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Convert your Old collection to Gold

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kooldeep

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
48
Points
8
Location
Haryana
To convert audiophile and collectible/rare collection to digital, it has been most frustrating to find a digital audio compression format that doesn't destroy the sonic characteristics of the original recordings/pressings. After ALOT of research as well as discussion with other audiophile enthusiasts and re-mastering pro's come up with this set of standards.

For quality audiophile CD's (such as Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs -MFSL- Gold releases, or the whole slew of Japanese Gold Format Re-masters etc.) use this Open ware program - Exact Audio Copy. It will rip with EXACT DUPLICATION QUALITY to either MS-WAV, or Monkeys Audio - .APE losses format(s). Even though this is an open source program, it comes HIGHLY recommended for this purpose.

Rip the CD to .wav first, archive the files to DVD and THEN convert the ,WAV digital source to one of the following 'Loss-less' formats (below chart). use FLAC , which along with SHORTEN, and OptimFROG have the highest sonic qualities DURING PLAYBACK (without re-conversion to MS-WAV).
_________________________________________________________________
COMMON 'LOSS-LESS' DIGITAL AUDIO COMPRESSION FORMATS
Apple Loss less ALAC - Apple's own Loss less (ALAC, iTunes, iPod) [.m4a]
Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC - Popular Open Source Lossless [.flac .fla]
Monkeys Audio APE - Great all-round performer [.ape]
OptimFROG High-performance lossless [.ofr, .ofs]
Real Audio Loss less Real Audio Loss less [.ra, .rm, .ram, .rmvb]
Shorten Popular with file traders [.shn]
The True Audio Open source [.tta]
Wavpack WV - Unique loss less [.wv] AND lossy hybrid [.wvc] modes

________________________________________________________________
COMMON 'LOSS-EY' DIGITAL AUDIO COMPRESSION FORMATS
.mp3 Lame, Fraunhofer IIS .etc [.m2a .mp1 .mp2 .mp3 .mpga .mpa .mpx .mpg]
.mp3 Helix 100x 'lightning fast' encoding speed (2 GHz Dual Core CPU), 4x faster than Lame [.mp3]
.m4a & mp4 Newest mpeg standard (AAC LC, AAC HE, AAC HE v2, SBR, 3GPP, iTunes, iPod) [.m4a, .mp4, .m4b]
Musepack Highest quality lossy codec above 128Kbps [.mpc, .mp+, .mpp]
Ogg Vorbis Open source, high quality using the auToV encoder [.ogg]
Real Audio Helix Real Audio [.ra, .rm, .ram, .rmvb]
Windows Media Audio (WMA) Microsoft's v10 Pro, standard, lossless & voice [.wma, .asf, .wmv]
Wavpack WVC lossy mode [.wvc]
________________________________________________________________

Frankly, without a "golden ear" AND audiophile-pro quality headphones such as.....

Ultrasone iCans (highly recommended):
iCans
or>
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (highest studio-pro standards):
beyerdynamic: Home

....you generally can't hear much of difference in the sound 'quality' between the various loss-less format competitors. What WILL be different is the "staging" or "presence" qualities of the playback. These terms refer to the 3-D effect of instruments "standing out" in various "locations" during playback.
SIDENOTE: This is the reason for the argument of (Analog) OVER Digital (CD's-DVD's) for playing back recorded music. Most of us pro-types, as well as the audiophile equipment freaks agree that the sonic staging quality of correctly recorded and mastered vinyl can not be touched, but then it is all subjective to the quality of the pressing, playback equipment and the listeners ears , is it not?
For the regular listeners playing a CD in the car or home/surround/computer systems, any of the loss less formats above are fine.
You can playback .APE files through WINAMP Player by going to:
Monkey's Audio - a fast and powerful lossless audio compressor
Download the STANDALONE & plugin for Winamp there (the Winamp site does NOT have the plug)
You can playback SHORTEN [.shn] files through WINAMP Player by going to:
etree.org | shnamp main
Download the 'ShnAmp' plugin for Winamp there (the Winamp site does NOT have the plug)

