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The Best in New Music Post about SACD, DVD-Audio, music on DVD-Video, CDs, music in 5.1 surround and beyond.

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Old 05-21-2010   #7
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Angry Re: CD, SACD & DVD-A

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtGrfx View Post
First, I don't believe there are SACD or DVD-A drives available for your PC, so that may be out the window. Second, if you want ideal transfers from LPs you don't want a compressed format, and unfortunately, only compressed formats (MP3, AAC, etc.) allow you to have data associated with your tracks. If you had a Mac you could convert files into Apple lossless (which does allow track info), but even that wouldn't matter as you cannot record directly to the Apple lossless format, because it's only available in iTunes which has no recording capability. In any event, Apple Lossless is no better than CD (16 bit/44 kHz) quality, and it seems you want better.

That leaves 96 bit/192kHz digital transfers, which are only playable on a computer (because consumer audio hardware can't read the data files) and have no track info. Your recording software choice would determine whether you can record with these settings, and software varies by price, technical capability and region of the world you live in. From what I know, this is by far the most accurate spec for recording digitally, probably better than your LP source recordings even provide.

I will mention finally that unless you have very high-end computer components, the quality of your sound conversions will be colored by your computer's noisy power circuits. This is why many people who want ultra-high quality digital audio buy outboard hardware such as Creative Labs Extigy external audio subsystems for PCs or M-Audio's MBox pro-audio preamplifiers.

I hope this gave you some ideas. Good luck!
Thank you GrtGrfx. I still hsve a long way to go. So I will outline my (1) what I like (2) what equipment I have (3) where I want to be with digital multimedia. I hope with the wealth of knowledge of the Forum members I will be guided to my destination. Note for the moderators-if this is too long and I should find another way of help, please let me know how and where.
1. I like serious listening to music on "Pure" 2 channel stereo. But I also have gone into multi-channel music via SACD and
DVD-A & Dts because I have a 5.1 Home theatre set-up (I do not wish to increase channels).
2. I have Yamaha DSP and surround speakers & sub. As the front main I have IMF transmission line monitors as I like the bass from these. My Dennon universal DVD player handles 16bit/44.1Khz, 16bit/96Khz and 24bit/196Khz and descrete 6 channels.
3. Recently I lost all my archived home videos, pictures, audio and other valuable documents as my external HD and PC HD both failed and experts unable to retrieve any data!! Now I want to rip and archive all my CDs, SACDs, DVD-As and HDCDs. From another Forum I am told SACD & DVD-A can not be ripped-it must be done in realtime-I need to understand what this means. Some members have stated that their CDs are getting "holes"- I guess degrading the audio info so I definitely want to rip these with dBpoweramp to FLAC files with full tag info (what spec DVD Rom drive will I need to capture the full resolution?). This brings me to the future. If I want to playback my archives, what PC spec will I need to get the full resolution on play? Forum members mentioned external Creative Labs Sound Blaster Extigy to handle the DAC work, and other more specific DACs. So I am at this point. I just bought two (as menbers suggested) Seagate Blackarmor WS 110. I have to make up my mind on which PC to go for.
Any advice/comments/suggestions from anyone will be received with great thanks.
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Old 05-21-2010   #8
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Default Re: CD, SACD & DVD-A

A couple of points/questions:

Your speakers/receiver aren't as relevant as your DVD player as far as getting the audio out of your computer, but the receiver IS relevant to getting the audio into it.

24/96 processing capability specs don't mean that any audio format is supported, you'll have to see if your Denon plays FLACs or other format high-resolution files. It may only read DVD or Blu-Ray audio at those rates.

CDs don't really get holes; but the dye that they capture data on fades after time, and anything on them becomes unreadable when that happens. You'd see disk errors and your data will be irretrievably lost. This is why you need to capture to a hard disk and THEN burn copies to optical media, so your original data is safely stored.

RE the above point: if you're smart, you will start using a backup drive that mirrors the content of your computer's internal disk. You got burned once, don't let that happen again! If you're REALLY smart, you'll have a daily backup disk and an archive disk that you update weekly or monthly for new material, and keep that one separate from your PC. I use two 1TB internal Seagate consumer (Barracuda) drives, one in my computer, a Mac in this case, and one in an external case I bought for $50. The internal drive backs up twice a week, the external drive backs up every hour using Time Machine, a nice backup app included in Mac OS.

By a realtime rip, people mean your PC can't pull the data directly from your disks (computer drives don't read SACD or DVD-A formats). A "real-time" rip is when you connect an RCA-minijack cable from your stereo to your computer and record the output as the material is playing. You'd also have to do this to record record LPs, for example, as they are not digital sources. Usually you'd connect from a tape pre-output from your receiver to the stereo input of your PC audio card and use recording software such as Audacity to capture and adjust levels..

