DIGITAL LIFE MADE EASY (4) – What is the difference between ripping and burning? Where do I use what?

Our digital life is meant to make things easier but in fact, it is not that easy without knowing some of the fundamental concepts behind the digital world. This blog series deals with typical questions that may sound easy on first sight, but digging deeper into them, there is quite a lot to know and learn.

In this blog, we try to answer the question: What is the difference between ripping and burning? Where do I use what?

Taking it very basically, one could say that ripping is the opposite of burning. However, there is much more detail behind this question as this FAQ will show.

Ripping

In fact, when you rip a disc the used software will extract and convert data stored on (burned to) your disc in a given disc format / disc standard, e.g. an Audio CD, a DVD-Video disc, an AVCHD disc or a Blu-ray disc. When ripping a disc, you will get access to the original data files stored on the optical disc and will be able to store these files in a digital file format of your choice, in order to further utilize the ripped files.

Audio CD Ripping

Take Audio CD ripping as an example for probably the most often used case for ripping. The Audio CD – as the CD-DA standard requires – always contains audio files in PCM audio format (lossless uncompressed) with 16 bit and a sample frequency of 44.1 kHz.

When ripping the individual songs of your Audio CD to file you will like to maintain the audio quality but would rather reduce the file size so that it fits nicely to the storage capacity of your smartphone or MP3 player. Typical audio compression formats like MP3 or AAC cater for this and provide almost true Audio CD quality with only taking a fraction (1/11) of the space the uncompressed audio file on your Audio CD needed before.

The conversion of the audio format is done in the background when ripping starts. If possible, you should check available settings and set the output format to match your needs. Many Nero applications (see table below) allow you to pre-select the wanted audio format before ripping your Audio CD to file.

Although MP3 and AAC are most often used for ripping, there are cases when you  would rather want to rip your files to uncompressed WAV, which is basically the native format of the audio files on your disc. Using WAV is absolutely meaningful when you want to do some tweaking or editing of the ripped audio files with an audio editor before you finally convert the edited files to a compressed format of your choice. If you used compressed files in the first place, you would gain results of poorer audio quality – the already compressed files would have to be compressed again when being output to MP3/AAC.

save audio tracks

‘Save Audio Tracks’ format options in Nero Burning Rom and Nero Express.

When you use Nero Burning ROM for Audio CD ripping you get the largest number of format options. If your key purpose for ripping is just getting the music from your Audio CD straight to your mobile device, use Nero Disc to Device which is exactly made for this job.  

TIP! Also take a look at Nero KnowHow 00038.

Many Nero applications allow you to do Audio CD ripping and also integrate Gracenote® Music Recognition as the most convenient way to automatically add album information and cover art to your music files.

TIP! For details, see the table below.

DVD Ripping 

Take DVD-Video ripping as another example. Your video disc allows you to play single video titles via a disc menu structure that your DVD player can read. When ripping, these titles need to be stored as single files in a wanted format. DVD-Video makes use of the MPEG-2 video format, which needs about double the storage space than MPEG-4/AVC for the same quality.

Recode

Video format options in Nero Recode

When you want to rip your DVD-Video consider your use case. For storing it in good quality, e.g. for playing it back on your smartphone or via the home network, we recommend using the MPEG-4/AVC format. Nero Recode and Nero Disc to Device will do a great job for you, here.

However, when you want to use files/titles from a DVD-Video in a video project we do not recommend to rip the disc but just import the files from the disc via Nero Video without converting. For more details on this case see below (under ‘Burning’).

Burning

Now, when it comes to burning, you need to take a look at the disc formats and standards, which you are going to use. Let us take the examples of an Audio CD, an MP3 disc, and a DVD-Video disc.

Burning an Audio CD

Several Nero programs let you burn Audio CDs. When you import audio files into your burning project these will be converted and burned to a standard Audio CD based on the CD-DA standard.

