12 Dec 2005, 06:13

Here’s to getting it right the first time

It’s always nice to learn that you’ve been doing something the right way all along. In this case, it involves my choice of mp3 encoder and the vindication comes from this Wired article on audio formats. The article talks about how people sometimes decide to go back and re-rip their CD collections in a different format or level of quality and endorses LAME as a high quality mp3 encoding option. I’ve been using LAME since I first starting ripping my collection 4-5 years ago. Of course I can’t really claim that was due to any knowledge of its quality but rather that it was just kind of the obvious choice as a free encoder. That’s why it’s reassuring to see that apparently it was a good choice. This is also good to know because eMusic, the source of almost all of my music these days, seems to use LAME for their encoding (if the tags in the files are correct anyway) and that’s just another thing in their favor. All of their stuff is variable bitrate encoded, while all of the stuff I’ve ripped myself falls between 128kbps and 192kbs. I’m no audiophile though, and honestly I can’t tell the difference in anything above 128kbps anyway. If there’s one thing I would do differently about ripping my CDs (and if I had known how dirt cheap hard drives would be in a few years believe me I would have) it would be to make a master copy first in a lossless format like FLAC and then encode mp3s from that. If there’s anything that’ll ever get me to take on the task of ripping all my collection again, that would be it. However, unless I end up stuck on a desert island with nothing but my CD collection, a computer, and a couple massive hard drives I doubt I’ll be getting around to that anytime soon.


Comment by Neal on 2005-12-12 18:16:43 +0000

There is one signifigant problem I still have not gotten over with my digital music – syncronization between all the computers I use. I usually end up ripping my cds at multiple locations. For E-music I have been using my laptop as a ferry between work and home. I should set up a server here at home and sync all my music with rsync.

Comment by Will on 2005-12-12 18:57:07 +0000

I agree, I’d like to make my synchronization more automated as well. Currently at home I keep all my music on one computer and share it on the network with the living room machine. For work, I keep an external hard drive with everything on it. Once a month or so I just manually copy everything from my main computer at home onto the external drive.