Ideal Audio CD backup


Hello everyone,

I might ask an old question, but anyway have to, as I am new here, and somehow a newbie :slight_smile:

I would like to safely back-up my audio cd music collection. I identified two ways. 1. To save the tracks as wave files. 2. To save the CDs as images. What would you recommend and why?

Is it also useful to save the CD subchannels in the images of the CDs? How/Why?

I encountered at least one situation of a copy protected cd (Phil Collins - Testify). I am not sure I could remove all the protection with cdclone or anydvd. I tried to make an image of the cd with clonecd directly from the cd, and another image with clonecd and with anydvd started. Then I made wave files from each image. I also made wave files directly from cd, with and without anydvd started. All the 4 resulting CRCs of the tracks are different in dbpoweramp (or eac). I don’t know which is correct to keep. What would you recommend?

Thank you in advance for your answer.


Are you demanding absolute accuracy?

If not, then which one of the rips sound decent enough? If you can’t tell the difference from listening to each one, then it probably doesn’t matter which one to keep.


Thank you for your answer. I am concerned about accuracy. It is what I meant by saying “safely” back-up the CDs. I will not have them around anymore, so I have to be able to “make” anyone of them, anytime. I guess for the protected ones, I will have to listen carefully and compare, then to choose one, like you’ve said. The main problem is that for the moment I do not own good enough audio equipment, to distinguish between the variants.


Are you sure that Phil Collins cd isn’t just a defective disc? (Was it released in 2016 as a two disc set?)

IIRC, the record companies more or less stopped using extra drm on their audio cds by 2008 or 2009 (or slightly earlier).


What computer dvdr drive model are you using to rip your audio cd discs?


What exactly do you mean by “images”?

Is it copying the entire audio cd data into one giant *.wav file?


The CD is released in 2002 by Warner for Atlantic in US and WEA in the rest if the world. (I live in Europe.) It has a label “copy protected” . I also used A-Ray Scanner and it confirms the CD is protected with CDS 200.


I simply mean using Clonecd to make images of the CDs. Three files with the extensions .ccd, .img, .sub result from the process. Then I can mount the image in a virtual drive, like Virtual CloneDrive, and the player will see it as a physical CD.


LiteON iHAS122 W


I haven’t used the clonecd .ccd/.img/.sub container method. So I can’t really comment on it directly.

In the past I tried using the *.mkv container, which incorporated the *.wav file content and the cue sheets (which can be outputted by EAC). So when I played these mkv files I created, it could be played like an ordinary cd player using a generic video/audio player like VLC, media player classic, etc …

Though in the end, making my own mkv files turned out to be too tedious and a waste of time for me. (Possibly the same story if I had tried using the .ccd/.img/.sub container method).

It was easier for me to just rip each song into their own individual *.wav files. I can just drag and drop an entire directory with all the individual *.wav file songs, into a player like VLC. It functioned more or less like my old standalone cd player.


Thank you for sharing your experience. I am somehow more like what one would call an “audiophile”. I use the computer just to manage the files and sometimes to output the sound (as HDMI bitstream or as SPDIF pcm, and rarely I use the analog output of the soundcard - Asus Xonar DS 7.1 - with Wolfson DACs). I prefer to use an USB stick to feed the uncompressed files directly to the external DAC or to the receiver, as I will not have a dedicated CD player anymore (nor the physical CDs). Still, as this is a new way of listening to music, I would like to be able to restore the CD collection anytime if needed.


This is how my car stereo works nowadays. (A new car purchased a few years ago).

No cd player anymore.

So I just copy the *.wav files to flash drive, and plug it into the usb port.


Once upon a time back in the day, I was once an “audiophile” type. Not so much anymore, but I still do understand the mindset/mentality about technical “purity”.

Even today, I still play my audio cds on my standalone stereo from the early-mid 1990s. (I don’t listen to my cds much on the computer). An old Harmon-Kardon cd player.


Now it is the way to go, plus the streaming services. Apparently, there is no need/reason to keep the physical CDs anymore.


In spite of cd/dvd discs being somewhat space consuming and/or “old fashioned”, I still hang on to them in the event that I want to rip them again. Even if they’re just collecting dust in storage.

I still have my old vinyl record collection from the 1980s. In the end, I didn’t get rid of it back in the 1990s due to laziness and inertia on my part. (In those days, nobody wanted vinyl. You couldn’t even give it away).


I can understand why you keept the discs. Now I decided to make some space/order, especially because I will move abroad, and will not be able to carry many things with me.

I have chosen to keep the images of the CDs, instead of just the ripped wave files, although the quality is theoretically the same, just in case new technologies will come on the market, and having the CDs would be needed again.


If you are using EAC to rip audio cd discs, are you using burst mode or one of the secure modes?


This also came in my nowdays orientation from back in the day, as I am not anymore SO dedicated to purity of the music, as I was 20 years ago. Still, I can not ignore or tolerate bad sounding systems, and can not giveaway my music collection without being sure I can restore it if I want to.


Only secure mode from physical CDs and at low speed. I also like the interface of dbpoweramp. Plus, if I make waves from images, it works veery fast, and of course without the need for secure mode/error detection/correction, because reading the image is different than reading the physical disc.


I did some more googling and came to the realization that I am very familiar with CDS 200. I didn’t know its technical name was Macrovision “CDS 200”.

Back in the day circa early-mid 2000s, I had several EMI released cds which had “copy control” drm, which turned out to be various Macrovision cd drm schemes (include CDS 200).

Stuff like:

Iron Maiden - Dance of Death
Beatles - Let It Be (Naked)
Janes Addiction - Strays
The Bangles - Doll Revolution

IIRC, the EMI “copy control” cd drm sheme inserted deliberate bad sectors data every few seconds which would trip up then-current computer cdr drives (circa early 2000s).

The only dvdr drives I had which could easily recognize and overcome this EMI “copy control” CDS 200 drm scheme of deliberate bad sectors, were LiteOn models since 2004 or so. All the LiteOn dvdr drives I had since 2004 could get around this deliberate bad sectors problem on EMI cds with this CDS 200 corruption.