Ripping in FLAC using EAC


New Member
Oct 2, 2008
After having read many posts in the forum about MP3 vs FLAC, and assorted, format related discussion, I decided to post this thread. Hopefully those of you who are using your computers as a source can now rest assured that the recording you are enjoying is EXACTLY the original that you own;)

Note: This is a Windows XP based tutorial, so if you desire one for mac os x or linux, PM me and i will get on it.

1. First, you need to download and install EAC and FLAC. According to the download page, the new version includes FLAC packaged with the EAC install files.
EAC: Download Exact Audio Copy
Once you download and install EAC and run it for the first time you will see a setup wizard screen. Hit Cancel. You won't be using it because we're doing a very specific setup that may not be covered in the wizard.
Also, make sure that the FLAC frontend is installed as well. Put the FLAC files wherever you want, just be able to find them later.

2. Hit F12 to go to the FreeDB Options.

Enter an email address here. Hit OK to exit out of the FreeDB Options. This is needed to access the freedb database.
Hit Ok.

3. Hit F9 to bring up the EAC Options.
Under the first tab, Extraction:
- Check Fill Up Missing Offset Samples With Silence.
- Check Synchronize Between Tracks are all that need checking here.
- Turn Error Recovery Quality to High.

4. Go to the General Tab.
-Put a tick "On Unknown CDs" and "Automatically Access Online FreeDB Database".
-Check "Wait for external compressors"
-Everything Else should NOT be ticked.

NOTE: These options for the most part have no effect on accurate ripping. Options such as Disable 'CD Autostart' For Audio And Data CDs While EAC Running might give you more luck ripping copy protected CDs, but that can be done outside of EAC by holding down SHIFT before and while you insert the CD until it loads as well.

5. Go to the Tools Tab
-Use CD-Text Information In CUE Sheet Generation.
-Create '.m3u' Playlist On Extraction and Write m3u Playlist With Extended Information below it.
- Automatically Write Status Report After Extraction.

You can also check Do Not Open External Compressor Window if you do not want to see one. Checking Retrieve UPC/ISRC codes is optional, but overall unnecessary.
Everything else should not be ticked.

6. Go to the Normalize Tab
Do not check anything under this tab. Normalizing files destroys any efforts to make them lossless!

7. Now click on the Filename tab.
You can set this up pretty much however you want it, the symbols here should be self-explanatory. I prefer this method: %D\%Y - %C\%N - %T to automatically place it in an Artist/Year - Album folder. Example: /Metallica/1991 - Metallica/04 - The Unforgiven.wav

Under the Directories tab, select whatever folder you'd like to save your files into.
Once you are done, hit OK to exit out of the EAC Options.

8. Hit F10 to bring up Drive Options.
A warning box may popup. Uncheck the box, and just hit OK here so it wont come back.
Extraction Method Tab:
-Select 'Secure mode'.
-Check 'Drive Has Accurate Stream' Feature.
-Check 'Drive Caches Audio Data'.

- If your drive or drives do not show up, you may need to close EAC, and make sure you placed wnaspi32.dll into your EAC directory...
- Not all drives support the Accurate Stream feature. To see what features your drive has click the Detect Read Features button.

9. Hit the Drive Tab
Make sure you have an audio CD in the drive, then hit the button for Autodetect Read Command Now. Whatever read command it finds, use that.

10. Hit the Offset/Speed Tab
-With an audio CD in the drive, click "Detect sample offset correction." Once AccurateRip recognizes your cd as a valid "Key Disc," it will test your drive and determine the offset. Sometimes, if your drive is not in the active database, you may have to do a series of 3 tests with 3 different discs.

Once your drive offset is determined, the window should look something like this:

10. Hit the Gap Detection Tab
- Select either Detection method A, B, or C.
- Select Secure for Detection accuracy.
NOTE: Detection methods A usually works fine and the other methods usually work just as well but on the odd chance your drive cant read gaps on cds, try methods B or C. Different methods work with different drives. In general, Method A is the fastest and Method C is the slowest.
Hit OK to exit this window.

11. Now hit F11 to bring up Compression Options
Note: You can skip this step if you are planning on only ripping to WAV and compressing to a different format. However, remember that FLAC is the most widely accepted and compatible lossless format.

