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How to _easily_ encode a CD to MP3 using LAME with full tags?
August 29, 2012 7:16 PM   Subscribe

How can I easily RIP a CD to MP3 using the LAME encoder, with full tags? I'm essentially looking for a LAME encoder that has the convenience and tagging abilities of iTunes.

This may be revisiting an old question, but even after searching AskMeFi and the web in general, I have yet to find a satisfactory answer. How can I easily RIP a CD to MP3 using the LAME encoder, with full tags? I have tried using Foobar2000, and it's good, but a bit clunky, and it uses the FreeDB database, which I find... lacking. iTunes uses the Gracenote DB, which, while not perfect, is pretty good. I have a decent set of cans (they're probably better than my ears, at any rate), and have done some test RIPs, comparing iTunes' highest quality MP3, iTunes' Apple Lossless, and LAME's 320 CBR. I prefer LAME. Thanks to any and all advice.
posted by Drewstre to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is (was?) iTunes-LAME for iTunes for Mac (and still is the magical XLD, which will pick up info from Gracenote via iTunes) but — are you on Windows? I don't know of any un-clunky solutions for that.
posted by scruss at 7:35 PM on August 29, 2012


To answer your question either EAC (Exact AudioCopy) or dBPowerAmp include a very good ripping engine... you should be able to set them to use the Gracenote DB if you want.

However, since the actual ripping is a time intensive process, and diskspace is cheap; many prefer the good practice of ripping to a lossless format, and then transcoding (with foobar2000 or whatever) to your preferred lossy format for listening. Then as your needs or preferences change (e.g. you pick up a small player with limited memory) you can transcode from your lossless versions to a smaller file size for portable use, without resorting to evil lossy to lossy transcodes.
posted by dirm at 7:47 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to use an opensource (or shareware even?) program called CDEX that did this job very nicely. (I agree about LAME)
posted by gjc at 7:52 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to use EAC (Exact Audio Copy), but now I use dBPowerAmp. dBPowerAmp supports a nice feature (called Accuraterip) of comparing your rip checksums to an online database so you have some kind of confidence that there wasn't an error during the ripping process.

dBPowerAmp isn't free, but I thought the Accuraterip, batch conversion, metadata grabber (it uses AMG, GD3, SonataDB, MusicBrainz and freedb to figure out what the correct metadata should be), album art grabber, and ReplayGain support were worth paying for. There was nothing wrong with EAC, but dBPowerAmp automates some of the things I was tired of doing manually.

Too bad about the name, though. It's pretty awful.

FWIW, I encode to FLAC (it's lossless compression and disk space is cheap) for home use, and batch convert to mp3 for iPod or USB flash drive for the car.
posted by Quiscale at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2012


I use Exact Audio Copy for ripping and initial tag creation on FLAC files. I use MediaMonkey to do tag manipulation and cover art adding when needed.

MediaMonkey is a full music library application and it can do ripping and processing to flac or mp3 (through lame).
posted by fief at 8:18 PM on August 29, 2012


If you have a Mac you could do worse than Max. It's a set-and-forget ripper that uses LAME and MusicBrainz.
posted by jet_silver at 8:27 PM on August 29, 2012


CUERipper.
posted by Bangaioh at 5:04 AM on August 30, 2012


You could also try foobar's Musicbrainz plugin, it works well in my experience.
posted by Bangaioh at 5:10 AM on August 30, 2012


The ripping service I hired uses dBPowerAmp.
posted by Nelson at 8:00 AM on August 30, 2012


dBPowerAmp supports a nice feature (called Accuraterip) of comparing your rip checksums to an online database so you have some kind of confidence that there wasn't an error during the ripping process.

Exact Audio Copy also has Accuraterip, and EAC is free.

iTunes doesn't use anywhere near the same level of error-checking as EAC andd dBPA, so you can expect your rips to take longer, especially if you use a higher level of security regarding ripping quality. EAC has a set-up wizard that should get you to ripping CDs in a few minutes, and once you've selected your options, there are nice shortcuts to start ripping more CDs quickly.

If you opt to go with EAC and have any questions, you can MeMail me. I've used it for years now.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM on August 30, 2012


And EAC can utilize a number of different music databases, including Discogs.com and MusicBrainz.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 AM on August 30, 2012


iTunes doesn't use anywhere near the same level of error-checking as EAC andd dBPA, so you can expect your rips to take longer

Not if one uses burst mode and the CD is present in the AccurateRip database, in that case EAC/dBPA/CUERipper will do the job as fast as any other program would (ie, as fast as the drive can read the CD and the computer encode the audio files).
posted by Bangaioh at 8:45 AM on August 30, 2012


Thanks all, you've helped tremendously. Hadn't seen MediaMonkey before, looks pretty spiffy. Probably gonna decide between Foobar and EAC, and use MediaMonkey for tagging. Might even pony up the 25 clams for the full MediaMonkey... hmmmm....

Thanks again.
posted by Drewstre at 5:47 PM on August 30, 2012


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