Beginners guide to EAC
Beginners Guide to accurately Installing, Ripping and ReplayGaining your CD collection
Why Use EAC?
- EAC is widely accepted as the most accurate ripper around
- As stated in the BeginnersGuideToRipping, EAC is extremely good at ripping damaged and DRM protected CDs
- EAC is highly configurable
- EAC supports many different output file formats (if not all)
- Once setup properly, EAC is reasonably easy-to-use for a large number of CDs
- As stated in the BeginnersGuideToRipping, EAC is complex to initially setup (but that’s what this guide is all about)
- EAC is a very slow ripper (due to its redundant checks for accuracy)
- The interface of EAC leaves quite a bit to be desired but once learned is reasonably intuitive
For many users of EAC it all boils down to the first point: EAC is extremely accurate. Typical FLAC (or other lossless codec) users want to create a digital music archive that will never require re-ripping of the original CDs. EAC gives you the piece of mind that you are using the best available tool (from a sound quality perspective) to rip your collection.
If you are unhappy with EAC, check out some of the other ripping options in the Beginners Guide to Ripping.
Formats other than FLAC
If you are interested in ripping to MP3 instead of FLAC the majority of this guide will still be useful to you. Simply substitute the recommended settings for the Lame MP3 encoder on the External Compressors setup page of EAC. Otherwise everything else should be the same.
Also, multi-format ripping (ie. ripping to more than one format at the same time) is possible (though more advanced) through tools like MAREO. Their homepage has detailed setup instructions for EAC and their instructions can be used in place of the FLAC instructions found in this guide.
What this guide covers
This guide is designed to help you install, setup and rip your CD collection into separate .flac files using EAC in Windows. It also includes information on adding ReplayGain to your newly ripped tracks.
It does not cover:
- Ripping with software other than EAC
- Ripping your CDs into a single image file with cue sheets.
- Ripping to codecs other than FLAC (although they would be very similar)
- Ripping using an operating system other than Windows 2000 or XP.
Software you’ll need
- EAC - http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/en/index.php/resources/download/ (current version is V0.99 prebeta 5, which installs AccurateRip.dll and FLAC.exe automatically)
- AccurateRip (included with EAC V0.99 and up) - http://www.accuraterip.com/software.htm (determines the read offset of your drive which insures accurate ripping)
- FLAC codec (included with EAC V0.99 and up)- http://flac.sourceforge.net/download.html (Free Lossless Audio Codec used natively by Squeezebox, most current version as of this writing is v1.1.2a). Why are we using Flac? See the How to for Best Audio Quality for more details. Use the "tools only" download as the Windows FLAC installer includes a front-end GUI. Do not use the front-end GUI with EAC as EAC can't execute it. Use the FLAC encoder itself, flac.exe.