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

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 2
    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
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 13:18
  • 1
    If you have holes in the disc, no ripper is going to give you a 100% extraction, the data is literally gone.
    – cmcginty
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 10:22
  • You do not get the best results with cdparanoia, as this tool has not been enhanced since 2001. If you have a good drive and a bad disk, cdparanoia will even believe everything is OK. The best results on UNIX are retrieved with cdda2wav -paranoia
    – schily
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 12:40

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.

  • Good answer, now outdated. cdda2wav has been replaced by/renamed to icedav. It no longer supports the proof option, and I couldn't find an equivalent in icedav. No matter the options I tried (e.g. larger frame overlap), I got major skippage from icedav. cdparanoia however is VERY reliable and is somehow able to make sense of some of my most scratched CDs that icedav does terribly with. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 18:49
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    My answer is definitely not outdated. icedax is a fork from cdda2wav made in 2004 and "enhanced" by debian specific bugs. Icedax is unmaintained since May 2007 and icedax did never support the "paraopts" "proof" option since the "proof" option was added to cdda2wav in 2010. Cdparanoia is is based on old "paranoia" code that did not fix all bugs and that does not support C2 pointers. As mentioned in the original answer: cddaw2av gives better results than cdparanoia because it detects the problems, cdparanoia is unaware of and thus can do more retries for a better result.
    – schily
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 9:54
  • Just to make sure, cdda2wav is the only ripping tool mentioned here that is still under active maintenance and development.
    – schily
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 12:08
  • Thanks, so glad you clarified! That was a bad assumption on my part, because Ubuntu's cdda2wav package redirects to icedax. I was able to install from source and get cdda2wav working with the options you suggested. Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 15:20

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.

  • 2
    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. Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 10:39
  • 2
    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
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 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
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 21:21
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    @HandyGandy Could you add some reasoning why EAC in your opinion would be superior to e.g. cdparanoia? Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 10:18
  • 1
    @HandyGandy No offense - well, I just have the opinion that to give motivation/rationale/explanatory statements etc. is really the point of a technical/scientific discussion. Regarding audiophiles - good that you mention that. There are a lot of audiophiles that pay $ 500/m for their SPDIF cables because they can hear the difference ... Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 20:52

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