I have just updated the Absolutely Baching Universal Audio Converter (AUAC), bumping it to version 2.06.
This release adds quite a significant new feature: DSF is now accepted as an input format.
DSF is the ‘native’ format in which Super Audio CDs (SACDs) are encoded. Not a lot of music playback software knows how to play files encoded in DSF, so the need to convert them into FLAC is pretty important. AUAC can now do that. As it does so, it outputs 88.2KHz, 24-bit FLAC files (i.e., ‘hi-res FLACs’) and the new feature is therefore another outcome of my recent round of posts about working with Hi-Res audio.
I’ve not needed a DSF converter before now, because I’ve always ripped my SACDs to the ISO format: when music files are then extracted from that ISO, they are extracted as WAVs -so I’ve previously only needed to be able to convert WAVs to FLACs, which AUAC has been able to do since day one.
However, all my recent work with hi-res formats got me looking afresh at how I rip SACDs and I’ve now decided that ripping them direct to DSF is probably the better way to go: hence the new feature addition to AUAC.
Whilst I was at it, I couldn’t help but notice that all the ‘How To Rip SACD’ guides I’ve used in the past are now in pretty bad shape. This forum post, for example, started out in 2018 as a way to ‘simplify’ the instructions… but three years later, it has now morphed into a 138 pages of advice, commentary, more advice, corrections to advice, device-specific troubleshooting tips and on and on. As such, I don’t think it’s really of much practical help to anyone now.
So, I took the plunge and decided to document how I rip my SACDs in a new article. The hardware to do so is now fairly cheap (a few tens of pounds will get you functionally-adequate Blu-ray players, which are the SACD players and rippers of choice these days); the rest is just a little preparation, a couple of software downloads and doing things in the right order at the right time.
If you ever wondered how to go about getting into the High Resolution Audio game, hopefully you’ll see from that piece how easy it can be!