Laiq QureshiAug 09, 2007 16:37:34 IST
I know most people are content with downloading songs from the internet and dumping it on to their portable players. However, there are few (like me, I insist!!) who like to deal in good quality files only. Well, there are so many ripping software available, you will end up spending half of your time looking for a good one. The three applications listed in this feature are here on basis of quality, speed and easy of use.
Publisher: Exact Audio Copy
File Size: 1561 Kb
Download link: 1
Personally, I think this is the best CD ripper available. And guess what, it's free!! How is it different from other CD rippers? Well, let me explain. As the name suggest, EAC successfully manages to digitally extract songs on the CD with minimal information loss. I know of a lot of people who have tried using EAC without even managing to get half-decent results. It's the same reason why most people steer clear of it. To be able to use EAC, you will need to configure it to the right settings. I do, however, know some of those as well who have been ripping without any problems.
What I like the most about EAC is the secure-mode. And the fact that you can get the most out of a badly scratched CD as well. In secure-mode EAC goes over the damaged portions of the CD more than once if it failed to get the information out. How many times it should try can be user-controlled through the error recovery/correction quality settings. Most ripping softwares simply skim through the CDs and manage to get only the easy-to-get information out of CDs. Obviously, these applications are still used since most users prefer to go through the CDs as fast as possible. In secure mode, if the CD is somewhat battered, EAC will take a long time to create accurate track copies.
The amount of time taken by EAC on scratched CDs may depend on the condition of the CD, and also the Optical drive in use. I've ripped one of my old 'The Guess Who' twin-CD pack without any noticeable/discernible artifacts through EAC on my Samsung DVD re-writable. And it took me nearly an hour per CD. But trust me the CDs were nearly as good as being being picked up from the bin.
Just like the EAC, this one too has great CD ripping capabilities. What differentiates this one from the EAC is its Paranoia mode. This in essence does things similar to the secure mode of EAC, although the only drawback is that it doesn't function properly with drives that create cache data.
The only times I use CDex is when i have relatively less time to spend on my CDs, and the CDs in question are in good condition. I have, however, tried using CDex on some scratched CDs, and the results were good, although not as good as EAC ripped tracks. On certain tracks I did notice glitches, but like i said I use CDex for want of speed, and only with CDs kept in good condition.
CDex uses the Adaptec's ASPI library Manager to communicate with the CD-ROM device, so you need to make sure that you have installed the proper ASPI drivers. CDex will allow ripping to many formats like WAV, OGG and even FLAC. For MP3 you will need to instal the LAME encoder. The only reason I would suggest CDex over EAC would be the ease of use and configuration. Just make sure you configure the upper bound of bitrates to 320Kbps and lower bound to 32kbps - this will maximize quality.
File Size: 4.02 MB
Download link: 1
I have been using dBpowerAMP Music converter for years now, even before I discovered EAC or CDex. In my opinion, if you need to rip CDs without bothering to manually configure your converter, and want faster and better results, then this is the thing for you.
To begin with, the program comes equipped with both Blade and LAME mp3 encoders and incorporates CDDB lookup for automatic naming of tracks. If it doesn't, you can just go to the configuration tool and get the necessary encoders installed. To make this application run, all you need to do is select the tracks you need to rip from your CDs, check the bit rate (192/320 Kbps), select either Blade or lame, and you are ready to go.
The latest dbpowerAMP not only supports the usual file formats but also includes AAC, Monkeys Audio, FLAC and even Apple Lossless (ALAC). All you need is the dBpowerAMP power pack, and start ripping. The power pack also allows users to normalize track volumes, and also preserves ID tags. This ripper, although a great tool, does fail to work on weathered CDs.
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