If hi-res FLAC already on Tidal/Qobuz, what's the point of ripping my CDs?

There is a dynamic range database online that you can use to compare different versions of the same album. It’s a rough guide: http://dr.loudness-war.info. Also, for Roon users, Roon will tell you the DR of your in-house files but not those in Tidal unfortunately. You have a valid concern IMHO.

For example, if you look at the ubiquitous ‘Come Away with Me - Don’t know why’ from Norah Jones, there are five versions of this album on Tidal. Two MQA and three normal CD quality. All five have different volume levels because, even though Roon doesn’t report it, Roon’s volume leveling feature is choosing a different correction level for each one. In other words, Tidal must be reporting to Roon the relative volume of each of these versions and Roon is trying to make them sound the same on my system. None of the five matches the version in my local library. BTW, they all sound the same to me :wink:

It’s interesting that even the two MQA versions have different volumes from each other, and different from the CD versions.

Here’s an obvious example of why I just purchased a CD today (and I will rip to the NAS). The Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack is on Tidal/Qobuz, but many of the tracks are “unavailable”.

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aaaaand one more reason to rip:

Copy album files from NAS to USB and I can have FLAC quality in the car without using data to stream Tidal.

I’ve found the Roon built in dynamic range meter to be very inaccurate, I use a free third party Mac based app called “TT DR Offline Meter” that works better. It tests the actual files rather than relying upon an online database…

I realize this may ultimately be overkill, but I always rip my CD’s to AIFF because its not compressed and unlike WAV, meta data is easier to deal with in AIFF…

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Good point for sure.

You can also download tracks, albums and playlists for offline use in the Tidal mobile app. You would be using battery life on the mobile device for USB connection of for Blueooth. I think all streaming services have this capability and this is how I play music in my vehicle without using a bit of data.

I think Bluet.oth’s improvements have it sounding quite good but likely nowhere near as good as the configuration you are using in the posted image,

yep, i’ve gotten the habit of downloading a ton of albums from Tidal. Helps on those road trips when my kid has already burned through a bunch of data watching YouTube videos :roll_eyes:

Hi Lisa, welcome. While this software makes this technically possible, it certainly is not within the legal bounds of a Tidal subscription, i.e. to do so is to violate the terms of the agreement accepted upon signing up for Tidal

I would also be concerned with high potential for malware to be contained in the program installer

I don’t speak for PS Audio but I certainly don’t condone the use of software to execute illegal rips from Tidal or any other streaming service


Just a thought, as I did not see any mention of this in the previous discussions. Everyone seem to be ripping to FLAC, AIFF or Wave uncompressed. Before CD or digital files in the old days audiophiles used to record their albums on reel to reel tapes. For best sound not at 3.35 or 7.5 ips but at 15 ips which sounded better than the actual album. Today with storage available at 2TB to 10TB, space is not a concern anymore for large files. I have been using JRiver Media Center to do all my ripping using their DSD encoder to all DSD128 files which for a typical album is about 5GB. Previously all my CD’s were on a 1 TB drive as either FLAC or Wave, the sound hands down when compared the DSD128 sounded best. DSD64 sounds good too but I wanted the max input for the DSD Sr DAC which is DSD128 native via USB. Also upsampling and playing a Wave or FLAC files to DSD64 or DSD128 in JRiver Media Center is not the same as playing the same file ripped as DSD128, no comparison. The ripped DSD128 file is superior. Happy listening :musical_score::drum::saxophone::trumpet:.

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No point really, as long as you don’t have specific albums that don’t exist on Tidal. BUT, it is worth it, IF you lose your subscription, just as I did recently due to financial challenges after Coronavirus. I cancelled $40/month subscriptions and lost a lot of music… so having your CD collection comes handy.

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Not sure why you assume the OP will lose their subscription. Hopefully your financial challenges will be short.

For me streaming is a better value and also a better experience. I haven’t purchased or ripped a CD in quite a while.

What do you mean, I didn’t assume anything, I am saying if you have a CD collection already, rip em, it may come handy when you can’t afford subscription. I had my CDs stored in storage and I haven’t touched em in years, after I lost my job, brought em back, ripping them so I still have music.

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Sorry I guess when you wrote, “WHEN you lose your subscription”, I took it as it was written.