As I said before, any CD or DVD drive can write FLAC files (as data, not music) but they can't be played in most consumer CD or DVD players. Check to see if yours WILL read these formats and play them for you before you go further.

As far as the backup system, I personally think an enterprise-level backup drive like the one you mentioned is overkill for a consumer, but you have been burned before, so I understand the decision. Honestly, the choice of good backup software and the discipline to make regular backups is a lot more important than how bulletproof the drive is. I do usually buy Seagate drives because they often have longer warranties than their competitors, but any drive can fail at any time. It's just rare, and almost unheard of for multiple disks to crash unless they are in an environment which is exposed to a major electrical incident (thus, the need for offsite/offline secondary storage).

I mention the computer points and issues because I have a lot of computer experience in addition to my interests in music gear, and the fact that I buy a lot of the hardware we've discussed. I also have a Denon DVD player (a DVD-1920) that reads SACD and DVD-A. As far as I know, however, it won't read FLAC files.

late edit: I forgot to mention, most free or inexpensive recording software for PCs and Macs is mono or stereo only, besides which your receiver won't have multi-channel recording outputs; if you have a surround SACD, for example, it's not going to copy to your PC except as a stereo capture unless you buy and use professional mixing software (Pro Tools or Adobe Audition, for example) which is pretty expensive and complicated for a hobbyist. And to get all the channels, you'd have to connect your DVD player directly to the PC sound inputs, possibly pre-amplify each channel (which the receiver normally does), and get RCA-minijack adapters for each channel output. And...even after all that, you may not be able to output the multichannel mix into a format that can be played on your system, once again, since these multitrack programs are generally for film and video production, not surround audio and, of course, you cannot burn an SACD or DVD-A with most drives/software. Bottom line: multichannel audio is not designed to be backed up, to the contrary, it is designed NOT to be duplicated for copyright protection reasons.

Good luck.
__________________
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone.
My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."
— Bjarne Stroustrup (creator of C++)

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Last edited by GrtGrfx; 05-21-2010 at 01:25 PM.. Reason: Added content details.
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Old 05-26-2010   #9
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Smile Re: CD, SACD & DVD-A

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtGrfx View Post
A couple of points/questions:

Your speakers/receiver aren't as relevant as your DVD player as far as getting the audio out of your computer, but the receiver IS relevant to getting the audio into it.

24/96 processing capability specs don't mean that any audio format is supported, you'll have to see if your Denon plays FLACs or other format high-resolution files. It may only read DVD or Blu-Ray audio at those rates.

CDs don't really get holes; but the dye that they capture data on fades after time, and anything on them becomes unreadable when that happens. You'd see disk errors and your data will be irretrievably lost. This is why you need to capture to a hard disk and THEN burn copies to optical media, so your original data is safely stored.

RE the above point: if you're smart, you will start using a backup drive that mirrors the content of your computer's internal disk. You got burned once, don't let that happen again! If you're REALLY smart, you'll have a daily backup disk and an archive disk that you update weekly or monthly for new material, and keep that one separate from your PC. I use two 1TB internal Seagate consumer (Barracuda) drives, one in my computer, a Mac in this case, and one in an external case I bought for $50. The internal drive backs up twice a week, the external drive backs up every hour using Time Machine, a nice backup app included in Mac OS.

By a realtime rip, people mean your PC can't pull the data directly from your disks (computer drives don't read SACD or DVD-A formats). A "real-time" rip is when you connect an RCA-minijack cable from your stereo to your computer and record the output as the material is playing. You'd also have to do this to record record LPs, for example, as they are not digital sources. Usually you'd connect from a tape pre-output from your receiver to the stereo input of your PC audio card and use recording software such as Audacity to capture and adjust levels..

As I said before, any CD or DVD drive can write FLAC files (as data, not music) but they can't be played in most consumer CD or DVD players. Check to see if yours WILL read these formats and play them for you before you go further.

As far as the backup system, I personally think an enterprise-level backup drive like the one you mentioned is overkill for a consumer, but you have been burned before, so I understand the decision. Honestly, the choice of good backup software and the discipline to make regular backups is a lot more important than how bulletproof the drive is. I do usually buy Seagate drives because they often have longer warranties than their competitors, but any drive can fail at any time. It's just rare, and almost unheard of for multiple disks to crash unless they are in an environment which is exposed to a major electrical incident (thus, the need for offsite/offline secondary storage).

