Ripping it up

Originally published in 2015

Paul McGowan:

In one of my earlier posts Taking things for granted I mentioned being confounded by the results of making a CD copy, which turned out better than the original.

I understand some of the ideas here: copying to a hard drive and then back again to lower jitter, cleaning up the source etc. Problem is, hard drives don’t have jitter nor clocks. Neither do DVD burners, or CD’s. Yet the differences between the two discs are there for evidence.

Even the new discs I use, which are the Mobile Fidelity gold discs, are supposed to sound better when copied to, but why? I am simply out of answers. Every possible solution I come up with makes no sense to me, in the end, and I just want this one to go away and not be true. But it is true.

Many of you have written me and asked for the details of how I made the copy. I think there seems to be some idea that perhaps I am using a fancy program or part of the answer lies in my methodology. Perhaps that’s true, but it certainly isn’t by design. Here’s what I do and you may find this surprising simple.

First off I am a Mac guy. I gave up on Windows years ago and can never go back. A lone wolf, other than Terri, in a sea of Windows computers throughout the rest of the company. However, I have tried this on both the Mac and a Windows machine with the results being close (the Mac better by a smidge).

Here’s the drill: I place the original CD into the Mac’s internal DVD drive and copy the files onto my desktop. Once copied I open iTunes, drag them into iTunes making sure the iTunes import process is WAV. I then place those files into an iTunes playlist, insert a Mobile Fidelity gold CD in the same internal DVD drive and click “burn CD”.

When it’s finished so too am I. I can now throw away the original.

Like I wrote in the first place, it’s not rocket science and I have no clue why it works.

Certainly feel free to share any theories.