I changed it to “IF” to be more on the point.

I’m the OP on this thread, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was getting alerts about it!

Anyway, I’d long since forgotten I even asked the question, as I’ve since ripped all my CD’s into my NAS. (Maybe 500. Not a huge collection, but still.)

Anyway, main reason I did was so I could transfer them to a flash drive and play them in my car. But it’s also nice to have them in the Roon library as local files. And, some are not on Tidal/Qobuz.

it’s all good.

carry on.

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Given my status as the member most likely to flaunt copy write laws :face_with_hand_over_mouth:, I did try one of those rip tidal stream illegal apps, just out of curiosity. Even with a hi-res Tidal stream, the resulting rip was horrible, worse than low bit rate MP3. If one knew nothing of hi-res audio, and played stuff on a boom box, it might be ok.

Even if it produced a stellar audio file, it’s such a time consuming process I find it more profitable to just pay Tidal and use all the time I’d waste on trying to hustle Tidal on something that actually made money. Financially, would come out way ahead.

I don’t get why you are doing what you are doing. The CD files are PCM data. Ripping these CDs to FLAC or AIFF or WAV gets you an exact copy of the data on the CD (assuming you are AccurateRip). You are converting the PCM files on the CDs to DSD128 which means you don’t have an exact copy of what is on the CD. You are getting what JRiver is giving you with whatever version of their converter you are using. As JRiver improve the converter, you don’t get that benefit with your older conversions.

If I want to convert my PCM-based music to DSD128, I do so on the fly when playing using HQPlayer. That way, I always have the original PCM and get the best conversion available when I play the tracks. Plus, I save a ton of room on my storage mediums. In my opinion, it is always best to store the music in its original format and convert on demand as required.

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Roon doesn’t use the same algorithms to compute dynamic range as DR Offline does.

Roon uses EBU R128 while DR offline uses a crest factor algorithm. Here is something I posted on the Roon forum:

EBU R128 is perfect for volume leveling and the fact that Roon uses this to do volume leveling is great. People wanting the Dynamic Range Database DR numbers too is not a criticism of that choice. It is a realistic request based on the fact that the DR database numbers are more reflective of the actual amount of compression any given track may have. Look at this:



“Unlike R128 and BS. 1770 meters, DR measures dynamic range from the perspective of a music engineer’s needs. In contrast, R128 and 1770 are designed to control loudness for commercials , not measure dynamic range for music, especially pop music. DR isn’t designed for broadcast loudness control, it’s purpose is to gauge the amount of dynamic range reduction, or the absence of dynamic range contrast. Designed by a member of the EBU ploud committee, the same body that created R128, DR informs an engineer about how much the mix is being or has been “stepped on,” dynamic range-wise, not about “will it pass through a broadcast chain without loudness reduction?”

I used to use volume leveling but I have turned it off. Why? Two reasons. First, it was sucking the life out of the music. It was diminishing the soundstage by making it less 3D. Second, I started listening to full albums almost exclusively so volume leveling became unnecessary as I have a remote control volume and don’t mind making an adjustment for each album. Though most of the time I don’t feel the need.

Yes, that’s correct. My post was from ages ago before I grasped Roon’s different way of doing things.

I agree with everything you have said, but SQ wise up converting with HQPlayer or JRIVER just is not the same as playing an actual DSF file of the same PCM file. Try an experiment with ripping just one track from a favorite CD and play the same DSF file compared to the same PCM file plain or up sample to DSD128 in HQPlayer or JRIVER with everything going from USB to MATRIX 2 out via I2S into DSD Sr/Jr. If you don’t hear an improvement just keep doing what you have been doing.

If you lose your subscription, the company goes bust, your internet (or your ability to afford an internet connection) are lost, and several other causes I could probably think of, you lose your music.
Good enough reason for not basing the bulk of your listening on, though great for filling in the gaps etc. and “try before you buy” :slight_smile:
I think this has been mentioned further up the thread, but not stressed or repeated nearly enough.

I saw it happen with friends and their Napster collection (the legal streaming and downloading service) and that was enough.

I’ve seen too many people basing important stuff on the availability of internet services (and a regular income) - in professional circles this includes basing safety critical applcations on cloud services. Don’t do it :slight_smile: