audio resources incl. lame compression switches (mainly for PC)

Posted by Ed Mon, 06 Apr 2009 13:48:00 GMT

Here are some notes I made a couple of years ago and which were useful when I had to re-install a windows machine which I use for music.

Exact Audio Copy (EAC) (
CD Ripper. In “secure” mode it gives a verified exact copy of the data. Use in “burst” mode if the CD is scratched and secure mode takes too long. Under OPTIONS | FILENAME I recommend using
%A\%C\%N - %A - %T

as the default naming scheme and

%C\%N - %A - %T

as the “various artists” naming scheme. Under OPTIONS | TOOLS check the option to start an external compression queue running in the background, with just one thread.

LAME 3.97b3 (http://www.mp3dev.or)

The best MP3 encoder. Just upack the dos utility into a folder and then point EAC at the exe file under COMPRESSION OPTIONS | EXTERNAL COMPRESSION in EAC. Switches to use in ADDITIONAL COMMAND LINE OPTIONS in EAC:

1. for music:
-V 2 --vbr-new

(replaces --alt-preset standard) .

This will give Variable Bitrate recordings with a good balance between quality and portability at target rate 190kbit/s in the range 170 to 210kbit/s. The quality should be indistinguishable from the original CD

2. for audiobooks:

-V 9 --vbr-new
at target rate 65kbit/s in the range 45 to 85kbit/s

If you want to get more technical then check out the Hydrogen Audio forum, home of mp3 propellor-heads. Their Wiki page at is an excellent overview of LAME and has useful links for further info on integrating with EAC etc.

Ephpod (

This simple app allows you to edit files on the ipod and move files on and off the ipod.

Media Center 12 (

Much better than Itunes. Highly customisable. Allows control over synchronisation so that files are only deleted from the ipod if you want. The use of “Smart Playlists” is particularly useful in synching. Easy to edit tags on multiple selections. Can create custom library fields to your own requirements. See the HELP for a good strategy for managing more than one Ipod. In order to get the Ipod to be properly recognised you may need to:

  1. unistall itunes
  2. use Ephod to backup your tunes if they’re not already on the machine you’re using
  3. delete the file Ipod_Control\something-or-other\itunes.db
  4. now Media Center should invite you to re-initialise the ipod. If it doesn’t try:
    1. rebooting
    2. reinitialise the ipod using Apple’s update util

You’ll know it’s working when the Media Center tree view no longer shows “Contacts” and “Calendar” and just shows Artist, Album, Genre


use the Auxillary Input for ripping vinyl to lossless WAV format. Then convert to mp3. You can use EAC to do this via TOOLS | COMPRESS WAVs. (

For information about recordings and artists. Pretty much comprehensive information on classical and popular recordings. Search by album, artist, song, work etc. View tracklistings, discographies, biographies and reviews. (

Fantastic resource for getting recommendations, reading biogs and seeing pics. Use a “scrobbler” to send information about what you listen to their servers to allow them to suggest other things you might like.

Surething CD Labeller (

Labelling software which allows you to specify which fields you want displayed. e.g. you may want to display the [artist] field against each [track title] on compilations but not on single-artist CDs. It also can read in the “playlist” data automagically from CDs most of the time. (using “CD Text”?)

SharpMusique (

A lightweight front end to access the Itunes music store. Allows you to preview, purchase and download. Requires Microsoft’s .NET runtime


Utility to remove the Apple copy protection from the .m4p files puchased from the itunes shop. I think the .Net runtime (above) is required for this one also. To use, 1) choose “de-authorize” 2) login in with your itunes store login 3) drag and drop the .m4p files into the application’s window.

JHymn (

Takes the JustTune idea to a higher level altogether with loads of features including Itunes integration


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