Due to audio quality reasons, the audio format of choice for your imported files when creating an Audio CD should be WAV. This is an uncompressed audio format and when you use it with 16 bit and 44.1 kHz, it will have the same format specification as the Audio CD, with no loss in quality. For example, when you digitize an LP it is recommended to have all LP titles available as WAV and import these into your Audio CD project.

When you import files into your Audio CD burning project that consist of compressed MP3 this format has to be re-converted to match the Audio CD specification, which will result in a slight loss of audio quality on your final Audio CD. The better choice for this case is creating an MP3 disc, as explained below.

Burning an MP3 Disc

If you want to burn a disc containing your previously ripped audio files for e.g. playing it in your car stereo, you should not burn an Audio CD but an MP3 disc as a regular data disc. Compared to an Audio CD, an MP3-CD (data disc) would give you about 10 times more music files on your disc. When using a DVD data disc instead  –  given your car stereo supports DVD media – you could even burn a multitude of songs to your disc.

Burning a DVD-Video Disc

Burning a DVD-Video disc requires converting all source assets in your project to MPEG-2 standard. Any incompatible file that you have imported including the disc menu will be converted to MPEG-2 before the disc is burned. If you want to use titles from a DVD-Video disc within a new disc project you can also import titles form your DVD-Video discs into Nero Video. Import DIsc

Import disc options in Nero Video

In this case, thanks to Nero SmartEncodig, MPEG-2 compatible files in your project will not be re-encoded but maintain the source video quality – also resulting in a shorter duration for burning to disc.

TIP! Take a look at Nero KnowHow 00112 to learn more about how to burn a DVD-Video disc.

Still, one might want to say that ripping and burning do opposite things in independent processes. However, as mentioned in this blog, there is quite some interdependence in certain cases, and it is good to keep this in mind when starting your project.

Disc Ripping with Nero Applications

Rip Table

*only for non-copy protected personal use

Disc Burning with Nero Applications

Burn Table

*only with available disc structure within a folder (no disc authoring possible)

 Nero Know How 00115

DIGITAL LIFE MADE EASY 3 – What is the difference between decoding, encoding, and transcoding? Where do I use what?

Our digital life is meant to make things easier but in fact, it is not that easy without knowing some of the fundamental concepts behind the digital world. This blog series deals with typical questions that may sound easy on first sight, but digging deeper into them, there is quite a lot to know and learn.

In this blog, we try to answer the question: What is the difference between decoding, encoding, and transcoding?  Where do I use what?

First of all, each of these terms include the word ‘coding’. Any digital medium, no matter if it contains image, video, or sound relates to that. When digitizing an analog signal (light or sound) digital coding has to be applied.

At the beginning of the chain there is always the creation of a digital signal, called encoding. For example, this happens when capturing an image or video signal within your digital camera / your smartphone, and also when capturing sound via a microphone to a digital device like a digital audio recorder or a smartphone. For playback, the previously recorded digital signal is being decoded. The processes of encoding and decoding are handled by a so-called codec – the term is a merge of the terms coding & decoding.

For being able to create and play complex digital signals in high quality, digital data within the codec in question are being compressed via algorithms. Depending on the used codec, signal quality can differ.

Typical Codecs (incomplete list)Typical codecs

 

 

 

Codecs can be used hardware based of software based. Your photo or video camera utilizes a hardware based digital processor (encoder) creating the digital signal. The Blu-ray Player in your living room contains a hardware based decoder, processing the playback of the video codec on your Blu-ray Disc.

Nero software applications make use of software codecs but can also utilize system based hardware codecs. For example, the latter comes into place when exporting (encoding) AVC video via compatible graphics card chipsets in Nero Video or when transcoding video files in Nero Recode.

Transcoding comes in place when converting one digital media format to another. Typical examples are converting audio WAV files to MP3 files, or ripping an audio CD to single AAC for MP3 files. Also ripping video discs or converting images – e.g. TIFF to JPG – rely on the process of transcoding.

