Before getting stuck into CD duplication and LP and cassette ripping, we should mention a few of the great features in EAC. First, there is the browse database facility, available in the database menu. This effectively lets you browse your CD catalogue since it is compiled from all the CDs you have ripped (Fig. 1). You can also manage your database information, which is a feature available in no other ripper. Second, you can convert your MP3s back into WAV files using Decompress from the tools menu --
Duplicating and Recording CDs
When you rip a CD, only the audio information is extracted. To properly duplicate a CD you also need to replicate the gaps between tracks. This is especially important for live recordings, which often have no gaps whatsoever between tracks and occasionally contain some audio between tracks. When you have ripped a CD you can use
While you're ripping a CD, EAC will display red dots when it encounters read errors and will report data and sync errors on screen (Fig. 4). At the end of the rip, you will be shown a status report for the CD that will inform you of any errors that were found during the extraction process (Fig. 5). If you click the "Possible Errors" button, you will be presented with a new window that lists all the suspicious positions and allows you to play them back (Fig. 6). Just select one of the errors and click play - you will be given two seconds of lead in. If there is a click or pop, then you can use the "Glitch Removal" button to repair it. Bear in mind that you cannot undo this process and there are no user-configurable options either (Fig. 7).
If you are uncertain about using the glitch removal here, you can save the list of errors to a log file and then use the built-in sound editor to clean up the track later, with a few configurable options. For seriously damaged files, you may need to use an external sound editor such as Cool Edit, Sound Forge or Wavelab to repair the problems.
Recording LPs, cassettes, radio et al
EAC has a simple but very convenient audio recorder built in so that you can create MP3s from audio sources other than CDs. From the tools menu you can select "Record WAV" or simply hit
When your audio has finished playing, click "Stop record" and then "OK" to return to EAC's main interface. From here you can convert your newly recorded WAV file to an MP3, Ogg Vorbis or whatever file format you like. Remember, the F11 key is the shortcut to the compression window, and then you can use
If you are concerned about noise and clicks in your recording, you can use the simple built-in audio editor to try to repair it. This is best done prior to compression, but can be done afterwards. A normalise function and some simple effects such as equalisation can be added as well. Normalisation is used to maximises the volume of a recording, but bear in mind that amplifying the audio will also have the consequence of increasing noise levels. Generally speaking, however, normalisation is useful for boosting quiet recordings, but don't use it for live recordings as it can cause nasty volume shifts from track to track.
To bring up the audio editor, hit