A good ripper makes all the difference when transferring your CD tracks to MP3s. FreeRIP not only extracts and converts your audio tracks but also finds and downloads CD and track information and presents it in editable form right on the interface. It's easy to start right up with FreeRIP, but it includes a multi-language manual as well as tutorials and FAQs, if you should need them. FreeRIP supports the most common audio formats, not only MP3 but also FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, and WAV. It can also convert files between any two supported formats. Of course, FreeRIP can also play your files.
FreeRIP's nice-looking interface includes three tools: the Ripper, Converter, and Tagger. We loaded an audio CD in our burner's tray. FreeRIP scanned and displayed the contents, automatically retrieving the CD's meta tags and displaying them in the right-hand sidebar. The program's colorful toolbar accesses all necessary functions, including an Options Window, which is a compact pop-up for setting program preferences. FreeRIP offers many more data fields for both tracks and albums than most users will need, but those who do will appreciate not only the detailed tags but also how easy it is to enter and edit data. FreeRIP can rip your CD tracks and save them in the low-loss FLAC format, which preserves more of the original quality. You can play them on your PC in the high-quality format, and then convert them into MP3s for your portable player later on.
We pressed the Rip CD button when we were ready, and FreeRIP processed our CD quickly, ripping and converting the batch of tracks one by one, and tracking the progress of each in a pop-up. If you have lots of CDs to rip and little time to do it, there's a paid upgrade, FreeRIP Pro, optimized for multicore CPUs. It offers faster ripping and other options, such as prioritization. But we had no problem with waiting a little longer, and the quality is the same, so we were perfectly happy with the freeware version of FreeRIP and the files it creates.