CDex Portable – The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows]

Mark O'Neill 27-09-2012

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] schubert cdexI 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.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex0

  • Under CD Drive, the options at the bottom. Select and deselect according to your preferences.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex0b

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.


CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex1b

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“.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex2


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.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex3b

Simply choose the right one, and the names will self-populate into the CDex app.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex4b


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.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex5

Click that and the ripping will start into the folder you specified.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex6

And in no time at all, hey presto. MP3 files of your songs ready to play.

CDex Portable - The Best & Easiest CD Ripping Tool There Is [Windows] cdex7

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“?

Related topics: CD-DVD Tool, Portable App.

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  1. Raman
    October 15, 2017 at 10:21 am

    The article was very helpful. Needed some more information regarding the same.
    Is there any way to convert the MP3 files that are being ripped through the tool into 320kbps files or the files are extracted in there original format.

    Thanks and Cheers!!:)

  2. Debbie Franklin
    December 24, 2012 at 2:15 am

    I've had trouble in the past with some of my burning projects so this is very helpful. Thanks once again.

  3. Anonymous
    October 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Do you know if CDex is still being supported? Looking at the webpage the last release was in 2009 and I've encountered a few issues with it. But if it is not being supported or development has stopped I'll look for another application.

    • Mark O'Neill
      October 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

      No idea. What were the issues that you encountered with it? The current version is working perfectly fine with me.

      Try contacting the development team and asking them what the status of the project is.

      • John Terdik
        October 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

        Sometimes when CDex displays the content of a CD it will list it as Audio Track XX and artist as no artist and album as no title. The same CD will display in FreeRip as track - The Afghan-06-XX, artist- Frederick Forsyth, album 06-The Afghan. I'm ripping a book to use on my phone and CDex is making it much more difficult.

        I was going to use CDex mainly because I can set the sample rate which is needed by another application (Smart AudioBook Player) I use on my phone..

        • Anonymous
          October 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

          OK I resolved my issues with CDex - there are settings that I had not configured. Once these were set then everything was OK.

        • Mark O'Neill
          October 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          As I indicated in the article, you have to access the remote database, and if your CD is listed there, the track names will be renamed accordingly. But only if it's in the database. I'm not sure if audiobooks are covered.

  4. April Eum
    October 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    thanks for the share, i should try this out

  5. Drew Butler
    October 7, 2012 at 1:03 am

    seems solid. thanks for the share :)

  6. Jake Thompson
    October 3, 2012 at 7:16 am

    This is really cool. I'm gonna check this out :)

  7. salim benhouhou
    October 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    i will try it , thank you for the explanation

  8. David
    September 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Have to disagree. CUETools CUERipper is much nicer and well designed.

  9. Freecycle Me
    September 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I wish to rip my audio book CD but whenever I try it, the sequence in the running order is always out of sync. The book is 4 hours long and chopped into one minute files on the cd. so when I play it, it does not go in order. Any ideas?

    • Mark O'Neill
      September 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      That shouldn't happen. Whenever I have ripped CD's with CDex, it always gets the audio files in the correct order. There's no reason why it would mess it up.

      Your best bet would be to use a software which rips the CD as one single MP3 file, instead of splitting them all up into countless files which can then get mixed up, After Googling the problem, people seem to recommend Exact Audio Copy. I haven't used it myself so I can't say whether or not it's good, but other people seem to like it.

  10. greyzimom
    September 28, 2012 at 6:57 am

    You won't go through this hassles and stuff--Check this out --Emoplayer. EmoFlower rating system which allows you (and your friends and family of course!) to rate music based on how it makes you (or them!) feel. So you come across a song which you’ve never heard before…Within seconds you feel PUMPED – Ready to take on the world! Well in case you forget, EmoPlayer will ensure that piece of media, and that emotion, stay linked! And when you’ve found your tune and linked up your emotion, “you can then share them with your Facebook friends and they, in turn, can do the same with you!”

  11. carie
    September 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I tried out cdex, but I keep getting an error: Cannot launch external encoder????

    Any thoughts?

    • Mark O'Neill
      September 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

      I've never seen that error before. Try downloading it again. That's all I can suggest.

  12. macwitty
    September 27, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Sounds (!) great
    Only one question - does it work on other computers after being synced by Dropbox? No problem when it has been synced?

    • Mark O'Neill
      September 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Being a portable app, it can be used across various computers yes. There's no installation files that tie it to just one computer.

      • macwitty
        September 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

        Thank you!
        As a Macuser I'm not very familiar with portable apps - just use a couple on a usb stick when I use others computer

  13. Rich Mc.
    September 27, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Thanks for the information, sounds like a great program.

    • Mark O'Neill
      September 27, 2012 at 7:44 am

      It IS a great program. One of my absolute favourites.

  14. bonioloff
    September 27, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Wow, great, it even can get the tittle.. and artist name.

    • Mark O'Neill
      September 27, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Provided you don't have anything too obscure. So "Chants of the Amazon Forest Monkeys" is unlikely to be in there. ;-)