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I'm seeking recommendations for ripping audio CDs and encoding them to ogg vorbis (preferred) or mp3 format. Although most of my new music acquisitions are already in digital format, I've got a library of 1000+ audio CDs that are just sitting there taking up space. I'd like to find an efficient way to convert these into ogg vorbis or mp3 format.

I currently have 5 computers (at home) running a variety of different versions of Windows and linux. I'd like to take advantage of the idle cpu of these system to rip and encode the CDs. Some desirements:

  • high quality rips (a la EAC or bladeenc)
  • prefer ogg vorbis encoding
  • encodings are binary identical regardless of which system performs the encoding
  • automated downloading of meta-data (tags, album art, etc)
  • logging or dashboard of current state of the system. e.g., what has been ripped, what has been tagged, what has been encoded, which system has performed what actions. too obsessive-compulsive?

My ideal scenario would be to spend a weekend to get it all done. 1000 cds / 5 systems / 48 hrs ==> 15 minuts per cd per computer. Is there any software out there that would make this feasible?

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I just had an image of a massive and overly complicated Rube Goldberg machine to handle this task pop into my head. –  TheTXI Jul 16 '09 at 3:19
Yup, that is probably why this has been on my backlog for the last 10 years. Somebody, please, show me another way. –  erichui Jul 16 '09 at 3:54

3 Answers 3

You will need much more than a weekend if you plan to sleep. If you're lucky you might get 20 hours to spend on the CDs in a weekend, but you will be bored stiff. At that rate it will take 12 weekends to finish. You have a lot of CDs, so it's going to take a long time regardless.

A relative of mine has several hundred burned CDs of music, which is much simpler than ripping, but still time consuming. Rather than tackle it all at one time, he just popped in a CD to burn every time he walked by the computer.

It will be difficult to get bit-perfect rips for every single CD. Exact Audio Copy uses the AccurateRip database to give you some reassurance that your rip is probably perfect, but there's no getting around the fact that Red Book does not include error correcting codes. If you have any scratches you won't get bit-perfect rips.

The rip from the physical media will be the most time consuming, error-prone and annoying stage. It is difficult to automate without expensive hardware, but if you do it properly it only needs to be done once and you can automate everything on the PC after that. Just rip to BIN/CUE or WAV/CUE and you won't need the CDs anymore.

I've written up some short blog entries on a few things I figured out trying to get those perfect rips. Hopefully this helps.

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+1 For the reality check about how long it would really take and the boredom observation. :) –  therobyouknow Apr 13 '10 at 12:05

Personally I rip all my CD's to flac ( free lossless audio codec ) which at the default level is not very demanding. I can easily rip a CD in 5 minutes. I use Easy CD extractor which I paid for about 13 years ago and I have had free updates since so I feel I have had good value from the software

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+1 for FLAC. I agree about using FLAC. If one is going to invest a lot of time ripping then why do it to a lossy format such as mp3 or ogg. Sure do this but keep the most highest quality FLAC as well. –  therobyouknow Apr 13 '10 at 12:05

Because of the physical limitation of having to insert / eject all the CDs, I'm not sure what to tell you there, but if you have multiple types of (non-DRM) audio files that you want to convert to a single format, Switch by NCH Software is a handy tool.

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