A while back I looked around the net for a solution to the CD to MP3 scenario and I found the program: Audiocrusher
Now not only was this program free, it also allows you to use the Lame, or Ogg vorbis encoders to encode your music to (Obviously Ogg isn’t supported too well under Media player though
I used to use ripit.pl, cdparanoia and lame on my Linux/FreeBSD box to encode CD’s and it provided fantastic quality in very little time… so I was pleased to see that now Audiocrusher (www.sysdesk.de) now has support for Cdparanoia’s cd-ripping (which is rather good, and corrects most errors short of a huge scratch)
It’s easy to use, and just requires a little bit of technical knowledge to download the Lame Encoder - and it’s fairly customisable.
Hmm, I’ll have to try EAC though.
It worked for me at the time, and it’s nice, and the people who created it are fairly good at responding to bugs/suggestions etc … give it a try, it can’t hurt.
As said, there are no files on an audio CD (though windows tries to tell you otherwise - it’s just showing you an index that it makes up), the data is simply stored in it’s raw digital format with a few extra things for lead-in time etc.
You don’t have to use MP3’s if you just want to copy music disc to disc and in fact most decent rippers out there can rip the whole disc in one go and make a copy of it. I would recommend this if you want an exact copy, rather than go the mp3 way, however the mp3 way is good if you want to back up lots of music and then write it for use in lower quality systems (e.g. some car stereo’s, some home audio systems, walkmans etc)
Ripping a whole CD to raw format should take less time than encoding to mp3, but will use up approximately 600-700mb of hard disk space per CD but it’s all dependant on how many errors there are on the CD, and your hardware.
Again, just use Audiograbber/EAC and they’ll do the job for you - the extra stage of converting to mp3’s can be use - but please note that mp3’s are lossy and you are sacrificing some quality regardless of the bitrate (quality setting) you use.