home Theatre receiver.

Why use digital rather than analog connections?
+ : more tidy (1 cord rather than 6)
+ : integration with your receiver (You can use all the goodies you paid big $$ for on your receiver & speakers)
+ : longer cable runs with less signal loss
+ : bragging rights
- : 'jitter' on optical connections
- : cost of cables / external decoders
- : codecs / DACs on high end sound cards are arguably better than those in some receivers.
 

GodsMadClown

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Would anyone be willing to host images for the FAQ? I have some small (<10k each) pics that I'd like to use as illustrations
 

zachary80

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GodsMadClown said:
Would anyone be willing to host images for the FAQ? I have some small (<10k each) pics that I'd like to use as illustrations

I will

edit: I have figured out how to make an FTP account for you and have one that is ready
 

GodsMadClown

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Input is encouraged. Do you want a fool such as I to command the great unwashed masses of noobs? Power corrupts, people. Let's make this a little more of an oligarchy...
 

Igthorn

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GodsMadClown said:
Input is encouraged. Do you want a fool such as I to command the great unwashed masses of noobs? Power corrupts, people. Let's make this a little more of an oligarchy...

Heh, it can be like kung pow. We can teach them the wrong way as a joke :p

On a more serious note:
Intel's High Definition Audio seems to be able to encode multichannel audio to AC3 as well.
http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket775/p5gd1/overview.htm
"The Dolby Digital Live technology from Dolby Lab encodes the multi-channel audio source into AC-3 bit-stream and outputs it to S/PDIF port in real time."

AC3Filter v1.01a RCx, a directshow filter (doesn't do games) capable of encoding multichannel PCM to AC3 on-the-fly (currently in beta). Works suprisingly well, low cpu usage. Some flaws, 48khz cards can't pass 44.1khz multichannel encoded to AC3.
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=76480
 
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GodsMadClown said:
Can somebody else talk about how to set up speakers? I don't feel qualified.

it really depends on too many variables anyways... the shape of the room, the design of the speakers, the type of sound you are going for.. etc... it is almost best to tell people to play around with the speaker placement until they get something that sounds good to them... because this is what matters in the end anyways...
 

GodsMadClown

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So. I've been working on the FAQ all day. I'm having a little trouble seeing the forest for the trees. Have you got any tips? I know I need more pictures. I want to include a picture of a minijack-RCA cable and some example speaker setups (2.1 and 5.1). We probably should compile some reccomended hardware lists.

I'll start...

Soundcards

<$30 soundgard: integrated motherboard audio
$30-50 soundcard for music, movies, light gaming: Chaintech AV-710
$30-50 soundcard for mostly gaming: Audigy ES ?
$50-90 soundcard for music, movies and light gaming: M-Audio Revolution
$50-90 soundcard for mostly gaming: Audigy2 ZS

Speakers?
 

leukotriene

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DTS is an audio format, first developed by Sony for use in movie theatres, but later promoted as an audio format like DD.

You sure about this?
I was under the impression that Sony developed SDDS, and that DTS is a separate company (digital theater systems).

Incidentally, dts is not always lossless.
The original dts is not lossless to my knowledge, lossless dts is only a relatively recent innovation largely for theaters.

I believe the original dts compression algorithm is a lot less aggressive than DD and less susceptible to artifacting, but still definitely lossy.

EDIT: Yeah, I think I was right on both counts. dts is privately owned and not by Sony. It uses subband encoding with linear prediction and adaptive quantization like ADPCM.
Check out this pdf from dts and this interview with the president of dts.

The majority of dts (not including the new lossless) encodes use a "20 bit audio, 4 bit sync" track which is compressed with their ATP100 algorithm to 882kbps.
 

Carnival Forces

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regarding the "best mp3 guide ever" guide:

1] No mention of diff. rates of encoding (i.e. 128kbps, 196kbps, 300kbps) etc. or their pros and cons
2] No guide for converting mp3s to *.wav's or *.wma's or Ogg Vorbis (sp?)
3] No guide for converting any of the above to mp3's

Everything else looks great :D
 

GodsMadClown

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Carnival Forces said:
regarding the "best mp3 guide ever" guide:

1] No mention of diff. rates of encoding (i.e. 128kbps, 196kbps, 300kbps) etc. or their pros and cons
2] No guide for converting mp3s to *.wav's or *.wma's or Ogg Vorbis (sp?)
3] No guide for converting any of the above to mp3's

Everything else looks great :D

  1. Alt preset standard is good enough for most people, by design. I feel that the target audience for the FAQ falls well within the range of that "most people" group.

