Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


CD Ripping
by Alan German

Many newer vehicle models have the capability of playing music files from a USB drive plugged into an accessory port. And, most of us have extensive collections of music CD’s that we used to play in our vehicle’s CD player. The problem with the latter process was always how to store multiple CD’s in the car so that we didn’t get bored with the same old selection. Today’s huge-capacity USB drives will solve that problem – if only we can transfer the files from our CD’s onto a USB disk.

What we need is a CD ripper – a program to extract the individual music tracks from a CD, convert them to MP3 format, and store them on a disk. Enter FairStars CD Ripper – a simple, yet powerful piece of software to do precisely that.

Install the program, put a music CD in the computer’s drive, and run the CD ripper. Press the “Query” button, press “OK” in the “Querying Freedb” dialogue box, and all of the information about the CD and the tracks it contains is displayed in the program window. FairStars uses the freeDB.org web site to obtain the relevant data. All of the CD’s that I have tried to date have had entries in this database so that the process of cataloguing the individual tracks is fully automatic.

There is a built-in help system, but the program’s operation is pretty well self-explanatory. The output file type can be set through a drop-down menu, with the MP3, OGG, VQF, FLAC, APE, WMA, and WAV file types all being supported. Browse through the computer’s file system to select a folder for the output files. A variety of data fields (e.g. track number, track title, etc.) to be used in the output filenames can be selected through a drop-down menu. The resulting selection can be further edited to customize the final filename format. A “Preview” button displays a list of the filenames for the tracks on the CD as they will be named in the output folder. The program even has a set of playback controls to let you listen to any selected track from the CD before it is extracted.

Once you are satisfied with the results, press the ‘Extract” button and the program goes in to action, creating the set of audio files in the specified coded format. Now it’s simply a matter of copying the newly-minted tracks to (a folder on) a USB drive.

The beauty of this system is that you can now have dozens of “CD’s” available in your vehicle and, if any given track goes south, you still have the original CD from which you can make a replacement copy. And – best of all – you can’t scratch USB’s!


Bottom Line:

Fairstars CD Ripper (Freeware)
FairStars Soft
Version 1.80
http://www.fairstars.com/cdripper/


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Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

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