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CD Ripping Services Compared 356

RX8 writes "Designtechnica compares a number of CD ripping services and talks about the differences in services, price and which formats they will rip your music to. The guide compares 6 different services, all of which are somewhat different in what they do. Ripping services are gaining in popularity because they make it so easy to convert (a.k.a. rip) your entire collection into MP3 files for your portable media device."
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CD Ripping Services Compared

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  • by Chris Bradshaw ( 933608 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:25PM (#14269386)
    Will it grab the rootkit too?
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:26PM (#14269392) Homepage
    Why not just use one of the many P2P services available, and download MP3s of the CDs you already own?

    Better yet (and less of a legal gray area), pay your 8-year old nephew $0.25 per disc to rip your music for you.
  • Jesus H. Christ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hunterx11 ( 778171 ) <hunterx11@gmai l . c om> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:28PM (#14269399) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry if this sounds like flamebait, but for the amount of time and money people would spend to do this, why not just rip the damn CDs yourself? I mean, I understand that time is valuable, but if you have enough CDs that it would take a long time to rip them all, it would also cost a lot to use this service. I know for iTunes at least, you can have it automatically rip a CD when you insert it, and automatically eject when it's finished; you hardly have to pay attention at all. The tags might be a mess for less popular music, but that can easily be fixed up afterwards.
    • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      this must be from the marketing guy who brought us bottled watter. i mean how does this pitch sound. well what we are going to do is provide a service that is easily obtained by the average person and charge them to let us do it. how do these work though? do you buy the cd and have it shipped to yourself care of the service where they will send you your mp3s after they rip them? sounds like a golden opertunity. now just buy the cds from the company and have them keep the actual disks as your back up an
    • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:48PM (#14269489)
      For one thing, ripping an entire CD collection in a row is a great way to ruin your CD drive. Those things have moving parts and they heat up real fast, especially in laptops. I even ruined my desktop's CD drive this way. For another thing, the ripping company only has to rip one copy of each CD and then they store it on a server. So you are basically just showing them that you own the CD and then they give you a legal copy digitized in your format of choice. It is a pretty sweet deal if you think about it.
      • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fossa ( 212602 ) <[pat7] [at] []> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:52PM (#14269513) Journal

        I'm not familiar with the details, but isn't that essentially what they wanted to do ang got sued for? Keep a master copy, then dole out to anyone who could prove they had the CD? So, borrow your friends' CDs before paying for this service... I guess this way you actually need a physical copy. I assume there were or would have been ways to cheat's service.

      • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        For one thing, ripping an entire CD collection in a row is a great way to ruin your CD drive. Those things have moving parts and they heat up real fast, especially in laptops. I even ruined my desktop's CD drive this way.

        What kind of cheap-ass drives do you use? Much to my disappointment, the non-techies in my office have been playing audio CD's on their PCs 8 hours a day, every day, for the last eight years, and never ruined a drive.

        I ripped my 300 audio CDs in two days: no problems. Before I had an ex

      • by Kamiza Ikioi ( 893310 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:06PM (#14269826)
        If you have 500 CDs, I could understand giving it a break every once in a while. But for someone that has 50 CDs, I would return that CD drive for not being able to play 50 CDs, even if in a row at 100% throughput. Besides, the CD drive isn't going to be running the entire time, as it must take some time to encode the files as well. I did a test on a 13 track CD, roughly 565MB, and it took 2 minutes to copy it to the HDD. Assuming very good and consistent encoding speeds, figure at another minute, figure 30 seconds to change out CDs, enter any dialog information, etc. So, the CD-ROM is only going to be doing any work about 60% of the time, and that's if you are a machine, pumping in CD's non stop. But, I think the average person with an average person's collection and not rushing will do just fine on their own.

        I'm sure its a bit more intensive than simply playing a CD on repeat all day, as you're only copying the full CD about once an hour, but it should be well within the limitations of modern CD players to handles a few hours of reading. If the drive is still overheating, there are ways to solve this problem.

        In a desktop: first try moving the drive away from any other drives it may be touching or close to. If it is in the top slot, move it to the next one down to allow room for heat to escape on top. To speed cooling, put a drive cooler in the slot above the drive. Also, pull the back of the desktop off the floor and away from walls. Having your fan plugged up by carpet fibers or blocked by the wall will increase drive heat. If the problem is drastic, pull the drive out completely and set a small fan to blow on it directly. Make sure to set it on something that will allow air to flow beneath the drive.

