cd rippers icon CD Rippers

Which CD Rippers encode with
high quality and are still fast?

CD rippers are applications which can copy music tracks from your CD to the HD of your computer, usually at multiple speed.

But audio tracks cannot be accessed the same way as data, which are filed in sectors. Music is written in one continuous spiral and that seems to be harder to read for some mysterious reason (maybe because audio also uses a simpler form of error correction code).

You need jitter correction, special drives and such gimmicks to get that audio to your HD without distortion. And that leads us to the question,...

What's really important for high quality ripping?

1. A fast and compatible CD-ROM drive:

Extracting audio from CD doesn't have anything to do with playing audio on your PC. While all drives can play, only the better ones can transfer your tracks digitally to your HD without any errors!!! Also the speed for reading audio differs from reading data. It's usually much lower.

Therefore you have to watch out for

  1. jitter-free audio-extraction
  2. high digital audio reading speed

2. A good codec (the "formula" by which the music gets compressed):

In order to compress files to mp3 you need codecs installed on your system. Go to this page Mp3 Encoder - Music Software Reviews in order to find out more about the best encoders.

Just to give you the essence about encoders here. The best sound quality at the moment produces the Lame encoder at a good encoding speed. If you need really fast encoding with slightly less quality you can use the Xing encoder. Also the original Fraunhofer codec is not bad. But Lame is slightly better now.

3. Compression Software:

If you are not an extensive user of compressed audio files you can stay with the windows media player. This software is usable and does a good job without any additional installation necessary.

For professional purposes I would use a freeware program that really convinced me. Exact Audio Copy together with the lame encoder. It has a straightforward user interface and is quite easy to handle.

You can use it with a lot of different decoders so there is room for future developments. It's main advantage however is the ability to copy files perfectly. It has a built in error detection and this feature alone is worth using it in a professional environment.