Rip as a wave file with any program you use, this is no compression. I use Music Match but don't know what program is best so can't help on that. MM works fine for me.
The program generally considered the best for ripping CDs to hard drives is a free one called Exact Audio Copy, or EAC. It is slower than most rippers, but has the best sounding results. I tested it a year or two ago with some other rippers and could hear the difference.
Their home site is
Other good info on it can be found at
I wondered into a really interesting Cd store a while ago where the owner had parts of songs from every Cd in stock in his computer.
He used his computer to demo and all he had to do was start a conversation with a customer to sell a bunch of CDs. The service was so excellant that he had to be doing quite the business.
This does not help you but it does make for a great story, expecially for those who think that storefront sales are a thing of the past. Viva l' computer!
i dont know what music match is, but i bet it would play a wav file. as for playing shn and flac, i dont know that, either.
prpixel, EAC is very widely used and is good. there is nothing wrong with it! i wouldn't let the fact that its beta stop you from using the most fantastic digital audio extraction tool available.
Well, I just did a blind test comparing EAC to Windows media Player Lossless compression (900+ bit rate). All files were played through media player. Twenty three out of twenty four times I was able to tell the difference between the two which is significant. The bad news is that I actually prefered the Windows Media version. It was a little softer, a little darker in the attack of the notes. I've always know that my computer rig is just a tad bright and I guess the Media player files take the edge off of it. There's a lot of bare drywall, laminate floors and a big desk in my office which isn't helping any. So, I ordered a 200MB external USB 2.0 hard drive. I plan on ripping about 400-500 CD's to it.
Thanks for all the info,
If you want to compare the two I think you should have used a third program to playback on and not the Windows Media Player which may very well give you the biased results. If you remember in old days folks use to say that the cassette deck on which you do the recording will invariably play the tape better than any other. Are you not doing the same thing?
If you can please try on another program I would be very interested in your analysis.
Retest using winamp. Was able to tell the difference between the two 22 out of 24 times. I still prefer the media player lossless compression. I'm not saying that it's better then the EAC copy; I just prefer the media player version. I think the media player lossless compression version has a more "tube-like" presentation. I did not want to use that term because people are going to take offense. There is some softening of the attack of notes that I prefer on my computer rig which is slightly forward, or bright, in its presentation. Now, if I slid a tube pre-amp into the system I'm sure I would prefer the EAC version. In addition, the media player version takes a third less space on the hard drive. Granted, hard drive space is cheap.
I've been against MP3 from the beginning. I think it's an inferior format. But, I've seen the writing on the wall. In the near future, all our media is going to be stored on hard drives or solid state memory. Songs will be transfered from the "whole house" media server to portable players and car stereos using wifi. It's exciting times that we live in.
I'll keep listening to CD's on the main rig, but in the office I'll be listening off of a hard drive.