Exact Audio Copy *****
OS : WinXP/Vista/7 - WinNT/2000/2003
Editor's Review This soft is mainly dedicated to audio CD rip. Andre Wiethoff decided to program his
own ripper because he estimated that the audio quality of the other tools was very poor. Exact Audio Copy can also play audio CD's, encode
Wave files to MP3 or WMA, decode MP3 or WMA files to Wave, burn audio CD's, record vinyls from the Line In imput of your audio card... If you add external
codecs, you can also encode your Wave files to OGG, VQF, AAC, Monkey... EAC is an excellent tool. Just try it !
Download EAC on the official website
OS : Linux
Editor's Review This software (Grip stands for Rip
in the Gnome environment), allows the digital extraction of the tracks of an audio CD. Either you can get the Wave files or
encode on the fly to Ogg Vorbis, MP3 or FLAC (lossless compression format). Grip has the CDDB option, which allows you (provided you are online)
to get the data of the CD (Artist name, CD Title, Tracks' names...). The extraction of the tracks uses the internal engine CDParanoia,
the best ripper for CDs under Linux and one of the best rippers with Exact Audio Copy. Grip can also play audio CD's. A very good tool.
Download Grip on the official website
OS : Windows - Linux - Mac
Editor's Review At the very start of the project, LAME was supposed to be an educational tool to be used for learning about MP3 encoding.
Today, LAME is considered the best MP3 encoder at mid-high bitrates and at VBR. It's an Open Source project. LAME is not for everyone, it is distributed as source code only
and requires the ability to use a C compiler. You have to think LAME as a third part tool, an encoding engine you can use if you develop a ripping and encoding program.
Most coders soft include LAME (CDex, Grip, VLC) but some prefer offering the support for the LAME DLL so you have to download LAME if you want to perform an on-the-fly MP3 compression.
The coding quality is excellent.
Download LAME on the official website for The LAME Project
OS : Win9x/2000/XP/Vista/7
Editor's Review A good ripper & encoder. CDex can extract the data directly from an Audio CD
either to Wave files on your HDD or encodes them on-the-fly to MP3, OGG or WMA files. CDex offers an excellent bitrate for MP3 files, due to
the external encoder LAME (see above). You can name your files automatically using the Freedb.org data base. CDex also supports many audio file tag
formats like the ID3V1 and ID3V2 tags. A very nice tool !
OS : Win9X/XP/Vista/7 - 2000/2003 - Mac OS X 10.1 ou sup.
Editor's Review Ogg is a multimedia container format, and the native file and stream format for the Xiph.org multimedia codecs.
Ogg Vorbis is a fully open, non-proprietary, patent-and-royalty-free, general-purpose compressed audio format for audio and music at fixed and variable bitrates from
16 to 128 kbps/channel. Ogg was born in 1993 to rival Fraunhofer IIS which made MP3 a closed source software and claimed it was entitled to royalties for any players
or encoders using the MP3 format. So Vorbis is in the same competitive class as MP3. The Ogg Vorbis format specifications are in the public domain.
The audio quality is very good, as good as MPEG-4 (AAC) and better than MP3, TwinVQ or WMA.
Download the Oggdrop encoder for Windows
Download the OggdropXPD encoder for Windows (more powerful than Oggdrop) on the official website
Download the Oggdrop encoder for Mac OS on No-U-Turn
Download some tools for Ogg encoding on the official website www.xiph.org
Windows Media Coder ****
OS : WinXP/Vista/7
Editor's Review The WMA standard is the Microsoft answer to MP3. Compression technics are similar to the ones used with MP3.
Since Windows Media 9, the WMA coder is included with Windows Media Player. You can rip and encode audio tracks from a CD to WMA files. It is not
possible to get the Wave files since the program rips and then encodes on-the-fly.
Editor's Review GermaniX Transcoder, also known as GX::Transcoder, is a German soft. It
converts your audio files between many formats such MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, M4A, MPC, Ogg Vorbis, PCM, G.721, G.723, G.726, G.729, ADPCM, GSM, VOX, DSP, VQF
and RAW. You can add some plug-ins to handle other formats like AAC, M4A, M4P4, LA, LPAC, WMA, TTA, OptimFrog, WavPack, FLAC, rkAudio, Real Audio, Speex,
Bonk Audio and Shorten. Moreover, GX::Transcoder supports many audio file tag formats : ID3v1, ID3v2, Flac, WMA Tags, MP4 Tags, APE Tags, OGG Vorbis Tags. Try it...
dBpowerAMP Music Converter (dMC) ***
OS : WinXP/Vista/7
Editor's Review dBpowerAMP has a complete set of software that makes it a real audio suite.
Unfortunately, it is no longer a freeware, that's why we give it only 3 *. You can try the full version (dBpowerAMP Music Converter Reference)
for free during 21 days. After that, you'll have to register (38 Dollars) or your version will become the basic one : dBpowerAMP Music Converter Free.
Don't panic ! The basic version allows to rip audio CDs and encode Wave files to WMA, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Monkeys Audio, FLAC, Apple Lossless and many other formats
but not to MP3. For that, you'll have to pay...
Editor's Review A good ripping and encoding tool. Audiograbber copy the tracks of an audio CD
to Wave files on your HDD or rips and encodes directly to MP3 or WMA files. Audiograbber is now fully free ! You can normalize your audio files and
names them automatically using the data base Freedb.org. Using external codecs to encode in other standards is possible. You can also choose the speed
extraction : very useful when the CD you want to rip is very old. Audio quality is quite good. Unfortunately, there is no new version
of that soft since 2004 !
FreeRIP : not tested
OS : Win98/XP/Vista/7 - WinNT/2000/ME/2003/2008
Editor's Review We haven't parform any test with FreeRIP. Quite simple, FreeRIP seems to be a
good ripping and encoding tool. It grabs the audio tracks from your CDs and encodes them to Wave, MP3, Vorbis, FLAC or WMA files. You can also converts
your audio files between many formats when your files are already on your HDD. FreeRIP comes in two versions : FreeRIP Basic which is free and FreeRIP Pro.
Download FreeRIP on the official website
WinLAME : not tested
OS : Win9X/XP/Vista/7 - WinNT/200X/ME
Editor's Review We haven't parform any test with WinLAME but we heard many good comments... So why not testing it ?
WinLAME encode to MP3 (320 kbits/s is possible), Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Flac and WMA. The encoding engine LAME is included to encode to MP3 and the Ogg Vorbis library
allows to encode to Ogg. This results in a very good audio quality. Moreover, WinLAME supports ID3 tags (v1 et v2) and allows to rip audio CDS.