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Music Hardware

Slashdot Asks: SATA DVD Drives That Don't Suck for CD Ripping? 330

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the god-save-the-cd dept.
I recently retired my ancient AthlonMP rig for something a bit more modern, and in the upgrade got a new DVD±RW drive. Since I have the new rig and a lot more disk space, the time has come to re-rip my ~450 disc CD collection into FLAC (I trust active storage more than optical discs that may or may not last another twenty years). The optical drive I had in my old rig was one recommended by Hydrogen Audio or somewhere similar for ripping CDs, and can grab an hour long album in about five minutes. My new drive, unfortunately, takes about fifteen to do the same. With the number of discs I have to churn through and the near-instaneous encoding, it's somewhat annoying. After searching the Internet high and low for advice I came up empty handed, and so I ask Slashdot: are there any SATA DVD burners that don't suck at ripping CDs? Read on for more details if you wish.

To work around the problem, I've temporarily yanked an old Promise IDE card I had in an ancient K6-2 rig (timothy found parts of it in a dumpster even) and am using the old drive, but it's approaching a decade and was pretty heavily used. What with having lots of moving parts and a laser or three, I don't see it lasting another decade, and I'd like to have a drive usable with a bus that hasn't been deprecated for almost as long. I'd also like to avoid anything that can read/write Bluray, because the hardware implemented DRM is pretty heinous.

For those interested in the gory details of the hardware I ran cdparanoia -A on both drives: ide drive, sata drive. As you can see, the old drive is way faster, and it looks like the primary difference is that it also has a cache that works with non-linear access, but that behaves "correctly." If you own a drive you want to recommend and can analyze it with cdparanoia, I'm interested in seeing the output.

A note on software suggestions: it has to be FSF-definition Free Software, and GNU/Linux is the only operating system in my house. That basically leaves... cdparanoia. I'm a bit uptight when it comes to tagging (mostly because: once I've done this, will I ever have the stamina to re-tag? Nope), but I'm not trying to start a pirate CD factory and don't really care about getting 100% frame-accuarate rips, just error-free ones.

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Slashdot Asks: SATA DVD Drives That Don't Suck for CD Ripping?

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  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tysonedwards (969693) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @04:56PM (#42163083)
    I take it that you did not read the question. It was regarding quantity to transfer immediately, not performing one-off copies.

    With the drive that the poster already has, it will take 112h30m of continuous time in front of his computer to simply swap the discs. By comparison, the faster drive mentioned would result in a completion time of 37h30m.
  • by Unknown Lamer (78415) Works for Slashdot <clinton AT unknownlamer DOT org> on Sunday December 02, 2012 @04:57PM (#42163095) Homepage Journal

    Online, as in actively spinning media inside of my computer, that I have RAIDed and backed up. I've disambiguated the text.

  • Re:Online Storage? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @05:29PM (#42163297)

    That's if the digital 'locker' doesn't decide to change its policies and then wipe your files, or your internet connection goes down, or you run out of bandwidth for the month... It's still better to have a local copy and pressed cds are about the most reliable backup option there is. They'll outlive any human for sure if well taken care of. hard drives require IO ports that are constantly changing and take the media with them when they die. when the cdrom reader dies, just throw it away and get another. your data is still safe.

  • Re:HP DVD Drives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @05:45PM (#42163441)

    If there isn't a requirement to put both types of drive in the same slot, I'd suggest you get a good ripper (read only) to rip (for mounting in your rig), and use a separate external burner (USB) for burning. You could never saturate a basic USB while for burning and the lighter heads (Read Only) for ripping will give you a longer life on your DVD-Rom.

    For drives, LiteOn used to be a great brand, but I think these days they only do OEM hardware. Dig around and see if you can find any and you should be golden.

  • Re:HP DVD Drives (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @06:27PM (#42163683)

    You do realize the model he's using isn't exactly what one would normally use for ripping? it's a lightscribe drive, which is why I suggest a proper drive for the job rather than trying to use a one-size-fits-all that does none of them well.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @09:09PM (#42164763)

    Since we're talking about a manual process of inserting disks and clicking buttons, the different between five minutes and fifteen minutes can be rendered insignificant if you plug in enough drives. Since we're talking about a SATA system here, any reasonably high-end PC can easily support 6 to 10 SATA ports -- with enough channels to handle CDs certainly.

    In your case, I'd focus my efforts not on finding a good ripper, but in configuring ten mediocre rippers. Your over-all speed with easily multiply.

  • Re:HP DVD Drives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Monday December 03, 2012 @12:52AM (#42165737)

    There are some artificially staunch Windows 8 supporters on Slashdot, Reddit, and other discussion groups. Try making a post critical of Windows 8 and you'll see this in action.

    You know, it is POSSIBLE that some people out there actually like it. So far, I can't say that I do - but I once met a guy who does. No joke.

  • by xiphmont (80732) * on Monday December 03, 2012 @01:54AM (#42166105) Homepage

    > Stop using cdparanoia - it isn't very good, at all. It tests poorly, we're sad to say.

    Really! As the author, I'd love to hear hard specifics. or maybe a bug report.

    > You want to use Secure Mode with NO C2, accurate stream, disable cache.

    You can't disable the cache on a SATA/PATA ATAPI drive. The whole point of cdparanoia's extensive cache analysis is to figure out a way to defeat the cache because it can't be turned off. There is no FUA bit for optical drives in ATA or MMC.

    The 'accurate stream' bit is similarly useless (every manufacturer interprets it differently) and C2 information is similarly untrustworthy.

    Plextors are not recommended for error free or fast ripping. They try to implement their own paranoia-like retry algorithm in firmware and do a rather bad job about it. They also lie about error correcting information (you do not get raw data, you get what the drive thinks it has successfully reconstructed). Plextors often look OK on pristine disks, but if you hit a bit error (like on just about any burned disk), you don't know what it's going to do. Plextors are, overall, among the more troublesome drives _unless_ you're using a ripper that does no retry checking (ie, NOT cdparanoia and NOT EAC). If you use iTunes, you want a Plextor. Otherwise, avoid them.

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