-Hit the External Compression Tab
-Check Use external program for compression
-Under the drop down menu, click User Defined Encoder
-Click Browse to find where your FLAC.exe file is installed.
-Make sure Use File Extension is set to .flac and in the Additional Command Line Options box, put this:
-V -8 -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s
-Check Delete WAV file after compression to save HD space, unless you want to keep them for some reason.
-Check Use CRC check

Don't worry what the Bitrate drop down box reads, it's irrelevant since we're using FLAC.
Hit OK to exit the window and save these settings.

12. Now that everything is set up correctly, make sure to click the EAC Menu in the main window, then Profiles and Save Profile to save all of these settings that you just made.

Propper Ripping

Now that you have your setup all perfect, insert whatever CD you'd like to rip. You should see the FreeDB window pop up and your CD & Track names will be filled in automatically.

1. Hit F4 to detect gaps for all of the tracks on the CD.

2. Under the Action menu, make sure "Append Gaps to Previous Tracks" is checked. Then go to Create Cue Sheet, then click "Multiple WAV Files With Gaps (Noncompliant)"

3. Hit Ctrl-A to select all tracks, then hit Shift-F6 to rip and compress all tracks on the CD. Alternately, if you are only ripping to WAV, just hit F6.

4. Ripping at this high level of error correction usually takes some time. I've seen anywhere from 30-60 min. depending on the disc.

If you didn't already save a profile of all of these settings, make sure you do so. EAC --> Profiles ---> Save Profile

When it's done, check your logfile for errors.

Thats it. Enjoy your perfect rip. If at any point, you want to re-burn the original CD, you can use the combination of your Cue file and FLAC's in NERO to burn a bit-perfect copy of the original disc.

Much thanks to the original poster on OiNK who made the original tutorial that I revised and used as an outline for this one.
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im using Windows Vista Home
ive follwoed pto step 9

however im stuck at stp 10 which detedts the ofset

i get the following screen though ive changed 5 discs
Richard Marx - best of
Hootie and the Blowfish
The Police Greatest Hits
A natalair Imbriglia album and
GNR use your illusions 2
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Magma, can you post a slightly larger picture of the screen shot? EAC is expecting you to insert one of the CDs it has details about vis-a-vis your drive offset. I am sure there is a way to circumvent that.

all the cds ive put ingives this error that

overead : none
Found Cd : CD not found in offset database
sample offset :

please help
its not able to calliberate the offset
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Reviving old thread as its no point spawning a new thread for similar topics all the time.

I setup EAC and ripped some CDs. However the log file appears to be binary - I am unable to read any text strings in it. WTF??!!!

Any ideas?

Thanks Venkat.
Strangely my very last rip gave me a txt readable file that I could read from a linux console. Without me changing any settings - the first 6 to 10 did not... !
I dunno why EAC changed behavior. I have seen those links before but I will review them now to figure out whats happening.

I am not so sure if I can post here - mods please do check & appoint;

I have stopped the use of EAC a few years back. 3 ++ I think;
I prefer dB Power Amp Ripper to be 'far' better.
I have stoped ripping in flac - I much prefer Wave.
I wonder if any others have tried both & find any difference ?
I am in the process of 're-ripping' all my old Flac into Wave.....[trust me I am 'harrowed']
dBpoweramp CD Ripper: CD Converter, Securely Ripping
Can post this link here :-
[I am trying to help] Do not reprimand me !
I use dbPowerAmp to rip too. It is far quicker and far easier to use. My old rips are still FLAC, and I can't begin to imagine the effort involved to re-rip to WAV! I was also foolish enough to give away many of my CDs after I ripped them too :(

Since I started using JRMC (about a year back), I've been ripping all new CDs to WAV. JRMC will read and index tags embedded into WAV (Foobar won't). I'm not the playlist-type of listener, so automatic organization by Artist, Album and Genre is a must for me.
Tagging is a great facility, and enough to make me wish that my early rips had been FLAC and not WAV --- but my music organisation remains done by the basic means of directory/file-naming. I avoid any player that wants to take control of that organisation.

I do wonder, though... if I had a huge collection on disk, I might think differently.
Hmm time for me to A/B flac versus wav.
I use EAC on linux under wine. Not sure if dbpoweramp runs on wine. But now that its setup I dont want to disturb it.

I have also found that WAV files express music better.

Believe me, this is purely your ears making you believe something. FLAC has been time and again proven to bit perfect and identical to WAV files in every way (to the last bit). It is a completely lossless compression, so once expanded, it will be identical to the WAV file. Fortunately, unlike analog systems, it is easy to measure in digital systems.