    Allow me to let the good Mr. Myden explain...

    http://www.bestmp3guide.com/tips.html said:
    These MP3s we're making, what bit rate are they? What's alt preset standard?

    Alt Preset Standard was developed for the LAME encoder by the audiophiles at Audio-Illumination.org

    It was designed to create MP3s that sound exactly like the CD original, even to audio freaks using equipment that cost more than your car.

    It uses variable bit-rate, which makes the bit-rate fluctuate based on the complexity of the music. More complex sections of music get higher bit-rates to maintain CD quality. Simpler sections are given lower bitrates, while still maintaining CD quality, to minimize the file size. From experience, I can tell you that most average out to about 192kb/s, but are MUCH higher quality than Constant Bit Rate 192kb/s MP3s.

    Alt Preset Standard does not use regular command line 'switches', like --r3mix did. It uses special code built into the LAME encoder.

    For more info, check out Audio-Illumination.org, which is full of very smart people, on the bleeding edge of audio compression.

    ...

    I've heard there are some other switches, like Alt Preset Extreme, is that better than Alt Preset Standard?

    Alt Preset Extreme will create MP3s with bit-rates that average out to 220-240kb/s. Some people automatically assume it must be a higher quality preset, which isn't the case.

    There are very, very, very, very, very, very, few cases where Alt Preset Standard can't replicate the original audio perfectly. (And even when it can't, most of us regular humans would never notice).

    From reading Audio-Illumination, even the LAME developers will tell you that in such cases, Alt Preset Extreme rarely makes a difference, and the difference between the two presets is mostly theoretical.

    So why even have it? I dunno, I guess it makes some people feel better. It's just a waste of disk space though. Alt Preset Standard was designed to be exactly that, the standard. Otherwise it would be called 'Alt Preset Almost The Standard But Really Not Quite There Yet So Use A Different Option'.
  2. Why are you degrading the sound quality by transcoding from one lossy format to another? I should encourage other people to do this? Oh, and the guide is precisely about converting wav files into mp3s. What did you think they were being made from?
  3. See above.

p.s. I'll try to fix the DTS thing tomorrow, leuk.
 

Carnival Forces

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hoi, i know the guide was about converting to MP3's, i just thought you were making an audio FAQ...so i suggested talking about other formats

perhaps, making a converting guide, and not just a converting-to-MP3 guide.

not to slander your work or anything, i think it's great, especially for nubs like me who need to learn Audio stuff :p

as to why you should teach something that's crappy:
b/c nubs (like me) will encounter it out on the web; for instance, i didn't even know it was crappy until you just told me ;)

EDIT: REgarding the conversion rates: i didn't do my raeding :( thx for pointing me to the right place that showed where I was wrong :p
 

BO(V)BZ

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If anyone is interested, I could write a slightly more advanced ripping guide, telling you how to rip an album to a single file, lossless or lossy, and I could write a foobar2000 tutorial, covering the major parts [it comes up enough, and I'm interested enough in it to set aside some time =]
 

Mister X

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Just post add whatever information you wish....
I see this is a working draft.
When you all get the information sorted out you can incorporate all of the information into a new thread that will get stuck (This is how the members of this forum attempted to create the last FAQ (the last one spanned nine pages IIRC)).
That way we can keep the FAQ free of the distracting off topic discussions and to the point witch will make it easier to read IMHO.
Is that not the intention of this thread GMC? ;)
My question is .... do we need the history lesson about Soundstorm? :D
 

GodsMadClown

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GodsMadClown

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Mister X said:
Is that not the intention of this thread GMC? ;)
Yes.

Mister X said:
My question is .... do we need the history lesson about Soundstorm?
<sigh> No, probably not. I just wanted to communicate why Soundstorm is only really useful if you have an external decoder. I figure that the history helps me make that point.
 

