In part one of this guide we looked at how to extract audio tracks from CDs ('ripping') and save them as MP3 files. In this part, we investigate using the same software -- EAC -- to create non-MP3 digital audio formats such as Ogg Vorbis, Windows Media Audio, and Monkey's Lossless Compression Audio files. We also take a quick look at using EAC to batch convert wave files to any of these formats.
Creating Ogg Vorbis (OGG) files
Ogg Vorbis is an open standard compression for audio that plans to one day dethrone MP3. Whether or not it succeeds, the fact remains that it is an extremely good alternative to MP3, providing better quality at lower bitrates, which means smaller files. Be warned that it is still in beta -- but it is currently reliable enough for general use.
To configure EAC to create OGG files instead of MP3, you first need to download the Ogg Vorbis compressor. This is freely available from: http://www.vorbis.com/download.psp. You will need the "vorbis tools" download (http://www.vorbis.com/files/rc3/windows/vorbis-tools-1.0rc3-win32.zip). While you are there, you may as well get the Winamp plug-in as well, so you can play the Ogg Vorbis files after you have created them! (http://www.blorp.com/~peter/zips/in_vorbis.exe). Extract the vorbis tools ZIP file into c:\program files\Ogg Vorbis and then open up EAC.
Before you change your settings to use the Ogg Vorbis encoder, you should save your current settings for the LAME MP3 encoder by pressing
In EAC, hit
Click OK and you are ready to rip some oggs! Everything you do from this point on is the same as when you created MP3 files in part one of this guide. You simply click the MP3 button on the left and browse for a folder in which to store your ripped Ogg Vorbis files.
Creating Windows Media Audio (WMA) FilesIn order to create Windows Media Audio files, you need to install Windows Media Player (WMP) -- which is also required for playback of WMA files. WMP is available for free download from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/software/Playerv7.asp. Once WMP is installed, open EAC and go to the external compression settings with the
Creating Monkeys' Audio Lossless Compression (APE) filesUnlike MP3, Ogg Vorbis and Windows Media Audio files, Monkey's Audio Compression (MAC) files do not discard any information when compressing audio. This makes the format perfect for sharing high quality audio over the Internet as well as for the professional quality archiving of music. Bear in mind that MAC files will be about four times the size of MP3, WMA or OGG files. To use the MAC encoder in EAC you'll first need to download the free encoder from http://www.monkeysaudio.com. After installing the software, open up EAC and hit
Batch converting wave (WAV) files
If you are uncertain which format is best for your CD ripping, you can always rip to ordinary, uncompressed wave files and then batch convert them to other formats for comparison. To rip to wave files, simply click the WAV button on the left, above the MP3 button. You will be asked for a folder in which to store the wave files. When the files have been ripped from the CD, you are ready to convert them to compressed files. Unfortunately, you can only convert to one format at a time -- but that's why you should be saving your profiles as you go. To begin, use the