Author Topic: Free Tools I Use For CD Ripping and Organizing  (Read 305 times)


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Free Tools I Use For CD Ripping and Organizing
« on: May 18, 2021, 01:05:46 AM »
This guide is mostly for ripping CDs but some of the tools could probably be used for organizing any kind of music.

- Cleaning
First off, clean the CDs with plain water and a microfiber towel. Avoid using alcohol or vinegar! The data layer lies just under the reflective coating on the front of the CD. Any acid or chemicals could cause damage.

A user suggested this guide for the best settings:
Typically I will enter album titles as "catno_albumtitle" and the track names as "catno_trackno_tracktitle" just like how the library sites usually have their filenames. This format makes it easier to identify the label just by looking at the filename. I also eliminate spaces and special characters to make sharing the files easier. This is useful if you have a large digital collection like I do. While the CD rips I will enter the rest of the data into an Excel file such as release years, composers, publishers, subjects and descriptions.

Hold alt for easy column editing. Macros can also be recorded and played back to make repetitive actions easier. You should also get the TextFX plugin from the plugins admin within the program.

-Tesseract OCR
This is useful for quickly transcribing text from the album covers. Install it and drag and drop your images into the below batch file. It will automatically produce a txt file containing the text captured from your images. There might be a few hiccups but it does surprisingly well for a free and open-source program:
<< @echo off
<< :again
<< "C:\Program Files\Tesseract-OCR\tesseract.exe" "%~1" "%~1"
<< shift
<< if "%~1" == "" goto:eof
<< goto:again

If you want to convert my WAVs to FLAC then simply drag and drop a single WAV into this batch to convert the whole folder:
<< for %%a in ("*.WAV") do ffmpeg -i "%%a" "%%~na.flac"
<< del /S *.WAV
The reason I rip to WAV instead of FLAC is to keep things as close to the originals as possible, and to instead produce an easily researchable Excel file with all the original data. FLAC files can't contain all this info.

- TagScanner
Settings to use if you want to convert my WAVs to FLAC:
Fill and format tag from other fields
Source string:
Import tags from text file
Scheme of each line:
%filename%   %title%   %album%   %year%   %artist%   %publisher%   %albumartist%   %comments%   %subtitle%
%filename%   %title%   %album%   %year%   %composer%   %copyright%   %albumartist%   %comments%   %subtitle%
Program options->Tags->ID3v2.4
Program options->Tags->Preserve file modification time when saving tags

- Photoshop (NOT free)
Lastly there's a nifty feature in Photoshop to automatically align cover scans. Go to File->Automate->Crop and straighten photos. You'll probably want to scan with a black sheet of paper behind your covers otherwise the edge detection might not work. If everything goes well then you should get a decently cropped image. Now just save it as a JPG with the quality set to 12.

This is what has always worked for me, despite being a time-consuming process. If you have any suggestions then be my guest.