I mention the computer points and issues because I have a lot of computer experience in addition to my interests in music gear, and the fact that I buy a lot of the hardware we've discussed. I also have a Denon DVD player (a DVD-1920) that reads SACD and DVD-A. As far as I know, however, it won't read FLAC files.

late edit: I forgot to mention, most free or inexpensive recording software for PCs and Macs is mono or stereo only, besides which your receiver won't have multi-channel recording outputs; if you have a surround SACD, for example, it's not going to copy to your PC except as a stereo capture unless you buy and use professional mixing software (Pro Tools or Adobe Audition, for example) which is pretty expensive and complicated for a hobbyist. And to get all the channels, you'd have to connect your DVD player directly to the PC sound inputs, possibly pre-amplify each channel (which the receiver normally does), and get RCA-minijack adapters for each channel output. And...even after all that, you may not be able to output the multichannel mix into a format that can be played on your system, once again, since these multitrack programs are generally for film and video production, not surround audio and, of course, you cannot burn an SACD or DVD-A with most drives/software. Bottom line: multichannel audio is not designed to be backed up, to the contrary, it is designed NOT to be duplicated for copyright protection reasons.

Good luck.
Thank you for your patience.
To this point I have concluded from all the help to;(1) Have one Seagate BlackArmor SW 110 1TB external HD (2) PC with 1TB HD- not decided whether internal or external decent DAC to playback via receiver-24bit/192Khz capable (3) Accept SACD/DVD-A can not be duplicated so leave them alone (4) Rip CDs and vinyls to FLAC lossless (5) Use dBpoweramp, MediaMonkey or preferably Media Jukebox to rip.
(6) Continue to use Dennon 1920 to play back all multi-channel audio/video.
Questions; (1) I do have a few HDCD and will probably buy some more- some are 24bit/96Khz and some 24bit/192Khz. Can these be ripped and maintain purity for playback? (2) Your statement "This is why you need to capture to a hard disk and THEN burn copies to optical media, so your original data is safely stored"- I am assuming this optical media is CD, then these too will become unreadable intime. Are not the ripped files on HD safe for a long time-assuming the HD does not get damaged?
This amount of bite-size is enough for now for me.
Any other comments/suggestions are welcome.
Late edit: any suggestion on easy playback of the ripped files especially for other members of the family-wi-fi perhaps??

Last edited by LaZ Baz; 05-26-2010 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 05-26-2010   #10
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Default Re: CD, SACD & DVD-A

A short note: my comment about optical media degrading over time is only true for CDs we make ourselves (i.e., blank disks we burn in our PCs). Commercial CDs you buy are made by mechanically pressing metal disks and coating them in hard plastic, and they do NOT degrade over time (unless you scratch them so much the plastic becomes opaque, anyway).

Also, I was under the impression that HDCDs, however they may have been recorded, are still only 16/44 standard Redbook disks, but I am uncertain of this. At any rate, if they do have higher bitrates, your PC won't capture or record the added detail if it's CD recorder is not also HDCD-certified. The specs must carry through the entire equipment chain to maintain the quality you seek. Any lower-level component in the chain drags the entire process down to that lower level.

Good luck!
__________________
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My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."
— Bjarne Stroustrup (creator of C++)

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Old 05-28-2010   #11
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Red face Re: CD, SACD & DVD-A

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtGrfx View Post
A short note: my comment about optical media degrading over time is only true for CDs we make ourselves (i.e., blank disks we burn in our PCs). Commercial CDs you buy are made by mechanically pressing metal disks and coating them in hard plastic, and they do NOT degrade over time (unless you scratch them so much the plastic becomes opaque, anyway).

Also, I was under the impression that HDCDs, however they may have been recorded, are still only 16/44 standard Redbook disks, but I am uncertain of this. At any rate, if they do have higher bitrates, your PC won't capture or record the added detail if it's CD recorder is not also HDCD-certified. The specs must carry through the entire equipment chain to maintain the quality you seek. Any lower-level component in the chain drags the entire process down to that lower level.

Good luck!
I am back again. I read this "The point from this article is to clarify that there’s no such thing of 24 bit 192 kHz CD Audio.
It goes on to say "All CD Audio will follow Red Book standard which means that all CD Audio will have 16 bit 44.1 kHz as standard. Otherwise, it will not be playable on your standard CD Player" taken from http://jimmyauw.com/2008/01/17/there...-in-the-world/ and confirms what you are saying. I must be mixing up with DVD-A discs which some times give 2-channel 24/192 and 24/96 surround. I must look this up with my collection and take note. Thank you.
While I am waiting for my PC to be specked up , I would, if I may, ask you another audio related question.
1. Since the LP "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" was released (you can guess my age now!!), many audiophiles/hobbiests were building speakers with concrete supports and various other DIY to hear the low note at about 3min 13sec into the track. I recently wanted to find out what exactly the frequency is and bought the NCH Wave Pad. I ripped the track to my PC. I have not been able to figure out how to actually "isolate" ths note. Would you have any advice for me? I know I should have been asking these questions in the 70s-but better late than never.
Regards
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Old 06-02-2010   #12
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Default Re: CD, SACD & DVD-A

First, I don't believe there are SACD or DVD-A drives available for your PC,

There is for DVD Audio since I have one
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