Difference between revisions of "Digitizing CDs"

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An example folder name:
An example folder name:
Artist - Album (Year), {UK LTD RE, 2007, CAT#, LABEL, CD} [FLAC]
Artist - Album (Year) {UK LTD RE, 2007, CAT#, LABEL, CD} [FLAC]
Fields explained:
Fields explained:

Latest revision as of 20:54, 23 March 2020

Physical media is bloat. Digitizing your legacy CD collection is a productive way to spend an afternoon.

whipper is a CD ripping tool and the successor to morituri. Audio extraction is handled by the excellent cdparanoia library.

If you don't have a laptop with an optical bay then you can buy a portable CD Drive.

It should be automatically virtualized as a device under /dev/sr0/, or possibly /dev/cdrom. You can also run whipper drive list. Use dmesg to read kernel logs if you are having trouble during this step.

Before doing any actual ripping you should analyze the caching behavior by running whipper drive analyze. Next, have whipper find the drive offset by running whipper offset find. If everything went well you are ready to rip.

whipper-plugin-eaclogger is a plugin that mimics EAC style log reports.


Music metadata is not embedded on the physical disc.

Musicbrainz is a collaborative database for music meta-data. Whipper and other audio ripping programs query the MusicBrainz DB to fill out track names, numbers and other information. When no database entries exist, whipper will help you contribute one by sending you to an online form (requires registration) that is pre-filled with the signature of your CD.

Cover art

Cover art can usually be sourced online fairly easily. For a more personalized result you can scan you own, but that is beyond the scope of this guide.

By the way, there is no good reason to embed cover art in music files. If you ever run across this, you can remove the embedded art with a tool like puddletag, or (probably) with exiftool.

Folder naming

Your folder name should contain enough information to uniquely identify the release. This is especially important when sharing your music with other people.

An example folder name:

Artist - Album (Year) {UK LTD RE, 2007, CAT#, LABEL, CD} [FLAC]

Fields explained:

  • Year is the original year of release, not the year of re-release.
  • UK is the country code. Some albums have country specific releases.
  • LTD is shorthand for limited edition.
  • CAT% is the catalog number, usually printed on the spine.
  • LABEL is the record label, usually printed.
  • CD is the medium. Useful for telling a CD release from a vinyl.
  • FLAC is the audio format. Homemade CD rips should always be in FLAC and later transcoded to other formats, if desired.

Customize this however you please.