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). 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 the community package 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).


By default cdda2wav uses as its cddbp server to lookup CDs. was shutdown on May 28th 2020 and as of 13th of June 2020, this URL used for lookups no longer seems to operate. Wikipedia:freedb An alternative cddbp service provided by does exist and the parameters cddbp-server and cddbp-port could be used to access that instead.

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 #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.