I have been using DB Poweramp to rip CD's to FLAC and MPEG for the past few years. When I originally decided to rip my music collection and use media players, verse a now ancient technology, CD mega changers, I could have done a better job. I started with 1200 cds and didn't know much about the process other than I dreaded having to do it. Tagging and cover art were two things I really dropped the ball on. Fortunately, I did understand enough to rip everything to FLAC, and I used EAC, so I had good data stored to a hard drive when I was done.
The past year or two I've become quite dependant to my Ipod's that I use in my vehicles. It's simply way more convenient, plus CD changers for vehicles is obsolete tech nowadays. I just bought a new truck, and it came with a CD player, but it was a $200 option and it's hidden away in the glove box. The truck's stereo is designed around an Ipod or USB interface. And, it does not have a hard drive to store music files either.
So anyway, as I mentioned before, my music files had messed up tagging, and most of the CD's I initially ripped did not have cover art. Genres were all messed up, and the display would only show meta data and a goofy picture of a CD. I have tried to fix tagging with FooBar, and it does seem to work OK, but I still had duplicate files, genres were hit and miss, and still no cover art. Itunes just made the problem worse. I have tried a couple different album art gathering programs, and none worked all that well. Itunes would find some, but those it did find, it wouldn't share the files with other music software for the house (squeeze box / music server). Or I should say, I couldn't figure out how to get it to share.
Last week I got an email from DBPoweramp saying they had some new software for finding album art, duplicate music files and finding music file ripping errors. I figured it was worth a try.
Well....I am extremely happy to report that it works! After Perfect Tunes was installed, I used it to scan the main folder I store the FLAC files. This folder has roughly 360 GB, 4500 folders and 18,000 music files. It took Perfect Tunes about 12 hours or thereabouts to scan the files and "fix" the files that were missing album art. I had over 1400 CD's missing album art. The software automatically fixed about 1200. The remaining 200 or so had tags too screwed up for the software to find the album art without some manual input. For example, movie soundtrack CD's might have 15 songs by 15 different artists. If they are not tagged correctly, the software can't tell who the artist is, what the song is, or what CD the song is on.
The songs and CD's that needed manual input took about 8 hours of my time to fix. The software will automatically search for the album art, but you have to make sure it's looking for the right album. You do this by manually inputted the name of the artist, album or song into the search box. It will then populate album art it found. You then click on the one you want to use. Pretty simple really, just time consuming. I can't imagine doing that for 1400 CD's. At the end of the day yesterday, I had fixed all but one boxed set of music sampler CD's that neither I or the software can find album art for. That was well worth the $36 the software costs.
After I fixed album art, I scanned the FLAC files for errors. I don't really understand how that works, but it scanned the 18,000 files for roughly 2 hours. It reported that 1200 could not be verified, for whatever reason that is, and of the remaining 16,800 files, there were four files with errors found. I need to locate the CD's and re-rip those, if I care to that is...
Finally, I scanned the files for duplicates. I had right at 200 duplicate music files. Not bad considering all the movie soundtracks that we have...... What's really cool about this process, is the duplicates are boxed together with meta data, so you can see each file's properties. You can also listen to each file by clicking the play button on each. This allows you to figure out which one to delete.
So now that my FLAC files are fixed, I'm running a batch conversion. I'm converting all the FLAC files to a high bit rate MP3 (320kb Lame) with DB Poweramp's batch converter and dumping them into their own MP3 folder. This folder will be what I sick ITunes on to use for my vehicle IPods. I'm using the CBR and slow speed option for the conversion. All four proccessers are running at a 52X speed (an 18 hour process). When it's done, I'll have to use FooBar to fix some tagging issues again, mostly due to the soundtracks.
After I get the MP3 tagging fixed, I'll have to figure out how to get I-Tunes to re-scan the new MP3 folder and dump all the data it had before. I'm not sure how to do that. Suggestions / input is very welcomed.
If anyone has similar album art or duplicate music file problems that I had, this software works great. Considering just how computer dense I am, that's saying something... http://www.dbpoweramp.com/perfecttunes.htm