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I just started re-ripping CDs, but I'm not sure I'm getting the most out of them possible. Right now in Rubyripper I'm using --best -V for FLAC, but is that going to give me quality as close to the original CD as possible?

Is there a more complete set of options I should be using? Does the "lossless" part of FLAC truly mean lossless or is there some arcane stuff I should paying attention to? File size doesn't really concern me; I just want the most comprehensive rip possible (closest to original CD sound, album art, whatever).

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

FLAC format is lossless format meaning that regardless of the level of compression used, you will always have the real lossless audio. Higher compression meaning to a some extent the smaller file, but it will need more CPU power to play and compression time will be slower. Basically any lossless audio format (Monkey's Audio, OptimFROG, WavPack, Tom's Lossless Audio Kompressor (TAK) etc.) will give you a bit for bit audio in the same way as Tiff, bmp, PSD, PNG etc. will give you always the exact image. Regardless of how many time you open and save the audio file, result will be the same as when you're using the Wav format, just you will have compression.

At the other hand, you must know that when ripping CDs, the used lossless format will not have any influence on the sound fidelity, but the ripping parameters will have. CD/DVD device read offset settings, using or not using the CD/DVD drive cache, using or not the C2 error correction, ability of your drive to use Accurate stream (ability to avoid jitter) will have the highest and utmost influence on the ripped audio fidelity. What lossless audio format you will use after to convert the ripped audio from Wav (when ripped audio is stored in temp folder Wav format) is not so important

RR isn't bad, but for the extreme quality copy EAC is still better and it's the ultimate tool for this. I would advise you to use EAC (you can run it under Wine)

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cdparanoia and its frontend abcde are just as good as EAC, although comments such as this have started flame wars. So apologies- it's not meant to do that. However, if you look around, you'll find good things being said about these applications. They run on Linux. – Rajib Dec 9 '13 at 20:25

The compression level affects how much the song is compressed, but doesn't affect the quality of the sound:

The compressed files are always perfect "lossless" representations of the original data.Wikipedia

Higher compression levels save space, but take more processing power to encode. No matter what level you use, you will have a perfect replica of the CD quality. Album art isn't typically included in the sound file, but instead as an image file stored alongside the music.

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