comfused about ripping?

To all my fellow Audiogoners. I am reading and trying my best to absorb all the infomation on ripping cds to a pc with great interest. I am still greatly comfused with this new technology so please have patients. I would like to know what sites will help me with the right infomation with building a system,what type of software that is needed , hard drive and also hardware such as needing a pc tower for storage and so on. I will be ever so greatful and would also like to know if you all are giving up on your cd players and would you consider the sound a leap compared to standard audiophile cd players on the market? Thank you all.
Well here's a few to start you off depending on whether using PC or Mac. These sites also provide info on the best players to use. You'll need to configure iTunes(if applicable) to get bit perfect playback, where as the VLC player is supposedly better for this.

For Windows users like myself, Foobar and Winamp are both winners. I forgot to add if using Vista OS, WMP is also very good.

dBpoweramp Music Converter™
ASIO4All Explanation (with Vista pic)
Computer Audio Playback - Setup Guide

For me it was a leap in sound quality and convenience. You can just buy an external HD or two to rip all of your music to.

Hope this helps
Thank you for your response. My other question to you is. I will need in order to play my ripped cds just a pc tower that will be connected to my home stereo, and are all pc towers alike when it comes to sound quility or is this dependent on the sound card or is this bypassed,and in order to protect my info I should purchase a back up HD. Please excuse my ignorance with this topic.
It's really your choice to use a sound card or not. You don't need one. You can use an external sound card or USB Dac. I would opt for the external conversion which ever way you go.

There are many factors here when choosing a PC. Do you want it for HT as well? Or is this for just 2 channel music. Do you want to go wireless or hard wired?

Yes it would be wise to back up your HD.

You could go PC> USB Dac> Home stereo
or PC> internal or external sound card> home stereo
or PC> wireless router > wireless receiver> Home stereo
The possibilities seem endless.
Again I thank you for this info. I would most likely go hard wired and 2 channel.
OK if your PC will be in the same room. I would go PC> USB DAC > Home stereo . It is the simplest of the group. No special PC modding needed. It is plug and play.. one usb cable and a USB Dac.. You'll have to configure your preferred player. This is explained in the links above to some degree.
Thank you very much and have a great day.
If you have $50/hr to spend i have a guy who will talk you though every
aspect of the setup. He's really great. I found him when searching for info on
setting up EAC (exact audio copy) because the setting are very confusing. He
has a free site online with instructions but i choose to just pay him for total
phone support. Very professional and patient.

he takes paypal!

let me know via email and i'll dig up his address for you.

(btw, i would recommend ripping to Apple Lossless since Flac can't be played
on an iPod if you ever decide to use one. I would also recommend not getting
a tower but something quiet like a Mac mini or a fanless PC or a macbook -
although some of the lower priced macbooks i think may be noisy.)
As I p[ut ion above DAC I became interested in it myself only or using digital to sore CD;'s because I know that CD-R's/DVD-R's have shelf life and for archving using my computer opnly made sense if sound didn't suck (like MD).Apple Lossless is prety close to ddientical to CD sound and price of harddrives is getting so low (you can get a half a Terrabyter or 500 gig for $150) that instead of jus making a copy of a CD ontopa CD-R which can develoipe dropouts in 4-7 years on average backiong musioc on HD's is one more line of defense.Copy and LP onto two CD-R's is my practice now and soon I will include a hard drive back up since I won't have to copmpress the hell out of it and make crummy recording.Now I know you can have dropouts on a HD or whole sector failures or maybe the bearing can go and HD will crash.I just hope that having three masters will allow me in 10+ years to assemble one intact recording from all three.As I read in an article a german chemist repotered that magnetuc tape is still best way to store music for 25+ years.But sine analogue Reel to Reel and DAT seem to be studio only formats (expense and uge reels with former and high deck maitenance with latter) the recording that will last hasn't been important to anybody making consumer gear which is too bad.Think it backs up what Fremmer said recently in Stereophile that he is martal enemy or many newspaper columnists who get audio beat but are computer people and know dick about good sound.Know this is on fringes of original post but is part of story
P.S. again sorry for not running spell check.Know it's annoying as my typing sucks but I always am impatient and forget!Sorry!Really try to be more brief and clean them up.