        In a laptop: Make sure there is airflow beneath the laptop. Most laptops allow a tiny amount of room. Anyone who carries their laptop around can tell you that leaving it on a cushion or carpet will cause it to overheat rather quickly. So, increase cooling by increasing airflow. You can also buy a "cold plate" to set the laptop on, to ensure that its sucking up nice cool air.

        If it's still overheating, I'd move to a desktop. Ripping on a flimsy (and probably slower) laptop drive would just get annoying. If the desktop is still overheating, be it CPU/HDD/CD-ROM... seriously look at getting a new computer. If CD ripping is what brings down the box, then the box wasn't very great to begin with.
      • For one thing, ripping an entire CD collection in a row is a great way to ruin your CD drive. Those things have moving parts and they heat up real fast, especially in laptops.

        Who said anything about ripping an entire collection in one sitting?

        That aside, ~$25 (home PC) CD drives are easy to find at retailers for this purpose

        I will concede the heating part even if only 10 CDs are ripped in a row. when I ripped my ~900 CD collection, I did it at half of the rated speed of the CD drive. And, I wou
      • For one thing, ripping an entire CD collection in a row is a great way to ruin your CD drive. Those things have moving parts and they heat up real fast, especially in laptops. I even ruined my desktop's CD drive this way.

        This is the stupidest thing I've read on slashdot in a long, long time. Your CD drive "burnt" out because you used it too much? Why have I never heard of anyone else having this problem? Ever? Why has it that in 8 years of IT work, I've never had a user break their CD drive, period?

      • Isn't the price of the CD drive still a lot less than ripping an entire collection? You do have a point with the laptop drive thing, those are a little more expensive, though I've bought replacement laptop DVD drive for my model for $30 on eBay to replace a suspected bad drive. I really haven't ruined any drive by ripping a CD.
      • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:3, Interesting)

        by toddestan ( 632714 )
        That reminds me of when I decided to rip all of my CDs. I had just built a new computer, and decided that was the time to rip all my CDs being that my new computer had the needed storage and could complete the task in a reasonable amount of time. So I went about ripping my hundreds of CDs on my brand new DVD drive. Several days later of insert, rip, and repeat whenever I was using the computer - and I was done. So I decided to watch a DVD, at which point I discovered that the DVD drive couldn't read DVD
      • Some of us buy hardware that was engineered better than an edsel.

        you know the ones that can handle more than 5 cds before they like die.

        i mean wtf. if they're enginnered right the moving parts should have no difficulty making it to 50k hours mtbf. 200k hours isn't that hard to do but costs signifigantly more. 50k hours is of course 50,000 CDs, you gonna rip and burn more than 25,000 CDS? wtf is up with you bitching about a cd drive that burns out after 'a hundred' because it was designed to fail?

      • Dude.. nobody is gonna rip hundreds of cds in a row (well except
        maybe you). 10 or 15 an hour max, and not that many people will do
        this for hours on end. I did my collection (about 400) in about a
        month a few years ago. Grab 20 or 30 at a time, somedays less some
        more. This biggest problem is actually stopping what you are doing to
        switch cd's when they are done. Operator lag definitely slows the
        process! Personally I use CDEX but I'm sure there are many other good
        ones to use.

        Using a serv
    • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shark72 ( 702619 )

      "I'm sorry if this sounds like flamebait, but for the amount of time and money people would spend to do this, why not just rip the damn CDs yourself?"

      When I was 23, I scoffed at people who actually paid a CPA to do their taxes. Why not just do my damn taxes myself? And so I did.

      Now that I have more money and less time, I see the benefit that CPAs offer. I let an expert handle it. Some of my friends do their taxes themselves. Either way is perfectly acceptable; I don't judge them, and they don't j

      • I've got >1500 CDs, purchased since the mid-late 80's, and I have no need of a ripping service. Quite honestly, it seems to me ripping things as I want to listen to them is going to be quite fine, since there's no way I can listen to all or even most of the 19,000 tracks any time soon. (Yes, I keep a database, why do you ask?)

