I’m about to re-rip my entire CD collection for the fourth time. I don’t want to do it again, so have decided to invest in a small(ish) array and use a lossless codec to create a reference set of my music. From the reference, I plan on transcoding to a variety of bitrates (depending on where the final product will end up i.e. ipod, media centre, etc.) and whichever format of the week suits the device(s) the transcoded content will ultimately sit on.
I don’t particularly care about encoding time, but would like something that transcodes nicely to mp3, wma, ogg, and other formats in a reasonable length of time. I would like to ensure that track metadata is maintained in the reference, and is easily transferrable when transcoded. I also want something that’s not proprietary to an individual’s or small group’s whims. I’m thinking FLAC, but was wondering if other people had better experiences with other codecs.
If you were to use a lossless encoding format, which would you use, and why?