SHORTEN STANDALONE at:
etree.org | shorten

You CAN download the .FLAC playback plug for WINAMP at:
Plug-ins for Winamp Media Player - Customize Winamp Media Player

.FLAC STANDALONE at:
FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec

Download the STANDALONE & OptimFROG [.ofr, .ofs] playback plug for WINAMP at:
OptimFROG Lossless Audio Compression
(the Winamp site does NOT have the plug)

Download the STANDALONE & Wavpack [.wv .wvc] playback plug for WINAMP at:
WavPack downloads
(the Winamp site does NOT have the plug)


NOTE: Use FLAC with the least amount of compression, but the files are only slightly smaller then the original .wav file. This is to archive for the bootleg traders I swap with etc.
The other REALLY good format is SHORTEN, which most of the old bootleg tape traders use because it has an even BETTER (sonically accurate) compression formula. and it is more accurate when un-compressed back to the original MS-WAV format. You can hardly tell the difference!.
Monkey Audio's .APE is great also and you can get a really large compression (i.e. smaller size of file) which make it good for transfer over the .net etc. BUT, if you have the (audiophile) playback equipment to warrant it, go with FLAC , SHORTEN, Wavpack, OptimFROG, and for MAC - iPod users, Apple Lossless is good also.

Hear is a site with all the conversion, ripping and playback software & codecs the you will ever need..........
dBpoweramp: CD Ripper & Audio Converter. Secure ripping to mp3, FLAC, m4a, Apple Lossless & WMA
dBpoweramp Codec Central

The last Freeware Version of DbPowerAmp:
FreewareWiki - freeware & free info / DbPowerAmp
http ://www.321download.com/LastFreeware/page11.html#dBpowerAmp

AWSoftware - Exact Audio Copy is for the highest quality ripping of CD's (open source to!):
Introduction � Exact Audio Copy

Have fun!
 

persiflage

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
221
Points
0
Thanks Kooldeep, some useful thoughts here.

I agree that EAC is brilliant.

One of my pet projects actually is archiving vinyl/ tape that seems to be out of print now. Unfortunately, there's a fair amount of such content and progress is slow, no matter what tools one uses.
 

prabuddhadg

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
70
Points
0
Location
Bombay
Hi,
A few days back I had read a comment by Sanjay Khanna about his digital music converted from LP's. I had some time back tried converting my cassettes to digital, and the output had been so terrible, I had given up.

Sanjay's comments revived my plan and I set about again. Persiflage gave me some pointers on what may be going wrong.

This is what I did. First of all, I moved from my laptop to my desktop. The laptop had a basic sound card, and while the desktop had a built in sound card (P4's motherboard).

I connected the RCA out from my Akai tape deck to the mini jack microphone input of my desktop.

Then I downloaded and installed the Audacity software that Ruenigma had suggested.

I set the microphone input volume at very low and tested the recording. Within a couple of attempts I was getting such nice recordings that it was hard to tell whether I was playing directly from the tape deck or this recording.

Audacity records in .Aup format that can not be played on other software. However, it allows the data to be exported to various formats. I chose WAV. There was one confusion, though. I could choose between 16 bit or 32 bit WAV. I tried both. The output sounded the same ( on the desktop, using headphones ), while the 32 bit output was double in size of the 16 bit output.

I then converted the WAV to apple lossless for my ipod.

Well, thanks to all of you who helped this total newbie get pretty good results . Today I drove to office enjoying Abida Parveen's Kabir.

I do not have audiophile grade equipment. So, differences in quality between different formats etc. of recording will not be exactly obvious. So, if the gurus could point out the best formats and/or other settings that they notice I have overlooked, it would be really nice. I have a large number of cassettes that I now plan to convert to digital.
 

persiflage

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
221
Points
0
Hi Prabuddhadg,

Any lossless format should be fine for playback. FLAC seems to be a popular choice because it's open source, however iTunes does not support it.

