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RipDigital is a bulk CD-ripping operation: send

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 10, 2004

RipDigital is a bulk CD-ripping operation: send them your CD library and they’ll ship your library back in MP3 format.

Reader comments

hindenbergJan 10, 2004 at 7:30PM

lazy, inane, parasitic

TomJan 10, 2004 at 8:10PM

if only it were like the ill-fated mymp3.com, and they also left them on a server for you to stream.

that would be great.

TonyJan 10, 2004 at 8:37PM

Thank god the confusion of iTunes importing feature will no longer be an issue. Phew.

jjJan 10, 2004 at 8:57PM

it took me a whole weekend to convert ONE HALF of my CD library. this service, has SOME merit, no? my weekend is worth more than $179.

JohnJan 10, 2004 at 9:58PM

I’d be absolutely terrified of the postal service losing my collection. But hell, it’s not that expensive and you apparently get a free portable HDD out of the deal.

padraiginJan 10, 2004 at 10:48PM

It’s very interesting, if your time is worth more than a dollar a CD to you. It took us months of here-and-there ripping to get our whole library into iTunes—a richer me would cheerfully have paid someone else to do it.

bJan 10, 2004 at 11:19PM

Ahh, but it isn’t a free portable HDD, its an extra $99 for that, otherwise its one dvd per 50 mp3 files. Silly me, when I want something I haven’t ripped yet I put it in and listen to it while it rips in the background.

bJan 10, 2004 at 11:20PM

(doh. 50 cds, not 50 mp3 files. Werd.)

JonahJan 11, 2004 at 1:06AM

RipDigital actively encourages the responsible use of digital music by including uniquely identifiable information in each track converted

I wonder what kind of information they tag on there. I would assume that as they build their library of ripped tunes, they wouldn’t actually run your CD through the ripper if they already had it.

AnonJan 11, 2004 at 8:58AM

Sounds like a horrible business venture and a stupid waste of time. But hey… anything cal sell in America!

IzzyJan 11, 2004 at 1:06PM

You gotta hand it to them for thinking of this, importing a CD collection does take a lot of time. I’m sure there are people out there with money to burn who will go for it. What I don’t understand is how someone would trust their CD collection to the postal service. I wonder if there is some kind of extra insurance the company offers just in case something were to happen.

FirnJan 11, 2004 at 2:11PM

this ‘RipDigital actively encourages the responsible use of digital music by including uniquely identifiable information in each track converted’ sounds like every file will have your personal data, so if you share it, it shall be traceble.
Also they could build a huge library of music here, I doubt any of the employes would ever have to buy a cd again. I should have thought of this.

spygeekJan 11, 2004 at 3:33PM

According to the About page, they rip at 224kbs “to ensure CD-quality sound”. Is that really CD-quality?

spygeekJan 11, 2004 at 3:44PM

Ok, never mind…I just read that a 128k bit rate = 16k/sec, so 224k/sec would indeed be much higher.

On the other hand, if Im understanding the math correctly, those files would be pretty huge - about 30 megs for a 3 minute song.

TimJan 11, 2004 at 7:00PM

They send you a pre-paid shipping label for UPS NOT USPS. UPS service includes $100 of insurance automatically for loss or damage. However they do say anyting about insuring the package for any more and do not promote an option to do so. (It even sounds as if they limit their liability to $100, but I got a little lost in the lengthy legalese of their Terms and Conditions)

Additional insurance is something I would insist on before sending 100-200 CDs off to them. If they are lost or damaged in transit I would at least want replacement value in return (even that will fail to cover the hassle of replacing everything.)

donald tettoJan 11, 2004 at 9:53PM

spygeek — the “128k bit rate” you refer to is actually 128kbps, so 224kbps is a less than double that — you’re looking at 5 megs for a 3 minute song.

spygeekJan 11, 2004 at 11:34PM

Yea, forgive me, I got a little excited. I didn’t get that the other article I read was merely converting bits to bytes. 128kbps = 16k bytes/sec. My original question remains, however - is 224kbps considered CD quality?

IzzyJan 12, 2004 at 12:29AM

Thanks for the clarification Tim. Although UPS would be more reliable than the USPS, the insurance provided would barely cover the replacement of 8-10 CD’s, let alone 100-200+. I just received a package via UPS last week from a friend and it was left at the door and had a corner ripped up…I shudder to think what would happen to my entire CD collection on two mailing journeys.

donald tettoJan 12, 2004 at 12:59AM

spygeek - true “CD quality” is impractically large. I consider my 128kbps mp3s to be “CD quality,” however, and listen happily to ones as low as 96kbps (at 56kbps, they start to sound hollow). There are those who claim that 128kbps MP3s sound atrocious, but to me I couldn’t tell the difference. (Whose to say, though? My girlfriend honestly can’t differentiate between non-diet and diet soda [ugh])

samJan 12, 2004 at 12:47PM

MP3s don’t guarantee CD quality (compression without loss from the CD originals) at any bitrate, as far as I’m aware. MP3 is a lossy format. Lossless formats are available, but these achieve only about 50% compression (a bitrate of approx 700 kb/s).

So 224 kb/s is not CD quality. However it is pretty good; I wouldn’t worry about it quality-wise. (It’s somewhat better than 128kb/s AAC for instance, which is what iTunes uses…)

Michael S.Jan 12, 2004 at 1:30PM

A raw CD puts out 1411kbps, or about 11 times 128kbps. (44100 (samples per second) x 16 (bits per sample) x 2 (channels—left and right).) You should be able to get at least 4:1 compression of audio data without the lost information being noticable at all, which happens to be about where most audio encoders max out. (iTunes won’t do more than 320kbps.) So I think 224kbps should be about CD quality.

Tom MorrisJan 20, 2004 at 2:50PM

I buy my downloads at 192Kbps. That’s good enough for me.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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