Which Nero Application does what?Use cases all

Nero KnowHow 00094

Digital Life made easy (2) – How can I play wirelessly and securely to my Smart TV using Nero?

Our digital life is meant to make things easier but in fact it is not that easy without knowing some of the fundamental concepts behind the digital world.

In this blog we try to answer the question: How can I play wirelessly and securely to my Smart TV using Nero?

In fact more and more customers put this question. On one hand it shows that streaming to Smart TVs has become extremely popular on the other hand it reflects that reports about being spied via your Smart TV have become a fear for many users. This blog will help you getting rid of this fear via some useful tips and continue enjoy streaming with Nero.

Growing Number of Smart TVs

Due their comfortable internet and multimedia functions Smart TVs have become really popular. Likewise the security aspect of such devices has become a matter of public concern. In the past, TV set vendors were accused of having enabled functions in their Smart TVs that would allow spying of customers by collecting user data and of having provided such data to third parties.

The vendors opposed to that, but nevertheless there is the thread of hackers trying to utilize special functions of your TV set. Given that Smart TV security implementations are close to not existing hacker attacks are a realistic scenario.

How can I protect myself?

The most simple way of protection is disconnecting your Smart TV from the internet, but this goes along with not being able to use those functions of your TV that make it smart: home network streaming and the ability to access content via the internet.

If you do not want to miss those functions here are some useful tips how to protect your Smart TV from unwanted third party access.

1. Set Filters in your Router

One of the most secure ways of protection from unwanted access is blocking special internet pages via the filtering options of your router.

Internet and LAN / WiFi access of your TV can be reduced to a few URLs that you control via the so called white list. Additionally your router allows you to limit the internet connection to dedicated devices – e.g. if you use the integrated ‘parental control’.

How to set these limitations depends on your router’s setting options. Via these you can decide which pages should be accessible at all or – via the opposite approach – can just block dedicated URLs.

2. Deactivate the built in Webcam and the Microphone

If your Smart TV has an integrated webcam we recommend deactivating it via the set up menu of your Smart TV. Additionally you should also deactivate the microphone. If you want to be totally safe you can also put some tape over the camera. This may sound a bit over the top but in fact it is known that hackers have options to remotely activate the camera again without the signal on the camera even showing that the camera is on.

3. Deactivate HbbTV Service

Deactivate the function ‘HbbTV‘ in the setup menu of your TV. Similar to ‘Teletext’ with ‘Hybrid broadcast broadband TV‘ broadcasters can show additional information on the screen. Different to ‘Teletext’ that is embedded in the TV signal, ‘HbbTV’ uses the internet connection of your Smart TV.

Consumer advice centers accuse TV vendors of misusing this function by collecting user data and handing these over to third party without the user’s agreement.

HbbTV

In case your TV set does not include this function yet, there are standalone add-on boxes available providing the HbbTV function. If you want to be on the safe side you do not need such a device. In general we recommend taking a look into the TV set’s menu or – if available – into the device manual to understand if your TV has this function included or not.

Deactivating this service needs a closer look into the setup menu of your TV set. Terms used here to describe the HbbTV function can be quite cryptic like ‘data service function’ or ‘interactive service’. Not each vendor activates this function by default. But checking it, is worth the effort, anyway.

4. Smart TVs with Android OS

As of today, vendors like Sony are offering their range of TV sets with fully integrated Android OS known from Smartphones. As Android is Google’s mobile operating system you should take a closer look into the menu of your TV regarding Google data services. For protecting your privacy, we recommend not allowing Google to collect data.

Android TV

We also recommend disabling the location option.

Location off

5. Regularly update your TV’S Firmware

Make sure that you keep your Smart TV’s firmware always up to date. Updates can be triggered directly via the TV set when connected to the internet. You can also use your (safe) PC connected to the internet for downloading the firmware update, save it on a USB stick, connect it to your TV, and execute the update this way.

