Archiving Audio - Mac OSX

Note Well

ITunes is at the heart of all Apple systems for audio work and can take over rather unexpectedly ... Watch out! You have been warned. If this happens, just temporarily disable ITunes.

OK! Now to Begin...

What Audio Software do I need?

The software tools required are either open source or freeware and need to be installed on your system. The applications used are...

  • XLD
  • xACT
  • Burn

These can be downloaded individually from their respective websites.

XLD - X Lossless Decoder

http://tmkk.undo.jp/xld/index_e.html

What is XLD used for?

  • Audio Player.
  • CD ripper with 'paranoid' support... XLD supports output to a CD image with cue sheet - wav+cue - flac+cue.
  • To split ape, flac, wav + cue files. You must open the .cue file from "Open..." in the XLD File menu.
  • When using the CUE file in XLD to split an album length FLAC into individual track length FLACs and in preparation for burning the album to audio CD, have the 'Pre-gaps' appended to the end of each track.

xACT - MAC OSX

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/14246/xac

xACT stands for X Audio Compression Toolkit for Shorten, Monkey's Audio Compressor, and FLAC. Used to Convert FLAC to WAV.

Burn for OSX

http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/Pages/English/home.html

Burn - a simple approach to burning CD and DVD discs, but still offers a lot of advanced options. For burning Audio CD's.

Notes on using Burn:

  • Burn does not understand CUE sheets for direct Audio CD burning. Track information is lost when burning a CD directly from an album length FLAC file.
  • An album length FLAC file must be split using the cue sheet into individual tracks, converted to wav files and then burnt to CD to have the track information intact.

Using This Guide

The screenshots below take you through the process of...

  • Ripping a CD to a FLAC format 'CD Image' with CUE sheet.
  • Burning an audio CD from a FLAC 'CD Image' file using its CUE sheet.
  • Archiving files to DVD.

By clicking on the relevant screen shot image you can see a full sized version of it.

Setting up and Using XLD

First you must setup the required preferences.

Open XLD and select preferences
Under General Preferences
Note:
See the screen shot below for the general preference settings.

Output format > choose FLAC
Select options and set as per the screen shot

XLD must be able to connect to the online CD database (CDDB) at freedb.org to retrieve track and disc information. Select the CDDB icon to enter its preferences.

File Meta-Data should be entered correctly into the ripped file. Select the 'Metadata' icon to enter its preferences.

Most importantly one must setup the behaviour of the CD ripper. Select the 'CD Rip' icon to enter your ripping preferences.

The 'Read sample offset correction value' is unique to the model of CD/DVD drive. It should be already entered automatically and may not be 667 as shown in the screen-shot.

Ripping a CD to FLAC format 'CD Image' and CUE file

Insert an Audio CD. The online database will be contacted and the CD track information should be filled in automatically from the database.

Select all the tracks to be ripped.

Select 'Save as a single file (+cue )'

Select 'Decode' .

The album length FLAC format CD Image and its CUE will be saved to your hard disc drive to the location you specified in the XLD General preferences.

Making an Audio CD

You have an achived FLAC 'CD Image' and a CUE file... How do you get an Audio CD?

Splitting a FLAC 'CD Image' file using its CUE file

Open the .cue file from "Open..." in the XLD File menu.

Select all tracks.

Select 'Include pre-gap for all tracks'

Click 'Decode'.

The single 'CD Image' FLAC file will be split to individual tracks the pre-gap appended to each file and the result saved to your hard disc drive in the location you specified in the XLD General preferences.

Convert to WAV

Burn for OSX can only make audio CDs from WAV files so any FLAC files must first be converted to WAV. You could do this using XLD but xACT is so simple I just had to give it a try.

Setting up and Using xACT

xACT is a great utility for converting between audio file formats. xAct is used to convert FLAC files to WAV for burning to audio CD by Burn.

Open xACT

Select the 'Decode' Tab

Select and drop the FLAC files you want converted to WAV onto the xACT file window or add files using the 'add' button below the xACT file window.

Select 'Output Format' to WAV

Select 'Decode to source directory'

Then select the 'Decode'.

The FLAC files will be converted and the resultant WAV placed in the same directory as your original FLAC files.

xACT - Loading FLAC files to be Conveted to WAV

The screen shot below shows the FLAC files being converted by xACT. The shot of 'Finder' shows the WAV being added.

xACT - Converting files to WAV

Burning an Audio CD

Open Burn

Select Burn > Properties

Select the Audio Icon

CD Pregap = x (in Seconds)
In this instace it is set to zero

Enable 'Create CD-TEXT discs'

Select the 'Audio' Tab in the main Burn program window.

Enter a title for the disc.

Select 'Audio CD' as the disc type

Select the files you want added to the audio CD in 'Finder' and drop them on the open Burn window.

The files are checked and added to the list of files to be burnt.

Files loaded ready for burning.

Select the 'Burn' Button.

Select your CD burner at the top.

Set the Burning Speed.
The lower the burning speed the better the quality of the final disc.

To burn the audio CD select the 'Burn' button.

Archiving to DVD

Open Burn

Select Burn > Properties

Select the Data Icon
Enter the details shown in the screen shot

Select the 'Data' Tab in the main Burn program window.

Enter a title for the disc.

Select 'PC (joliet)' as the file system.

Joliet gives long file names for Windows systems and the discs can be read by the Mac as well.

Select the files and folders you want added to the DVD in 'Finder' and drop them on the open Burn window.

Then select the 'Burn' button

Select your DVD burner at the top.

Set the Burning Speed.
The lower the burning speed the better the quality of the final disc.

To burn the DVD, select the 'Burn' button.

Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to Michael for trusting me with his MAC and Peter for providing the inspiration.

Copyright

The information contained in this is guide is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.

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