CD audio grabbers are designed to extract (“rip”) the raw digital audio (in a format commonly called CDDA) from a compact disc to a file or other output. This type of software enables a user to encode the digital audio into a variety of formats, and download and upload disc info from gnudb.org, an internet compact disc database.
Is copying CDs legal? Under US copyright law, converting an original CD to digital files for personal use has been cited as qualifying as ‘fair use’. However, US copyright law does not explicitly allow or forbid making copies of a personally-owned audio CD, and case law has not yet established what specific scenarios are permitted as fair use. The copyright position is much clearer in the UK. From 2014 UK was set to make it legal for UK citizens to make copies of CDs, MP3s, DVD, Blu-rays and e-books. This was only to apply if the individual owns the physical media being ripped, and the copy is made only for their own private use. But the law was not passed. For countries in the European Union, member nations can allow a private copy exception too.
If you are not sure what the position is for the country you live in, please check your local copyright law to make sure that you are on the right side of the law before using the software featured in this two page article.
To some extent, it may seem a bit of a chore to rip CDs. Streaming services like Spotify and Google Play Music offer access to a huge library of music in a convenient form, and without having to rip your CD collection. However, if you already have a large CD collection, it is still desirable to be able to convert your CDs to enjoy on mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and portable MP3 players.
Here’s our recommended software. They are all free and open source goodness.
|Console Audio Grabbers|
|abcde||A Better CD Encoder|
|Perl Audio Converter||Audio ripping tool with service extensions|
|morituri||CD audio grabber that aims for accuracy over speed|
|cdparanoia||Well respected Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) tool|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.