Music CD burning / ripping basics

My audio burner finally crapped out after years of being used to make CD compilations and convert vinyl to CD. After looking at replacing it I was persuaded that same digital quality could be achieved on my Dell laptop (Windows XP). My basic understanding is that I copy tracks to my hard drive then edit/order them to copy to CD. I want to be sure that I’m maintaining lossless audio quality throughout. I would like to have flexibility to do DJ type mixes and also have the playlist shuffle and have it replace my 400 disk mechanical CD changer.

A knowledgeable salesman advised me and sold me a Tascam Audio/MIDI interface which is hooked up to stereo and Cakewalk Sonar 7, which looks like way more than I need. At first Iwas up to learn how to use but have researched further and am not so sure.

It seems that software such as Exact Audio Copy and dBpoweramp might be better for ripping. I’m not sure if they give me recording and shuffling capabilities or if Sonar 7 or something else is needed.

Q1) What is the right stuff?
Q2) Have SigmaTel HD Audio CODEC soundcard; The laptop is from my company and used for business ao I assume its pretty basic; Should I plan on replacing card?
Q3) Any other suggestions on where I can get a basic overview of CD burning process and equipment / software to use?


Try Audacity and EAC. They are free.