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What is currently the best way to rip scratched audio cds under Linux?

What I find complicated, is that there are several tools available but it is not clear if one tool has better error correction features than the other.

I mean, there are at least:

  • cdparanoia
  • cdda2waw
  • cdrdao
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

cdparanoia started as a patch on a cdda2wav from 1997 and never updated the cdda2wav code. Since 2002, there is no visible activity on the project.

cdrdao was a similar short running project, founded in 1998 and no new features since at least 2004. There was never special support for bad media.

cdda2wav started in 1993 and is still actively maintained. In 2002, the "lib paranoia" was taken, made portable and enhanced over the years. Libparanoia is integrated into the maintained cdda2wav since 2002.

I recommend to use:

cdda2wav -vall paraopts=proof speed=4 cddb=0 -B

and to check the statistical reports for each extracted track.

BTW: if your drive supports reading C2 pointers, use:

cdda2wav -vall paraopts=proof,c2check speed=4 cddb=0 -B

this does a lot more than the latest cdparanoia version did. Please read the man page to understand the error reports from libparanoia.

Note: due to a bug in cdparanoia, there are situations, where the error reports from cdparanoia miss problems that are reported by cdda2wav, so do not believe cdparanoia was more successful than cdda2wav just because it reports less problems.

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cdparanoia is designed specifically to handle damaged media, with a wide variety of strategies ranging from re-reading sectors to interpolating lost data using FFT.

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I've had the greatest success with cdparanoia over the various other unix tools I've tried. Note that the newness of the reader (both vintage and dirt/wear) makes a big difference. Now I'm looking for a ripper that can extract cleanly from music CDs that were in the car in the sun and have holes in the polycarbonate layer you can see daylight through ;) – msw Sep 26 '10 at 13:18
If you have holes in the disc, no ripper is going to give you a 100% extraction, the data is literally gone. – Casey Jun 6 '11 at 10:22

I use the windows freeware exactaudiocopy under wine, which has its emphasis exactly on error correction. This works very nicely (see its entry on winehq). If you want to stay natively you might want to have a look at rubyripper.

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This does not really answer my question. A lot of projects claim they have 'emphasis on error correction'. But the question is: What tools are superior in doing error correction? And why? And btw, rubyripper looks like a frontend to cdparanoia. – maxschlepzig Sep 26 '10 at 10:39
Well, all I can say is that whenever the topic of error correcting ripping is discussed, exactaudiocopy is what people recommend. Whenever there is a possible uncorrected error, it will tell you the position in the file. That means you can check if those are corrected by an other program. – fschmitt Sep 26 '10 at 11:17
fschmidt, is absolutely correct EAC is the best tool for ripping CD's. I used to use it on Windows all the time. I haven't had to rip anything on Linux recently, but when the time came I was going to try EAC under wine, and if that did not work, would have added it to an XP VM. – HandyGandy Sep 26 '10 at 21:21
@HandyGandy Could you add some reasoning why EAC in your opinion would be superior to e.g. cdparanoia? – maxschlepzig Sep 27 '10 at 10:18
@max What do you want me to say? That it use the superior Ghirkov-Schmidt reduction algorithm to do it's error correcting. so it works well? Well I can't do that. I can only say that when visiting serious technical audiophile site or talking to such EAC always comes up as the best for ripping badly damaged CDs. That and the fact that it has done a good job on every CD, no matter how bad, I fed to it. You don't think that's right? Go see for yoruself. Google it and read. – HandyGandy Sep 30 '10 at 2:57

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