How do I get everything off of a CD?
December 29, 2006 10:39 PM   Subscribe

I want to make sure that the next time I rip my CD collection is the last time. What should I know?

I want to rip all information that I possibly can from my CD collection--CD TEXT, CD+G, ISRC codes, data tracks/sessions, audio tracks, audio in the space before track 1, audio in the gaps between tracks, and index marks. Am I missing anything? And if I am, is there a tool available for Linux that will let me read it?
posted by reventlov to Technology (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You also want to use lossless compression.
posted by polyglot at 10:56 PM on December 29, 2006

This should do you.
posted by flod at 11:13 PM on December 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

You really want to be over at Hydrogenaudio.

To preserve the entire CD, you're looking at ripping one big file, and then a cuesheet to indicate where tracks begin and end. But that's kind of a pain. Further discussion to serve as a jumping off point in this thread at HA.
posted by SemiSophos at 11:52 PM on December 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My first response was going to be the same as polyglot's, namely "use lossless compression." But that's only about a half or a third of the solution you're looking for. That would get you all the audio data off of the CD, but none of the other stuff -- CD-i or CD-G, odd tracks, etc.

The only way I can think of to do this, is to rip each one to some sort of low-level disk image format. You're going to want to do some research, because I'm not sure if making an ISO of a Red Book CD preserves stuff like the audio before track 1, but I'm sure there's got to be a 'raw disk' format out there that you can use.

Then to save space, you'll want to compress the resulting disk images with a well-documented (open source) compression algorithm. BZ2 would probably be my preference.

That ought to get you files on disk that you can use in the future to basically recreate the original CDs bit-by-bit, meaning that they should have all the data of the originals. From there, you can rip them to the audio format du jour, or whatever your needs require.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:56 AM on December 30, 2006

Best answer: Basically: install EAC and AccurateRip. Use EAC to rip images. Then mount the images with Daemon Tools, and re-rip from the images to individual files. If you get a good result from AccurateRip (which only checks individual tracks, not whole images), you most likely have good files.

It's slower, but you can also do what I did before the advent of AccurateRip; rip the individual files, rip a CUE image, rip again from the image to separate individual files, and run a diff. This was very time-consuming, but it did work.... it proved that I could get the exact same result from ripping the image that I got from ripping the original CD.

Once you have the images, you can compress them to FLAC. Some software, like Slimserver for the Squeezeboxes (which is free, you can just download it) will support CUE/FLACs directly. Daemon Tools does not, so you'll have to uncompress to WAV before mounting with that program.

Foobar understands CUE/FLACs, so once you have a bunch, you can use its mass-extraction engine to convert all your files to MP3 or Ogg or whatever you like, if you need lossily-compressed files for an iPod or what have you.

If you can take not being able to *exactly* reproduce a given CD, ripping to individual FLACs with an associated CUE sheet is essentially just as good, and it's often more convenient to deal with the individual files. CUE sheets aren't that well-specified, and not all software agrees about how they should be implemented.

I don't remember precisely why, but I think CUE with separate FLAC files won't let you reproduce the original CD as precisely as a single image.

Also note: after much and painful trying, I was not able to flawlessly reproduce CDs with associated Windows data. If I used tools like Alcohol 120%, I could save the computer data, but I could never, ever get a good result from AccurateRip. The EAC approach above will save the music perfectly, but it loses additional sessions on the disk that are meant for Windows. Since I couldn't get perfect fidelity for both the music and the computer data, i settled for just the music.
posted by Malor at 10:58 AM on December 30, 2006 [2 favorites]

Oh, AFAIK, Linux has no perfect analog to EAC or AccurateRip. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but you may actually be able to rip better in Windows than in Linux.
posted by Malor at 11:02 AM on December 30, 2006

Response by poster: To clarify: I already have my collection ripped to per-track FLAC files. Between cdfs and (a hacked) cdrdao, I can rip everything I mentioned in the question. I want to know whether there are any more dark corners I haven't spotted.

I would be happy with Kadin2048's solution as a first step, except that I haven't been able to find a tool (for any platform) that makes a perfect, whole-disc image, and I would still need to find out what information I could extract from the disc image.

Malor has a good set of suggestions, except that I specifically want data as well as audio, and CUE appears to drop at least some information (in particular, CD+G and anything else that uses the R through W subchannels). (And I have a possibly-irrational fear of sticking recent CDs into a Windows machine, even though I know how to disable autorun.) I think I would refer any normal audiophile (as opposed to obsessive-compulsive archiving freak) to his answer.

I know I'm being finicky--this started when I realized that I was missing some music videos from data sessions on a couple of CDs, and I'm trying to be methodical about getting everything I might possibly be interested in.
posted by reventlov at 3:23 PM on December 30, 2006

And make secure rips !!!

look here
posted by zouhair at 5:31 AM on January 2, 2007

« Older Dealing with well-meaning but obnoxious people.   |   What to do this summer? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.