How To Rip a CD

Storing CDs on the B2 is a two part process:
 
Ripping:
A high speed copy of the CD which is saved on the B2's HDD as WAV files (the original CD format). Typical rip speeds range from x4 to x24 - usually starting around x10 - and varies from CD to CD.
 
Compression:
The WAV files are later compressed to save space on the HDD and the original WAV files are then deleted.
 

Ripping

When you insert a CD the B2 does a CDDB lookup to find a title for the CD.
The display may show ‘Album 123’ (for example) briefly and then ‘CDDB Lookup’
A list of titles is then displayed - there may be more than one title found (or variations of the same title), so turn the knob to see - push the knob to start ripping.

Alternatively just press PLAY to play the CD – track info will be displayed if CDDB lookup found a title.
 
If no title is found ‘Album 123’ or similar will be displayed – the CD can be ripped with this title – the tracks will be labelled ‘Track 1’, Track 2’, etc. These can be renamed later.
 
When ripping it is best to let the B2 do this one task i.e. don't also have it playing from the HDD or the radio, for example.
 
Rip batches of CDs, say 20-30 and leave the B2 to compress these overnight, before adding more.
 

Compression

The B2 has four compression settings - for comparison see Martin's explanation of Compression here.
 
  • FLAC: default setting - a lossless compression that gives CD quality playback
  • MP3 - 256k: good quality MP3 compression
  • MP3 - 128k: use for maximum space saving
  • None:  keep the original CD data format - uses more disk space.
Compression is done when the B2 is in Standby mode (or you select Settings > Maintenance > Compress Now), which happens after 5 minutes of no activity.

The web UI must be closed for the B2 to enter Standby mode.
 

CDDB (CD data base)

The B2 has a version of the CDDB pre-installed on the HDD which is used when there is no Internet connection.

When connected to WiFi/Internet the B2 has access to an on-line database -  which is usually more up to date.
 
The internet connection doesn’t update the on-board database - you have to do this manually - see ‘Updating the CDDB’ (only required if working off-line).
 

External CD Drive

Advantages of using an external drive include faster rips and less wear and tear of the B2’s internal drive. Almost any ‘external DVD/CD USB drive’ can be used – check that the drive is USB 2.0 compatible (most will be).
 
With the B2 powered off > plug the external drive into USB C (or USB A) > power on and wait for the B2 to boot up – this procedure is required for the B2 to mount the drive. Using the drive is the same as for the internal one.
 
You can use a 4 port USB Hub plugged into USB A or USB C to provide more USB ports, to avoid having to plug and un-plug the dongles.

You can plug the external CD in with the B2 already powered on and run Reboot (Maintenance menu) to mount the drive.
 

Incomplete rips

If the CD is damaged and/or dirty the ripping process will slow down to maintain a good data read. In some cases if the read is too poor ripping will stop and the CD will be ejected.
 
Some CD releases include a video, photos and/or a data track (multi-media), usually at the end of the audio tracks. The B2 cannot rip the video/data track and will not always rip the audio track before it – so an Album of 11 tracks plus a data track may only rip 10 tracks.
 

Ripping a multi-CD-set

If you encounter a problem ripping a multi-CD set, try ripping the first CD > rename it (by adding CD1 for example) > then rip the second CD > rename this by adding CD2, etc.
 
Alternatively rip the 2nd (and 3rd) CD using Album 123, etc and rename them later.
 

Wrong titles and/or track information

The CDDB used on the B2 is provided by www.freedb.org which is made up of contributions from members of the public. Errors and duplications do sometimes occur. In the case of a wrong title being listed, use ‘Album 123’, for example and rename later.
 
Also there can be different releases of the same CD, which have added tracks so the CDDB listing or the one you select, may not have these additional tracks, resulting in missing info and/or incomplete rips.

You can check the CDDB listing by pressing PLAY, after the CDDB lookup and skipping tracks (NEXT button) to check all tracks are listed/correspond for the Album.
 

CDDB lookup taking too long

If the B2 appears stuck showing ‘CDDB lookup’ it indicates a weak WiFi or an Internet connection interruption.
 
Press and hold the Play/Stop button to exit.
 

Ripping to a computer

There may be many reasons for ripping your CDs to a computer first. These include having a backup on the computer, compression is much faster than doing it on the B2 - some ripping programs allow you to rip to FLAC or MP3 directly and sorting, editing and renaming files before transferring to the B2.
 
Alternative ripping software for use on a computer include – 
 
You can then transfer the compressed files to the B2 using a USB memory stick, USB HDD or using the B2’s NAS mode or ‘Upload’ function – the latter require the B2 to be connected to your LAN (local area network) via WiFi or an Ethernet connection.
 

Updating onboard CDDB

  • Download the file using this link – it’s large, currently around 1.5GB.
  • Transfer the file to a USB memory stick - make sure the file is called ‘mydb’ (no parenthesis) with no additional characters
  • With the b2 already powered up plug the stick into USB C
  • go to USB Functions > ‘Load Database’
  • the display shows ‘Copying Album Database …… Allow a few minutes’.
 
Plugging the USB stick into a Windows computer most often gives the ‘Do you want to scan and fix’ warning > use the ‘Continue without scanning’ option and then ‘Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer’.