What are you using to rip your cds to a hard drive?


I had been using the cd drive in my old laptop to rip cds to my external hard drive.  I have since bought a new laptop that does not have a cd drive.  To get a cd into the computer I am using a cheap external disc reader.  What are you guys using to spin those silver discs into hard drives?  I think I need something better than what I have, but I don't think I want to spend thousands of dollars to buy a disc drive.  My budget would be less than $1,000,

What do you think?

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Kenrus - No need for a fancy new disk drive - the one in the PC is perfectly fine. After all it transfers data for large companies, so it's good enough for me :-)

The drives in the various "vaults" are no different - but some like to believe they are :-(

Just get DB Ripper - I like it's ability to let you know if there are errors on your disks (due to scratches) that may/will impact your sound.
https://www.dbpoweramp.com/cd-ripper-setup-guide.htm

Unfortunately it will not repair detected issues

Regards - Steve
Exact Audio Copy - free
If your external drive is one of the "slim" types I would replace it with one that uses the kind of 5.25 inch drive mechanism that is used in desktop computers. Such as this OWC Mercury Pro, for $69.75. Or, alternatively, you could purchase an Asus bare drive or other high quality 5.25 inch bare drive from Newegg.com for less than $20, and put it in an inexpensive external drive enclosure that provides a SATA internal interface and a USB external interface. Many such enclosures are available at Newegg.

The reason I make that suggestion is that I’ve found that various slim external drives, and also optical drives that are built into laptops, often have problems reading discs that are in less than perfect condition. While those same discs will be read by inexpensive 5.25 inch drives with no problem.

I also concur with the others that the software that is chosen should assure bit perfect copying.

Regards,
-- Al

+1 on dbPoweramp and as usual Al give good advice on the actual disc drive part of your question.
Bedt bang for the buck and then some.
A tech st Bryston turned me on to it D B power amp .
JRiver Media Centre 20
What I have found. No rip sounds as good as the CD. I’ve tried everything including upsampling them to higher bits. I know it the rave now, but I found my CD’s sound just great on my Esoteric K01 as well as my old vinyl that I can enjoy at times. But I listen to my vast CD collection more and I enjoy it as much. I know TAS and the rest rag on CD’s as much as they can because they know old folks are not going to stream or rip and vinyl is what they have and grew up with and tech folks and younger grew up with downloading and streaming. But in my view if you have a good number of CD’s then put the money into a excellent CD player and enjoy and keep buying! I just listened to the Beatles anthology 3 and some tracks my wife yelled to me Honey they sounded like they are in the room. She is not a phile. I been in audio 35 years and owned tube and solid state vast vinyl and in 1993 when digital got much better in CD’s and the discs I own would never have be found in vinyl nor released even today. CD was great for the major company’s to release so many titles the likes which we may never see again. Enjoy music and keep collecting and don’t let those in the rags tell you because what they say about brittle harsh CD I don’t find that to be true. And I place no truth in them anymore. Their are a sales tool now and many follow their word. Your sound is never better that the source and production and mastering quality. Vinyl is not better than a CD, problem with early digital was technology and understanding and like any medium including vinyl as medthods and recording quality got better so did the sound. Golden age was 50’s through mid 60’s then more tracks and compression used, till today you rarely have a group in the studio recording together. It's the mastering that is the issue not the format and is always the case vinyl included. 
I use Music Bee....surprisingly a free download. Supports just about every high-rez format...including SACD rips. I’m ripped my entire CD collection to FLAC. It is now all on a 2TB hard drive plugged into my Oppo 105D.
I use an iMac with an external Apple disc drive to to rip my CD's to FLAC files via DB Power Amp software.  I use the $39 premium version instead of the free version and it WILL repair inaccurate frames if you choose to use the Secure Rip feature.  This may sound like a lot of work, but I place Still Points under the disc drive and a weight on top of it, then clean each disc and give it a "spin" in my Bedini Ultra Clarifier (the physics are a complete mystery to me!) before inserting the disc.

Once the rip is complete, I transfer the FLAC file to the hard drive of my Aurender A10 music server and play it through the A10's built in DAC.  (The A10 is the only Aurender server with a built in DAC.)  I find the SQ to be as good as, or in some cases, better than the sound of those same CD's played on my Esoteric X-05  CD player.  The X05 is not in same league with Phillyb's K-01, so I'm not claiming my ripping process and the Aurender's DAC will sound as good as his K-01.  However, the X-05 is no slouch and when you throw in the convenience of playing all of your CD's at the touch of your finger...well, I'm a happy camper!