GodsMadClown

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Can somebody write a short guide for hacking the latest Creative drivers to work with older cards? Maybe a little about how to get the software that comes on the original CD, but isn't available via download? I haven’t dealt with Creative drivers in a long, long while.
 

BO(V)BZ

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GMC... that first foobar link.. I'm not really sure what it's for. I'm not sure that it ever has actually been up either =] I'd just disregard it, and stick with www.foobar2000.org .

http://foobar.nub4life.net/columns/ - more foobar2000 formatting strings, this time for columnsUI, an alternate user interface, with columns [!]

http://www.barciaonline.com/aural/foobarlooks/foobarlooks.htm skins for foobar, if it looks too plain for you, even after formatting strings and stuff.

http://pelit.koillismaa.fi/plugins/
http://www.cqasys.com/projects/kode54/index.php
http://www.stud.uni-karlsruhe.de/~uzbs/fb2k/html/

^^Pages with the best of the plugins.
 

GodsMadClown

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Perhaps there should be a recommended links compendium that is parallel to the FAQ. Perhaps it could be the second post in the final sticky thread.

Mister X recommended and I agree that for readability, the FAQ should not contain too many links.
 

BO(V)BZ

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How to rip an album to a single file, and still be able to have full tracklists, etc

This guide, as it says, will tell you how to go beyond just a basic rip of an album, and do some fun stuff instead. Using a couple extra programs, you can easily rip an album and convert the file to one single uberfile, which is really handy for storage.
Note: This guide assumes that you have a little experience with foobar2000, but I'll keep it as simple as possible.

What you need:
Exact Audio Copy - This is by far the best CD ripping tool that you can download. It assures you of the best quality rip that you can possibly achieve with any particular CD.
http://www.exactaudiocopy.org/ - Go to download, get V.95 prebeta 5, then install that somewhere

foobar2000 - This is somewhat optional, but it makes some steps a lot easier by making it easy to tag your new album after you rip and compress it. On the download page, get the 'special' installer - it comes with piles of cool plugins.
www.foobar2000.org/download.html

Matroska - Matroska is a container format that lets you store audio/video information inside a 'shell.' One container that you are familiar with are AVI, audio-video interleaved. matroska lets us 'wrap' a file, in this case our full album, and then add extra data to it.
http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/win32/mkvtoolnix-0.9.1.rar - direct link, or go to http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/ and look under section 3.1.4, the 'windows' subheading.

http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/win32/mkvtoolnix-runtime.rar You'll need these dll files from this.

FLAC - If you want to do it right, do it lossless =] FLAC, free lossless audio codec, is a lossless [duh] codec [duh again =]. It lets you make an exactly perfect copy of your CD, no quality loss at all, unlike MP3 or ogg. FLAC, however, does take up a lot of HDD space, so expect a full album rip to take anywhere from 300 to 500 MB. The actual bitrates per album will vary depending on what type of music you encode. From what I've encoded, soft stuff, like the Hexen soundtrack, averages around 650-750Kbps. Death-metal and industrial, however, can average 900-1100Kbps. Note that even the first example is probably more than three times the bitrate of most of your MP3's. It's certainly a tradeoff, and perhaps a case of diminishing returns, but hard drives are so cheap these days I don't think that using up a few extra Megabytes is that big of a deal.

My FLAC collection, comprising about 1300 songs total, takes up about 50GB.

FLAC, being lossless, has two other great advantages: you can transcode your files to any other format without any loss in quality, and you can burn perfect copies of the original CD. The latter point is fairly obvious, but the previous requires a little explaining. Transcoding is when you convert from one file format to another, such as converting a FLAC file to an mp3. Doesn't seem like a big deal to you? Well, think about transcoding an mp3 to ogg. Each compression scheme uses its own set of tricks to reduce the file size without killing the quality, but when you convert from one lossy codec to another, you end up running the music data through both of the compression algorithms. This means that any flaws your file had in it from being compressed to an mp3 will be magnified during the conversion.

With lossless files, transcoding is no problem. When you convert them to a wave file, and then to another file type, [which is what transcoding does, even if you are not aware of the intermediate wave file stage] you get the same quality as if you ripped the album to mp3 in the first place. This is a good way to make files for your portable; just transcode your FLAC files to mp3/ogg/lossy-codec-of-the-day.

