How to Rip CD [Mac Windows Software]
audio file converter for music production and hi‑end audio

How to Rip CD [Mac Windows Software]


What does rip cd mean? Rip or extract or copy or grab or convert CD audio means reading audio data from a compact disk and storing the data into computer files. To extract a CD, ripping software is used. Read this step-by-step guide and watch the video on how to convert CD to music files and what is ripping sound quality.

How to rip CD audio on Mac and Windows

To rip CD audio on Windows 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 or Mac OSX to WAV, FLAC, mp3 and other formats:

  1. Insert music compact disk.
  2. Start audiophile safe CD ripper AuI ConverteR 48x44:

  3. Push Open button and select track(s) from CD-audio (file placed on CD). *
  4. In right part of the main window, select output (target) file format (.mp3, .flac, .wav, .aiff, .alac, etc.), sample rate and bit depth.
  5. In Directory output files, select absolute path.
  6. Assign album artwork *
  7. Push Start button and wait for the end of extraction. Check ripping errors.
Watch and share: How to rip CD audio to WAV, FLAC, mp3 and other


* AuI ConverteR 48x44 Free allows ripping the first CD-audio track in the "Source files" list of the software main window.
For the second and further input CD-audio tracks, 2-second of silence will be muted in the middle of the ripped files.
CD ripping of all tracks in the list is available in PROduce-RD and configurable Modula-R editions.
Free edition doesn't assign artwork to the ripped files. Artwork assigning is available in all-included PROduce-RD and configurable Modula-R editions).
Read more about price options here >


Sound quality

Lossless CD extraction

To extract CD audio in lossless mode:

  • In the right bottom of the main window, push Settings button. In Settings window > General > check "Don't make DSP..." switch;
  • In the right part of the main window, select output (target) format WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, sample rate 44100 Hz and bit depth 16 bit.

Read How to choose best CD rip format >


Compact disk reading errors

In ideal, a CD ripper software must get CD data without errors. It is maximal sound quality.

Error here is a difference between audio data into ripped files and files, that were used to record the CD. This difference is out of control of CD user with any CD ripper.

To find reading faults, CD rippers use optical drive abilities and additional compact disk data processing.

But no one ripping software guarantee 100% probability of correct error detection.

Fortunately, most optical disks are extracted without faults. Recovered errors may be there.

CD drive is a very important matter for fault detection and recovery of broken data. The drive detects and tries fix faults directly during physical medium reading. Some devices form C2 error flags. However, as the author knows, C2 implementation is different for various devices and not all drives form these flags.

CD extraction software may be a matter for successful fault detection.

We should consider CD drive and ripping software as single system in every case.

CD rippers may perform non-correct data detection procedures. Some of rippers use C2 flags there. The detection procedure implementation depends on compact disk extraction software.

If fault is found, AuI ConverteR try to recover damaged audio data.


For details watch video and read how to choose best CD rip software >


If CD ripper performs resampling, sound quality is a matter of used software.



Tips and tricks

  • To open all tracks, use Open dir button.
  • Use always absolute target directory (example: c:/music). It is impossible to use a relative folder because it is placed on CD.
  • AuI ConverteR uses safe extraction with maximum available abilities. There is no necessary to adjust the extraction software's settings to achieve its best result.
  • Safe extraction is a slow process.
  • To achieve maximal effectiveness and reduce CD-drive load, CD tracks are extracted sequentially (track-by-track).
  • If CD tracks are resampled, the sound processing of several tracks is performed parallelly (if the software edition allows it).
  • AuI ConverteR gets text metadata from free Internet database. The ripper assigns the target directory and track names according to metadata.
  • If the CD extractor found a fault, it does not mean that real wrong information is there. Because non-correct data may be recovered into the optical drive and the ripping software.


CD ripping error displaying

AuI ConverteR uses safe ripping technology by Audiophile Inventory. The technology allows being offline Internet during ripping and suitable for rare CDs.

If ripping is finished with errors, in the main window > Log tab, CD ripping error table will be shown.

