What is CD ripping?
CD ripping refers to the process of copying audio files from Compact Discs to your computer hard disc. The more formal term for this is digital audio extraction. The difference between copying and ripping is that the second is associated with shifting to a different file format, and the source audio files are formatted so that they can be used in a computer file system. As CD audio format (CDA) files become useless if copied on computers, as they are only shortcuts to parts of the compact disc, they need to be converted to a different format (such as MP3, WAV or OGG) so that you can store them on your hard disc. In most cases, the preferred output file format is MP3.
What are the advantages of CD ripping?
Most people have large CD collections. There is no need to mention how convenient it is to have all the music on your computer, so you do not have to change the disc or spend a lot of time to find the song you would like to listen to. You can also listen to your music anywhere on your iPod without having to bring your CD holder with you. As MP3 files take less space, you can also save much more music on a single disc.
Is CD Ripping legal?
Many people argue whether CD ripping is legal or it should be considered a crime. The truth is, there are legal restrictions that vary according to the country you live in. In most countries, including the United States and Australia, it is legal for a person to make a copy of any unencrypted media they own, as long as they use it for personal needs and do not distribute it. This is considered “fair use”, or an acceptable exception to the copyright law.
Is it easy to rip a CD?
Converting audio files to MP3 format used to take a long time, longer than it actually took to listen to the music. Nowadays, the process is quick and easy with CD ripping software. All you need to do is select the CD tracks you want to rip and the output format and the program will do the rest for you. There is a great variety of software on the market to choose from. There are excellent ripping programs, such as Smart CD Ripper, that convert the audio with very high speed and quality.
[Editor’s Note: This post is a first post submitted by our guest blogger Jenny Gospodinova. She is interested in reviewing software and converters.