CD - a dated format???

jy999

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I recently ripped some of my old CDs, and finally learned why ripping and playing can be such a challenge. This is probably not news to many here, but despite being a digital medium, there is atrociously little error correction or accuracy protections built in. I can see why this was developed, to make CD players cheap and robust (do its best to play no matter what), but like, aren't we past that?

I was looking up CD transports as I don't need the DAC, and even those are fricken expensive, with "temperature controlled clocks" and electromagnetically protected CD cages to increase read accuracy. That's a lot of work for something that should be guaranteed.

Note that in the same era, CD-ROM formats guaranteed exact data recovery (barring physical damage). Now perhaps they cost more to build the readers, and perhaps they were slower (doubt it), and most likely perhaps they were less robust to dust and scratches. But if we're aiming for high quality audio, these are problems that can be fixed.

So to sum up... hundreds or thousands of dollars to build machines to compensate for a dated data format? what the heck? why aren't they selling factory copies to flash drives by now? I have a drawer full of them (some as small as 16mb though :) ) they could use. yeeesh.

OK, rant over. I suppose SACD may fix these issues but I haven't looked into it :D
 
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abacus

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Use something like EAC software on your computer that will get a bit perfect image off you discs (Its free and there are others), and save in FLAC format, you will then have a 100% absoloute and totally acurate file of the CD.
Forget CD transports and CD players (Unless you want DSD) as they are a waste of money unless you like to use pyhisical nedia.

Bill
 

Friesiansam

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There's nothing inherently wrong with CDs and, no need to spend huge sums on a machine to play them. I also use EAC to rip CDs, together with an optical disc drive that cost less than £30 and, that's for one of the better ones! Remember, to do their job properly a PC optical drive has to be able to recover every single bit and, have robust error correction, or it will be no use in a computer.
 
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My2Cents

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Not really sure what issue you are having. What format are you ripping your old CD's to and where are you trying to store them?
The ripping software does the error correction ('off' by default in some software like Apple Music) and some software is better than others. Exact Audio Copy (free) and dbPowerAmp (£40 ish) seem to be highly recommended.
The 'outdated format' that you mention is 0's and 1's and I don't think that has changed.
 
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jy999

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Even with error correction ripping software, like EAC, will result in variance in the rip, hence why it can be set to re-read until it matches some online database. This is why strong CD "players" are expensive while CD Data drives are dirt cheap.

I don't have an issue per se, I just finally came to the conclusion that others above have said - forget CD transports. Jump through the silly hoops required to overcome the format limitations and digitize them to FLAC or similar, done.

I just was looking at a CD player for my setup and balked at the price and thought it through. yeesh expensive!

@My2Cents the outdated format is not that it's binary, it's that its hard to guarantee a perfect read from CD audio formats, unlike CD data formats.

The only rationale I can see is for people who have expensive, rare, and/or large CD databases and like their setup. A $1000 player or transport could be better than changing your workflow or spending all that time ripping them.
 

jy999

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jy999

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When you copy data files from a CD, you just click "copy" and unless you get an error, you are pretty certain that the file was copied verbatim (otherwise, you're in the wild wild west of execution!). Ripping is an onerous process, why can't we just "copy"? It doesn't use the same format.

From Wikipedia
--Due to the weaker error correction sector structure used on audio CDs and video CDs (Mode 2 Form 2) than on data discs (Mode 1 or Mode 2 Form 1), C2 errors are not correctable and signify data loss.[104][105] Even with uncorrectable errors, a compact disc player interpolates the data loss with the aim of making the damage unhearable.[106]

Of course part of this is DRM as well, but you "should" be able to circumvent that without data loss if the tech lets you.
 

My2Cents

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But if you are ripping your CD's to a drive of some sort you won't need a CD player or drive to play them?
Are the original CD's not playing correctly on a budget player?
Back in the days of yore (when I actually had a CD collection) I do remember the odd CD that would occasionally stutter or skip. But if the CD is in good condition there is usually no issue, even on a reasonably priced player (at least in my experience).

I purchased my first CD player in 1988... a Phillips CD104... it was awful, it made the music sound brittle and harsh. The same album on vinyl using my Dual CS505-2 produced a far more pleasing sound. But I don't recall any CD's having playback issues.
 
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My2Cents

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As far as I am aware, CD players have always had to perform a certain amount of error correction (in the DAC/digital board circuitry) even from commercially purchased CD's.
Early players like the Marantz CDxx SE's even had analog circuitry that smoothed out the sound and gave it more warmth... to make it sound more 'analog'.
 
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My2Cents

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Ripping is an onerous process, why can't we just "copy"? It doesn't use the same format.
That is correct "It doesn't use the same format".

'Data' stored digitally (on a CD for example) is not the same as the the digital information stored on an Audio CD.
The audio CD data is an uncompressed PCM at 16-bits, 44.1kHz, 2 channel stereo and cannot simply be copied as 0's and 1's.
The proccess of ripping a CD is quite involved and includes such processes as reading samples, encoding/decoding, quantization and demodulation.
 

Vincent Kars

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it's that its hard to guarantee a perfect read from CD audio formats, unlike CD data formats.
It is very simple.
Of course audio CD or data CD use exactly the same technology. Be it the disk or the optical drive. As they are identical, they use EFM (eight-to-fourteen modulation), CIRC (Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Code), etc., etc.

