For those who like having a collection of their music all in your computer, ready for play on either your portable player or home theater setup, ripping your collection of CDs is fairly easy.
Just pop it in to your CD drive, choose a ripping program (like Exact Audio Copy, and voila! you have your music ripped perfectly (into FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, or in another lossless format).
This is the way almost anyone knows how to rip CDs, so shouldn’t it be just as easy to rip DVD Audio and Blu-Ray Audio discs? Unfortunately, after an extensive Google search and my own trial-and-errors found it is not as simple to rip.
My Test Case
(collect the soundtrack for your collection by clicking the picture to my CDJapan affiliate link)
I recently bought the Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward soundtrack, and it is formatted on a Blu-Ray Audio Disc with 24-bit/96kHz audio. While trying several free and trialware programs, as well as searching online on how others ripped their Blu-Rays, I found a way to rip using the least cost and number of programs to use.
The DVD and Blu-Ray Audio ripping guide can be found at my sister site Anime HD Audio List.
Note that I ripped the disc in a Windows-based system, and both recommended programs are for Windows only, if you know a way on a MAC or Linux system please let me know.
So Much Work just for Ripping an Album I Bought!
Now if you have tried this method or other similar method, you may be wondering why it isn’t as easy as ripping a CD? Why is there no dedicated program (free or affordable) that can rip for you? Well for starters, this market of audio listening is just not popular enough for people to seek answers for.
Most physical media is still being produced on CDs (and the re-emergence of Vinyl). Higher fidelity formats for audio, such as SACD, Blu-Ray Audio, DVD Audio, and similar just did not get mainstream acceptance, and for some other avid audio people they do not see the point of higher audio resolutions (i.e. CD is just enough).
Also for many people, buying lossy audio via iTunes, Amazon, or from other well-known online stores is an easier and way more convenient option. As I have mentioned before about physical or digital for your music, just having less clutter and getting music as you sit in your underwear can be more appealing.
A bigger number also prefer streaming and is just enough for their music listening. Why spend money on one album when you can spend a small fee per month (or free with ads) listening to a wide variety of music? Why collect and fuss about a collection when you can just stream easily to your smartphone or tablet anywhere?
For the Love of Music Collecting
Well for those of us who do love collecting albums, and if some of those albums come in DVD or Blu-Ray, we would also want to have them easily accessible and ready to listen on our great systems and headphones. I mean that is why you bought albums, to listen to the great music on them right?
But for many manufacturers releasing HiRes albums, distributing music online is easier than producing DVD and Blu-Ray audio discs. The discs needs video on them, so there is more work to get done for producing the disc, on top of album art, menus, extra features, packaging, etc.
If you were in charging of distributing to a rather small market, would you rather just upload files, or worry about making videos and packaging, then determining how many units would you need to sell to avoid paying to much for manufacturing costs? If only demand for the DVD and Blu-Ray audio was higher, then that would justify costs for making physical product.
But then again as I urged the entire music industry to standardize a single physical format, production for more DVD and Blu-Ray albums does not look like it will increase. There might be a new album in Blu-Ray Audio, and at least you now have a way to rip the audio and keep the fidelity for your collection!
Respond back with your experience ripping DVD or Blu-Ray Audio! What programs did you use? Was it easy or hard? I would like to hear what you have done!
Bonus: Here is another album in Blu-Ray I would recommend (yes another Final Fantasy album, good to see SquareEnix sticking to quality releases!):
- I have only tested an album in Blu-Ray, DVD audio would be similar.
- The ripping method only works on PCM-based audio discs, and will NOT work when ripping SACDs. That method is far more complicated and restrictive (you will need a first generation PS3 to do it).