Music Encoders

Ok, so I just got my iPod, and after a few years of neglect, I ran my entire MP3 collection through Musicbrainz, and have them all nice and sorted and in iTunes and happy happy is Alex.

So now… for future ripping, what codec should I use? iTunes AAC? iTunes MP3? What bitrate? VBR? I’ve tried some iTunes 160bit Mp3 VBR, and they sound ok.

Do normal people notice differences?

And also… my girlfriend, not the most technical of people, wants an easy way to do this. iTunes is great for this, as it’s plug & chug.

I’d say MP3 since you’d be able to play them on any device should the need arise, such as moving them to CD to play in a car or DVD player, or to another device… AAC is pretty much locked down to your Ipod, as far as I know… I think CDex is a really nice and easy to use software tool for ripping CDs, but you’d have to fiddle with the directory/filename structure a bit to get it in the same format as Itunes expects. Personally I hate media library programs, but I guess I’m in the minority…

You want EAC Bundle.

For maximum compatability and a very good size/quality ratio I’d go with MP3s encoded with LAME 3.90.3. Use the --alt-preset-standard commandline option. There are several frontends for it, like RazorLAME. You can also use foobar2000.

Yeah, CDex is the best. I’ve had better luck with it using the parnoid settings to rip scratched CDs than even EAC. And I think you’re right about iTunes. Crap for playing stuff the way I want to. FreeAMP had the best library function I’d ever found, but puked if you had too many files. I just rightclick from Explorer to add to QCD playlists now. I keep everything in Artist\Year - Album\TN - Title.mp3 format so navigating my collection is easy.

I agree that it should be .mp3. Lossless is for the purest, but I find that most music to me sounds fine at 192k, and I use VBR when available.


I hate them too! I can’t believe people use them…And they can’t believe I don’t.

EAC+LAME for the win. Media library? Meh.

I used to hate them. Then I got a girlfriend, later I got an iPod, and well, it makes it much easier for me to have an easy to use app that my girlfriend and I both use.

Plus, I got an iPod, and well, it works well with iTunes.

It would also be very hard to convince my girlfriend to use an mp3 encoder other than the one built into iTunes – iTunes is easy. Myself, sure, I’ll check out the LAME encoders mentioned.