Frequently asked questions - and answers
  • How many CDs can you handle?
    As many as you care to submit, we’ve ripped collections into the thousands or a few as six.
  • Can you keep CDs in order?
    Well, we try.

    Some background: our mail based services requests clients send in CDs only which means that when the discs are returned they may need to be matched up with their original plastic cases. If you have several hundred discs this can be a chore made easier if the discs come back in the order they were sent.

    The answer is that first we need to know this is what you’d like. The problem for us is that we sometimes have to take discs out of order, normally when the error correcting threshold is tripped. When this happens we need to try that CD on another drive to get a clean rip. To keep as close as possible to the original order that disc needs to be slipped back into the stack in the right place.
  • What is "CD quality"?
    This is an important term and indicates that the music file the ripping process creates contains as much data as the original CD. When that file is played you’ll here everything you would have heard from the CD.

    The term CD quality can’t be applied to all file types and it’s generally levels of compression that spoil sound quality. At some point in the name of smaller files you have to throw away some data and that sacrifices sound. However CD quality is applied by various sources, including the BBC, to:-
    - Apple Lossless
    - FLAC
    - MP3 / 320kbps.

    A WAV file would be CD quality as it’s a direct bit for bit copy of the files on the original CD. Unfortunately WAV files don’t have provision for metadata so you run the risk that is your music management system lost track of the source file, when you found it, you will have lost the track name, album data, artist, composer etc.

    An alternative approach is to use the AIFF file which is effectively a WAV file with a data holding wrapper. Thus you have embedded the album, track, artist, composer data and album art all together with the music.
  • How can I contact you?
    You can phone us on:-

    Free phone: 08000 040 7896

    Mobile: 07425 151 643

    Email: contact form.
  • Should I rip to AIFF for optimum quality?
    We’re more than happy to rip to AIFF files if that’s what you’d like. However in practice there’s no real advantage in doing so.

    First, compared to a lossless format (Apple Lossless or FLAC) you won’t hear the difference. This has been established by real world listening tests and lab analysis.

    Second, you’ll eat up space and bandwidth. A CD ripped to AIFF is .7 GB. So 100 CDs in AIFF format will take up 700 GB while with Apple Lossless that would only need 27 GB. All for no improvement in sound quality.

    If you play AIFFs on a portable player you’ll eat up the battery life three times faster; if you stream them at home you’ll need three times the bandwidth.
  • We have or plan to buy a Sonos system. Which music file format is the best?
    Sonos will play all major file formats (AAC, Apple Lossless, FLAC & MP3). As Sonos delivers high quality sound you should opt for equally high, CD quality audio and that means Apple Lossless, FLAC or MP3 / 320kbps.

    Your choice may be impacted by other systems on which you play music. For example Apple devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads) don’t offer native support for FLAC.