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Thread: New to Digital

  1. #1

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    Question New to Digital

    Well, I've been noticing a quality issue in my ripped recordings. I experimented a little by re-ripping a couple of albums to FLAC. While I haven't had a ton of time to listen to the differences I do seem to notice better quality than mp3. So thats got me wondering about re-ripping all my CDs to this format. Is this a good idea? A good portion of my music is OLD mp3 download from the days of Napster and also some recently from Itunes. Not sure if much can be done with those files is there?

    Another issue I'm seeing is storage. Can my Onkyo 809 be hooked to an external Hard drive and use it like it uses my jump drive/thumb drive, for storage? Seems like it'd be a good way to keep my music available and also have plenty of storage. What do you guys think or suggest??

    Btw, I don't have the funds to invest in things like SACD or a bunch of equipment. Just want to get all I can out of what I have because apparently there is plenty of room for improvement!
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
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    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by snake1 View Post
    Well, I've been noticing a quality issue in my ripped recordings. I experimented a little by re-ripping a couple of albums to FLAC. While I haven't had a ton of time to listen to the differences I do seem to notice better quality than mp3. So thats got me wondering about re-ripping all my CDs to this format. Is this a good idea? A good portion of my music is OLD mp3 download from the days of Napster and also some recently from Itunes. Not sure if much can be done with those files is there?
    Couple questions before we can help you on your FLAC question:

    1. What program are you using to rip them to FLAC
    2. What settings are you using within that program?
    3. How are you playing them back over your system (list how everything is connected from source to speakers as it can make a diff)

    Many here suggest purchasing dbpoweramp to rip your CD's to FLAC. It has a free 30 day trial (if you could rip you entire library in that time like I did). MediaMonkey is also another program that has a Free version however if you buy the full version (~50 bucks and worth it) it has the same ability to rip CD's as dbpoweramp but it also can manage your library as well.

    Your old stuff low bit-rate stuff is pretty much stuck that way, I am in the same boat, I have a bunch of older stuff that I dont have the CD's of but thats OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by snake1 View Post
    Another issue I'm seeing is storage. Can my Onkyo 809 be hooked to an external Hard drive and use it like it uses my jump drive/thumb drive, for storage? Seems like it'd be a good way to keep my music available and also have plenty of storage. What do you guys think or suggest??
    Your 809 is a network enabled device so IIRC you should be able to have it "see" your computers hard drive and play music from there, same with a external drive connected to your computer IIRC. That said I dont think the 809 supports FLAC. However you could simply get a cheap used network streaming device like a Western Digital TV live that plays FLAC and then connect that to your Onkyo. Those devices also can "see" your computers hard drive when properly setup.

    You should be able to find a streaming device that will play FLAC for around 50-75 bucks easy so its not super expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Couple questions before we can help you on your FLAC question: Answers are in red. I hope it works.

    1. What program are you using to rip them to FLAC - Media monkey (free version) It rips FLAC so do I need anything else?
    2. What settings are you using within that program? Just ripping to FLAC at a little higher than recommended compression
    3. How are you playing them back over your system (list how everything is connected from source to speakers as it can make a diff) I'm playing them from a jump drive thats connected to my AVR, from there in goes out the pre's to my 2250 amp, to the speakers.

    Many here suggest purchasing dbpoweramp to rip your CD's to FLAC. It has a free 30 day trial (if you could rip you entire library in that time like I did). MediaMonkey is also another program that has a Free version however if you buy the full version (~50 bucks and worth it) it has the same ability to rip CD's as dbpoweramp but it also can manage your library as well.

    Your old stuff low bit-rate stuff is pretty much stuck that way, I am in the same boat, I have a bunch of older stuff that I dont have the CD's of but thats OK. I figured as much. Thats ok though. Anything I really want I'll purchase



    Your 809 is a network enabled device so IIRC you should be able to have it "see" your computers hard drive and play music from there, same with a external drive connected to your computer IIRC. That said I dont think the 809 supports FLAC. However you could simply get a cheap used network streaming device like a Western Digital TV live that plays FLAC and then connect that to your Onkyo. Those devices also can "see" your computers hard drive when properly setup. I don't have the network adapter and I also don't have a computer I run all the time. We just have 2 laptops which is why I was wondering if the Onk would be able to read from a Hard drive via the USB plug since it reads from my jump drive. Also, I've put some FLAC files on the jump drive and the Onkyo plays them so I guess it supports it unless I'm missing something??

    You should be able to find a streaming device that will play FLAC for around 50-75 bucks easy so its not super expensive.
    Let me know what you think.
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

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    If MediaMonkey lets you rip FLAC and it uses EAC (which checks the CD's data against other rips to verify its a "perfect" one) then your good. I haven't tried ripping in MediaMonkey yet so I dont know what settings you would want to check if you think it sounds weird.

    If your Onkyo reads the FLAC you have now on your jump drive you should be able to connect an external hard drive the same way like your thinking and have it work.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    I've done what you're trying to do, only my avr is Pioneer and it will only play WAV files. I use a 500GB Western Digital drive connected directly to the receiver. I rip my cd's using EAC, which is a free download.