Thats not why ... I do know from experience that cpu scheduling activity and processes influence the reproduction of the same digital file. I want to check how much influence this specific case has on my system.

time for me to A/B flac versus wav

Blind of course. This is exactly the sort of instance where blind testing is necessary.

Certainly, digital is not without its subtleties, and they do not all work for us. On my system, for instance, I have to manually set the sampling rate (don't ask!) or just let the media player do SRC. I do not liek the result of that. 96 converted to 41 has a subtle difference: it is hard to describe in terms other than the way listening to the music makes me feel. 41 converted to 96, on the other hand, is more obviously unpleasant.

Nope. I haven't blind-tested. It's my anecdote; it is how it is for me on my system with my soft/hardware combination. And I could quite easily use words like musicality to describe it.

If anybody believes that FLAC is different to WAV --- well, maybe that is a part of the digital subtlety of their hardware/software set up. In data terms, no, it isn't.

This is about ripping, so decisions have to be made. If it were just about listening, I would advise to forget about file formats, sample rates, bit rates... thinking about it just gets between us and the music.

My decision is FLAC, although I'm always happy to live with WAV. For mobile, I use OGG or mp3 for anything that won't play OGG.

I don't use EAC. I tried Rubyripper, which is a Linux equivalent, but it took all day and still didn't finish a CD. There may be others, gobble, that are closer to EAC, for linux? I just use k3b with a paranoia level of 1 or 2 so it does some checking.
No other linux option, Thad. Cdparanoia on linux does not do the kind of ripping EAC does even with another program controlling it with some error correction logic attempted.

Certainly the flac and wav are digital equivalents. But I was able to discern and understand what exactly is different in the attributes of sonics from my digital system when I use certain software and dont - after more than 6 months of obsessively trying to listen over and over. But I will leave those details for a post or article that desribe my recent upgrades later next month when I am done.

I'll try blind with a script to log each playback and compare my notes.

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1. Able to rip to multiple format at once (FLAC, MP3)
2. Tag the ripped file
3. Save appropriate file based on metadata (Genere, Artist, Album)
4. Use multiple cores (Multi threaded application)
5. NAS is headless linux server, Hence command line, CDDB integration, IF NO CDDB entry found manually enter tags before start ripping. No compramise on ripping quality.
6. Rip individual tracks, entire CDs, range of tracks (especially when ripping multi album CDs)

Based on all these requirement selected ABCDE linux ripper which is a wrapper around cdparanoia

It worked fine as I am using it for years. Have ripped most of the CDs to FLAC + MP3. The config file has options to provide arguments for each encoder based on individual requirement as well as options for directory structure to save files, retain WAVs and much more. Once set it up properly just keep ripping.

Normally it takes few minutes to RIP an audio CD until the CD is badly scratched (also depends on the drive used). Error correction is supported and is based on the settings in conf file. Very badly scratched CDs to take hours or even days if the error recovery used is very very aggressive.

Very easy to install but needs LINUX (UNIX) command line to use it.

Note: I normally use LINUX *screen* utility to keep the session alive even after disconnecting from terminal. You can always attach / detach to the session to continue from where you left off previously. Very helpful especially ripping scratched CDs so that you dont have to keep the laptop on always.
Believe me, this is purely your ears making you believe something. FLAC has been time and again proven to bit perfect and identical to WAV files in every way (to the last bit). It is a completely lossless compression, so once expanded, it will be identical to the WAV file. Fortunately, unlike analog systems, it is easy to measure in digital systems.


I am sorry, I do not agree with what you have to say;
Technically - you are 100 % correct.
However, when you listen - they sound different.

Same goes with EAC & dB
When you rip the same cd - 2 times - different location on same HDD & play back - same software used [for play back] they [files] sound different.
I do not have a reason - why - but the dB ripped files are 'better' than the EAC files.

If this was not the case - why would I re-rip 5000 ++ CD's [I already have them in flac] - ripped with EAC.
I am re-ripping the music in Wave - dB

Abcde, Ruby ripper et al do not do the same as EAC. The thing is with a good cd one might get good copies from any other ripper, but I want to eliminate doubt about those scratched cd's that are reported as 96% or 98% accurate by EAC- I do not know how well abcde or ruby will work. These software depend on math for calculating error correction and recovery more than re-read attempts on a cd and guesstimate the probability of a bit error per sample and apply corrections based on those calculations.

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