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How to Rip an Audio CD in Linux?

rohitfarmer profile image Rohit Farmer ・2 min read

Ripping an audio CD means to copy the audio tracks from the CD to your computer in a format that is playable on devices other than a CD player, for example, your smartphone. There are multiple formats in which you can rip your audio CD, and they can be broadly divided into lossy (compressed) and lossless (uncompressed) formats. For example, MP3 is a lossy format, which means when you convert an audio track from an audio CD to an MP3, it loses some information. The loss of information makes the file size smaller that is easier to store without sacrificing much on detectable audio quality at least by most people listening on everyday non-specialized audio equipment. Lossless formats, on the other hand, preserves all the information that was originally recorded in the studio. The original lossless format in which CDs are written is called WAV. A typical 5 min song in WAV format takes around 50 Mb of disk space. With the storage costs lowering day by day, it may be acceptable for many of us to copy the WAV files without going through the hassle of converting them into any other format. However, one of the disadvantages of WAV format in addition to bulky file size is that it has the minimal capability to store metadata, for example, the name of the artist, album name, genre, album art etc. Lossless formats like FLAC that stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec can store metadata similar to MP3 in addition to higher quality sound as a WAV file. FLAC files also tend to be smaller than a WAV file. In reality, FLAC files are also compressed files similar to MP3; however, they don’t lose information as MP3 does.

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Rohit Farmer

@rohitfarmer

Interdisciplinary researcher, applying computational methods at the intersection of biology, chemistry and medicine.

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