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I have some old music CDs and I want to backup them before they stop working completely.

I know how to backup them technically but I am not sure whether to backup them as images or copy the music files to hard drive.

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Well, do you want to be able to listen to the music while it's backed up? Do you want to be able to put them somewhere else, or only back on a CD? – slhck Jan 12 '13 at 21:48
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have 'real' music CDs (CD-DA) you can't just copy the files. There are no files, or if there are, they don't contain the real data.

I recommend you rip the CD (i.e. converting the audio data to real files) and use a lossless audio codec for this. FLAC is a very good one. This way you don't loose any quality compared to the CD and still get a good compression rate.

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It seems like it is real cd. There is only some player and no visible audio data. – Jan Tojnar Jan 12 '13 at 22:01
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Just wanted to add there is a list of lossless audio format as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossless#Audio . – Peon Jan 12 '13 at 22:02
    
FLAC is good choice for me as I prefer free & open source solutions. – Jan Tojnar Jan 12 '13 at 22:03

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