AfterDawn: Tech news

SatCP talks about PlexTools: 'Superior to EAC'

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 05 Sep 2002 14:25

The new PlexTools software and it's audio extraction routines have raised a lot of discussion around the scene. Now a credited CD-R scene old timer SatCP talks about the new PlexTools. All is can say is interesting!
The following is copyright SatCP at the Hydrogen Audio forums.

I'm very close to the development of this new PlexTools version. The extraction engine was rewritten almost entirely from scratch. We all know old PlexTools versions were no match for Exact Audio Copy. In the past Plextor was known as the best cd-r drive manufacturer. During the past few years however many brands have realized that manufacturing good drives is the key to success (you wonder how they didn't realize that a lot earlier). So came Lite-On and other brands also on top and Plextor just became "a good drive". Plextor once set the standards for audio extraction with the UltraPlex series cd-roms and to claim the title of king of quality again they needed to beat the only thing that made a Plextor rip even better: Exact Audio Copy. And that's exactly what Plextor Europe has been doing the past year.

Extensive tests and theoretic studies learned what reading methods are most successful for certain errors. This resulted into PlexTools 1.15...

PlexTools does correct the offsets of Plextor drives! Non Plextor drives however will read with offset 0. But then again, Plextor would be stupid if they made the software work equally well with non Plextor drives. Also it can tackle a few copy-protections, but I didn't test that to the extend...

PlexTools 1.15 reads in burst extraction mode. The same mode used by bad extraction software like AudioGrabber or CD Speed. This mode provides no native error detection, but is very fast. Thus on a clean undamaged cd, PlexTools' extraction speeds will be up to or very near to the maximum speed.

So what's the 'secret'? The extensive usage of C2 information. Way beyond the manner EAC uses the C2 information. This is PlexTools strong point but also the weak: unlike EAC PlexTools requires absolute correct C2 information. If the drive's C2 information is unreliable, so will the extraction...

Newer Plextor drives (models starting from the 12/10/32) have a near perfect CIRC-decoder and C2 output. In my tests I couldn't get the 24/10/40 and 40/12/40 miss an error (the other way around is more difficult to test and less important - better report an error where none is than reporting none where one is smile.gif ). The older drives tend to be rather unreliable so they better stick to EAC. That is also why the test made by cd-rw.org turned out so bad.

I've done extensive tests of which I cannot publish the results. But when I have more time to get a new site online, I'll redo the tests. Anyway, the conclusion over the whole line was: PlexTools 1.15 is superior to EAC.


The original post has even more details about the issue.

Hydrogenaudio.org
Coaster Factory - SatCP's website

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