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rev 1.00

Setting up EAC (needs to be performed only once !)

Important settings are marked red in screen shots.
Following You need to perform only one time carefully before using EAC for extracting, encoding, tagging:

Table of content:

EAC Options
Drive Options
Configuring EAC
Download the EAC-Profile , and unzip it into the \Profiles folder, located in the EAC directory. Once unzipped, you can select it from the drop-down list at the very bottom of EAC's main window, and load it by clicking the Load button.
After installing EAC, start it. A configuration wizard will appear. Close it by clicking Cancel.

EAC Options…

Open the EAC Options via EAC | EAC Options.

Extraction tab

Check: ·
Uncheck: Other options: General tab

The options on this tab have pretty much no influence on the ripping and encoding process. Set them according to your preferences. Following configuration (shown in screenshot) works fine:

Tools tab

Check: Uncheck:

Normalize tab
Screenshot to be 100% clear :

Make sure NOT to normalise ! Disable this option by all means.
Peak level normalisation destroys the dynamic range across albums, and on gapless albums (e.g. live concerts), it can introduce ugly volume differences at track junctions which should not be there. It does not make tracks sound equally loud, as many assume - you use a much smarter way without losses regarding quality to tackle that problem, called ReplayGain. More information on this is provided throughout this tutorial.

Filename tab

This is only a recommendation; of course, you can use your own file and directory naming scheme. This recommended naming scheme creates one subdirectory per album named by the convention Artist (Year) Album , and names the actual audio files TrackNo - Title. The naming convention for compilation discs is VA (Year) Album\TrackNo - Artist - Title.
This has several advantages: All albums are sorted by artist, all albums by a given artist are sorted chronologically, and the tracks of an album appear in their original order because of the track number prefix. Also, a folder or backup-media like CD-R or DVD+-R containing very many albums is still easy to overview using this scheme. Last but not least, this naming scheme contains a lot informations without resulting in too long filenames, which could cause problems.

Catalog tab
These options have no impact on the quality of extracting and encoding process, so you can leave them as they are.

Directories tab
This page should be self-explanatory. It is a good idea to set a fixed directory for your albums in process, because it saves you several unnecessary clicks when extracting an album.
It is recommended to create one directory only for new albums. This avoids confusion as to which album is yet to be processed and which is already "finalized, finished".

Write tab

These options don't influence the extraction process, but it is a good idea to disable Upper all characters (on writing) if you ever intend to burn/write Audio CDs with EAC.

Interface tab

If you installed the VOB ASAPI driver, select it here (Installed external ASAPI interface). The Native Win32 interface for Win NT/2000 was reported to be unreliable. There should not be problems for Win XP & Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000.
Either EAC extracts just fine by Native Win32 interface, or it does not work at all. Then you need to install the external ASPI or ASAPI interfaces.
The original ASPI driver by Adaptec mostly also works fine (the older version 4.60 is recommended).

Now click OK.

FreeDB Options

Open the FreeDB options via EAC | freedb / Database Options. Enter an e-mail address in the appropriate field (it does not need to be a real one, something like will do).

Then click OK. You're through most of the configuration now.

Drive Options…

This is one of the most important parts of the configuration, because it strongly influences the extraction quality. EAC's error reporting and correction features will only work correctly if this configuration is correct and is adjusted to your personal drive; otherwise, your drive may deliver faulty extracted tracks without you knowing it.
Before you take the following steps, close and restart EAC. This is necessary to circumvent a bug which causes EAC to identify the reading devices incorrectly when it is first run and to save your previous configuration so far, in case EAC should crash during next steps.
If you have more than 1 drive, then repeat the drive feature detection & configuration for each drive individually.

Extraction Method tab / Detecting drive's Read Features

After restarting EAC, open the Drive Options dialog via EAC | Drive Options. Insert an Audio CD into your drive, and click the Detect Read Features button.
EAC will now detect your drive's capabilities and display the results after some time:

Click Apply; back in the main dialog, the "Secure Mode" is now enabled, with the detected features checked. If EAC reported C2 support, be sure to uncheck this:

Example 1: Toshiba SD-M 1222 DVD/CD drive:
After Detect Read Features & Applying them:

Here C2 is checked, as EAC applied it. ===>> You have to uncheck C2 manually !

This is the correct optimized drive setting for safe High Quality for this drive.

Example 2: Plextor Plexwriter 8/4/32/A/T:
After Detect Read Features & Applying them:

This is automatically the correct optimized safe High Quality setting for this drive.

Example 3: Universal safe High Quality setting for all drives in the world:

This setting of drive features will result to safety regarding High Quality for every drive. But this is not an optimized setting for individual drives.

C2 is a type of hardware error correction for Audio CDs. Unfortunately, some C2 implementations are flawed -- affected drives sometimes miss potential errors which could lead to faulty extractions of the audio data. So, it is better to disable the usage of C2. Since some time, there are CDs with mastered C2 errors on the market, on purpose. The extraction of those music CDs will probably benefit from the safe High Quality setting 'No-C2' especially.

Drive tab

Click the Autodetect read command now button. Check Spin up drive before extraction

Offset / Speed tab

Check Allow speed reduction during extraction. This allows EAC to reduce the speed, if EAC finds difficult to read parts on the CD.
Check CD-Text Read capable drive unless you know that your drive cannot read CD-Text (most modern drives can).
For perfect archive copies of your CDs, using the Offset Correction feature is also recommended. Unfortunately, it is a rather complicated feature, and finding your offsets can sometimes be difficult. After a firmware update of your drive or writer, you should check your offsets again, as they might have changed.

Easiest way: You need at least the EAC Offset Test CD, which you can burn by a writer with known write-offset,

(read here about detecting your writer's write offset)

or at least 2 of the supported reference CDs, which must both return the same value when Detect read sample offset correction is run on them.
Luckily, SatCP has done a truly great job of explaining everything related to offsets in his articles The Truth About Offsets and Determining The Offsets Part I. It is a good idea to read these articles if you have trouble finding your offset(s).
If you're totally out of luck, you could try finding your drive's parameters on the net. You could start with SatCP's User Reported Drive Features Database or the new English / German / Deutsch pages with their OffsetBase (don't let that scare you - just select language, English or Deutsch, then the initial of your drive's manufacturer; the drive feature tables are mainly English) or in this Accuraterip Database.
Note though that the values in these databases don't always have to be correct; detecting the offsets yourself with at least the EAC offset test CD is always preferred. You should compare your own results critically with those published values in internet. Either your own results are confirmed, or you confirm the internet values by your result; or something is wrong, maybe your result/way, you got it, or the internet value, maybe another firmware version, which might explain the difference. On the other hand, as example the Toshiba DVD-Rom drives from model SDM 1222 up to 1502, 1602, 1712, 1802, have same read offset correction since years (btw. their firmware is labeled with same version, 1004) !

If you cannot find your drive's read offset neither in the databases, tables,
nor you haven't access to a writer with known write offset for burning EAC's built-in 'EAC offset Test CD',
nor you haven't any of the other reference CDs,
Check Use read sample offset correction and set the value to zero '0'.

Gap detection tab

Select Detection method A from the first drop-down list, and Secure from the second. Then click OK, and press the [F4] key in EAC's main window. Try this for all gap detection modes (you have to eject the CD between each trial), and choose the one which worked fastest. If all modes are unacceptably slow, try lowering the detection accuracy by one level.

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