        • like me, they have grammer than the average slashdotter.
      • I find the answer to hiring vs. doing usually comes down to "depends."

        For example, my wife and I just scanned her parent's 35mm slides and are burning DVDs for them for Christmas. We scanned all of these old slides. All 36 carousels of them. All 3,407 slides of cousins, nieces, nephews, moms, dads, grandkids, vacations, cabins, lakes and mountains. (I am pretty sick of them now!) The reason is the local photo houses all gave me quotes around $3.00 per slide. For $10,000+ I'll do it myself, especiall

    • I ripped my entire CD collection (only about 250 CDs) while I was working at home on other projects. I went very smoothly (used CDEX). I put everything on an old IBM laptop (running Ubuntu) and hooked it up to my stereo... I call it my "BigPod"... works great!
    • Seriously. This is Slashdot for crying out loud. How many of you people take your computer in to CompUSA because you "lead a busy life?" It would take just as long to organize your collection, fill out the necessary forms and ship it anyways.
      1. Download DBpoweramp: 3 minutes on DSL
      2. Put CD in drive and start ripping: 2 minutes
      3. Walk away and cook dinner/weed the garden/go to work: ???
      4. Return and change CD's: 2 minutes

      Staying true to your nerd roots: timeless

      There are somethings money can't buy, but for

        • Download DBpoweramp: 3 minutes on DSL
        • Put CD in drive and start ripping: 2 minutes
        • Walk away and cook dinner/weed the garden/go to work: ???
        • Return and change CD's: 2 minutes

        My wife and I have about 1200 CDs and about $500.00 in iTunes between us. (Now that we're cohabitating, I'm anxious for the next version of jhymn, so I can strip her DRM and convert it to a single account.)

        I can't afford any of these ripping services, but I normally keep a stack of discs next to my Rev. A Dual G5. When I'm work

        • by karnal ( 22275 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:55PM (#14269996)
          My wife and I have about 1200 CDs and about $500.00 in iTunes between us. (Now that we're cohabitating, I'm anxious for the next version of jhymn, so I can strip her DRM

          You're married now. Your wife will be stripping YOUR DRM soon enough. It's like sucking out your will to live!!
    • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:26PM (#14269660)
      Hmmm... why pay a hooker for a handjob when you can just jerk off for free?
    • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MalusCaelestis ( 172079 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:29PM (#14269677) Homepage
      While I personally wouldn't use one of these services, I completely understand the people who do use them. Just think of a fairly typical scenario.

      Let's say you've got 400 CDs you want to rip. You've also got a fast computer with a DVD burner. Let's also say you want your music in VBR ~256kbps MP3. Decent quality but with files small enough that you won't need a SAN just to store it all (like you realized you'd need that one time you tried FLAC).

      Assume it takes no time whatsoever to get a CD, put it in your computer, and let your ripping program query your favorite metadata server. But you still want to check the accuracy of the song titles and other information (you remember the last time you tried this and relied on CDDB, only to realize after you were done that one in every five tracks was misspelled or completely wrong). Let's say it takes one minute to confirm the accuracy of the metadata and make any corrections.

      Now, like I said, you've got a fast computer. So you can rip a CD in about five minutes. Add to that the one minute per disc to check the metadata accuracy and you're looking at six minutes per CD. Good! That's 10 per hour. OK, you've got 400 CDs and you can do 10 an hour. That'll only take you... hrm--I never was any good at math--carry the six, divide by pi... 40 hours. Oh. That's a full time job for a week! Dang.

      Well, you've got a decent job designing widgets. You make about $40 an hour (a little over $80k per year). Which means that every CD you're ripping is worth about $4.00 in time--and you're giving up two full weeks of free time, or maybe taking a week of vacation time. This doesn't sound so fun anymore. But your loving wife just bought you an iPod for Christmas and you'd hate to let it go to waste. Couldn't you just pay someone to do it for you? I mean, you're busy. You've got a wife and, oh, let's say seven kids (you're Catholic). You just don't have that kind of time in the evenings and you just spent your vacation time on a nice, long cruise to Alaska.

      Oh, and your wife makes the best meatloaf. She serves it with this incredible sauce that her mother taught her to make. At least that lousy in-law of yours was good for something! This week she cooked it too long, though. It was dry and tough. It was harder to swallow than that worm your friends dared you to eat when you were 12. Those were the times...

