Many sites want to sell you commercial cd to mp3 makers... when there
are free softwares that do the same job and better!
I am going to tell you how how to use a free cd to mp3 converter: Exact
Audio Copy & Lame. First, we need to download these
two programs. Do not worry, they are guaranteed to be clean and contain
no spyware and no virus and nothing else that could harm your computer.
STEP1 : DOWNLOADING THE CD RIPPER
- Download Exact
Audio Copy. Clicking on the link will take you to the download page. Choose the Zip-archive version.
- Now create a directory called EAC on your computer.
- By now, you should have downloaded the zip file. Open it. Select
all files, copy them to your EAC directory.
STEP2: DOWNLOADING AN MP3 CODEC
LAME v3.97. This codec (3.97) is not the latest version, but it's the most tested one and thus it is considered by audio experts to be the best available among ALL
- Go back to your EAC directory and open it. Create a new directory
- You should have downloaded the zip file by now. Open it, select
all files and copy then to your LAME directory.
STEP3: SETTING UP EXACT AUDIO
COPY & LAME
Insert an Audio CD in your CD/DVD drive now. It's important that
you do it now.
I have prepared 5 different sound quality profiles for you to choose
(~ 160 kbit/s, for high quality on portable MP3 players.)
(~190 kbit/s, typical bitrates ranges from 180 to 220 kbps)
(~250 kbit/s, typical bitrates from 220 to 270)
(320 kbit/s CBR, highest possible quality)
I personally use the --alt-preset extreme
settings. All above settings will create Variable bitrate (VBR) MP3s
(except the insane setting), meaning the bitrates goes up or down
throughout the song to match the quality needed.
Save the chosen settings to your hard disk drive, if possible in
the EAC directory you created earlier.
Now, in EAC, go to the EAC menu, then to Profiles then
Load Profile. Locate the settings you just saved and select
it. Everything should be in English. If not, you can go to the EAC
menu (hit F9), then General Tab, and select English at the
The quality settings are now loaded. You still need to set a few
things up: go back to the EAC menu, and select Drive
Options. Click on Detect Read Features (at the bottom
of the first tab) and wait. Click OK.
Once again, go to the EAC menu, and select Compression Options.
Select the External Compression tab. Click on Browse and
locate the directory where you installed LAME (should be in EAC/LAME).
Then click OK.
Select the songs which you'd like to convert into mp3s, then click
the MP3 icon on the left side. You will be asked where to save the
mp3s, select a directory of your choice. Mp3s will be stored in a
directory of the following form <artist - cd name>.
You will see a black dos window with white characters, do not close
it. It's the encoding taking place. It will close by itself when finished
and it will beep twice to tell you when the encoding of all selected
files is finished. Leave EAC open until you hear it beeping twice.
Okay. This is it! Next time you need to encode a cd to mp3, simply
insert it in your cd/dvd drive. Open EAC, select the songs you want
to encode and click on the mp3 button.
This was a basic tutorial on how to transform your cd to mp3 files
by using EAC and LAME. If you want to learn more about how everything
works, I suggest you to take a look at this site: EAC
& Lame Quickstart Manual and EAC
tutorials. For more information on audio formats, recommended LAME
settings, I recommend you to check Hydrogenaudio's
Please tell your friends and family about this tutorial so that the
general quality of mp3 files on the internet goes up. You can easily
tell them thanks to the tell-a-friend box at the top right of this
page. Thank you!