Best quality audio format to rip my cd’s to my roon nucleus

Hi all,
I am getting ready to re-rip about 1000 CD’s to my nucleus. I want the best possible sound quality. My current files are in WAV format but i do have some metadata issues i see in roon. I am deciding whether to convert to AIFF ok keep in WAV. I have meridian equipment and roon nucleus. Also original files were done on a Mac iTunes then copied over. But iTunes no longer supports in the same way? I am also open to using a PC so I can use dbpower ?
I am re ripping my files as so many have been corrupted over time I want a perfect clean slate once and for all? Thoughts, opinions, suggestions are most welcome?


Flac as a format.

Dbpoweramp or exact audio copy as a program perhaps

When (if) you move the files to the nucleus stop the server in the web gui while copying. When done restart the server again.


Tony, you should probably use FLAC for your rips. WAV is a windows format with poor tagging, AIFF not as popular as it was, and largely replaced by Apple lossless on Mac. I’d recommend going with FLAC.


Another vote for FLAC and dbPowerAmp.

Please check the Roon Knowledge Base and other on-line sources for the correct way to tag the files for use with Roon. While dbPoweramp can do a great job of tagging the files as one is ripping them dbPoweramp is not always perfect so for the final tag clean up you might to use another file tagging program. I strongly suggest mp3tag for this task. Plus you may also want to a good file renaming program on hand. The one I use is no longer supported so I can’t post a download link but any good file renaming program should work. You may need to retag and rename when ripping multi disk sets and anthologies aka various artists collections, depending on how them handled by Roon.

Oh and don’t forget a good image editor for all the cover art.


thanks, space is not an issue so I originally did rips to wav but had meta issues. My goal is best possible high res sound using either Mac or a PC and appropriate software. I am not sure how apple lossless compares. My understanding was FLAc is compressed and does not perform as well as AIFF, Wav etc. FYI there is a lot of conflicting info on this, some say it makes no difference others say it does etc. I am just trying to avoid a lot of work for a sub-optimal result etc
I do appreciate all the input

dbpoweramp exists for Mac OS, I use it all the time. For tagging software on a Mac, I recommend Yate. If you primarily use Macs then I would rip to ALAC. Both FLAC and ALAC are compressed lossless so you dont’ lose anything compared to using WAV or AIFF. If you feel like you need to have the .WAV or .AIFF files I would argue for AIFF, especially on a Mac.


As other people have suggested, FLAC and dbpoweramp is also my prime recommendation. I suggest you have an idea how you want to store and access your albums as this is the opportunity to amend any metadata prior to ripping (essential in my opinion if most of your collection is classical music).

However, there are occasions that I have used Apple iTunes and ALAC when the metadata was not available on dbpoweramp and had no desire to manually enter the missing metadata.


Thank you, your response is much appreciated

Welcome to the world of audiophiles where everything is true, nothing is ever proven and science is forgotten.

For example proven science states that ripping a CD to a high resolution format (anything greater than 16bit/44.1kHz) does not make it suddenly have high resolution sound. However some audiophiles believe otherwise and say “But I hear a vast, incredible difference!”

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FLAC is called compressed in the sense that a more space efficient way is used to store data, at the expense of a very small amount of computation necessary to recover the data, but absolutely no data is lost whatsoever and this can be shown easily. You can convert a WAV file to FLAC and back to WAV and compare the two WAVs. They will be identical. Any decent playback system should be able to playback FLAC, WAV, ALAC etc. indiscriminably. Some people argue that the noise generated from the small amount of computation necessary to unpack FLAC might upset some DACs. But otoh a FLAC file will be roughly half the size of an equivalent WAV and so involve half the network traffic, disc accesses and bus activity all of which also are potentially noisy, so you could make the same argument the other way. Agree with others; dbpoweramp heap good software.


Good explanation…

If an analogy helps, think of a FLAC as a compressed .zip file. You can zip up a WAV file and when you unzip it you have exactly the same WAV file you started with.

FLAC does the same thing but with an algorithm that is more performant (both compression levels and speed) for use with audio.

As others have said for regular CD’s. Use dbPoweramp to create 16bit 44.1Khz FLAC files. These will contain a lossless copy of the audio on your original CDs and can be read without the need for any propriety/closed source codecs or software. So you can always read and convert them to another format in future without loss if you wished.


Another useful consequence of ripping your cds to FLAC is that metadata - artist, title, track etc. - is stored inside the file which isn’t always the case with WAV. This means you can move rips around without losing information whereas with WAV you might be dependent on the folder structure

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You can keep the .wav files and change or correct the metadata with ‘mp3tag’

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I’m on a Mac, and I use XLD for ripping (always FLAC, high compression) and file conversion. There are a lot of things I love about it, but my favorite is that you can add Discogs links to provide the metadata if it isn’t picked up by Musicbrainz or whatever. This has saved me a ton of editing time.


Ignoring the limited metadata one has with WAV I still prefer WAV above FLAC sound wise.
while my brain technically understand that one can’t hear the difference between FLAC and wav … My ears disagrees with the technical logic.

Why not rip a cd that you love and you know every detail off and just compare FLAC and WAV trust on your own ears !


This may be dependent on your signal path.

  1. Core – Ethernet / RAAT → Endpoint --USB/Class 1–> DAC
  2. Core --USB / Class 1–> DAC
  3. Core – Ethernet / RAAT → Endpoint --TOSLINK/SPDIF–> DAC

If your playback is 1 then it doesn’t matter if the source is WAV, FLAC, ALAC, or any other lossless container because what arrives at the endpoint should be the exact same. RAAT is bitperfect. This has been tested by a few users with DACs that allow for bitperfect testing.

If you’re directly connected to the core, 2, than the whole “noise debate” about having to decompress may be audible.

Now, if you use 3 the whole electrical noise thing is eliminated as plastic / glass doesn’t carry electrical noise. But, we now get to debate benefits of USB (usb has significantly higher bandwidth with different clock management when compared to spdifSPDIF)

Anyway, anyone who experiences hearing a difference between WAV and FLAC while using Roon should be able to eliminate that difference by changing their signal path. Which, as the world moves to streaming is probably a good idea as your Core is doing more to stream than it is to decompress FLAC so fixing the WAV vs. FLAC thing will give you better streaming quality.

This is the way to go no matter what format you decided to store the files in. dbPoweramp, with AccurateRip, will provide you with confidence the bits on the CD got to your disk perfectly. If you’ve got a disc that won’t rip perfect to accuraterip the dpPoweramp provides a few different ways to try and resolve that as well. It’s super flexible in just how much work (and time) you want it to spend trying to pull a perfect copy off the disc. At that point, you decide on how much metadata flexibility you want and FLAC is the clear winner here. You can RIP to FLAC with no compression if the whole “I can hear the decompression” thing bothers you. It’s a simple setting in dbPoeramp.


Is this advice just for Nucleus or is this recommended for moving files to NUC as well. This hasn’t been my practice and I’m wondering if it should be. What’s the reason for this, if I may ask?

Roon starts analysis when it starts seeing new files…best for any larger (and typically slower transfers) to stop the server while the transfer is being made then once finished start the server and let it get all the new files in one hit.

Applies to all roon cores


Thanks for the tip!

Honestly there’s no real reason to not rip in AIFF or WAV, IMHO. I ripped everything to AIFF so as to support metadata, otherwise i would have ripped to WAV.

Disc space I suppose is a valid reason, but nowadays I cant imagine this to be the case. Why even deal with file compression, I see zero value/benefit. Again IMHO, my use case.