I have a CD collection to rip - and need advice



I have a collection of a few hundred CDs that I want to rip onto my computer for portability and fast access. I know how to rip CDs onto the computer, and I know how to tag MP3s, but I want to know what the best software/database is for these tasks. Basically, I have two questions:

  1. What is the BEST way to rip CDs onto my computer? I want something reliable that preserves the sound quality as well as possible. (I know bitrate is important here, and I usually rip at 192, but I’m thinking maybe there are some programs that still preserve quality better than others.)

  2. What is the BEST way to automatically tag my MP3 files? Obviously I don’t want to type in all the info myself. Some of my CDs are somewhat obscure, so I need a program that uses a pretty comprehensive database.

Ideally, I’d use a program that combines these abilities…I could rip a CD and tag the files at the same time. But I’ll sacrifice that convenience for quality, if necessary.

Thanks in advance to anyone who has any input!


I use MusicMatch. I purchased a lifetime subscription before I knew about CDFreaks… It does exactly what you are inquiring about (plus album art), but, I am sure that if there is something better, someone will chime in… I currently have ripped about 170 - 180 CD’s and I have over 200 to go…


Thanks Teflonmyk. I’ve used Musicmatch before, too. I generally like it…the only thing is, the supertagging feature crashes when I try to do too many files at at time, and doing them in small groups is time-consuming. Plus, it doesn’t find the info for a lot of my music. I was hoping that there was a better database out there, but maybe there’s not.

Also, is the sound quality of Musicmatch’s rips generally considered to be high? Maybe there’s not much of a difference between different programs in this regard…I just wanted to check.

Thanks again!


You could use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) with the LAME encoder and enable CDDB which will pull down the CD information. You can then configure the ID3v1/ID3v2 options to list whatever information you would like in the tags.

As for ripping, I would use VBR instead of 192 CBR to save disc space.
The ÃœberStandard from ÃœberStandard is a good example of how to rip good quality MP3s.

ÃœberStandard EAC Options

The Essential Ripping Guide for EAC is another good option.

You could also use CDex. It’s another excellent ripping option that can do what you seek.


Thanks Nemesys, I’ll check all that stuff out. In your experience, is VBR reliable for quality reproduction? That is, as reliable as 192?

Also, is the CDDB what Musicmatch uses, or is it different? Better database, worse?

Thanks again.


VBR is usually what is recommended for high quality recordings. Don’t forget that you can also set the maximum bitrate in VBR, so you can even set the maximum bitrate at 320. A 192 VBR encoding is just a good as a 192 CBR encoding but it creates a smaller file as it allows the higher bitrate where required and uses lower bitrates to save space where high bitrates are not required.

I’ve never been a fan of Musicmatch so I don’t know what it uses for CD database. Most applications use either CDDB or FreeDB.


I find the Frenhaufer encoder that Musicmatch uses superior to the Lame encoders when it comes to sound quality. The fact that Musicmatch uses the Frenhaufer codec was what made me choose this app, and I use it exclusively to encode MP3s.

BTW I don’t understand why you want to transcode your audio CDs to MP3 if you’re concerned with audio quality. :confused:

To rip the CDs, Exact Audio Copy is the best available app and it’s free. If you have damaged CDs, an excellent CD reader will be paramount, too.

For tags I can’t help, I don’t use that stuff much so I’m happy with what Musicmatch allows me to do.


Please dismiss this comment of mine, I discovered that my opinion was kinda outdated as Lame encoders have gone a long way. :o


Quality wise this is the best guide:


Thanks for the info everyone, I appreciate it a lot.


Thanks Darcode, :slight_smile: great link for EAC beginners and advanced users as well. To bad that the “Audio codec” section is still in construction.


Actually Nemesys :clap: beat me to it… :doh:


:confused: ??? Not sure what you’re meaning…?


Tag & Rename is far and away the best mp3 tagging program i’ve ever used.


Wow, Im glad to see the discussion that I concerned.


Quoting myself because I’m not sure you noticed it? :slight_smile:


True, but why employ a two step process when the tagging could easily be done during ripping.


He posted the link before me, se #4.


Prolly cause you haven’t tried The Godfather yet:
http://users.otenet.gr/~jtcliper/tgf/ :cool:
It’s freeware too :iagree: .


Windows Media Player can record files in .mp3 format now. Since the program automatically looks up CD info on Microsoft’s online database, you can configure WMP to automatically include any information (or lack thereof) on the .mp3 tags automatically.