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I want to rip all my CDs again. What is the best bitrate to use? I am thinking of OGG with 192 (it seems OGG uses ABR and doesnt have a VBR?). I cant remember what i used but i many ripped as m4a and i wouldn't mind encoding it as m4a if someone can give me reasons to consider (Does itunes encode as m4a with VBR?).

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Olli, Tog, Heptite, Kevin Panko, random Feb 14 at 5:02

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you are that serious about getting good CD rips (and you use Windows) it's worth considering using Exact Audio Copy or dBPowerAMP with AccurateRip, rather than iTunes.

As for the codec/bitrate, Hydrogen Audio have detailed info on each codec, including recommended encoder settings (e.g., for LAME).

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+1 for Exact Audio Copy & Hydrogen Audio references –  fluxtendu Feb 23 '10 at 13:07
    
I tried EAC and it couldnt figure out what disc i put in. MediaMonkey, itunes and WMP all had no problems. –  acidzombie24 Feb 23 '10 at 20:57
    
@acidzombie24 Did you try selecting the tracks, and going to: Database -> Get CD Information From -> Remote freedb? –  sblair Feb 23 '10 at 21:42
    
sblair: Last time it said email address is invalid and i could not find the option to change it. I install it on my XP OS on the same HW and set the address. Now that works :). Hydrogen Audio is a cool site. It seems EAC is forcing me to use either WAV or MP3. Can i encode it to something else or do i need to use WAV then convert it again? –  acidzombie24 Feb 24 '10 at 0:50
    
@acidzombie24 I believe EAC always generates WAV files as an intermediate step, before converting to another format (the WAVs are normally deleted automatically). Setting up other codecs should just be a matter of pointing EAC to other encoders, e.g.: teqnilogik.com/tutorials/eac.shtml –  sblair Feb 24 '10 at 8:46
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Why not encode to FLAC (flac.sf.net)? Re-encoding to ogg (or whatever) as needed is pretty easy. Actually, it's not "OGG", it's "Vorbis" (Or Ogg Vorbis). Ogg is just the container.

And Ogg Vorbis doesn't use ABR, it uses VBR, it just doesn't avertise it, since it's (unlike with (traditional?) mp3) the default.

Which also means that "192" doesn't make much sense in the context of Ogg Vorbis. You set a quality with the "-q" parameter, and the bitrate is adapted (VBR, see) to reach that quality.

Oh, and as to actually giving an answer to your question (;-)), I ripped to Q 6 when I did rip to Ogg Vorbis. Why? Not really sure. Basically, test different quality settings, and then select the one that gives you what you want, which, given disk space being as cheap as it is these days, is likely to be quality. But as always, YMMV.

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So when i set the bitrate to 192, what does that mean? In mediamonkey it says Average: 192, min 32 max 500. Is 192 the actual average or what it tries to get more often then not? maybe i should up it to 224 or 256? I can also set it to Q6 (which says 192) –  acidzombie24 Feb 23 '10 at 22:20
    
The official recommended way to specify quality is with the -q option. Please peruse the Vorbis FAQ at vorbis.com/faq, especially the bit about "What does the "Quality" setting mean?". –  Jürgen A. Erhard Feb 24 '10 at 9:04
    
acidzombie24 - I think the 192 refers to the average, so it may drop down to lower level if there is some quiet space,or it kicks up to a higher rate if more 'complicated' sounds. –  funbi_grace Feb 25 '10 at 8:18
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I think there's an advantage to using 196 VBR so you don't lose any quality when you need to convert back to audio CD. And definitely EAC, rather than iTunes. Also, try using LAME. FLAC is definitely the way to go, but it really depends on what you listen to, what equipment you use to play your music and whether you can live with the extra disk usage.

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Is there a way to save directly to FLAC with EAC? It seems my only option is WAV or MP3 –  acidzombie24 Feb 24 '10 at 0:51
    
Google really is your friend. Just "eac flac" gave me a recipe in the first hit. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Feb 24 '10 at 8:55
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