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The Best Format to Rip CD Audio: How to Choose [Article]

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Audio Basis - educational articles

CD ripper can extract compact disk's audio data to number formats when we convert CDs to digital music library. Read how to choose the best format to rip CD audio.

As rule the ripping process is not 100% safe. It have some probability of wrong data reading from compact disk. The best CD ripping software for audiophile should detect compact disk errors.

Thus first aim of CD ripping is single maximally qualitative CD-audio-data copy to sound file without any processing of music stuff.

Further these data may be converted to other formats and resolutions by your option.

Recommended the best format to rip CD is lossless ones:

  • WAV,
  • FLAC,
  • AIFF/AIF,
  • ALAC.
The Best Format to Rip CD Audio

What is the best audio format for sound quality? All these formats is absolutely identical by binary audio content and able to keep full CD's sound quality.

FLAC and ALAC store compressed data. And we cannot directly compare binary content WAV and FLAC, as example. But we can pack WAV1 to FLAC, unpack FLAC to WAV2 and compare binary content of WAV1 and WAV2. If a conversion software work correctly and without sound processing, the binary content will identical.

There is opinion, that lossless compression (like FLAC) can degrade sound when playback (was discussed here). For that case was implemented so-called "uncompressed FLAC". But the author still don't know about professional researches FLAC vs. "uncompressed FLAC".

 

 


Metadata issue

When compact disk is ripped, track metadata (song, performer name, etc.) may be queried Internet database. So target format must be storing metadata capable. All formats, mentioned in the article, is capable for metadata.

When you use iTunes on Mac, ripping to AIFF, ALAC is recommended, because both formats able to support metadata, that can be read by iTunes software.

When you use Windows or other Mac audio playback software to listening of ripped files, you have many options that have no issues with metadata for WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC.

When you use WAV format, issue with impossibility of reading metadata is more probable. As rule, more playback software/hardware have FLAC metadata compatibility. You can prefer uncompressed FLAC if you more like uncompressed storing of audio data.

 

 


Resume: What is the best way to store CDs digitally?

  1. The best way to store CDs is riping to lossless files WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC.
        CD ripping may be performed with errors. If you have ripping seance, that was performed without reported errors, it is recommended to backup the ripped files.
  2. Ripping to lossless formats is recommended for future conversion to other formats and resolutions. In the future may appear more qualitative audio converters and lossy formats.
  3. As rule FLAC have lesser probability of issues with reading metadata (song, performer name, etc.). But for iTunes compatibility AIFF and ALAC is recommended.
  4. If you prefer FLAC due better metadata compatibility, than WAV, but you don't sure that FLAC sound better, than WAV, you can choose "uncompressed FLAC".

 

 


Read more articles about CD ripping

 

 


Read other articles about audio and ripping issues