      But I digress.

      Without hesitating, you hit that Purchase button and this place sends you a few empty spindles in a box. You just stick on the provided label and send it back to them with all your CDs inside. Early next week your discs return along with a smaller spindle of DVDs containing all your music. (Excellent! Now when your hard drive crashes, like it did last year, you won't have to spend another $400 to get everything ripped again.) You copy the files to your hard drive. It takes about an hour and a half total. You copy the songs to your iPod and put your DVDs in the safe next to your father's pocketwatch and that original 1977 Darth Vader doll--ACTION FIGURE!!!--sorry, action figure--that your wife keeps asking you to sell but you have to remind her will be worth more money in another 10 years. Secretly, though, you still love Star Wars (not those new pieces of junk--though that newest one wasn't so bad--but the original... you just called it Star Wars, none of this "A New Hope" or "Episode IV" nonsense) and you just couldn't stand to sell it. And besides, does she need to nag you about it every week? I mean, she's a great woman, but can't she just let it go? It's not like it's hurting anyone. You let her keep that ragged old stuffed bear she had as a child. It's filthy and it smells (can't she just throw it in the washer?) but she keeps it on her side of the bed. She still sleeps with it sometimes. What's up with that? I mean, she's 45 years old, married, and the mother of seven children, for crying out loud! You've been thinking about talking to her about it. Maybe she needs to see a shrin
      • Re:Jesus H. Christ (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Macdude ( 23507 )
        Now, like I said, you've got a fast computer. So you can rip a CD in about five minutes. Add to that the one minute per disc to check the metadata accuracy and you're looking at six minutes per CD. Good! That's 10 per hour. OK, you've got 400 CDs and you can do 10 an hour. That'll only take you... hrm--I never was any good at math--carry the six, divide by pi... 40 hours. Oh. That's a full time job for a week! Dang.

        Once you start the RIP you just get on with whatever it was you were doing on the computer in

  • []

    1. $0.00 / CD, No shipping needed
    2. ???
    3. Profit!!!

    Anyone wonder how many Sony Rootkits (tm) these guys got?
  • price?what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EngMedic ( 604629 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:30PM (#14269414) Homepage
    Cdex : []

    for windows systems, it's all you need. otherwise:
    cdparanoia -B;
    for files in *.wav; do lame -b $files; done;
    rm *.wav;
    easytag &
    • Re:price?what? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      replace lame -b with flac -6 and you're there. with drives as large as they are now why bother with lossy compression? the good thing about flac is that it also stores an md5 checksum of the pcm data so you even run validity checks on your media. simply transcode to your desired portable music player format at your convenience without having to re-rip!
      • the only reason i default to mp3 is because the only portable player i know of that plays flac is the rio karma, and it was discontinued about 6 months ago
      • Well, with large drives the way they are, why don't you just use WAV? C'mon, I have a big hard drive, but it fills up damn fast. I need all the space I can get, and I just don't lose enough quality to justify taking up more space with my music.
    • Way too complicated. I just insert my audio CD and drag-n-drop ogg files out of Konqueror...
  • Damaged? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MiKM ( 752717 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:33PM (#14269421)
    I'd be interested to see how the sound quality compares if the CDs are scratched. Given that many people won't be sending in new discs, this should be an important factor.
  • KDE's cool ripper (Score:4, Informative)

    by mayhemt ( 915489 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:35PM (#14269428)
    This was sometime back when I was playing around with KDE & SuSe. I was searching sourceforge/freshmeat for some cool ripper. they were problems compilin & shit with them. I poked around into /mnt/cdrom in konqueror & HOLY SHIT it has mp3 & ogg vorbis folders. I was shocked to see mp3 supplied by the CD manufacture. later i came to know it was KDE's feature!!! All i had to was copy/paste folder into HD partitions...i was like holy goddamn! KDE has an inbuilt ripper. thats it, i never searched for a ripper. just My 2c.
  • Only MP3? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScoLgo ( 458010 ) <scolgo@gm a i l .com> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:36PM (#14269431) Homepage
    I'm currently in the process of ripping my 400+ CD's to FLAC - not MP3. If there was a service that would provide a lossless codec, I might be interested in saving the time. Even then, I doubt it though. It's just not that difficult, or time-consuming, to do it yourself. I mean, gRip runs in the background just fine while surfing for por^W^W^Wworking.

