There are many CD ripping applications for your consideration. Even with music streaming services and digital audio now dominating the market, pushing CDs, there are still a number of these tools that allow you to rip tracks from CDs using Windows Explorer. or a media player. And, they’re still essential, especially for archiving old albums, EPs, and singles.
Of course, not all CD rippers are the same. The quality of these ripped files will never be as good as the original discs due to errors while reading the data and compression while encoding them. That’s why it’s essential to use a CD ripper that keeps audio files as close to the original CD as possible, with complete and accurate metadata, encoded in a lossless format (usually Free Lossless Audio Codec, or FLAC) .
Although it requires a lot of space, the fall in the price of storage has made it possible for anyone to keep these files as a backup and make copies for daily use. You can also encode copies using lossy codecs for playback on devices with limited storage.
A “safe” CD ripper ensures that audio files are error-free by reading each sector of the disc multiple times and comparing the results with data collected from other users. There aren’t many of these reliable tools, and you don’t want to use something that would render your favorite music completely unplayable. These are the CD rippers we would entrust our own tunes to.
Are CD rippers legal?
Although every Windows PC comes with disk backup software, the use of CD rippers is not legal everywhere. For example, in 2014, UK copyright law was amended to legalize personal backups, but this decision was overturned by the High Court in 2015. Be sure to check your country’s intellectual property law. country before you start mining.
1. Exact audio copy
The best free CD ripper for Windows if you have time to invest in setup
Usually, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to software, with dozens of programs tackling the same task from different angles. When it comes to CD rippers, however, we only recommend two programs: one free and one premium (but still reasonably priced).
Exact audio copy is the free option, and it’s so good that many audiophiles prefer it over paid CD rippers. Setup takes some time, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to get you started.
EAC uses a technology called AccurateRip, which uses data from users around the world to detect if your rips are completely error-free. No CD or DVD player is perfect, and many will insert periods of silence into audio tracks where errors occur, so this check is essential for making 1:1 copies of your discs.
EAC can also find metadata for your music from four different sources (with album art), automatically rename files, and normalize audio as it’s processed. If you have the time to invest, you couldn’t wish for more in a CD ripper.
A premium CD ripper that makes archiving and encoding music easy
dBpoweramp is a premium CD ripper (a single PC license costs $39/£31/AU$39), but you can try it for free for 21 days to make sure it’s the right tool for you before buying it.
The main advantage of dBpoweramp over Exact Audio Copy is its clean interface, which helps simplify the process of ripping your discs. Otherwise, it’s very similar; it uses the same AccurateRip technology to ensure that your files are as close to the original CD as possible, by analyzing and re-analyzing for errors and comparing the results with data from other users.
dBpoweramp uses all of your processor cores simultaneously for the fastest possible encoding and can encode to multiple formats at once, so you don’t have to convert files to play on other devices.
dBpoweramp also includes an audio converter, with batch support for encoding files in bulk – very useful if you need copies in a different format for a new device, or if your daily playback files have been lost or damaged.