Ok, so if you haven’t read part one, start there. Anyway, after picking a format (FLAC) to rip/back up all my CDs to I needed the software to do it. As I said earlier, iTunes doesn’t do FLAC so iTunes is not an option. Even if it was an option, the latest, iTunes 12 is so lousy that I wouldn’t pick it anyway. It struggles enough with my large collection of MP3s and AACs.
This was not an easy task either. There are many more programs for PC than Mac in this area and also several programs that haven’t been updated in five years. Luckily one of the main PC programs is being converted to Mac and I caught it at the tail end of the beta testing and was able to download a copy. It’s called dBPoweramp and it’s currently free to beta test the Mac version – the beta test goes until May 2015. The program is really good and worth buying when the full version becomes available. It uses a thing called AccurateRip which I became aware of while searching for the right program. AccurateRip compares your imported audio file against previously imported songs to verify that you are getting the same thing everyone else is – it also offsets for your particular CD drive since every drive will read slightly differently apparently. Why do we have such exacting programs out there? Because Audiophiles are obsessed. And when you spend hours reading their forums looking for answers you become a bit obsessed as well. One question that appears everywhere and one that I wasn’t sure of at one point was “Is lossless really lossless?” As in is a FLAC just as good as a WAV file. Yes it is because the FLAC just takes advantage of an algorithm to compress the file and when playing uses the algorithm to decompress the file and playing the uncompressed audio.
For playing the audio I downloaded a pretty basic but beautifully designed audio player called Vox that is free and does for now.
It seems easy when it is boiled down to one paragraph with the answer right there for you but it took several days of searching to find a program that would work. For a short time I was convinced I would have to buy a copy of Windows to install on a Bootcamp partition or just buy a cheap PC to rip all my CDs. Thankfully it didn’t come to that. Mac OSX may be getting worse but it’s still not Windows.