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How To Rip Audio CDs into Flac with Correct Track Titles and Highest Compression Level

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In this article, we will explore how you can rip audio CDs into FLAC format with correct track titles and at the highest compression level. This process is crucial for anyone looking to digitize their CD collection while preserving the best possible audio quality. We will be using a command-line tool named ‘abcde’ and a FLAC encoder for this purpose.

Quick Answer

To rip audio CDs into FLAC with correct track titles and the highest compression level, you can use the command-line tool ‘abcde’ and a FLAC encoder. Install ‘abcde’ and FLAC on your computer, insert the CD, create a directory to store the FLAC files, and run the command ‘abcde -o flac’. ‘abcde’ will automatically fetch the track information from the CDDB. You can also set FLAC as the default output format in ‘abcde’ for future use.

What is FLAC?

FLAC, or Free Lossless Audio Codec, is an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed without any loss in quality. It is open-source and royalty-free, making it a popular choice for storing high-quality audio files.


Before we begin, ensure that you have a computer with a CD drive and a stable internet connection. The internet is required to fetch the correct track titles from the CDDB (Compact Disc Database).

Installing Necessary Software

Firstly, we need to install ‘abcde’ and FLAC. Open your terminal and type the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install abcde flac

The sudo apt-get update command updates your package list, ensuring that you download the latest version of the software. The sudo apt-get install abcde flac command installs both ‘abcde’ and FLAC.

Ripping the CD

Insert the audio CD into your computer’s CD tray. Then, create a directory to store the FLAC files:

mkdir flacs
cd flacs

The mkdir flacs command creates a new directory named ‘flacs’, and cd flacs changes the current directory to ‘flacs’.

Now, it’s time to rip the CD. Run the following command:

abcde -o flac

The -o flac option specifies that we want our output files in FLAC format. ‘abcde’ will then start the ripping process.

Fetching Track Information

‘abcde’ will automatically query the CDDB to retrieve track information. If there is no internet connection or the CD is not registered in the CDDB, you can manually edit the track information.

Setting FLAC as Default Output

If you frequently rip CDs into FLAC format, you can set FLAC as the default output format for ‘abcde’. To do this, copy the default configuration file to your home directory and edit it:

cp /etc/abcde.conf ~/.abcde.conf
gedit ~/.abcde.conf

In the configuration file, uncomment the line OUTPUTTYPE=flac to set FLAC as the default output format.


After the ripping process is complete, you will find the FLAC files in the ‘flacs’ directory. The file names will be based on the track information obtained from the CDDB. Now, you can enjoy your favorite music in high-quality FLAC format.

Remember, if you encounter issues with ‘abcde’ not displaying track information or using the desired compression level, it is recommended to explore alternative software. Happy ripping!

What is the benefit of ripping audio CDs into FLAC format?

Ripping audio CDs into FLAC format allows you to preserve the best possible audio quality while still compressing the files. FLAC is a lossless audio format, meaning that there is no loss in quality during compression. This makes it ideal for anyone who wants to digitize their CD collection without sacrificing audio fidelity.

Can I use a different tool instead of ‘abcde’ to rip audio CDs into FLAC?

Yes, there are alternative tools available for ripping audio CDs into FLAC format. Some popular options include Exact Audio Copy (EAC) for Windows and X Lossless Decoder (XLD) for Mac. These tools offer similar functionality and can also retrieve track information from online databases.

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