Each row is CD track with an error. There are fatal errors (cannot be fixed by CD ripper) and probably recovered errors.

Recovered errors don't guarantee, that data is recovered correctly.

Below the table, RED light shows that fatal errors are present. The AMBER light shows probable recovered errors only.

Both fatal and probably-recovered errors may be either audible or inaudible.

If compact disk extraction issues are there, you can see it on ripped file's timeline with visual error display.


Read more about safe CD ripping technology...


Assign custom metadata application

AuI ConverteR allow to assign custom metadata application (in some versions) that meet special requirements.

See Settings > CD ripper / ISO:

CD metadata executable - path to application for access to Internet database with CD metadata. The application should works with templates (see below) like cdmetadata utility.

CD metadata executable params - command line parameters of the application.

Command line templates:

%driveletter% - drive letter of asked CD (for Windows).

%cddbfilename% - name of *.cddb file with metadata description, that should generate the executable.

The name of the file should be generated in format "audio%num%.cddb",
where %num% - sequential number of .cddb file, that generated by the executable. There are may be several files, if the database has several entries for asked CD.

Example of parameters:

"%driveletter%" "%cddbfilename%"


Internet database with metadata

AuI ConverteR is capable to get text metadata from Internet database.

Some CDs can have multi description in Internet CD-metadata database. As example, descriptioons in different languages.

If the database return several descriptions for one CD during ripping, AuI ConverteR show to user request window.

Multy entry in CD metadata database

In upper drop-down list possibly select what metadata you prefer.

If pushed Cancel button, all metadata will ignored.



Every or almost every compact disk is ripped with fatal errors or ripping is hang or broken

You use builtin IDE/ATA CD-drive

You can try external USB drive to read CD.


You use external USB CD-drive

First, check and/or replace cable. As rule, thick qualitative cable is required. Also, some cables contains two USB connectors. Try connect both ones.

Using of doc stations, connected to computer, also can cause ripping errors. It's recommended to connect CD-drive's USB cable to the computer directly.

If you uses Mac with USB-C only, it's recommended to use USB-C CD-drive device.



How to rip CD on Mac, Windows



Frequently asked questions

What is the best software for ripping CDs?

The author don't know public serious researches what CD-ripper is actually the best (safest). About criteria and methods, that you can perform right at home to test CD-ripping software read here...


How do I rip music from a CD onto my computer?

How to rip CD on Windows and Mac OS X read here...


How do I rip a CD onto my Mac? How do I copy a CD onto my Mac? How do I rip a CD to my MacBook Pro?

How to rip CD on Mac OS X read here...


Is iTunes good for ripping CDs?

For majority of cases used CD-ripper software is not matter.

If you have audible sound quality issues with iTunes, see here.


How do I import a CD to iTunes on a Mac? How do I rip a CD in iTunes?

  • Insert a CD-audio into CD-drive, that connected to your computer.
  • When iTunes show tracks, choose "Import CD".
  • Choose target ripping format and rip the CD-audio.

If you have issues with sound quality (interruptions, silences, pops/clicks, etc.) check "error correction" option in import settings or try alternative ripping way.


Can iTunes rip CDs to mp3?

Yes, it can. When import CD choose mp3 format.


What is the best format to rip CD in iTunes?

AIFF (.aiff) or ALAC (.m4a) or WAV (.wav) may be recommended as lossless formats.

However, ALAC have lesser size. WAV may have issues with metadata processing in a musical software.


Does ripping CD ruin it?

CD ripping is more intensive process than usual playback. As rule, compact disk is re-readed several times.

Optical disk is readed contactless way. But some mechanical load due rotation and laser heating may impact with time to the disk physical properties, theoretically.

Author don't know about real cases of optical disk damaging due ripping.


What does burning CD mean?

Burning CD is copying files (including audio) to re-writable/writable CD with special burning software and writable CD-drive.


What is the difference between burning and ripping a CD?

Ripping CD is extracting compact disk data content to computer files.

Burning is recording computer files to compact disk.


Read more at CD ripping F.A.Q. >


December 3, 2022 updated | since August 24, 2018

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