In this article we will teach – how to digitise your CD collection.
Why digitise? A quick answer would be Futureproof. However, there are many other reasons.
How long will your CD player last out for? What if your DVD desktop drive packs up?
- Ease Of Use
Copy to a NAS or uploaded to your favorite cloud service, you can access your music files from anywhere on any device you care to mention.
- Sound Quality
The original CD will always sound the best. However, a good copy using the correct codec and bitrates will not be too far behind, and berely noticable.
Plus the copy will far exceed any Spotifi mp3 or iTunes m4a file.
What Do I Need?
Firstly you will need a good DVD drive.
Good news here is that all DVD drives will copy CD’s. But they are not built like for like.
Buy a Asus ZenDrive, or a LG’s BP60NB10 and you won’t go far wrong. Plus they fit in a USB caddy.
I use an a Pioneer Blu-Ray drive, which is capable for ripping through CD’s at high speeds. Infact any Blu-Ray drive is more than capable.
Again copying (or ripping as it is more commonly known) apps are plentiful.
Many users prefer something simple with just a few options. I reccomend two apps – One simple, the other more complex with very good results.
To keep things very simple Audiograbber is the first stage. This app has been around for decades.
Open General Settings and adjust:
Method to ASPI
Rip Method to Dynamic Synch Width
DAE Speed to 4X
You may also adjust the Rip Offsets to -10 frames, and enable Spin Up Disc before reads is a good idea too.
The freedb.org has now disappeared, therefore use proxy.gnudb.org to obtain the track titles.
AudioGrabber is fast and will do a good job of ripping your cd’s to wav files.
A wav is a music file which is an exact copy of a song. These files are very large, and not reccommened unless you have Gigabites of storage space available.
A more sensible approach would be to convert the indivudual song files into FLAC files, which are about half the size of a wav file without compression, therefore there is no loss of quality.
Think of a FLAC file as a ZIP file for audio.
Download the FLAC codec, and drop the downloaded files into the Audiograbber install folder.
Exact Audio Copy (EAC)
EAC like Audiograbber is free Software, and can be obtained from this link.
Once installed, head to the EAC menu >> Drive Options, and adjust the following setting for good results.
Choose Secure Mode with “Accutrate Stream” Feature ticked.
Under Drive tab, check the Autodetect read command.
Now head to EAC menu >> Compression Options. And adjust your setting to mimic those in the right hand picture.
Notice my path to the FLAC.EXE file. Please copy your FLAC files to your FLAC folder, and point the path to your FLAC folder.
Adjust you ID3 tags to your desired settings.
Adjust the settings under EAC Options (F9) >> General to your preferences.
Then start ripping.
I like to have the FLAC file created after the WAV file is created