Last year I began reorganizing my digital music collection and I made the decision to only have full albums. This meant a lot of space would be needed as I no longer went after just a few singles. At the same time I also wanted to go with a higher-quality audio format as a lot of the mp3s I had in my library were terrible and sometimes just ripped from other audio sources like YouTube, the radio and even captured from system audio. I wanted the REAL thing now!
- This involved me buying and borrowing a lot of music CDs (you can borrow them for free from local libraries, go check it out!). I also searched up on eBay, craigslist and kijiji for old, used music CDs which are shockingly cheap! A lot of people are looking to just give away their music collections as they move entirely to digital.
- Then I began ripping them. The process was VERY SLOW as it meant that I had to swap out the discs each time and a few of the albums I got were multi-disc (Sabaton Special Editions!). For ripping software, I actually prefer to use iTunes! That may seem like a very odd choice but it actually has always been a great CD ripper since the earliest days of it’s software life.
- Go to the iTunes Settings and select the GENERAL tab, now look near the bottom and select the IMPORT SETTINGS button.
- You can now pick which format to rip your CDs to. I recommend that you use Apple Lossless as it is a highly compatible lossless compression format. You can also select from here .MP3, .WAV and also “AAC” – these are generally for other purposes as far as I can concerned. You should only be using .MP3 in situations that require it along with .WAV and “AAC” is supposed to just be a good middle ground compromise for people who want higher quality audio but at a smaller file size than what Apple Lossless (ALAC) will provide them with.
- If you already have audio files (preferably WAV/AIFF or some kind of lossless format) or a an album that has a corresponding .CUE sheet file, you should use Media Human’s Audio Converter. It is completely free and works across Mac and Windows. it converts your audio out to a large number of formats (including .OGG and FLAC!) quickly and can even pull down the album information and artwork automatically. Extremely easy to use, I highly recommend this.
- Please also remember that once you have converted your music to a lossless audio format such as Apple Lossless, you can safely convert it to other lossless formats without worrying about losing any audio information. Converting from Apple Lossless to FLAC and then back should produce the exact same file, unless your software is making changes to the audio information, in which case it is no longer considered lossless.