flawless digital copy? maybe!

In a previous post, I bemoaned a problem i was encountering with some supposedly identical CDs. I had a pile of CDs from a project, which should have had identical tracks on each — but ripping and comparing the resultant files yielded miscompares.

After collecting further data, it appears that perhaps the miscompares are explainable. As it so happens, one of the people doing the duplication did not understand the differences between .wav, .mp3, .wma, etc. file formats. While all the CDs were audio CDs, they were burned at different times, some having been ripped as mp3, or as wma, or as…

Perhaps the best news is that I was able to locate proper mastered versions of each track that had not been through this rough treatment. I procured copies of each track as they came from the mastering house.

Even better — the process seems very durable. After sequencing the tracks, I uploaded them to our store on BandCamp. This upload was in the form of .wav files. I then downloaded these files in .flac format. Then I used MediaMonkey to convert the .flac files to .wav files. Finally, I used ExactAudioCopy‘s built in .wav file comparison tool to compare the original files to the ones procured from BandCamp. Again, these were uplloaded as .wav, converted to .flac by BandCamp, downloaded as .flac, then converted back to .wav. In each case, the files’ audio portion matched exactly.

So I again believe in the integrity of digital audio. Woo-hoo!