I use either lossless or 320 kbps, depending on the content. Sometimes there's an audible difference, mostly there isn't (i.e. to my ears, before the flames start).

As for 16 bit vs. 32 bit WAV, export to 16 bit. There's no audible difference.

CD audio is 16 bit, 44.1 khz, for what it's worth. I doubt if cassette tape sources will warrant a higher digitisation standard.

Persiflage
 

unleash_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
2,247
Points
113
Location
Nostalgia
Anybody heard the MT9 format?

"The main difference between MT9 files and other commonly-consumed audio formats like MP3, WMA and AAC is that MT9 is essentially six channels of unmixed audio packaged within the format's own mixer. The advantage is complete flexibility in playback, enabling players to adjust -- or remove -- any channel independently."

New MT9 Digital Audio Format Has Six Channels - HotHardware

MT9: An mp3 replacement? | The Industry Standard

MT9 - Featured on BuzzFeed

BetaNews | Korean music format MT9 tries to replace MP3 - with a karaoke twist

MT9: remove the parts of songs that you don't want to hear | musicradar.com

Best Regards.
 

kaushik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
2,550
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
i think Akai tape deck will not be as good as my sony walkman[some model with mega bass..MADE IN MALAYSIA..mega bass not used while recording..]

i used as :

WALKMAN>LINEIN Of PC

i used jukebox ....result was excellent ....!
 

psychotropic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
2,832
Points
83
Location
Chennai, India
he he, i don't think there will be much to choose between the quality of the tape decks of Akai and Sony's Walkman. If you want really good quality you're better off using a Nakamichi or a Tanndberg or B&O three-head tape deck. Even a Technics deck would do nicely.
 

kaushik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
2,550
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
i dont compare the sony walkman with technics deck ... that will be foolish


but it is a cost effective way for decent results ..


well, any one have a sony walkman[originally designed for erope]........!

long back ...i tested my walkman to pc recording ..it was far far better than the Indian sony/akai crappy players .
companies sell cheaply made products..in 3rdworld countries .....specially akai is mass produced in china .....

people get confused with the original AKAI ...

no issues i can understand you have compared with "sony walkman bought in india"
 

persiflage

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
221
Points
0
Kaushik,

No offence. I own/ have owned 4 tape decks, including a Technics, before graduating to a Nakamichi 1.5.

While the great days of tape decks are behind us, it still stands to reason that SQ of a dedicated component would probably be better than a walkman. Even the late-stock Yamahas being flogged at 12K today. And why should it be otherwise, the comparison is unfair to the walkman which was designed for a different purpose - miniaturisation, portability, cost constraints et al take their toll.

If nothing else, RCA outs from a deck would cause much lower signal loss/ attenuation than a Y-cable hook-up, the latter being something a walkman would necessarily entail.

Again, am not questioning your individual experience and the fact that the walkman may have met your expectations re. tape archiving.

Regards
Persiflage
 

kaushik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
2,550
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Kaushik,

No offence. I own/ have owned 4 tape decks, including a Technics, before graduating to a Nakamichi 1.5.

While the great days of tape decks are behind us, it still stands to reason that SQ of a dedicated component would probably be better than a walkman. Even the late-stock Yamahas being flogged at 12K today. And why should it be otherwise, the comparison is unfair to the walkman which was designed for a different purpose - miniaturisation, portability, cost constraints et al take their toll.

If nothing else, RCA outs from a deck would cause much lower signal loss/ attenuation than a Y-cable hook-up, the latter being something a walkman would necessarily entail.

Again, am not questioning your individual experience and the fact that the walkman may have met your expectations re. tape archiving.

