Monday, May 6, 2013

A Technical Tip on Ripping with iTunes

The tip below comes from the Amarra people and its what we recommend. There's a lot of confusion and opinions on best 'uncompressed' format. Many push flac as the best. The issue is while it may have its fans the format demands it uncompresses on the fly. Any extra use of processing power has proved to take its sonic toll.

We recommend AIFF. We've had long discussions with the Amarra people about this and have done a lot of testing of all the formats. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of digital playback that doesn't sound digital. The following is from Amarra folks.

CD Technical Overview
The audio file on a CD is a single uncompressed, headerless PCM 16-bit file that does not contain individual songs as separate tracks or files. Instead, think of this data as one long continuous file, similar to the way one side of a vinyl record is laid out.
Another data section on a CD, called the 'Table of Contents' or TOC, tells your player or computer where each track within that larger continuous 16-bit file starts and ends.
Recommendations For Bit-Perfect Ripping
1) Use AIFF file format for bit-perfect rip.

  • AIFF is the native uncompressed audio file format for the Mac environment. AIFF files are perfect for iTunes and can be played on many Windows PCs too.
  • Ripping to compressed formats such as MP3, ALAC, FLAC or AAC may save space, but ripping your files to these formats is not bit perfect! These formats actually remove data from the music stream and resulting file type is different from its uncompressed format; so, this cannot be considered a bit-perfect rip.
2) Apple's iTunes has a perfectly fine CD ripping utility that provides convenient bit-perfect conversion from PCM - just make sure to select the AIFF encoder. We recommend that 'Error Correction' be enabled too.

iTunes Preferences

In the iTunes Preferences window, select 'Import Settings'
Import Using= 'Select AIFF Encoder'
Setting= Automatic
Check 'Use error correction when reading Audio CDs'

3) Also, remember that with Amarra you can play CDs in your Mac's disc player and still have all the benefits of Amarra's digital audio engine. Simply put your CD in the transport, choose your track and hit play. Amarra will take over playback without having to go through the rip process.

Naturally we sell Amarra and have a 15% off sale going on right now on both Amarra and Amarra Symphony.

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