Trav started using FLAC a while ago to archive his music. At the time, I called him silly names because I knew that MP3 would do the same job in 1/5 the space. But now when it comes time to archive my music, I instantly recognize that the choice is obvious. Gigabytes are cheap and getting cheaper, and I don’t know what format I’m going to want my music in the future; recompressing a lossy format like MP3 or even OGG can sometimes work out very poorly.
I’m convinced that OGG is a better lossy compression format than MP3 because it gets a higher quality sound for the bits it uses. 192 kbit OGG uses less space and has possibly higher sound quality than 256 kbit MP3. (I say “possibly” because I can’t discern an acoustic difference between them. They are both “near perfect”)
There are some non-obvious switches you have to set to use CDex and FLAC together. Here’s how:
From DarkRyder on CDexos.sourceforge.net
Actually, ripping to FLAC is very easy in CDex, can be done on the fly, and doesn’t, thankfully, involve the CLI:
1. Install the FLAC encoder from http://flac.sourceforge.net/
2. In CDex, set the Encoder to “External Encoder”
3. Do not check “Don’t delete ripped WAV…”
4. Point the Encoder Path to flac.exe (mine is “C:\Program Files\FLAC\flac.exe”, which is probably the default)
5. Set the Parameter String to
"-8 -o %2 -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%b" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%tn/%tt" -T "genre=%g" -"(this is where the magic happens; see below)
6. Bitrate is irrelevant (I left mine at 128)
7. File Extension is “flac”
8. You can check “Hide DOS box…” if you want (I don’t because it show progress, but you might not care)
9. Check both “Send WAV header…” and “On-the-fly…”
Now ripping to FLAC will work just the same as ripping to any of the internally supported formats.
If you’re interested in that giganto parameter string, here’s the breakdown:
-8: Compression level — higher numbers mean more CPU usage but smaller files, lower ones mean less CPU and larger files. Can be 0-8
-o: Output file name. This is how CDex “tells” FLAC to follow the Filename Format from the Filename tab.
%%: These are CDex replacement tags. You can find the full list in the CDex help file under “External Encoder”. The only real drawback to this external encoders is that the track number always has leading zeroes. Doesn’t bother me, but it may bother some people.
-T: These set the “tags” in the compressed file for Artist, Album, etc. You can find the list of supported tags on the FLAC website.
-: The trailing dash tells FLAC to expect the WAV on stdin, which is what makes on-the-fly encoding possible.
And from some other folks:
It is also CRITICAL that you set the ID3 Tag version [in the Generic section] to NONE, as if you don’t, you’ll make an ogg that can’t be read by all the *nix folks, and that will piss us all off.