Oh, BTW, the A10 streams Tidal HiFi and is fully MQA certified. 
Nothing beats an exact copy. Apple lossless copy format will sound identical to the cd. If you have the cheapest apple computer and their $200 plug in USB disk drive the operating system can copy a cd to an apple lossless file with automatic rereads of any data that is bad
it isn't possible to get better than exact
jeff
I use a Bluesound Vault 2 to rip to Flac. Played back through my Vault or one of my Nodes, it sounds much better than any of my CD players, which admittedly, aren’t high end. But I suspect that the "bit perfect" rip and the quite good on board DAC is competitive with most CD players regardless of price.
Your "cheap external disc reader" is most likely more than sufficient, unless either -
A) the disc reader malfunctions every now and then OR 
B) you got infected by the upgrade bug and you really want to get rid of that $1,000 :)

I would second Exact Audio Copy (free) or any other bit perfect ripper, suggested by others, to have the best digital files though.   
Thanks for all the good advice.  I'm using an external drive and dbpoweramp to rip flac files to my pc and then move the files to an external hard drive.  The comments in these posts make me feel that I'm not missing any information from my ripped cds.

Let me take this into real dangerous territory.  Do the wires connecting the cd drive to the computer or the computer to the external hard drive or from the hard drive to the DAC make a difference?  I know the question of whether wires make a difference at all is a point of contention, but I believe that interconnects, power cabes, etc. make a difference.  What about those involved in the ripping process?
Do the wires connecting the cd drive to the computer or the computer to the external hard drive or from the hard drive to the DAC make a difference? I know the question of whether wires make a difference at all is a point of contention, but I believe that interconnects, power cabes, etc. make a difference. What about those involved in the ripping process?
Not sure what you are referring to by "wires connecting ... hard drive to the DAC." Did you mean "computer to the DAC"?

In any event, though, the reasons cables conducting digital signals can make a difference during playback, such as waveform degradation and noise effects that can contribute to timing jitter at the point of D/A conversion and/or that can affect analog circuitry in various ways, have no relevance to the ripping process. If the software being used assures that the digital data on the CD is been copied to the hard drive with 100% accuracy, there is no means by which cables that are involved in the ripping process but are not involved in the playback process can affect playback of that data. Unless, that is, for some reason there is unrelated signal activity during the playback process on a cable that is not involved in the playback process. In which case I suppose it is conceivable that digital noise related to that activity might couple into the playback path to some degree. But that slim possibility can be easily ruled in or out by determining if disconnecting that cable makes any difference.

But of course if the files are being played back from the external hard drive you referred to, the cable connecting that hard drive could conceivably make a difference during the playback process, via the kinds of effects I referred to above.

Regards,
-- Al

9 things I suspect will improve the whole ripping process:

1. Isolate the CD player and the ripper.

2. Treat the CD being ripped with liquid type enhancer.

3. Demagnetize the CD prior to ripping.

4. Demagnetize the cabling.

5. Use some sort of anti static method prior to ripping.

6. Use better cables and power cords.

7. Color the CD to be treated.

8. Color the CD tray.

9. Ensure CD is absolutely level during ripping.

Be careful with what you read here. Geoffkait, in a previous post, mentions a checklist of things to do before ripping your CD’s. I’ll just highlight one. He says to demagnetize your CD’s before ripping. Huh? Optical discs are encoded with digital ones and zeros that are read with a laser. Any “magnetic charge” that might be possessed by any of the minute metals in the disc will make no difference whatsoever (positive or negative – pun intended) in the data read from the CD that is sent to the DAC. In other words a “demagnetizer” performs no useful function and is a SCAM…even if you pay more than $1800.00 for one – still a scam.

The ONLY buy recommendations you will get for such a device is from those that make, market, distributor or retail this junk. And magazines and reviewers who are paid to review them. And “audiophiles” who took the plunge and now have to justify the wasted money.

The rest of his checklist is equally bogus – only hoping the whole thing was in jest.


I use EAC - Exact Audio Copy.  It does the job very well and has procedures for confirming the validity of the rip.  It is free.  I would not say it is difficult to learn or install.  As for tweaks; I think setting your CD to its slowest speed and not using it for anything else has to assist in a small way - not sure the difference will be audible though.  

I do have one more tweak that I share with my closest and dearest friends.  Send me just $100.00 and I will share it with you. At that price it's a steal!   :->
Dynaquest
Be careful with what you read here. Geoffkait, in a previous post, mentions a checklist of things to do before ripping your CD’s. I’ll just highlight one. He says to demagnetize your CD’s before ripping. Huh? Optical discs are encoded with digital ones and zeros that are read with a laser. Any “magnetic charge” that might be possessed by any of the minute metals in the disc will make no difference whatsoever (positive or negative – pun intended) in the data read from the CD that is sent to the DAC. In other words a “demagnetizer” performs no useful function and is a SCAM…even if you pay more than $1800.00 for one – still a scam.

