Many CDs, no CD player (a question about ripping CDs)

Quick and basic and general question: why would someone rip a CD for storage as a digital file if they have access to the same album on Qobuz? 

In some ways I'm asking: in general, is there any difference in sound quality between a digital file (ripped from a CD) that is played through a streamer and the same album (same release) on Qobuz, played through the same streamer?

Obviously there are all kinds of variations and exceptions; I mean this as a general question. Of course we all have CDs that aren't on Qobuz and we may want digital files for times when we're away from our main systems or don't have access to the internet. I'm simply trying to understand if I want to rip a CD if I can play the same album on Qobuz.

Thank you all, as always!


I don't know crap but you can make an exact disc copy in DOS. The music services use a different format some better than others. I still use CDs, nothing is better than the original source.

Thanks. I've often heard people say that CDs sound better than streaming--so my question is really about whether a digital file (ripped from a CD) will also sound better. I've ripped CDs with dBpoweramp and I can get off my butt and do some comparisons with those files. But, for the ease of it, I'm noodling around with getting a ripper. I just don't know if it's worth it. (I will get another CD player down the road but I'm holding off on that purchase for now.) And ... I'm sure you know more crap than I do!

I think that my CDs ripped to FLAC files on a NAS drive sound better than streaming Tidal or Qobuz, and also better than through my CD player.  But the differences are very, very subtle.  I spend most of my time streaming for the convenience and for exploring new artists and music. 

I ripped all my CDs just as Tidal was coming out.  Would I rip them all today, knowing that I do most of my listening via streaming?  Probably not for the sound quality difference, but perhaps just to have access to music for those times when the internet is down.


Thanks, dinosore. That's exactly what I was wondering about. I appreciate that you took the time to respond.

Ripped CDs in WAV sound better than streaming and FLAC. If you have a highly resolving system you will hear it in the texture and timbre. Also streaming brings in a whole other mess of issues such as internet noise etc.

Ripped CDs onto an internal SSD or USB plugged into a streamer/renderer will give the best results except for actual CD spinning but that difference IMHO is just a fraction of difference, the difference between ripped CDs and streaming is much bigger. Most people won’t have a problem with ripped CDs because the convenience is immense.

Of course if you don’t have an extensive CD collection there’s downloads which are expensive or you have to use streaming.

Bit perfect rip of CD to NAIM Unitiserve beat any one of ten CD olayers….of course, that was 8 years ago……maybe somebody ( besides memory player ) has invented something better…..

I am a CD ripping robot

Outstanding. Thanks to all of you. This is *exactly* what I was asking about. Much appreciated. 


in addition to whatever you do, I think you should get yourself a CD changer. You don't need to spend a lot just to have an enjoyable unit. 

I researched, asked advice, tried this and that, finally found one I really like the sound of

Onkyo, Integra CDC-3.4.



Now going for a changer that also plays SACD’s. This Yamaha has 4 DACs, I just bought one, will keep the favorite in main system, use the other in my office.



Another variable to consider is that many releases have multiple versions. I have read many questioning which version of an album they are streaming. If you've got German Target, MFSL, Steve Hoffman-mastered, etc. CDs, ripped files from those are likely to sound better than the streamed random version. If you compare SACDs vs streamed hi-rez, the stream provenance gets even cloudier. Cheers,


correction, I misread

Yamaha S1800, single SACD/CD player has 4 Burr Brown Audio DACs, 24 bits/192 

Yamaha DVD-C961, DVD/ SACD/CD changer has 24 bit/192 DACs (s plural, i.e. 2? maker?). I presume if 4 they would have said so.

They were announced and released at the same time (2007), same price, single or changer. I errantly thought the audio DACs were the same,

One obvious answer is to convert to mp3 for play in the car.

Flash drives much easier than messin’ with BT.

Or to make mix CDs. Also easier.

CD changers are so 20th century. I gave all of mine away except for the one that does DVDs too. Never use it.