I know that was a little longwinded, but lossless codecs represent the future, IMO, and it's important that you know the benefits and downsides. Here's a quick summary, if you want the Cliff's Notes:
+ perfect quality
+ easy to transcode to lossy codecs like mp3 or Vorbis
+ 'futureproof' - if a better lossless codec comes out, you can always transcode to that later
+ lets you make exact copies of the original CD, any time you want

- Large file size
- takes a little while longer to encode [takes my p4 2.26 about 5 minutes to do an album]

http://cyberial.com/flacinstaller.asp

Still here? Now that you have the tools that you need, let's get them set up, and I'll tell you what we are actually going to do with them =]

Step 1: Configure EAC.
After extracting EAC, run the executeable. This brings up the config wizard. Click next, and on the next screen, pick which CD drive you'd like to use. Click next again, select 'I prefer to have accurate results,' and click next once more. EAC will try to figure out what options your drive supports. Sometimes, it'll be right, sometimes not. Check the 'I don't trust these values' option, and put a CD in that drive, then click next. EAC will then test your drive and make sure that everything is kosher. This takes a minute or two. After detecting drive features, just click the next button several times. You won't need the LAME compressor for this tutorial, but if you want to install it anyways, feel free. Type your email address in for the freeDB option. On the last screen, select the 'I'm a beginner' option, which will keep things simple.

Now that you have completed the wizard, you'll be looking at a screen that lists all the tracks found on your cd. At this point, you're done for now!

Step 2: Configure FLAC and MKVmerge.
This step isn't too bad. What you'll need to do is extract the two Matroska related packs. [mkvtoolnix-runtime.rar and mkvtoolnix-0.9.1.rar] Take all the files from mkvtoolnix-runtime.rar, and put them in your windows/system32 folder. Take just the mkvmerge.exe file from mkvtoolnix-0.9.1.rar and put it in the same dir. You can put the other files in there, but you won't need them. Install the FLAC program that you downloaded. This has options for installing plugins for various audio players, which you can do if you want. Now, browse to C:\Program Files\FLAC , and copy the flac.exe file to windows/system32. You're done with Step 2 now!

Just so you know, if you put files into your system32 file, you can run them by hitting [win]-r, bringing up a run menu, and then just typing the name of the file. So, in our case, if you bring up a run menu, you can type 'flac' into it and it'll run the FLAC command-line encoder. This won't do anything yet, but it'll be helpful later.

Step 3: Install foobar2000.
Foobar2000 has full support for FLAC and matroska, and I'm very familiar with it, so that's why I'm using it. Take that special installer that you downloaded and run that. You'll be presented with a huge number of potential options to install, and I suggest that you isntall them all for now. If you really want to be picky, you can eliminate some, but make sure you keep the FLAC decoder, Matroska plugin, freeDB and masstaggers plugins [more on these later]

Install foobar2000 to the default location - C:\program files\foobar2000\ , as it'll save a little trouble for the last steps. After getting foobar installed, feel free to fool with it. It's gota lot of options [go to foobar > preferences] but all you need to do right now is type your email into the freeDB options. You can find those by looking under the 'components' section, and it's called freedb masstagger. At this point, you're done!

Step 4: Ripping your CD.
Open up EAC and put a CD in it [shiny side down =] After it detects it, hit alt-f7. This will rip the album to two files, a .wav file and a .cue file. The wave file is all the audio in one continuous stream, and the .cue file tells your audio player where the tracks start and stop. Save these to whatever drive you want, but you can make it easier on yourself later if you save this straight to c:\ , right on the root drive, and keep them named cdimage for now. After EAC finishes ripping, you're done!

Step 5: FLAC compression and converting to matroska.
This step isn't too hard, as I've already done the work for you =] What you want to do is cut and paste all this text into a text file, then save this file as 'matroska.bat' , placing this file, as with all the other files, into the windows/system32 folder. Note: If you didn't save your wav/cue files on C, then change the initial 'C:' , the top line, to whatever directory/drive. For instance, I save mine on the H drive, so I would change c: to h: , and leave the rest alone.