  • All the companies reviewed in this article have inexplicably been shutdown by an virus, called RIAA.pwn, which uses the Sony-created rootkit.
  • Silence, Nerds! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quaoar ( 614366 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:43PM (#14269468)
    Believe it or not, there ARE people out there with legitimate, 500+ CD collections who would rather not repeat the process of:

    A. Ripping the CD.
    B. Fixing the tags.
    C. Applying album art.
    D. Sorting the music properly.

    ...500 times!

    I'm not saying that I would use it (I personally like organizing my collection, it's fun for me), but I could see how someone with a large music collection would be willing to pay for such a service.
    • C. Applying album art.

      Why do people have to apply album art? Is it worth keeping?

  • Believe me, it's not easy to fit half a ton of CDs into the mailbox.
  • (Score:3, Interesting)

    by devnullkac ( 223246 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:44PM (#14269472) Homepage
    I wonder if companies like these could make their operations more efficient by caching the rips of their customers so the same CD need not be done twice. Sadly, the lessons of [] should discourage them from anything like that.
  • by ynohoo ( 234463 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:51PM (#14269503) Homepage Journal
    Title says it all, really. Altho I still have alot of CDs to rip...
  • FLAC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:52PM (#14269512)
    Some of them offer FLAC, and send it back on DVDs, so you would have an additional hardcopy of all your tunes incase something ever happened. I would have considered this if it was a bit cheaper, and may be worth it for professionals that don't have hours to burn their entire collection.

    I know I can do it myself, but I've already ripped my entire collection at 128 mp3 (yes I was stupid), then 320 mp3, and THEN I found out about FLAC and figured it would be good to have a lossless backup of everything. However, I really don't feel like burning everything over again. I guess I'll just take and weekend and do it all over again (it'd be just as much of a hassle to ship everything, wait awhile, then pick it up [UPS/Fedex NEVER leaves anything at my apartment]).
    • Isn't there a utility you could use to just convert your 128 mp3's to FLAC?

      Yes, I'm kidding ;-)
      • Re:FLAC (Score:4, Informative)

        by chronicon ( 625367 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:00PM (#14269804) Homepage
        FLAC is overkill unless you want to rebuild your audio CDs in their pristine state. If your are going strictly for archival purposes, FLAC is the way to go. For everything else, ripping to OGG Vorbis at quality 5-6 is quite acceptable [], IMO. I started out way too low initially, but 6 is ~192kbps and sounds quite good--that is what I am sticking with these days. Can all but the most discerning ear tell the difference between these files and the originals? I really doubt it...

        I'm not going to send my CDs to one of these services, I have been in the process of ripping my entire collection to Vorbis for quite some time. No rush, I have a lot done--enough to entertain me while I am in the process of finishing the rest...

        • by Malc ( 1751 )
          I ripped everything to FLAC, and also OGG. The OGGs are at quality 5 (~160 Kbs), which seemed equivalent to ~192 Kbs VBR MP3. They're okay on headphones in a noisy environment (e.g. plane), but they sound quite poor on my stereo in the living room. I'm a little disappointed as I'd hoped to use my iRiver via Toslink as a juke box. It will do, but only when I have friends over and we're drinking plenty of booze ;)
  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:54PM (#14269522) Journal
    I've never heard of these services before. It's a fairly safe assumption a lot of other people haven't either.

    If you want to use one of these services, I'd recommend doing it sooner rather than later. The lawsuit, based on the [] precedent is inevitable, and I'd expect the ripping services to lose. I don't think the courts are going to fail to see this as distribution, if what was doing was "distribution". The only difference is really transmission method.

    Especially as it's a safe bet at least one of them doesn't really rip each time, but instead pulls it from the "cache" whenever possible, removing the last difference from other than transmission method.

