Audio CD Ripping and Extraction Software

CD drive in laptop

 Getty Images/Willyan Wagner / EyeEm

Stand-alone CD rippers are useful when you have a large collection of CDs that you want to rip. They're also helpful when the media player that you use doesn’t come with a built-in CD ripper. Dedicated audio CD extraction programs typically have more features than the ones that are built into popular media players such as ​Windows Media Player. ​

01
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Exact Audio Copy: Extreme accuracy and stability

What We Like

  • Tests CD drive for accuracy and reliability.

  • Add song lyrics.

  • Feature-rich in CD ripping options.

What We Don't Like

  • Website to download program is annoying.

  • Not a native Windows 10 app.

  • Enter email address to get song and album information.

EAC—Exact Audio Copy—is valued for its accuracy. The free Windows program reads every CD sector at least two times to verify the correct data is copied. Then it compares the copy to the original CD until at least eight of 16 tries produce identical results. Troublesome sections of the CD, such as scratched areas, are read repeatedly up to 80 times.

EAC's accuracy comes at the cost of speed, but if accuracy is important to you, a minute or more extra time isn't a problem. EAC isn't the most user-friendly of the CD ripping software programs and it doesn't apply its own codec. EAC also doesn't pull the album metadata from the database until you tell it to do so.

Despite these shortcomings, free EAC is probably the best and most powerful ripping tool available.

02
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FreeRIP 3 Basic Edition: Quick and easy ripping

What We Like

  • Automatically fills out track and album information.

  • Rips music to 5 different audio formats.

  • Rips CDs quickly.

What We Don't Like

  • Search feature doesn't work.

  • Interface looks a bit dated.

FreeRIP 3 has a well-designed interface that is intuitive to use. This free CD ripper can extract the audio from your music CDs to MP3, WMA, WAV, Vorbis and FLAC formats. The program supports CDDB query, which is used to automatically fill in the information for your digital audio files. FreeRIP 3 can also be used as an audio format converter and a tagger. When you're converting from one audio format to another, you can either add files manually or drag and drop them using your mouse. If you’re looking for a free CD ripper, converter, and tagger, then FreeRIP is a solid choice.

03
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foobar2000: A powerful audio player with ripping capabilities

What We Like

  • Available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and as a portable app.

  • Interface is customizable.

  • Looks up album information from 2 databases.

What We Don't Like

  • Default layout too simplistic.

  • No tutorial to show advanced features.

Foobar2000 is a free advanced audio player for Windows. Although primarily a player, its audio component supports secure ripping of audio CDs. The software supports a wide range of audio formats including MP3, MP4, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, and WAV.

04
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FairStars CD Ripper: Rip and apply album info at the same time

What We Like

  • Query music databases for album information.

  • Help files have great explanations of the interface.

  • Adjust sound sampling rates.

What We Don't Like

  • Interface lacks some features.

  • Software looks a bit dated.

FairStars CD Ripper is a donationware Windows program that is powerful software for ripping audio CD tracks to WMA, MP3, OGG, VQF, FLAC, APE and WAV formats. The interface is user-friendly and includes ID3 tag support. It supports multiple CD/DVD drivers and includes audio playback controls. FairStars CD Ripper supports normalization when ripping.