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How To Digitise Your CD Collection

Why Digitise My CD’s?

A quick answer would be Futureproof. However, there are many reasons.

  • Futureproof
    How long will your CD player last out for? What if your DVD desktop drive packs up?
  • Ease Of Use
    Copied to a NAS or uploaded to your cloud service, you can access your music files from anywhere on any device you care to mention.
  • Sound Quality
    Agreed the original CD will 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 decent 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.

Pioneer BluRay Drive

I use an old Pioneer Blu-Ray drive, which is capable for ripping through CD’s at lighting speeds. Infact any Blu-Ray drive will be more than capable.

Again copying (or ripping as it is more commonly known) software is plentiful. Many users prefer something simple with just a few options. I will reccomend two apps – One simple, the other more complex with better results.

Software (Apps)

If you would like to keep things simple Audiograbber which 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 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 pretty good job of ripping your cd’s to wav files.
A wav is a music file which is an exact copy a single song (16bit 44.1Khz.) 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 files into FLAC files, which are about half the size of a wav file but they are not compressed, therefore these 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 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 great results.
Choose Secure Mode with “Accutrate Stream” Feature ticked.
Under Drive tab, clieck 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