How to rip music cds into high quality VBR MP3s

This tutorial is completely coppied from a specific page hosted at Honestly, his is a lot better than this one, and I recommend that you go there instead. My only reason for hosting this meager duplicate is to help send users in the right direction, and to be prepared in case the original disappears one day.

Overview: You want to rip music CDs, and you want high quality. The answer is a two-piece solution: EAC (Exact Audio Copy) rips the CDs and saves the output into wav format, and then LAME (Lame Ain't an MP3 Encoder) converts them to mp3 format with whichever options you desire. This particular tutorial will end up giving you no-compromise variable bitrate mp3s which sound absolutely fantastic.

  1. Download and install the newest version of Exact Audio Copy. It's freeware.
  2. Download and place into the EAC program directory the LAME.exe executable which will encode the wav files into mp3.
  3. Run EAC, and when it asks you to do so, browse to the location of that lame.exe file.
  4. You'll see a pull-down menu toward the top left of EAC which displays your available CD drives, and also lists their adaptor and ID numbers. Select the drive you'd like to use, make note of it's numbers, and select the cooresponding .cfg profile file on the original tutorial page at listed above. Place it into the 'Profiles' directory within your EAC program directory (program files/eac/profiles).
  5. If you are running windows 2000 or XP, download and place into the EAC program directory the wnaspi32.dll file.
  6. Close EAC, place a music CD into the drive you previously selected, and reopen EAC.
  7. Under the EAC > Profiles menu, click 'Load Profile,' and select the .cfg file you downloaded.
  8. Under the EAC menu, click 'Compression Options,' and then on the 'External Compression' tab. In case the correct one is not set, browse to the lame.exe file you downloaded.
  9. Press ALT + G to make EAC contact the freedb database to automatically identify the tracks on your CD (this information is not stored on music CDs). If EAC complains about being unable to access the database/server, press F12 to get the server selection window. Click 'Get active freedb server list.'
  10. Done. If you don't select any tracks and just click the "MP3" button on the left side of EAC, it'll ask for a destination directory and then do all the ripping for you. View the log to be sure that the process completed happily.