Regards
Persiflage

i agree, ...well that was long back during college days ,now i do not do re.recoding of cassettes any more .....

if i do, i will follow your route .... as RCA out will be far better source ..

even beyond that i will add some recording soundcard like
ESI JULI [ESI - MaXiO 032e ]
or MaXiO 032e

but ...i disagree at one point...! miniature sized components do outperform at times than ..chinese mass produced bigger ones ..
one example ,my test with GEFEN DAC which out performed my AVR ..as explained in DAC thread


sorry if that was a little offtopic ..
 

prabuddhadg

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
70
Points
0
Location
Bombay
Well, while I love listening to music, and can tell to some extent, the difference in audio quality between a "good" set up and a "not so good" set up, I do not claim to be an audiophile. So, while a lot of your discussions is wasted on me, I can confirm that the Akai tape deck I have is better than some (non-audiophile grade) decks I have heard.

In any case, my intention was not to get amazingly distinct and clear sound, but to be able to listen once again to the music that had on tape itself, once upon a time made me happy. Some of the tapes, I have tried to find CD's for and failed. These I can listen to now.
 

hdgopala

New Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
25
Points
0
Location
Hyderabad
The mother of all audio format sites

Hello, this is my very first post here. :)
Although I am new to the audio gear scene, I happen to be quite well-versed in digital audio formats.
I can confidently claim that the mother of all audio format conversion sites is Hydrogenaudio.org.
Members of that forum are in constant touch with Andre Weitkhof - the developer of ExactAudioCopy and other amazing ripping software such as dbPowerAmp. The list of developers that are members of this site include Gabriel Bovine of LAME, and Josh Coalson of FLAC.
Trust me, think of any audio format and you will find that its' developer is a member in those forums and most of them will answer questions promptly.

On similar lines, the mother of all video format sites is Doom9.net - The Definitive DVD Backup Resource. Try visiting both of them, and I assure you that you won't be disappointed.
 

persiflage

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
221
Points
0
Prabudhhadg: Totally agree, it's all about the music, isn't it?

The true test of equipement, too, is only whether it makes the music come alive for you or not. And costlier need never be better.

You'll find that tape archiving is a pretty tedious task (once the novelty wears off) - getting a good 'take', post-processing, splitting, populating ID3 tags etc.

It's probably better to prioritise and focus only on tapes that are out of print.

Well, while I love listening to music, and can tell to some extent, the difference in audio quality between a "good" set up and a "not so good" set up, I do not claim to be an audiophile. So, while a lot of your discussions is wasted on me, I can confirm that the Akai tape deck I have is better than some (non-audiophile grade) decks I have heard.

In any case, my intention was not to get amazingly distinct and clear sound, but to be able to listen once again to the music that had on tape itself, once upon a time made me happy. Some of the tapes, I have tried to find CD's for and failed. These I can listen to now.
 

persiflage

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
221
Points
0
hdgopala: a warm welcome to the forum.. have spent some time on hydrogenaudio and am quite a fan of eac and dbPoweramp.

Have a browse and do participate in the various discussions; look forward to posts from you.
 

Anil kumar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
803
Points
93
Location
Bengaluru
Hi all, with the help of professional video editing setup i converted my old vinyl & tape collections to cd, came out excellent. When you are conveting from tape make sure to adjust the deck's head by slowly rotating the head's alignment screw clockwise or anti clockwise (spring loaded side) while playing. Definately you will appreciate the difference in audio quality. Follow this step every time when you are recording from tape for desired results. Clean the casette decks head with Isopropyl alcohol before playing for recording.


Regards,
Anil
 
Last edited:

hdgopala

New Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
25
Points
0
Location
Hyderabad
hdgopala: a warm welcome to the forum.. have spent some time on hydrogenaudio and am quite a fan of eac and dbPoweramp.

Have a browse and do participate in the various discussions; look forward to posts from you.

Thanks @persiflage :)

I will lurk around for a while, as I am not very well-versed with the A/V gear being discussed here. I am planning to get myself a decent audio system in the not-so-distant future. Maybe, that's when I will start asking questions...
 
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