Best CD ripping solution (hardware or software)?

I recently spent the time to re-rip (FLAC & 320kbps MP3) every physical CD I have. 1400 albums with an internal optical drive, dBpoweramp, MP3Tag, and PerfectTunes. It was a solid month of getting reacquainted with the collection and I enjoyed it. There wasn’t much else to do during pandemic lockdown anyway.


New CD’s are 5 minute’s each agreed.

Older CDs can take a long time especially if scratched up. I was given a bag full of CDs yesterday and I have only managed 7 in 24 hour’s due to the dire state of them and there are dozens to go.
My personal CD collection would never have looked like that.


There’s also the CDs that have some form of DRM embedded so a random track cannot be ripped with conventional methods. Sony was notorious for this in the early 2000s.

For the problem tracks on scuffed CDs, with dBpoweramp you can try Burst Mode to rip to avoid lengthy error correction. Just requires a listen of the ripped track afterwards to see if there’s still a problem. Out of all my albums there were maybe 10 tracks I just ended up buying the actual digital copy of because they wouldn’t rip properly.

Sometimes a blue ray drive rips the CD properly when a DVD drive doesn’t. Or vice versa.


Yes and sometimes a cheap USB CD player will help as well as well as a Blue-ray player and I tend to use both when having problem CDs.

I do find that dbPoweramp works better than anything else for scratched discs.


exact audio copy is still the best ripping software you can get and for consumers free to use.

I also vote for exact audio copy, partly for the granular control it gives you over both your hardware and filenames. My entire digital life is organised by the filesystem and yours should be too. If your CD player is creaky, as many old PC players are, and you find the process slow or error ridden then buy the Astell and Kern CD ripper and plug it into a dedicated PC and just let it churn away while you’re doing other things (don’t multitask ripping with the PC you’re working on, use a dedicated machine).

Another vote here for the combo of dBpoweramp and MP3tag. I’ve used this to rip my library of 3,000 CDs. I have an Asus Blu-ray burner drive that works particularly well for ripping. With dBpoweramp I can manually select the drive ripping speed which is useful with less than perfect CDs (ripping them at 4X often succeeds when full speed generates errors).


Just curious, what does MP3tag give you over the tag editing functions (which are integrated into Windows File Explorer) of dBpoweramp? I have both, but I’ve never bothered to use MP3tag in earnest - dBpoweramp does all I need…

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I’ve used Windows to manage tags but I find it pretty crude. MP3tag has a much easier to use interface. One thing MP3tag is good for is verifying at a glance that all tracks in an album have the same common info such as album title, artist, cover art, etc. This is especially important for multi-disc box sets as Roon will choke on importing the album if all tracks don’t have the exact same basic info.

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MP3Tag allows the user to create new fields that dbpoweramp does not know about. This is very useful in classical music, for example, as the user can create the fields WORK and PART and have roon use them when it doesn’t recognize the compositional structure on a particular cd.

dBpoweramp allows for these (and other) custom fields as well. I suppose that MP3tag can make these a permanent part of the editing interface, whereas dBpoweramp does it on the fly.

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In addition to what has already mentioned, MP3tag also allows scripts (or rules) to automate some tasks. I created one where I can have all the file names in a specific format based on metadata. Then this rule can be applied to complete folders if I purchase digital albums from various sources and they are different.

I like to have all the file names arranged to

album artist-track number track title.flac

Or for multi-disc albums

album artist - disc number-track number track title.flac

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DBpoweramp also allows you to set up metadata based rules for file paths/folders. You might choose to organise classical by Composer/album, non-classical by artist/album, Compilations another way and so on. Though I wouldn’t put too much effort into it if you intend to use Roon.


Yes, I have settings for that too in dBpoweramp for ripping physical CDs.
The MP3tag rules are for music files I buy digitally.

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Would be great to get a recommended setting for dBPoweramp when ripping

I have an older mac mini with an optical drive, and with dBPoweramp, this was about the pace for me as well.

I have about 400 CDs, and whenever I was working at my desk, I’d just have a stack of CDs nearby and rip while I worked.

Got through them in fairly short order.

Now I just rip new CDs as I buy them. (duh)

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Here you go:

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XLD gets me great results: XLD download |


Oh great. And is this also compatible with Roon for example to correctly identify compilations, multi disc etc ?

In terms of dBpoweramp’s default setting for the auto-naming of files and folders, then yes it follows Roon’s best practice by using the Album Artist\Album\TrackNum Artist Title convention.

In terms of the quality of the metadata that it finds - it will present the data from the different online sources that it uses for you to make a choice at ripping time (if you wish). And naturally, the old rule applies: garbage in, garbage out. Multi-disc collections almost always require manual tweaking to help Roon , since the source metadata is usually garbage.