How to share your CDs

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DavidA ®

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Post 12-Mar-2006 22:15


This message explains how to share a CD bootleg. Once you've followed this process, others will be able to make a CD from your files and the result will be 100% identical to the original. It takes about 10 minutes to set up, and then five minutes per CD. For those unfamiliar with the FLAC format, it's a little like MP3, but the files remain in perfect CD quality.
If you have CDs which aren't circulating on this site, but you can't perform the steps below, then I'd happily seed the CD on your behalf.-Installing Required Programs
I've assumed you have a Windows machine. If you need help with other systems, just ask. All the programs used are 100% free.
1. TAU Analyser. This program checks your CD has not come from MP3s.
2. Exact Audio Copy. This program extracts the tracks from your CD.
3. FLAC. This converts the extracted tracks to FLAC files.
Go ahead and download and install those three programs.-Setting Up Exact Audio Copy
Exact Audio Copy is an excellent program once up and running, but we'll need to change a couple of things in the options. Start up EAC and follow the instructions below.
1) Select EAC Options.
-2) Set Error Recovery Quality to High.
-3) On the filename tab, set the naming scheme to %N_%T. This makes the files read 02_This Charming Man.wav or similar.
-4) Select freedb Database Options.
-5) Enter an e-mail address. Any will do.
-6) Select Compression Options.
-7) In the External Compression tab, make the following changes.

7.1) Check the Use external program for compression box.
7.2) Select User Defined Encoder.
7.3) Select .flac in Use File Extension:
7.4) Find flac.exe on your system. Usually this is in c:\Program Files\FLAC\
7.5) In Additional command line options enter -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s
It's safe to ignore eveything else.-8) In the Offset tab, make sure that Use Offset Correction is unchecked.

Exact Audio Copy is now configured!-Checking Your CD
Start TAU Analyser with your CD in your drive. You should see it list the tracks, but if it doesn't, pick a drive letter until it finds the CD. Click on the right arrow icon and the program will start checking your CD. There are two possible outcomes:

Notice that it has recognised the CD as CDDA. This is good. It means the CD has not come from a set of MP3s. Move onto the next step.

Notice that it has recognised the CD as MPEG. This is bad. It means the CD has come from a set of MP3s. When I first went through my Smiths collection I found that about 50% of the CDs I'd traded had come from MP3. If you're happy with the sound of that CD then there's no problem, but I'd rather this site didn't offer CDs which had started life as MP3. For live shows in MP3 format, I'd recommend Soulseek.
Naming the Tracks
1) Attempt to get the track information from freedb. FreeDB is a service that is able to detect your CD and find names for the tracks. You've probably seen the same thing happen in Windows Media Player.

If successful, the tracknames will become automatically completed, like this:

Even if the CD is found, please check for mistakes. Quite often the tracks are misspelt and sometimes the track numbers are wrong.-2) In the event that freedb fails to recognise the disc, you'll need to enter the filenames manually. Highlight a track name and then click again to edit the name. Don't doubleclick. Entering all the track names manually takes some time, but the fact that it isn't already on freedb means it's probably fairly rare.
-3) Once you have named all the tracks, fill in the album info.
-5) You're all done, but you might want to submit the CD information to freedb.

You're now ready to rip the tracks to FLAC-Ripping the CD to FLAC Files
1) Click on the MP3 icon. Don't worry that the icon says MP3; you've configured EAC to extract to FLAC.
-2) Create a new directory. I call mine smiths-[date]-[venue]. The date is backwards so that it sorts correctly in Windows, i.e. year, month, day (with dashes as separators). The venue can be either the bootleg name or the venue. I use underscores instead of spaces.
-3) Go into the directory you just created, by double-clicking on it. Now click on Save.
-4) Watch as the EAC extracts and compresses each of the tracks. Click on OK once it's finished.
-5) Check that there have been no errors. If there has, then try cleaning the CD and repeating this process.
-6) Find the directory on the hard drive. It should look something like this.

You're ready for the final step. Time to create an info file.-Creating an Info File
This isn't an essential step, but it's useful for people to find out a little about what the CD is and where it came from. I've attached a template for the info files I use to this message (at the bottom), but feel free to create your own. Regardless, here's how I make mine.
1) Open template.txt in Notepad and turn off Word Wrap.
-2) Set the width of Notepad to match the width of the dashes.

The template gives a good indication of things which are good to include. I also paste in notes from These will take reformatting so that they fit on the page; just press enter at the end of each line.-3) When you've finished, name the text file as the same as the directory name and save it with the FLACs.

You're done! Your CD is now ready for distribution.-
Thanks for reading this far. Now that you've created a set of files, you'll need to create a torrent and then seed it. Information on how to do this can be found in this message. If something's gone wrong, leave a message in this forum and I'll help you fix it.

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Post 25-Oct-2006 16:23 (after 7 months 12 days)


Great guide, but may I suggest you add settings for Secure Mode, Drive Read Command, Read Sample Offset Correction, and other Read options as per this guide

This is one of the most important parts of the EAC configuration.
If you don't extract with these methods, you are not making the most secure, 1:1 copy possible.
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