Huh? The optical discs are not encoded with ones and zeros. They contain pits and between the pits flat spaces (lands), each with variable lengths, which must be decoded to obtain the ones and zeros later on. The reading of the pits and lands is actually an analog process, and one subject to the vagaries of these flakey devices. That’s why demagnetizers and ionizers and coloring of the disc and the tray improves the sound. I know what you’re thinking: gee, but I thought error detection/error correction took care of all that stuff. 😄

As I and many others have acknowledged many times in past threads here, science and engineering can neither explain nor predict a lot about what we hear or don’t hear from our systems. However the science and engineering that is involved in the copying of digital data from one storage medium to another is well understood, well developed, and under reasonable circumstances is robust, reliable, and accurate. Especially, in this case, if the software being used assures bit perfect accuracy.

While I don’t dispute that some of Geoff’s tweaks might be beneficial under some circumstances when a CD is being listened to, they have no relevance whatsoever to the process of copying the data that is on a CD to a hard drive. Assuming, again, that the software is designed to re-read data as necessary to assure bit perfect accuracy, and to indicate an error in the unusual event that it is unable to do so.

I say this as someone having extensive background in digital design, and particular expertise regarding computer technology. I also say this despite Geoff’s disagreement that will inevitably follow. And for some perspective on the kinds of tweaks he recommends, you may find the following excerpt from his post dated 9-7-2012 in this thread to be of interest:
Taking all telephone books out of the house will usually be audible when you go back and listen to the system. Even if the telephone books are in other rooms of the house, they should be removed. The telephone book is perceived as an intruder by virtue of the fact that it is linked to a strong Field created by the tens or hundreds of thousands of identical telephone books. So, the link to that field can be eliminated by removing the telephone books from the house, making the house Safe from the telephone book "information field".
Regards,
-- Al

Whoa! What? Hey, Al, of course my disagreement will inevitably follow. Just like you inevitably go for the bait. You say it’s "well understood." but by whom? I dare say not by you, judging from what you say. More to follow....stay tuned.



Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is the best, and free. Foobar 2000 is also good. One unmentioned factor is to a) make sure the cd surface is clean-fingerprints and detritus will effect your laser’s ability to accurately read the disc and b) clean the laser itself. There are discs that will do it, and denatured alcohol with a cotton swab on a stick will do it as well. Houses with smokers tend to result in a film on the laser that reduces its ability to "see" the disc as well as it should. Making sure your cabling from an external hard drive/player to the pc is tightly fastened is also crucial.

One more thing, I recently got a keylit wireless computer keyboard and found that when the lighting comes on (it turns itself off automatically when I’m not typing and on whenever I touch a key) it makes audible interference whilst burning a disc. I suspect it might effect any cd ripping as well. If you have one, or any wireless equipment nearby, you might check to see if it causes anything like this.
Almarg
While I don’t dispute that some of Geoff’s tweaks might be beneficial under some circumstances when a CD is being listened to, they have no relevance whatsoever to the process of copying the data that is on a CD to a hard drive. Assuming, again, that the software is designed to re-read data as necessary to assure bit perfect accuracy, and to indicate an error in the unusual event that it is unable to do so.

I say this as someone having extensive background in digital design, and particular expertise regarding computer technology. I also say this despite Geoff’s disagreement that will inevitably follow. And for some perspective on the kinds of tweaks he recommends, you may find the following excerpt from his post dated 9-7-2012 in this thread to be of interest:

Geoffkait: Taking all telephone books out of the house will usually be audible when you go back and listen to the system. Even if the telephone books are in other rooms of the house, they should be removed. The telephone book is perceived as an intruder by virtue of the fact that it is linked to a strong Field created by the tens or hundreds of thousands of identical telephone books. So, the link to that field can be eliminated by removing the telephone books from the house, making the house Safe from the telephone book "information field".

>>Whoa! What's up with all the angst? Al, all this turmoil begs the question: do you ever actually listen to any of the tweaks you disparage? Do you consult your textbooks to see if there’s a chapter on Telephone Tweaks? By the way, using your "extensive background in digital design" as some sort of evidence, proof or hammer is nothing more than an Appeal to Authority, you know, an illogical argument.

geoff kait
machina dramatica
no goats no glory


almarg
As I and many others have acknowledged many times in past threads here, science and engineering can neither explain nor predict a lot about what we hear or don’t hear from our systems.

>>>Then why are you obsessing over these controversial tweaks? You and many others? Ah, the old strength in numbers strategy. Good move! 😀

almarg
However the science and engineering that is involved in the copying of digital data from one storage medium to another is well understood, well developed, and under reasonable circumstances is robust, reliable, and accurate. Especially, in this case, if the software being used assures bit perfect accuracy.

