Rip Audio CDs

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CD rippers are designed to extract ("rip") the raw digital audio (in a format commonly called CDDA) from a compact disc to a file or other output.


Music is usually stored on audio CDs in an uncompressed format which requires a lot of space (e.g. 700MB for only 80 minutes of audio). This is because they have a constant high bitrate of over one megabyte per second. Extracting the audio from the CD usually involves compressing it so that it requires less space using either:

Lossless compression
same quality, roughly 1/2 the size. Examples: APE and FLAC
Lossy compression
lower quality, roughly 1/10 the size. Examples: MP3 and OGG


See Optical disc drive#Ripping for a list of available software. For example, to extract audio with cdrtools:

$ cdda2wav -vall cddb=0 speed=4 -paranoia paraopts=proof -B -D /dev/sr0

Some CD rippers support burning audio to a CD and transcoding on-the-fly (e.g. cdda2mp3).

Creating cue files

To allow cdda2wav to create CUE files, you must also specify -t all to switch cdda2wav into a mode that creates a single audio data file for the whole CD.

Alternatively to create a bin and cue file pair from an audio CD use cdrdao. For example:

$ cdrdao read-cd --read-raw --datafile cdimage.bin cdimage.cue

The cue file generated by this method is not the same as some may expect from tools like EAC. To convert the cdrdao formatted cue files to a "standard" cue file, try yatoc2cueAUR.


Tag editors

For some examples of audio tag editors see List of applications/Multimedia#Audio tag editors.

Converting to other formats

Re-encoding to another format can be done with lame, flac or FFmpeg. For example, to convert the output raw audio files from the example in #Ripping to highest quality variable bitrate MP3:

$ lame -V0 input.wav

To convert them to FLAC instead:

$ flac input.wav

See also

  • RIAA allow backup of physically obtained media under these conditions.
  • lame(1) manual page, for options and presets.
  • Hydrogenaudio's description of recommended LAME encoder settings.