6. Adapt your Surfing Behavior

Due to the fact that Smart TVs  largely lack security options make yourself aware of which web pages you need and want to access. Do not open pages that you cannot judge security wise. Only use apps und web pages from known source via a secured connection (https). Never type in sensitive data like your bank account into any page used with your Smart TV. If you do not use secure connections these data could even be sent unencrypted and hackers would have no problem accessing these.


Enjoy Streaming with Nero Streaming Apps

If you follow those above tips that suit best to your streaming behavior you will continue enjoying streaming with Nero Apps. With Nero MediaHome (PC) and Nero Streaming Player (free mobile App for iOS and Android) you have comfortable ways of making best use of your SmartTV with streaming your photos, slide shows, movies, and music, wirelessly to the big TV screen in the living room.

Installing Nero Receiver on your tablet (or smartphone) allows you to stream photos, movies, and music even without using your Smart TV directly to your tablet (smartphone), preferably.

Watch the video

 

Nero KnowHow 00076

Digital Life Made Easy – Part 1

Our digital life is meant to make things easier but in fact it is not that easy without knowing some of the fundamental concepts behind the digital world.

This blog series deals with typical questions that may sound easy on first sight, but digging deeper into them there’s quite a lot to know and learn.

In this blog we try to answer the question: How do I get my movie on the TV?

This is in fact a good question and initially we should be clear about the fact that a digital movie is not made of celluloid. Anything we capture or play as a moving picture is just a file containing a digital video format. So answering the question, initially depends on the source of your video and the given video format. The next part of the answer  depends on what you are going to do with your souce video. Do you intend to fine tune it before watching it, or do you just want to watch it on your TV straight away?

Streaming

If your source is available in a format that can be played straight to your TV set the easiest way is streaming it wirelessly. In this case Nero has options to play it directly from your smartphone and also from your PC to your TV via Nero Straming Player. If you like to play it wirelessly from your PC to your TV without using an App you can do this directly via Nero MediaHome.

Video File or Video-Disc?

If you have video clips sitting on your PC that you want to fine tune before showing on your TV the key question is: which output format are you going to select? Will it be a video file or rather a video discs (DVD, Blu-ray) with menus to play on your DVD player or Blu-ray Disc player connected to your TV set? In both cases Nero Video ist the application of your choice.

Edit Video and export as File

Simply import some clips into a video editing project, arrange them in a time sequence, trim them and apply effect filters. No matter if you are a beginner or advanced user Nero Video offers a great range of options to achieve best quality results. Pre-designed movie theme templates allow creating videos and slideshow for as a polished movie, easily, and Nero Video provides state of the art high quality export formats for you to select from.

Create a Video Disc

If you are planning to burn your video or several videos to a disc with menus you will do that in Nero Video, too. Either start in the editing mode and switch to the disc authoring module, or if you do not need to fine tune your clips but just intend putting them on a disc with menus, you can start in the content screen right away. This is the home screen for disc authoring and allows you to import your clips and arrange the order. Then just switch to the disc menu template selection before you finally burn it to disc.

Videos to Disc without a Menu

Another way of burning is adding your video files to a disc project without menus and create a data disc in DVD-ROM (UDF) and Blu-ray (UDF) format that includes just your video files. In this case the application of your choice will be Nero Burning ROM. Note that such a disc is not what you would call a video disc. It is just a disc containing video files, and in case your Blu-Ray Player may be able to read and play the formats as pure video files without menus. Essentially, this type of disc is a good choice for archiving your footage and edited clips, especially if you use a Blu-ray Disc with high capacity storage.

Videos on a USB-Stick

Last but not least you may also be looking for an option to put your videos  on a USB stick or external hard disk and attach this to your TV set for playback. A great tool for encoding all of the clips you plan to load to your USB stick to a best matching format is Nero Recode. Very easy to use it provides you with dedictaed video format templates to select from. Just encode to the attched USB stick or hard disk – batch encoding and hardware acceleration via your graphics card for transcoding included.

Overview of Use Cases

Overview EN

 

Nero KnowHow 00074