    I had a quick look at your Onkyo manual, it mentions connecting a USB HDD and that it's recommended to use one with an AC power adaptor. Also note that the HDD has to be FAT16 or 32 formatted, not NTFS. It also says it will play FLAC, WAV and other formats. So it looks like it will work, your only expense would be a portable hard drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmor View Post
    I've done what you're trying to do, only my avr is Pioneer and it will only play WAV files. I use a 500GB Western Digital drive connected directly to the receiver. I rip my cd's using EAC, which is a free download.

    I had a quick look at your Onkyo manual, it mentions connecting a USB HDD and that it's recommended to use one with an AC power adaptor. Also note that the HDD has to be FAT16 or 32 formatted, not NTFS. It also says it will play FLAC, WAV and other formats. So it looks like it will work, your only expense would be a portable hard drive.
    As luck would have it I already have an external HD with AC power! Sweet! Thanks!

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    Bonus!! Nothing like doing something useful no charge. There's one other thing you may need, but I'm going from memory here as I haven't ripped anything for a while. I think I had to use some freeware called Drivesort on the HDD to properly alphabetically order the folders because of the FAT32 formatting.

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    I'm getting ready to format the external hard drive and it says format NFTS or exFAT. I'm guessing exFAT is the way I need to go for this to work?

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    No, you want Fat32. You may have to download a Fat32 formatter. Check the drive manufacturers website for a formatting utility or google for freeware.

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    Media Monkey is OK and it does NOT use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) as suggested. EAC is a different program. I use and recommend dBPoweramp, which is better however, MM and FLAC is far superior to any MP3. As far as compression levels with FLAC, it has ZERO impact on sound it has to do with file size and rip time. I always use level 8 which creates the smallest file, but takes a little longer.

    DO NOT bother to convert MP3's to FLAC. They are already compromised and the information lost using the MP3 format can never be recovered and converting them to FLAC is a waste since they won't sound any better.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Great, now you all have made me change my mind again! Now I'm back on the Onkyo kick.

    Back to the topic at hand, I like the idea of running a HDD as opposed to having a computer on 24/7. I assume that the downside would be file size (4gb), navigation of the files, and possibly playlists.

    That aside, the Onkyo manual states "If the storage device has been partitioned, each section
    will be treated as an independent device." That leads me to believe that it will handle larger drives. I have been doing a lot of reading and found that Windows will only partition FAT32 to a limited size, and that a third party program will be required. Most of the info relates to 2TB and smaller drives. Is it possible to partition a larger drive, say a 4TB, to FAT32? I have found references to the fact that it is possible, but nothing indicating how to do it.

    Any of you know more about partitioning FAT32?
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    I haven't run into a problem with the 4GB file size limitation as all my tracks are individual files. Even an entire CD as one file would be ok. Navigation of the files isn't optimal, at least on the Pioneer, it scrolls at one speed only but I don't find it a problem with around 400GB of files. Playlists are not an option, you would have to gather individual tracks in a separate folder. So yes, there are downsides, but I use this setup on my basement home theatre system where I only listen to music occasionally, so I can't justify spending more cash on it. On my living room two channel system I use a SB Touch with USB connected hard drive.

    I formatted my 500GB drive as one partition using a free program, I'm not sure which one, there seems to be a few out there that will work. I'm thinking if you want to fill a large drive with files the scrolling times would be excessive.

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    Alright, got the HDD formatted and loading up some albums. Gonna hook it up later tonight to the Onkyo and see what we get!
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

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    Let me know how it works for you! I'll be doing the same as soon as mine gets here
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    Hooked it up with one album loaded and it works perfectly! The 809 moves through the list pretty quickly so far, but that may change after several GB of music are loaded on it. I'm thinking about upping the gain a bit on the rip program. I'm seem to be turning up the volume a little higher on the FLAC files.

    All said I'm very pleased so far! Will update more as I get more music ripped and try more out.
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

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    Good stuff! Glad to hear it's working for you.

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    Well, I've got the HDD completely loaded with both FLAC and my older MP3s (that I can do nothing about). Its got 2 big files, one for FLAC files and one for MP3s. The Onkyo handles huge files without issue as far as I can tell. I am further impressed with the 809s capabilites!!

    I've had to resign myself to most of my MP3s and from now on I'll buy CDs to rip to FLAC and maybe resell the disc to make up the difference. Not a problem really and any album already in MP3 that I really want in FLAC I'll just repurchase and rip but there shouldn't be many of those. I definately recommend this type of setup! Thanks again everyone for the great help! I wouldn't have known how to make it happen otherwise!
    AVR - Onkyo NR809
    500gb HD for MP3 and FLAC files
    Amp - Parasound 2250 - FOR SALE BTW!! PM me if interested!
    Mains - Polk RTi12 towers
    Center - CSi5
    Surround - FXiA6's
    Sub - psw505
    Movies and games - PS3
    TV - Toshiba 52" HD

    Every vehicle has one good nuetral drop in it

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Media Monkey is OK and it does NOT use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) as suggested. EAC is a different program. I use and recommend dBPoweramp, which is better however, MM and FLAC is far superior to any MP3. As far as compression levels with FLAC, it has ZERO impact on sound it has to do with file size and rip time. I always use level 8 which creates the smallest file, but takes a little longer.

    DO NOT bother to convert MP3's to FLAC. They are already compromised and the information lost using the MP3 format can never be recovered and converting them to FLAC is a waste since they won't sound any better.

    H9
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