    Note, I'm not saying I want them shut down; I think was perfectly ethical, though the legality is at best dubious. Personally, I don't think you can "distribute" something to somebody who already has it, but I can see how reasonable people differ. (Though I think my opinion is more rational going forward [].) I just think that based on the precedent, the ripping services would lose, especially as it will be easy to paint every dollar these services make as something the copyright holder should have gotten (even though they don't offer this service; copyright law doesn't care), which is the Big No-No of copyright law, the whole reason it exists.
  • Cost of around $1/CD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PhunkySchtuff ( 208108 ) <kai@automatica.c[ ]au ['om.' in gap]> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @09:56PM (#14269534) Homepage
    At these prices, you can sign up for a subscription with or or any of these other "quasi-legal" sites and download full albums for $1.00-$1.50
    • One of the good things about your legal system (if you're in the USA, which is statistically likely) is the presumption of innocence. If no one's been charged, which they haven't, and if the service has not been shut down or blocked by your own country's legal system, which it hasn't, then there is a very strong presumption that it is legal. I think that's just neat. It would be sad if everyone gave up their freedoms as easily as you do!
  • Took me two weeks (Score:2, Informative)

    by Centurix ( 249778 )
    Ripping my CD's (~450) to a minimum of 192kbps using CDex, you can rip from two drives at the same time, put two CD's in, eyeball the CDDB entries, press rip. Then from that point I go do something else, pop in every few minutes, change CD's rinse and repeat. Worked ok.
  • Why pay?!? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:02PM (#14269561) Homepage Journal
    Call it flame bait, but what's wrong with Windows Media Player 10? Toss in a CD, switch to the RIP tab, turn off the DRM option and rip to MP3 or WMA. It automaticly grabs the artist, title, song list, and cover art and puts the whole thing together for you. My P4 540 chews through an album in no time, and works fine in the back ground. I have next to no time to waste ripping, but I managed to get through a quarter of my collection (over 200 discs) taking the time to select which songs to rip and which albumns to grab in and hour or so.

    • Re:Why pay?!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:24PM (#14269888)
      Call it flame bait, but what's wrong with Windows Media Player 10? Toss in a CD, switch to the RIP tab, turn off the DRM option and rip to MP3 or WMA.

      Nothing wrong with that. But I gotta say, iTunes is even better in this department. You can set it to automatically rip the disc (to codex/bitrate x) when the disc is inserted, and eject automatically when finished. I did my CD collection this way; basically when I went to watch a movie or was reading, I'd just open the laptop next to me and put in the next disc when I heard the whir of the last disc ejecting. No clicking at all.

      • Re:Why pay?!? (Score:3, Informative)

        by AlexMax2742 ( 602517 )
        If you like iTunes, you'll love Foobar2k []. I use it to rip all of my CD's to Musepack -standard, get tags, apply ReplayGain, and sort it how I like it. It also has the advantage of not being nearly as resource/memory intensive as itunes or WMP 10.
    • Re:Why pay?!? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by glitch0 ( 859137 )
      According to a post I read earlier in this article it kills CD drives quickly. I don't actually know if this is true, but it would be interesting to find out. Not that I'll ever use anything other than anymore, but still curiosity pervades me.
  • I've already ripped most of my CDs because - you know - I listen to them. But there are maybe 20-30 left that I've never gotten around to. Some are my wife's musicals, a few instrumentals, some old pop music I don't care much for right now but might some day.

    One of these companies offers a 25 CD free "trial". Given that it's free, I'd be crazy to not try it.

    Unless you are very obsessive about the formatting of your ID3 tags or the exact codec used, how many other people wouldn't want to take them up on t
    • For 25 discs, I think it'd be more convenient to just rip them myself then take the time to sign up and send them in. It takes me literally five minutes and two clicks to rip a CD with Grip. I've done about 200 so far, essentially my entire collection.
  • by agslashdot ( 574098 ) <> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:11PM (#14269601)
    No US firm can do a rip at less than a dollar per CD and remain financially sustainable in the long run.
    Recently I spoke with a bunch of folks interested in doing this out of India ( ie. outsourcing CD-ripping)

    1. CD to mp3 at 5 cents per CD. ( Most US firms charge around $1 per CD)
    2. Audio Casette to mp3 at 10 cents per tape. ( Most US firms charge upwards of $5 per tape)

    Tascam makes a decent cassette->CD converter []