>>>>Huh? That’s exactly what naysayers and the industry have been saying since the dawn of digital. Perfect Sound Forever! Yada yada yada. You might as well claim the Reed Solomon error correction codes correct all errors, then you wouldn’t even have to use the "read until perfect" argument. Or that the laser servo mechanism ensures 100% foolproof Tracking. Besides if CDs are so perfect how come they sound so bad? 

almarg
While I don’t dispute that some of Geoff’s tweaks might be beneficial under some circumstances when a CD is being listened to, they have no relevance whatsoever to the process of copying the data that is on a CD to a hard drive. Assuming, again, that the software is designed to re-read data as necessary to assure bit perfect accuracy, and to indicate an error in the unusual event that it is unable to do so.

>>>>>Some of my tweaks might be beneficial? Uh, which ones, I’m curious? The ones that make "good engineering sense"? The ones like vibration isolation. Which ones do you believe wouldn’t be beneficial? The ones that are too preposterous sounding, right? The ones like the Telephone book tweak or the Super Intelligent Chip or the Morphic Message Labels. And have you actually heard ANY of them anywhere? I get the picture, Al.


Cheerios

Ignore Ignorant Trolls (IIT).

$1,000 is PLENTY to rip all your CDs.  Use a good program, be systematic, and use a Lossless compression scheme.  Set the software to do adequate bit checks.

I use the drive on my mac mini and have not messed with Windows for years (for audio) so can't help you much on Windows, tho IIRC dbPoweramp is a good program.  There is a blog on computeraudiophile.com that explains exactly how to do it systematically so you don't have to do it over.

If you get a bit perfect copy it cannot degrade SQ.

You WILL find that many CDs are not as well recorded or mastered as others.  The Steve Hoffmann forum has (incessant) discussion about which releases are best.

Once you get everything you own on your computer, you can go about replacing the lower quality issues with better ones (if they exist).

Then there is high bit rate and bit depth recordings (Hi Res, DSD, yada yada).  Double blind listening tests have shown a small difference and a slight preference for them over Redbook CD.  However, these were at very high bit rates beyond what is normally found.  OTOH, many recent SACDs are better recorded and better mastered than older CDs....

The important thing is to get your CDs on a hard drive.

To improve SQ buy better speakers and a good amp to drive them.  If you already bought the $50,000 speakers of your dreams, build a new room for them.  (Then buy a new trophy wife and the current one leaves you b/c of the stereo...)
The dreaded phone book is causing problems ? Who know ? Is having a Bible in the house bad too?
maplegrovemusic
The dreaded phone book is causing problems ? Who know ? Is having a Bible in the house bad too?

Is having a Bible in the house bad? No, not in general. But it IS bad for the sound. (Hmmmm, he might be catching on.) Don’t worry, though, a telephone book is worse.

I’am waiting for Trump to disclose his system before I buy one more thing. I want only the best . Even if is not made in USA
Does Trump listen to music?    Prabably not unless about him.  🤒
Post removed 
He listens to Trumpet music. Although he probably avoids Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass for obvious reasons. He’s also quite fond of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

:) 
:)
:)
I rip my CD's using the$169.00 Buffalo CD/Blueray ripper. I rip into my Melco N1 music storage and player. ( $2000 ) Connecting to my DAC with USB.

Much better sounding then my computer and much more enjoyable.
I am using an MF Digital Ripstation with dbpoweramp and use the batch ripping function.  I am able to rip up to 60 CD's per hour using this system which utilizes four CD-ROM drives which are indexed and provides bit perfect accurate rips.  I use GD3 as my metadata provider which provides me with accurate metadata and cover art for all of my CD's.  I have used this for a few years now and have ripped about 7K CD's. 

I completely rebuilt the machine with new drives new motherboard, memory, cpu and current version of Windows 64 bit.  This allows much faster throughput than the factory setup which is 32 bit and lets me rip virtually 2X as many discs per hour.  I frequently purchase used CD's in large quantities to get a very reasonable price for them and have ripped as many as 1500 CD's in about 3 days doing nothing more than watching the machine load the CD's and check the cover art.  The only thing that takes some time is removing and reinserting the CD's in the jewel cases and cleaning each CD briefly with a microfiber cloth. 


My Music Vault Diamond really does the trick
one feature that is really nice (YMMV) is the dbPoweramp ability to rip the CD and do multiple things with that rip.  Example we rip and then save as FLAC, mp3 (highish bit rate), and MP3 lowish bit rate for players and phone.  so one rip and 3 different copies for different uses.  if this is important to you it may be worth consideration.  computeraudiophile has some helpful materials on this topic.  

luck.