FreeRIP extracts and converts your audio tracks, as well as detecting CD and song info and making all of that info editable right from the interface. It's easy to start right up with FreeRIP, which supports the most common audio formats--MP3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, and WAV. It can also convert files between any of those formats, play your audio files, and edit tags. With the release of version 4.0, the app now adds burning audio CDs to the mix of features that free users can access.
FreeRIP's bare-bones interface is set up for easy access and maneuverability. You won't find any unnecessary ornamentation, wizards, or other doodads to get in the way of ripping, converting, tagging, and burning. Since the name is FreeRip, I decided to see how its extracting features worked first, especially to see how the product compares to our standard top free ripping software choices.
I was a bit underwhelmed. While FreeRIP doesn't make you hunt down the necessary LAME encoder to convert CDs to MP3, customizing the output isn't as easy as in other rippers. Clicking the "Settings" buttons, all the way to the right, will bring up a tab-based interface. Under the "Output" tab, you can customize bitrate, stereo setting, and tagging format, but it's not the most logical interface. Also, ripping a standard 45-minute CD at 320kbps CBR took more than a minute longer on FreeRip (5:52) compared to Foobar (3:51) or iTunes (3:58)(Download.com's top two free picks for Best Windows Apps for Music).
The interface uses a tall "ribbon" at the top that includes the majority of the program's functionality, such as choosing the Ripper, Tagger, or Converter, but then those selections are repeated in the standard File/View menus as well. Oddly, the "Burn Disc" feature is a separate button. It's not exactly clear how to add tracks to burn to a CD, nor is there any instruction in the linked user manual, which is disappointing since burning audio CDs is the big new feature in version 4.0. I managed to burn a mix by dragging and dropping from Windows Explorer into the tagger
FreeRip includes a fairly mild but persistent reminder to upgrade to the paid version of the app, which promises faster ripping and burning speeds, but it's hard to imagine paying for performance that other apps provide for free. FreeRip also includes a Spigot toolbar in its installer that must be "declined" to opt-out. FreeRip does what it promises to do fairly well, but there's nothing that stands out as fantastic. Stability was also an issue in my testing, as the program crashed fairly regularly and I was unable to use any of the Search, Videos, or Shopping features.
FreeRIP MP3 Converter is an easy-to-use Windows audio converter that can take CDs and convert to MP3, OGG, FLAC, WAV and WMA. It is also an MP3 converter, so it can convert MP3 to WAV, OGG to MP3, WMA to MP3, WAV to FLAC, etc. FreeRIP also integrates an MP3 tag editor that can handle both ID3 v1 and v2 tags, supports CD-Text and online CD databases for automatic metadata downloading. FreeRIP can download track data from the famous freedb.org, but also offers its exclusive FreeRIP CD DB which is a user-maintained database that offers a number of additional fields.
FreeRIP MP3 Converter also offers advanced features such as the ability to rip multiple CD tracks to a single MP3 file, and a search shortcut menu to help you find images, videos, information and lyrics. Despite the huge number of functions it incorporates, FreeRIP MP3 Converter has an intuitive user interface; a toolbar with big icons and a main window divided into two parts, the first of which lists the tracks and the second part gives specific information on each track. FreeRIP natively supports multiple languages such as English, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and users have the choice of two versions. You can upgrade to FreeRIP Pro, which is for paying users and offers advanced features such as multi-core optimization and the ability to run it at a higher priority, allowing the maximum speed possible. With both versions, users have the option to burn their own audio cd for free using newly Burn Audio CD feature.
March 28, 2016
Version: FreeRip MP3 Converter 22.214.171.124
A wide variety of conversions
Easy to use
This latest update - 126.96.36.199 - is filled with unwanted add-ons. Unless you reach each of the four or five lengthy "I agree" screens, you won't learn that this update hijacks your browser, search engine and tool bars. Really disappointing from a formerly unintrusive piece of software. Wonder what greedy SOB bought 'em. After using this for years, I'm dumping it today. There was so much stuff that I had to reset my system. Not good.