    Shipping. This isn't Java code you can "ship over the wire". Packaging CDs + courier costs + potential damages + Customs duties at port of entry bring the costs back to a dollar per CD :(

    btw, the Audio Cassette to mp3 market is much more lucrative within India, & for Indian immigrants abroad( roughly 2 million Indian immigrants in USA, 1.5 mil in UK ). An average Bollywood movie has 6 songs. About 800-900 films released per year, mostly music available in audio tapes only. Old Bollywood films ( 1980s & earlier ) are exclusively on audiotape. That means the average Indian household has 100s of audiotapes lying around. The mp3 market in India is exploding, mp3 players available dirt-cheap []
    Last I counted, I have 375+ audio cassettes waiting to be converted to mp3, & I'm not even a hardcore Bollywood fan!
  • Buyer beware (Score:4, Interesting)

    by saperl ( 66503 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:31PM (#14269681)
    I used RipDigital (yes, I could do it myself; no, I didn't) and while it was mostly useful, I still spent a lot of time fixing the tags. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is annoyed by the inconsistency in the Gracenote DB. Sometimes it's "J.S. Bach", sometimes it's "Johann Sebastian Bach", and sometimes it's "Bach, J.S.". Nine Inch Nails albums are variously classified as rock, alternative/punk, and electronica.

    I found myself wishing that RipDigital had built a local version of the DB with consistent artist names, album titles, song titles, genres, etc., adding new CDs as customers submit them for ripping. In other words, check local DB and if absent, use Gracenote to get the initial data, scan the tags for format, make edits as necessary, and insert into local DB for future. Sure, it would have meant a little extra work at the outset, but pretty soon they would get to the point where each new customer was only requiring them to manually check the formatting on a handful of CDs, and the finished product would be so much cleaner.
  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:33PM (#14269693) Journal
    There are a lot of threads about the cost. "do it yourself", "you're lazy", "costs too much".

    Well, my friends, there are people on the worlds who value their time at more than $60USD per hour... these services offer ripping services for about $1 a disc, and since YOU can't rip them faster than 1 per minute (it would probably take you about 5 minutes each, be honest), it is a BARGAIN to send them off and have someone else do it.

    Lots of people don't wash their own car, clean their own house, etc.

    Just shut up - economies work by people paying others what a fair price for services rendered. If your time is not worth $1 for 5mins work, then don't use these services.

    Also bear in mind there are lots of folks (call them "users", get my drift) who haven't a clue how to go about getting CDEX or some such.

    Chill out.

  • by fncll ( 159437 ) * on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:43PM (#14269736) Homepage
    Having over 2000 CDs I can see the attraction with these services-- but how many of them rip and encode and tag the files properly? I've slowly been converting my whole collection and it's time consuming to do it right-- I don't mean dropping the disc in iTunes, but EAC with error correction and checksum verification + LAME APS + proper file naming + full tagging (or completely proofread tags normalized to the way I want my whole collection). The only people I've found that meet all my specs are my kids-- and their services don't come cheap...

    re: scratches-- Brasso can clean just about any reasonable scratches off of a disc... the only thing better is an actual resurfacing unit, which'll set you back another $2500 or so. Throw those disc doctors and other pieces of crap in the trash where they belong.
  • I don't get it. I ripped the 4000 CDs in my collection and it was pretty painless. Didn't take more than a year to do and I started with the albums I was interested in. After that point, I never played another CD straight again. I just rip everything I buy.
  • by macslut ( 724441 ) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:27PM (#14269898)
    I have a collection of 4,259 CDs. It took me a couple of hours to rip the CDs including lyrics.

    Oh, it took my Mac almost a month to rip them, but why would I could cpu cycles as *my* time? iTunes makes ripping damn easy and with PearLyrics you can get lyrics automatically added (for songs it can find).

    What I did was connect 3 external CD drives and I had 2 internal drives. I would then load up my trays with 5 discs. I had iTunes set to auto-import an eject.

    Minimal effort and very rewarding. Even if I only had 1 drive, it would still have been very easy...but with the money I was saving, I could've not only bought additional drives, I could've bought a new Mac as well.

    I simply can't imagine paying for the service...especially when it involves shipping the discs.
  • How timely... I just wrote an article on how you can rip anything that is piped through your sound card.

    Shameless self-promotion:

    How to capture audio from any source []
  • Next thing you know, they'll start trying to sell us in bottles what comes out of our faucets. ...wait.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon