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PlexTools 1.15a – new audio extraction routines examined (UPDATED)

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 03 Sep 2002 9:56 User comments (2)

Plextor Europe has released a new and improved version of their PlexTools software. PlexTools is a similar product than the better known Plextor Manager, but it is developed by Plextor Europe. It’s a real ‘Swiss army knife’ for Plexie owners.
CDFreaks did a little review about the new software, but it seems that come of their conclusions about the audio correction are incorrect or at least inaccurate. In their article the Freaks write the following:

Its new method for handling DAE is simply unique and so far the results we got were quite impressive. PlexTools was able to perfectly extract damaged audio tracks while the extracted tracks using Exact Audio Copy were different from the original.

Naturally I had to test it my self and my quick test showed opposite results.

Very un fortunately the only Plexie drive I have handy at the moment is a golden oldie Plex4220 SCSI writer, so I had to use it for the comparison. The fact the used drive is such an old model might have an effect to my test results. The drive was using the latest 1.04 firmware revision.

I used an original audio CD with VERY many thin scratches on the surface. You could say that it is covered with scratches since they are all over the disc. However, none of the thousands of marks on the disc are very thick or deep.

PlexTools ripped a song from disc very quickly, not doing too many re-reads or slowdowns and reported that the copy was ok. However, as I slowed down the read speed, re-ripped and then compared to the first rips, the files were not identical. So the speed had an effect to the actual read results, even though the software reported no errors.

Then I did the same track with EAC, using maximum quality setting. EAC gave sync errors while ripping, but when I slowed down to 1X I was able to rip a track without any errors reported. I re-ripped a few times and compared the files and found them to be identical every time, so EAC must be ripping the song correctly. Then I compared PlexTools rip done with maximum speed to the EAC rip and the files had a whole lot of differencies. Interesting was that the PlexTools rip made with 1X was very close to the EAC rip, only having few bytes of differences here and there.

Conclusion, at least with hardware, is that PlexTools is not a secure ripper and it’s error reporting is faulty. Exact Audio Copy is still the safest and the highest quality ripper available. Nice effort from Plextor Europe though - It will be interesting to see if PlexTools audio extraction improves even further in upcoming releases.

UPDATE:I was suggested that old Plextor drive, like most CD drives unfortunately, do not report C2-errors correctly. According to 'cdfreak' the PlexTools relies on C2 error reporting and if it is not accurate, then it will affect the read results. It ran some further test with the Plex4220 and it really seems that the C2 error reporting is not totally accurate, so PlexTools is not entirely to blame for the read results.

Dowload PlexTools 1.15a
Download Exact Audio Copy 0.9b4

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2 user comments

13.9.2002 22:29
trinsic
Inactive

Anyone knows how these two proggies compare to CDDA Extractor ?

24.9.2002 3:35

This is only a personal thought but, for me, EAC is still the best choice available for the Windows platform. If you use Linux, you can try CDParanoia.


"You know, it seems that quotes on the internet are becoming less and less reliable." -Abraham Lincoln.

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