I recently inherited a huge amount of German classical CD’s, and since I spend all day sitting at a computer, my first instinct was to burn all of the disks to MP3 format so I could listen to them on the PC, while I worked (as well as having a backup copy in case the disks get damaged or lost). But when you have something like 100+ CD’s, you want to have a ripping tool that can streamline the process for you, and have it done with a minimum of effort. Otherwise the whole ripping process just becomes a complete drag.
CDex ticks all of those boxes and the portable version, brought to us by Portable Apps, is a delight to use. It’s fast, it’s easy, and being portable, requires zero installation. What is there not to like about it?
Today I’d like to walk you through me ripping one of Franz Schubert’s little numbers.
Download & Check Out The Options
Being portable, there’s no installation required. So just download from the Portable Apps page and extract the package onto your computer (I put it in my Dropbox folder for easy access). Then open the app up.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is take a look at the settings under Options. There are really only a few options you should consider changing and the rest left well alone.
The ones you should look at are as follows :
- Under Generic, the option Automatic Shutdown After Ripping / Encoding. I tend to say no to that, because I am normally doing other tasks, while ripping, and I don’t want the computer shutting down.
- Under Filenames, the location on your computer where the ripped tracks should go.
- Under CD Drive, the options at the bottom. Select and deselect according to your preferences.
OK, that’s it. You’re ready to rip. Insert your CD into your computer CD drive and lets go.
Ripping The CD
Once you insert the CD, the song files will instantly show up on CDex. Now sometimes the proper song names will show up, and sometimes the files will be called “AudioTrack 01“, “AudioTrack 02“, etc. This can be seen below when I inserted my Schubert CD. It will also show the artist and album name as “no artist” and “no title” respectively.
Now you could go ahead and rip your CD right now, but the files would not be named properly, which I’m sure you’ll agree is not the best way to go about it. How would you know which song was which? So the next step is to rename the files as well as get the proper album name and artist. CDex is able to connect to a remote database that looks up this information for you.
All you need to do is go to the CDDB option in the top menu bar and choose “Read Remote freedb“.
This connects to the remote database and, all going well, a short moment later, you will either get the files renamed right away (assuming the CD is not too obscure). Or alternatively in my case, the remote database found two possibilities and I had to pick one.
Simply choose the right one, and the names will self-populate into the CDex app.
OK, now you’re ready to begin the ripping process. The more observant of you will have already seen those buttons going down the right hand side of the app. Assuming you want MP3, the one you want is the second one down.
Click that and the ripping will start into the folder you specified.
And in no time at all, hey presto. MP3 files of your songs ready to play.
As I keep saying to everyone who asks me for a good CD ripping tool, CDex is one of those tools that any computer user can use, whether it’s a complete novice or a complete expert. It is totally impossible to do anything wrong.
Tell us in the comments if you use CDex and what you think of it. Or maybe you disagree with me and you have a better candidate for “totally easy CD ripping tool ever“?