Code:
c:
cd..
cd..
cd..
flac -8 --cuesheet=cdimage.cue cdimage.wav
mkvmerge -o cdimage.mka --chapters cdimage.cue --attachment-mime-type plain/text --attach-file cdimage.cue cdimage.flac
del cdimage.wav
del cdimage.cue
del cdimage.flac
c:
cd..
cd..
cd "program files\foobar2000\"
foobar2000 h:\cdimage.mka

This batch file does several different things: First, it encodes your wave file to a FLAC file, using the highest level of compression. Second, it takes that file and combines it with the cue file in a Matroska file. This is why we need Matroska: so we can keep all the track listings in the FLAC file, and be able to tag each individual track. Next, the batch file deletes all the temporary files, and finally, it opens the file in foobar2000 so we can complete the last step: adding tags to it!


Step 6: Tagging in foobar.
Now that the batch file has finished and foobar is open, we need to tag the tracks. Select all the files in the album, then right click on one of them. In the context menu that pops up, go to freedb > get tags. The freeDB window will pop up if the album is found. [amost any album you can buy is in that database, so I'm just going to assume it is] All you need to do is hit the 'tag files' button, and foobar will add all the tags you need. Now, close foobar, and browse to C:\ , or where-ever you decided to put the file. Name the file however you wish, such as 'Spineshank - 2001 - The Height Of Callousness.mka' . Move the file to where you keep your music, and you are done!

You've successfully made a losslessly encoded, single-file-per-album rip, using 2 geek tools and a batch file =]
 

BO(V)BZ

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BTW guys, tell me what you think of my tutorial right now. I know that I'm missing the crucial piece right now, but I'm too lazy to figure out all the command line options for mkverge and flac.exe right now =]

I apoligize if I'm a little verbose, I get carried away [you can expect my foobar2000 tutorial to be just as sprawling]
 

BO(V)BZ

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GMC - I'll include the links that my tutorials require right in them, I think that'll make it a little easier, unlike that old sticky in OC&C that had about eight hundred links in a row in it =] This way, people will know what they need to get things done, and it won't be hard for them to find the files.
 

BO(V)BZ

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ATTN: Everyone!

If somebody would go through my tutorial, preferably a relative audio newbie, and see if they can actually make a single-file rip without hitting any snags, I'd appreciate it! I think that this tutorial covers things rather well, but you can never be too sure =]
 

Mister X

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GodsMadClown said:
<sigh> No, probably not. I just wanted to communicate why Soundstorm is only really useful if you have an external decoder. I figure that the history helps me make that point.
So it does.
I was just concerned that this FAQ will end up like the last one and take an hour to read is all. :)
 

BO(V)BZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Messages
1,462
X: It might make sense to break it into a few categories, with one master thread with the major headings, and then other threads that the main thread link to. That way, we'll have about 5 topics in the main thread, and another thread for each sub-thread. This would probably only be probable if you could make a subforum for audio stickies, but it would help prevent some confusion, and it would streamline the process for people seeking info.

[need a soundcard or speaker set? Click link 1! Need help ripping albums? Click link 2! Etc]
 

Zemo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
190
BO(V)BZ - you said
Step 1: Configure EAC.
After extracting EAC, run the executeable. This brings up the config wizard. Click next, and on the next screen, pick which CD drive you'd like to use. Click next again, select 'I prefer to have accurate results,' and click next once more. EAC will try to figure out what options your drive supports. Sometimes, it'll be right, sometimes not. Check the 'I don't trust these values' option, and put a CD in that drive, then click next. EAC will then test your drive and make sure that everything is kosher. This takes a minute or two. After detecting drive features, just click the next button several times. You won't need the LAME compressor for this tutorial, but if you want to install it anyways, feel free. Type your email address in for the freeDB option. On the last screen, select the 'I'm a beginner' option, which will keep things simple.

Now that you have completed the wizard, you'll be looking at a screen that lists all the tracks found on your cd. At this point, you're done for now!

Well...sorry to break it to you, but you're DEAD WRONG. This will NOT create the most accurate rips, and in many cases, the only result you'll achieve is a slower extraction.

