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What Is Ripping a CD?

Ripping a CD does not mean tearing it up into two. (That’s actually impossible—and when you think about it, pointless.) Ripping a CD means to copy music from a compact disk (or, in its more familiar abbreviated form, CD) to a computer. You can copy it file by file or use special software that automatically do the job for you, often in mere minutes.

Why would people want to make computer copies of a CD they already own? Ripping a CD has its benefits. For example, people can compile different songs to create a “personal jukebox” of favorite hits or mood music which they can play any time they are working on their laptops or surfing on the web. Others want the convenience of being able to transfer these music files to portable MP3 players. An MP3 player can carry thousands of songs in a digital music archive that fits into your pocket—versus having to lug around several hundred CD’s.

Others save selected files into a new CD, picking out their favorite songs from an artist’s album and mixing up with others. Transferring data to a CD is called “burning a CD.” Very often a software that can rip a CD can also burn one. Some of the most recommended software for this purpose is the Exact Audio Copy (EAC), Nero Burning and Roxio. Many, like Microsoft’s Media Player are also available for free.

When you rip a CD you can select the best file format for your music files. .Wav files are the most “true” copies while the .mp3 copies compress the music file size.

Featured in DIY / Hobbies