How to Rip a CD Like a Pro – Part 5

by on April 19th, 2011 0 comments

Welcome back to part five of my series on ripping CD’s like a professional. We’re going over all of the options for setting up your CD drive. This is a fairly odd thing to have to do you would think, but it is important to do so to ensure the quality of your rips.

  • First thing, press the F10 key or click on Drive Options  in the menu.

If you have more than one drive that you want to setup for ripping, you will have to save the settings for your first drive, and then change the drive settings for your next drive, and save that configuration under a different name.  Select the drive you would like to setup by selecting it in the drop-down menu in the main window.

If you change the firmware on your disk drive (aka. flash the firmware) you will have to set up the drive options again.

You will need to insert a disk into the drive to run some of the tests. It has to be a disk found in the database, so break out all your possibly known disksand have them ready at your PC.

  • Place a disk that is in the AccurateRip key disc database. There is a popup that will come up giving you the chance to take advantage of the opportunity to have your drive features automatically set by AccurateRip:

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  • Click on setup. You will be see a success message after a few seconds:

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If AccurateRip does not come up automatically, and there is a CD in the AccurateRip key disc database in your drive that you are about to setup, be sure that the Use AccurateRip with this drive option in the Offset/Speed tab is selected. If that option is greyed out, and AccurateRip is not there for you to see  it will be greyed out until you find a CD that is in the database in the drive. Be ready that you may have to try out a number of disks until you find one that is in the database.

  • Leave the disk in your drive, it will be needed for some of the testing below.

Now we move onto Extraction Method:

  • Secure Mode: Checked.

Since this is a radio button selection, it follows that “Paranoid Mode”, “Synchronized Modes” and “Burst Modes” need to all be left unchecked.

  • Then you click Detect Read Features so that EAC will check if your drive caches audio data, also if it has Accurate Stream (then case EAC has no need to perform additional synchronization). It will also check for C2 error info, but we will leave this option unchecked no matter what EAC says about it.

We will trust what EAC says about the Accurate Stream feature. We will also trust EAC if it says that the drive caches audio data, like this:

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  • After the detection is done, click on Apply and have the detected features automatically applied as settings. In most cases you will change the settings that were detected so do not leave it like this.
  • Uncheck Drive is capable of retrieving C2 error information- if you were to leave this enabled, some errors may not be found and go undetected.

EAC may show that your drive does not cache audio data, like this:

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You can still choose to have Drive caches audio data checked as shown below. It will not screw up your rip quality, but the rip may take quite awhile longer, so:

  • Check Drive caches audio data if it did not get automatically checked after detecting drive features.

It is very important that Drive caches audio data is checked if your drive does cache the data. EAC needs to read from the disc, not from a cache, each and every time. This is the basis for error detection and correction, and thus for establishing that the rip is a (near) perfect copy of the disc: it is almost impossible that the data would read the same more than once if the drive did not read it correctly from the disc. However, if the data is cached it is no surprise that it reads the same the next time it is accessed.

This is how your settings should be, if it doesn’t look this way, fix it!

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If you wish, you can return and read the following sections about testing the cache, and perhaps ripping in burst mode, some other time…

So, a drive that caches audio data defeats the purpose of making secure rips, unless you tell EAC that the drive caches audio data. If EAC “knows” that a drive caches audio data, it will flush the drive’s cache in order to be able to read from the disc again.

There are doubts about whether EAC really detects drive caching properly. This is why many guides recommend (or even demand) that you always disable/defeat cache (that is, check Drive caches audio data). As far as rip quality is concerned, it is never wrong to have “Drive caches audio data” checked.

The Gap Detection tab:

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  • Gap/Index retrieval method: Try method A, change to B or C if detection is slow, or is not working at all. You will also need to change method if the gap lengths are obviously wrong.
  • Detection accuracy: Secure.

That concludes the fifth part of our crazy long guide for ripping CD’s at a near professional level. You’ve got them laying around, digitize them now, and do so at the quality they deserve! The next portion we will be covering how to save the profile that you have been working on setting up. You surely want to save it to not have to read through all this stuff again and do it over, don’t you? Then we’ll move into the actual ripping portion. After that we’ll get you hooked up on a profile to rip to MP3 also. Til next time.