The RIGHT way, and the easiest, would be to download and use a well put together profile created for the Adapter and ID that your drive is sitting on.

Just follow the guid here: http://www.chrismyden.com/nuke/modules.php?op=modload&name=Elite_DAE&file=painless

Yes, that guide will set you up for aurally transparent MP3s, but if you want to do your matroska or flac thing, feel free to modify it.

-Z
 

BO(V)BZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Z:

What's the difference? I'm curious as to what the cfg files contain that make them different, this is the first time I've heard mention of them before.
 

GodsMadClown

2[H]4U
Joined
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Messages
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I never use the .cfg files. I have a set CDs that I made for testing offsets, and I always look on the EAC forums for the agreed values, if/when I get a new drive. Of course, my LTD-163 has been kicking along for many years and it is among my most prized piece of hardware. The thing rips like lightning, with no audio caching. I regularly get average rips of 25x or more.
 

Zemo

Limp Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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The .cfg files will set your drive to use Secure mode, no C2 (as it's unreliable) and tell EAC that your drive does not cache data. It does this as well as a few other minor features. I'm not saying the cfg files are the "end all" configuration, I'm just saying they do a lot better then following the setup wizard.

-Z
 

GodsMadClown

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Ah. I just do some poking around in the Drive Features database to find proper EAC settings.

http://www.offsetbase.eac-audio.de/

Here you will find the following informations of settings and values to use in EAC.

* Brand - The manufacturer of the CD-Rom (LG, Plextor, etc.)
* Model - The drive model (GCE 8240B, PX-W1210TA, etc.)
* Firmware - The firmware of a drive (1.01, 1.10, etc.)
* Accurate Stream - Drive uses 'Accurate Stream' feature (Yes | No)
* Audio Caching - Drive uses 'Audio Caching' feature (Yes | No)
* C2 Error Retrieval - Drive uses 'C2 Error Retrieval' feature (Yes | No)
* Read Command - Drive uses 'Read Command' .... (MMC1, D8, etc.)
* Read Offset Correction - Read Offset value
* EAC Write - Drive is able to write with EAC (Yes | No)
* Write Offset - Write Offset value
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
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3,437
This shouldn't get a sticky just yet...the thread starter needs to gather all the data that s/he has come up with and all the data all you other [H]'ers have come up with and combine the info to make a big huge detailed FAQS...THEN it'll be ready...
 

GodsMadClown

2[H]4U
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The thread starter is at home, enjoying his weekend. He'll resume his FAQ compiling at work tomorrow.
 

XLShadow

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
107
the "how to ask questions" is an absolute MUST but we could also state that the audio forum is ALWAYS flooded with noobie "WHAT SOUNDCARD?" / "WHAT SPEAKERS?" threads that educated audio enthusiasts simply ignore.

maybe it would be better to break the FAQ into parts like sound cards, speakers, ripping/encoding kinda things. break up the work loads and start some drafts.
threads for each, stickied and locked... i'd would have to be touched up in a year or so but that shouldn't be a prob.

keep in mind we want the noobs to actually READ it so keep technical definitions short and to the point. if theres one thing i learned in high school; "if its longer then a paragraph [5 sentences] they aint gonna read it on their own" Yea, lets avoid the 5 hour FAQ. If you can get to the hard forums i'm going to assume you can also get to google if you need comprehensive info.

driver guide anyone? stuff like propper install/removal, stable versions, 3rd party, links
I was just now looking for a driver guide for soundcards. something very similar to the video card driver faq would be perfect.

I've always used forceASPI 1.7 Is nero's aspi better/worse/no different?
I will say nero is simpler to get working, just copy into eac's folder. but i found i need aspi for other things too, so i reach for forceaspi first

I was under the impression EAC has methods to get around audio caching. If your drive caches audio, EAC needs to know. Configuring EAC is a pain. It took me a few tries before I got it just right. And once I did, I made sure to save that information. and can we avoid the pre-configed files. we want to educate people in to understanding WHY there is a right and wrong way with EAC.
 

GodsMadClown

2[H]4U
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As I learned with my abortive attempts to include the short history of integrated audio on the nForce chipsets, explaining why and keeping things brief can often be at cross purposes.
 
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