Seems to do a decent job of leveling peak volume. It's a S-L-O-W program however, especially if you're trying to optimize SQ. It's a beta, and it doesn't manage its resources very well in Windows; multitask (like running a browser window with active streamed media content) or if the OS runs something else internally and EAC always loses speed after each song being ripped. Seems to work the fastest when songs from a CD are ripped 2 or 3 at a time; I've NEVER been able to get through an entire CD rip without the ripping speed going down to almost zero. Usually this occurs after 5-7 songs have been already ripped. At this point it's faster to cancel the rest of the rip at where I'm stuck and restart from the near dead point again. This is all being done on a Windows7 Pro box with an i7-920 CPU and 12GB of RAM.
EAC's user interface is rather geeky, too; not particularly user-friendly. For instance, you have to tell EAC where on the hard drive to rip the files to, rather than it going to you default library location and automatically creating artist and album folders to store to. Fundamentally EAC works by creating a WAV copy of the CD content; I have my copy set up so it's trying to make the best-quality copy possible (user option: quality vs. speed...seemingly to the EXTREME). Lots of error correction checks as a result. You'll have to download LAME separately if you're planning on using MP3 files; EAC doesn't include that functionality by default, apparently due to licensing issues. Once LAME is onboard your computer, EAC will use it to convert the WAV files it creates to MP3, then it automatically deletes the WAV file (if so desired).
Files sound fairly good, though, and the volume levels seem to be very consistent from song-to-song across various albums.
one thing i hate, is when i'm listening to a compilation disc i've made and there is one or two songs that are either much louder, or softer in volume than the others.
it really can put me off ever playing it again.
the same thing can happen when i'm listening to my mp3 player too.
my player has a feature that is supposed to even out all the songs to the same volume, but it doesn't really work.
as far as discs go, whats the best free software that can fix this up?
would EAC be up to the task?
i've heard thats a good thing to use when it comes to ripping tracks from cds?