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Thinking about a new session of ripping for my audio cd's. In looking at the repository manager, it looks like there are two options; WMA lossless and WMA lossy.

I ripped my previous set using EAC and a front end. However, it was geared towards ipod and compression was moderate. I can afford the space now and would probably rip lossless. Is there a preferred format? MP3, FLAC, WMA, etc?

Keep in mind this is a new repository from ground up and space isn't an issue.


Do you use iTunes to manage your music? If so, then you'll want something that it's happy with. Else I'd say use Lossless WMA, which is a modern, efficient lossless codec. If you are using our repository and not using iTunes as a player, I'd say it's a no-brainer to go with WMA lossless.

If you need something that the iPod can play, does it even play WMA? Given Apple's insularity I wouldn't be suprised if it didn't. If not, you'll need to go another direction. Does Apple provide a lossless MP4 format yet? They used to not provide one. If you use iTunes and the iPod, I'd say go with whatever iTunes provides, which might mean lossy, but it would be the path of least resistance probably.

One advantage of a lossless format of course, other than audio quality, is that you can always at some future time convert it to another format if you need to, with zero loss of quality. Converting one lossy format to another lossy format is like re-saving a JPEG multiple times. It gets worse and worse each time.
Thanks Dean,

I'm a growing fan of Apple hardware, but iTunes falls short in soooo many areas.

I may simply do the lossless wma through the mediarepostory manager. That way I get the rip and the metadata at the same time.

I still have the orignal mp3 rips that I can manage for portability.

Unless of course you think there's value in letting itunes manage the data. As far as databases go, it's got all the right tags, but it's presentation, filtering and interactivity is miserable.

I'm no particular fan of iTunes either, I just asked since you mentioned the iPod.
Having just been through all that, I found that MP3 was the only format to maintain the metadata for all my old CDs - M4P and WMA gave me unpredictable results, wrong album covers, no album artists etc, which ruined the album browser.
Just to be fair, that has nothing to do with the format, but with whatever is storing the metadata. All of them just store what's set on them, so they are all capable of providing the correct metdata, if the tool setting the data is doing it correctly and using a version of the metadata format that our extraction mechanisms understand.