I’ve seen a lot of FUD about SACD ISOs vs other DSD delivery systems.
I encourage people to experiment and report on their experiences but here are mine:
People that convert ISOs to DFF (or DSF) may have some resultant issues. Foobar2000 and JRiver (among others I presume) can play ISOs gaplessly. After breaking ISOs into separate files there may be resultant clicks/pop/gaps depending on your player’s configuration.
I found that I actually prefer ISOs over 10 or 20 DFF tracks. ISOs all have the CD Text track metadata that all SACD have. Theoretically when I get a multichannel playback system I’ll already have the MC versions of my ripped SACDs. But more importantly foobar2000 just let’s me set the stereo section as preferred so I never see the MC sections till I’m ready. In both foobar2000 and JRiver you can just drop a ISO in a playlist and you’ll see the individual tracks split out just as if they were individual files. If your player is set up to put ISOs into your library then the individual tracks are what you see thruout the player. Foobar2000 can save any meta data editing you might do into a sidecar .xml file (JRiver doesn’t to my knowledge do that yet.) Foobar2000 also can either save the .xmls right next to the ISOs or in the foobar2000 configuration folder sacd_metabase. I keep a checksum of the .iso right next to the ISO so I can check for bitrot. If I stored the edited metadata in the .DFF or .DSF I’d invalidate any such checksum any time I edited the metadata. Tho .flac’s have a better implementation with a separate checksum for the music, checksumming the ISOs is close in ease of use.
Pentatone is selling .ISO versions of many of their SACDs. They have always done a great job of recording and mastering so I’m quite happy to buy .iso’s from them instead of .dff tracks of unknown providence elsewhere.