Recommended ripping software (Windows 10)

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
#1
Just wondering what the consensus is for ripping CDs to FLAC in Windows 10. I've had rather spotty luck with Windows Media Player (especially around tags) and would like something a little more reliable.

Suggestions?

Thanks!
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
#2
There is nothing wrong with iTunes despite what some may claim. CD rips done using iTunes have been demonstrated to be bit perfect copies, assuming you use that setting and sacrifice a small amount of rip speed in favor of error correction on the fly. However, you can't rip to FLAC, the encoder option for lossless compression is ALAC only.

Apple may finally be coming around on that issue, as iOS was quietly made FLAC compatible about a year ago, however so far no movement with iTunes itself to the best of my knowledge. Corporately speaking Apple doesn't want people ripping CDs anymore, they have for some time now wanted you to buy iTunes Store lossy downloads, or more recently sign-up for the Apple Music lossy streaming service, so in that sense changes/enhancements to the ripping capability of iTunes seem unlikely.

There is no real practical difference between FLAC and ALAC, pretty much all major music playback software supports both, and it's easy to convert one to the other as well, but understandably most people don't want to bother with any extra steps and still view ALAC as proprietary even though Apple open-sourced it way back in 2011.

Windows users that nonetheless shun iTunes based on belief in the now ancient flawed lore about its supposed CD ripping inferiority (or just have strong aversion to ALAC) will use Exact Auto Copy in the freeware realm, or dBpoweramp at a quite pricey $68.

Other full featured options that are useful well beyond just CD ripping include JRiver Media Center, which to me is a no brainier when comparing cost and features to something like dBpoweramp. JRiver does a zillion other things besides CD ripping and costs less than dBpoweramp.

Or, if you had access to a Mac the XLD freeware is absolutely superb and has been for many years now, but there is no Windows version.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
#3
Windows users that nonetheless shun iTunes based on belief in the now ancient flawed lore about its supposed inferiority (or have strong aversion to ALAC) will use Exact Auto Copy in the freeware realm, or dBpoweramp at a quite pricey $68.

Other full featured options that are useful well beyond just CD ripping include JRiver Media Center, which to me is a no brainier when comparing cost and features to something like dBpoweramp. JRiver does a zillion other things besides CD ripping and costs less than dBpoweramp.

Or, if you had access to a Mac the XLD freeware is absolutely superb and has been for many years now, but there is no Windows version.
Unfortunately, the only Mac I have is my Macbook Air which does not have an optical drive, otherwise XLD freeware might be a good option. Given that my power user machine is a Windows 10 box, I'll give Exact Auto Copy a try. JRiver sounds intriguing, but seems a bit overkill for what I'm looking for, especially since I don't need my media libraries managed. If EAC is a no go, then I'll look into JRiver and dBpoweramp.

(I'm trying to stick to FLAC as I'm unsure whether or not Logitech Media Server will play well with ALAC)

Thanks!
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Unfortunately, the only Mac I have is my Macbook Air which does not have an optical drive, otherwise XLD freeware might be a good option. Given that my power user machine is a Windows 10 box, I'll give Exact Auto Copy a try. JRiver sounds intriguing, but seems a bit overkill for what I'm looking for, especially since I don't need my media libraries managed. If EAC is a no go, then I'll look into JRiver and dBpoweramp.

(I'm trying to stick to FLAC as I'm unsure whether or not Logitech Media Server will play well with ALAC)

Thanks!
LMS should be fine with ALAC these days, an eternity ago I believe it was incompatible, but at some point that ended and I don't think it even took until Apple open-sourced it in 2011.

EAC should suit just fine, though they oddly stay silent on Windows 10 compatibility, however for every one person who has trouble with EAC on Windows 10 there are a bunch more that have smooth sailing.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
#6
An external drive like this LG Super-Multi should work well with the MBA. No need for Apple's pricey SuperDrive, which is a really nice unit, but at well over twice the cost.
My Mac Mini has no optical drive as well and I picked up an Asus external drive for about the same price. Ripped many CD's with this; either brand would work just fine.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
#7
My Mac Mini has no optical drive as well and I picked up an Asus external drive for about the same price. Ripped many CD's with this; either brand would work just fine.
Yes the Asus brand drives are certainly good quality. There used to be other good choices, 10-15 years ago the majors began to see the writing on the wall for their optical drive businesses and instead of just immediately shutting them down (as bean counters are known to do) they spun them off and formed joint ventures.

Toshiba and Samsung combined their optical drive businesses to form TSST, and Hitachi and LG did the same to form HLDS. Both continued to make good quality drives that started at about $30. Eventually TSST was sold to a Korean company called Optis that declared bankruptcy in 2016.

Sony and NEC also formed a joint venture, with Sony eventually buying out NEC's shares in 2008, but by 2013 they had shut it down.

I don't know what became of Pioneer's optical drive business, they were very high quality drives but probably were sold or spun off when Onkyo acquired Pioneer.
 

Kyle

Junior Member
#8
Just wondering what the consensus is for ripping CDs to FLAC in Windows 10. I've had rather spotty luck with Windows Media Player (especially around tags) and would like something a little more reliable.

Suggestions?

Thanks!
Since you were asking about Win 10 in the original post:
Download "Exact Audio Copy" and "FLAC Frontend".
EAC will let you output FLAC to your hard drive or anywhere else that's on the same system. Use the "Compressed" button on the left column to save as FLAC. When the pop up opens for album cover, you can add a jpg for the album cover that will show up on screen. Pick something around 600dpi and it will be clear enough to read.
 
#9
Exact Audio Copy users should also spring for the $10 "GD3 Metadata" plugin. There's a brief demo period included in EAC, and then the service is a whopping ten bucks for a lifetime license (lifetime of whom?) The metadata seems to be of higher quality and more consistent than the free services, and GD3 usually includes 1000x1000 cover art images.

It has cut at least 5 minutes per disc from my CD backup routine.
 
#10
Exact Audio Copy users should also spring for the $10 "GD3 Metadata" plugin. There's a brief demo period included in EAC, and then the service is a whopping ten bucks for a lifetime license (lifetime of whom?) The metadata seems to be of higher quality and more consistent than the free services, and GD3 usually includes 1000x1000 cover art images.

It has cut at least 5 minutes per disc from my CD backup routine.
Sounds like money well spent. During all my initial cd rips, I decided (for no good reason) that I didn't want to mess with metadata. Didn't care. Had I done it right the first time, it would have saved me a lot of aggravation.
 
Top