Ah, so Accurate Rip it is built into XLD nowadays—I’ll check it out if I go back to ripping thanks. I was using XLD originally but got lazy and went back to iTunes.
@Dreagthe in theory a recording at 44.1 kHz sampling rate can capture all of the information a person can hear as accurately as an analogue recording. In practice that may not be the case.
In my experience there is an audible difference between files at 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz (I do not have any music recordings at 192 kHz so I can’t comment on it).
My understanding of the topic is limited, but there is a video here that explains it better than I could: The truth about Nyquist and why 192 kHz does matter (The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel on YouTube)
To reply to the OP’s question. I don’t think you’ll find a better Mac ripper than XLD. I invested in a tag editor to partner XLD and chose Metadatics which has a comprehensive search engine for missing artwork and can manipulate the embedded size of found artwork (XLD always resamples to 500px).
As for ripping at higher bit rates it’s a waste of effort - upsampling in Audirvana is best if your DAC works better with 24 bit. I’ve ripped 1000s of my CDs at 16/44.1 as uncompressed FLACs and use Miminserver on my main system to re-pad all files and represent them as 24-bit WAV files to my DAC because that sounds best. SoX umpampling (to DSD64) I use in my office system with a TEAC ampDAC on a USB input with Audirvana from my iMac using the same FLACs as source. Couldn’t be happier with the two setups.
check your xld preferences for it to not resize cover… in the metadata tabs of prefs. Mine are not resized.
I used abcde (A Better CD Encoder). It is command line and therefore ideal for bulk CD ripping. Included retrieving metadata and bit-perfect checking.
I’ve used XLD for so long I haven’t even looked in the Prefs for ages! - You are quite right you can set to resize/scale cover art. Again to the original OP you can always click Getmetada to searcg for better tagging or alternative cover art.
Thanks @Fleet, I very much enjoyed that Hans Beekhuyzen video, and his explanation sounds convincing. From my experience, the quality of the sound we end up hearing is more related to the quality of the recording than the sampling rate, and this video reinforces my suspicion that filtering and digitising damage is likely to have been done in the studio or distribution chain long before it ever gets to Audirvana let alone my DAC. So taking the additional trouble to source higher resolution music is wasted effort—at best it will just more faithfully reproduce the damage that is already there in the source material, at worst it places more processing burden and noise into my system from computer through to tweeters. Inaudible high-frequency noise seems benign, but when it is added more than once to the signal by over-processing, it will easily add up to be audible noise.
This same argument applies to MQA, and the truth to that is obvious—if I compare the MQA and ‘straight’ version of a recording when both are available on Tidal, the top-end finesse is lost in the MQA version, and they vary from down-right awful to having definite audible high-frequency artefacts that destroy the stereo imaging.
What you wrote about quality of original recordings makes sense. Many of the highest rated classical recordings are from the 1950s and 1960s, long before digital. And even many ones recorded in digital era are still limited by what sounds are there. You can’t take a low res photo and enlarge it much because there is less data detail in the original
Musicbrainz is a great tagging and artwork companion too