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The future of music is in the digital realm. The declining sales of audio CDs and the increasing sales of digital music in the last few years are the proof. Aside for not being as portable as digital music, physical CDs are also more vulnerable to physical damage. Not to mention the annoyances of having to change the CDs every time you want to play songs from different albums.
That’s why most CD owners – especially those who are always on the go – prefer to rip their collections to digital format. There are many CD ripper applications out there, but here are three best alternatives that (I think) will provide you with dead simple way to rip CDs.
Love it or hate it, iTunes is one of the most popular media players today. It’s also a great CD ripper. If you are an iOS device owner who wants to put the songs from your CDs to your device(s), iTunes is your one stop station.
We’ve covered iTunes many times before, so I won’t go too far about this one. Basically, every time you put an audio CD in your computer disc tray, iTunes will show it on the sidebar, grab the song information from CDDB, and offer you to rip it to digital format.
You can choose which digital format that you want to use from the “Edit – Preferences – General” menu. Click the “Import Settings” and you’ll see all the available formats. To retain the CD quality, choose lossless format; while for the best compatibility, choose MP3.
This one is an app specifically built to rip CDs. It supports more digital music formats than iTunes and uses a different online CD database. CDex would be perfect for those who manage their digital music player manually. We’ve covered the older version of the app back in 2009.
A little note for the paranoids: you need to fill in your email address before you can connect to the CD database to retrieve album/songs information. But you can use a fake email address and everything will still work just fine. I’ve tried it.
This one is a relatively unknown open source app. What makes fre:ac different from tons of other CD rippers out there is its speed. The encoder is designed to utilize multiple-core environment. While those with older generation machines will not see the differences, the ripping process will be a lot faster under dual/quad core processors.
The app will auto detect audio CDs and look for their information on the net. The information will be tagged into the result files and users can customize how the information is going to be displayed. And since fre:ac also supports Unicode characters, it can handle non-Latin song name.
To choose the encoder that you want to use to rip your CDs, go to General settings and pick the Encoders tab. This is also the place to determine where you want to save the conversion result later.
Choosing the format can also be done from the main interface. They can be accessed from the small arrows next to the play button.
What makes fre:ac different from many other similar applications, is that it comes with everything inside. So you don’t have to download several different elements/plug-ins just to make the app works.
There are many other alternatives to dead simple CD rippers. If your personal favorite is different, please share it (and why you love it) using the comment below.
Image credit: Gabyu