The only difference is that an audio CD uses all 2352 bytes per block for samples, while CD-ROMs use only 2048 bytes per block, with most of the rest going to ECC (Error Correcting Code) data. The rationale is that audio data literally disappears into the air. No need for 100%. I bet none of us has ever heard our CD player interpolating instead of delivering the real bits.
In case of distribution of data or software, a bit error is "fatal" as it will corrupt our data or software hence the distribution media must be "bit perfect".

So by design bit perfect reading of an audio CD is not guaranteed (and not needed either).
In practice audio CDs are ripped "bit perfect" most of the time.
We know this because the AccurateRip database tells us so.
 

RichardNottingham

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I don't think you can buy a CD drive anymore. It's pretty old tech. They use a DVD drive now. Which can likely churn through a lot more data, with higher accuracy. With Red Book audio, you could miss a few bits and guess them. A DVD drive probably doesn't have that privilege. 40 years have gone by now. We surely can't guess 8 consecutive bits, when it's a computer program we are running. Which we must do from a disk of 4700mb not 700mb. I'm not sure how a DVD drive could miss.
 

Stuart83

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I recently ripped some of my old CDs, and finally learned why ripping and playing can be such a challenge. This is probably not news to many here, but despite being a digital medium, there is atrociously little error correction or accuracy protections built in. I can see why this was developed, to make CD players cheap and robust (do its best to play no matter what), but like, aren't we past that?

I was looking up CD transports as I don't need the DAC, and even those are fricken expensive, with "temperature controlled clocks" and electromagnetically protected CD cages to increase read accuracy. That's a lot of work for something that should be guaranteed.

Note that in the same era, CD-ROM formats guaranteed exact data recovery (barring physical damage). Now perhaps they cost more to build the readers, and perhaps they were slower (doubt it), and most likely perhaps they were less robust to dust and scratches. But if we're aiming for high quality audio, these are problems that can be fixed.

So to sum up... hundreds or thousands of dollars to build machines to compensate for a dated data format? what the heck? why aren't they selling factory copies to flash drives by now? I have a drawer full of them (some as small as 16mb though :) ) they could use. yeeesh.

OK, rant over. I suppose SACD may fix these issues but I haven't looked into it :D
I've many formats in this bungalow, many different types of players and software both new and old and CDS's via a Marantz CD 60 is best sounding to my ears.

I regularly play streams via qoboz and tidal and never get a performance as crystal as a CD.
It causes me to use streaming to mainly catalogue CDs I want to purchase and obviously for convenience.

CDs aren't as I see it outdated.
They carry the necessary information needed not unlike a data stick on a small well proven disc.

I've been through more modern formats to try and chase a better sound only to find a better CD player was the answer not the data medium.

I've been through the whole data stick full of copied music thing.
I still have one shoved in the front of the Marantz with hi Res music on that's no better sonically than the equivalent CD (imo)

Error correction is a different story in regards to ensuring an almost uninterrupted playback.
It makes a CD more robust.
I've ripped new CDs and the eac (exacting audio data) shoes no errors so I guess just like a data stick one would be better not damaging it.

Data sticks to have inherint weaknesses too as they deteriorate with age something a CD is almost immune to.
I've had 2 fail in recent yrs some relatively old from the early 2000s that were left with some of my DJ gear in the loft that I've had to retrieve the data from afterwards.
Granted it was only two out of a shoe box full.

I guess the CD is like the wheel, it can be reinvented and apparently bettered but we all seem to end up back using it at some point.

It doesn't seem to be going anywhere and as analytical as I am whilst being around on this forum does indeed see to be the majority favourite.
 

Kenneth Fernandes

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Currently, say after booking a 5-star hotel room, there aren't any be-spoke sound installations where you could sit back and play your song selection. Surprisingly few rooms come with a television and an accompanying satellite TV connection for viewing different channels. If in future, every room has some sort of an audio set-up in place, then carrying a CD along wouldn't be that convenient. Streaming would be a great go-to option, and if you could stream in Hi-Res too then that would be even better. So, not only in terms of inconvenience caused in day-to-day situations but also lack of sustained sound quality over time. Streaming is a great alternative to Audio CDs.
 
Currently, say after booking a 5-star hotel room, there aren't any be-spoke sound installations where you could sit back and play your song selection. Surprisingly few rooms come with a television and an accompanying satellite TV connection for viewing different channels. If in future, every room has some sort of an audio set-up in place, then carrying a CD along wouldn't be that convenient. Streaming would be a great go-to option, and if you could stream in Hi-Res too then that would be even better. So, not only in terms of inconvenience caused in day-to-day situations but also lack of sustained sound quality over time. Streaming is a great alternative to Audio CDs.
Not too sure what sort of hotels you have been staying at but even the lowly Premier Inns have decent TV connections and ability to connect a USB stick
 

My2Cents

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Powdered eggs. Are you referring to the American ones?
You have them in the UK too! They were used in the UK for rationing during WWII.
I guess technically they are 'dehydrated eggs'.
The modern method of manufacturing powdered eggs was developed in the 1930s by Albert Grant and Co. of the Mile End Road, London... probably mates with Alfred Bird who was making the custard powder LOL
 
You have them in the UK too! They were used in the UK for rationing during WWII.
I guess technically they are 'dehydrated eggs'.
The modern method of manufacturing powdered eggs was developed in the 1930s by Albert Grant and Co. of the Mile End Road, London... probably mates with Alfred Bird who was making the custard powder LOL
I meant the Premier Inns......
 

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