I have posted recently about the Media Server I have built. The server holds many hours of music ripped from CD. Call me old school but I would much rather buy CDs and rip them myself. The media provides a back up should everything go south. Also, I get the most accurate sound quality from the encode rather than suffer the low quality of a purchased download. Also, no digital rights management to get in the way of moving the file off the server to my portable devices.

My favorite software for ripping CDs is Exact Audio Copy. This software is getting better and better over time. It allows the conversion to MP3 or lossless formats like FLAC. I rip all my music to high quality mp3s. True audiophiles will probably want FLAC but the thing is, FLAC isn’t everywhere yet. MP3 is much more portable. For example, I can play it on my computer, stream it to my media extender, put it on CD for the car stereo, put it on my Archos, etc.

To get started you need:

EAC-Exact Audio Copy

LAME encoder 3.97

There are great EAC guides at Hydrogen Audio Wiki

Follow the wiki page for the configuration wizard then see the screen shots below.

The screen shots below show how I have the various EAC options set. This helps get things set up quickly and if further info is needed, the Hydrogen Audio Wiki will provide the best resources. Click the image to enlarge.

EAC Menu – EAC Options (F9)

eac1 eac2

eac3 eac4

On the next screen I set the Naming Scheme to:  %A\C%\N% – %T

This creates the file structure: Artist\CD Title\Track# – Song Title

Example: “Z:\Diana Krall\When I Look In Your Eyes\01 – Let’s Face The Music And Dance.mp3″

eac5

eac6 eac7

eac8 eac9

EAC Menu – Compression Options (F11)

The main setting here is the Command Line Options. Here is my command line:

-V2 –vbr-new –ta “%a” –tt “%t” –tg “%m” –tl “%g” –ty “%y” –tn “%n” %s %d

The bit rate doesn’t matter at that line overrides.

eac10

eac11

Enjoy your music!