Exact Audio Copy (EAC) with Vista x64 and WMA Lossless

2 minute read

Recently I tried setting up Exact Audio Copy (EAC) in Vista Ultimate x64. With disk space being so cheap nowadays I also wanted to use WMA Lossless encoding. With lossless encoding no audio fidelity is lost and I can always convert back to the original WAV files if I want to in the future.

The first thing I did was go to the Windows Media Encoder website so that I could download the encoder. Since I’m running Vista x64 I grabbed the x64 version of the encoder. Unfortunetly this is a bad idea. What they don’t say on the site is that if you use the 64 bit encoder then all your other software must also be 64bit.  Since EAC is only 32 bit I never was able to get it to work with the x64 encoder.

Finally I gave up, uninstalled the 64bit encoder and reinstalled the 32bit encoder. After I did that EAC worked fine. The Configuration Wizard in EAC detected and set up the encoder perfectly.

The annoying thing about EAC is that when using an external encoder it pops up a new command window after every track is extracted. This makes the computer practically unusable because new windows keep popping up all the time. I looked around and found under File –> EAC Options –> Tools there is an option called “Do not open external compressor window”. This sounded like exactly what I needed so I checked it. Unfortunately this completely broke the external compression. The resulting WMA files would be corrupted after being encoded. I’m not sure if this option works on other OSes, but if you are using Vista x64 don’t select it!

Here is the solution I found to the popup window problem:

  1. Hit Ctrl-Q to bring up the Compression Queue Control Center.
  2. Check the “Make all compression tasks sleep” option.
  3. Close the dialog.
  4. Hit F9, then go to the Tools tab.
  5. Check the “On extraction, start external compressors queued in the background” option.
  6. Optional: Set the number of simultaneous external threads equal to the number of CPUs that you have.

Now when you extract a CD all of the tracks will go into the compression queue. When you are done extracting all your CDs, go back to the Compression Queue Control Center and uncheck the sleep option. This will make all encoding tasks start (then go eat dinner or something else that takes a while).