Best process/equipment for convertion of CD collection to hard disk?


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Aug 10, 2019
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Hello all,

I have a fairly expansive CD collection which I would like to put into storage. I began ripping some of the CDs the other day, but after a few I found that the ripped versions are simply not upto the quality of the original CD. This comparison was made through the same system, the only difference being the source - original source vs ripped hard drive version. I tried several different methods and ripping programs, but was still not satisfied with the results.

Just to clarify, I was ripping to pcm wav format, have tried with and without error correction, on the slowest available speeds through different software and have used a mac and pc. I am a hobbyist producer, so as an experiment I imported a CD track into Pro Tools at 24 bit resolution and then bounced it down to a 16 bit pcm wav. This produced the best result, but is far too long a process to carry out on my entire collection.

With the amount of CDs I have to go through, I really want to get it right first time.

Does anyone now of a decent peice of hardware capable of the following:

bit for bit perfect rips to hardrive, expandable memory (via USB or Firewire external drives), audiophile quality playback, 24/96 compatibility

also, but not so importantly:

home network compatiblity (ethernet preferable), high quality digital recording from external sources (vinyl), compatibilty with internet based track recognition and naming systems (i guess this could be done after ripping but it would be nice to do it at the same time).

I know this is a big ask, but if anyone knows of anything that comes close, or can offer any other advice on how I can go about doing this, it would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.


As far as "perfect" ripping of the cds go... EAC is your program. Its widely regarded as the most lossless way to rip cds byte for byte.

This program can look confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it you will love it. Rip to .wav files like you were with the other program (uncompressed), then you can make the .wav files into Apple Lossess, by adding them to iTunes and changing the format. This is still equal in sound quality, and is some 30%++ smaller file size.

Heres a good guide for EAC.

Happy Ripping!


Thank you for your post Jonno. I have used EAC. I agree that it is the best ripping software. But I beleive that the quality/ease of the rip is effected greatly by the CD drive on your computer. I do not have particularly good drives in any of the PCs in my house, the only decent one being on my mac, for which there is no version of EAC. Do you know of a similar quality ripper for mac - because I can't seem to find one?

It is all these different factors that are involved in a good rip on computers that have led me to believe that the best/easiest solution would come in the form of dedicated hardware. This could also provide the means of playing said rips at audiophile quality as part of my seperates system.

As for lossless compression, although all the opinons posted on the internet seem to concur that lossless compression is of the same quality as the uncompressed original, I am not sure this is the case. I think when played on extremely high end systems, one of which I would like to own in the future, a difference will definatley be noticable, as any type of compression involves decoding and therefore the possibilty of artifacts. Whatever the truth may be on this point, with the declining cost of storage these days, I am happy to keep all my media in uncompressed format for peace of mind.

Once again,cheers for the post.


When you compared the original cd vs the ripped version, did you first burn the ripped .wave files to a cd-r? And not just play the music from your harddrive? So all settings are correct for eac? If you did this and it doesnt sound as good, it must be your CD drive. Also try with and without c2 error info on yr ripping program

Many people claim that if you copy a cd with a computer CD writer the quality can be increased, as its a more error free menthod then when the companys produce the cds from master copys. That is at least if you create an "image" to your computer rather then ripping waves. I forget the link but read this not long ago. So only weak link can be your drive assuming that yr ripper is ok. If you have ever tried iTunes you will know the quality between rippers is HUGE compared to EAC....

You cud always get a USB harddrive and use a computer with windows and rip your music that way, but could be very time consuming..... sorry dont know MAC well at all!

For windows at least
dB Poweramp is ok...

Iv used a laptop cd drive and an external cd drive, the external was 50% faster, and had more c2 error info. If anything it sounded slightly better but wouldnt say its night/day.

Forum here... is your best bet for ripping info for you id suggest. As for lossless formats... with FLAC and some other lossless formats, you can convert the .wave to FLAC, and then back again. The file size once converted back to wave is the same as it was to start with. So no data was lost, and the format is indeed lossless. Apple lossless is the same, but its not open source so I dont THINK you can convert back to wave after. But saying that, why would you want to? All lossless compression does is converts say ... 1111100000 to 1x5 0x5 .... and saves space, assuming that those numbers are data. Am borderlining on Bulls..t here lol but in the right idea from memory,


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