EAC Lossless Ripping Guide

This guide will only instruct you in how to make lossless audio rips of your cds. Why lossless? Assuming you don’t know what lossless is, a lossless file(s) is a complete copy of the album without errors; hence the term lossless. Before we begin, I feel that I must cover what should and should not be ripped with this guide.

*Any album that you own yourself or have access to is acceptable to rip.

*Any thing such as a CD-R copy of an album is not acceptable to rip since the rip will not be lossless to start with. You must have the original store bought CD for this to work.

*All MP3 settings in EAC are irrelevant to this guide, and have no bearing on the quality of your rip.

This guide will work for EAC .95pb5 and EAC .99pb4

1. Download Exact Audio Copy (EAC) and install it.

2. Install an accepted lossless codecs, such as FLAC or WavPack (this is what makes the files smaller; similar to a zip file but just for audio).

3. Put this file in your EAC folder: wnaspi32.dll (used for compatibility purposes).

4. EAC must be setup before you can continue.

4A. Start by opening EAC.

The settings wizard will pop up. Hit cancel. This wizard does not have access to all eac settings.

4B. Hit F12 to go to the FreeDB Options.

Enter an email address here. Hit OK to exit out of the FreeDB Options. This is needed to access the freedb database.

4C. Hit F9 to bring up the EAC Options.

- Check Fill Up Missing Offset Samples With Silence.
- Check Synchronize Between Tracks are all that need checking here.
- Turn Error Recovery Quality to High.

4D. Now click on the General tab.

The only thing needing to be checked here, is On Unknown CDs, Automatically Access Online FreeDB Database.
Note: These options for the most part have no effect on accurate ripping. Options such as Disable ‘CD Autostart’ For Audio And Data CDs While EAC Running might give you more luck ripping copy protected CDs, but that can be done outside of EAC by holding down SHIFT before and while you insert the CD until it loads as well.
EAC .99pb3: Certain discs may cause EAC to freeze. To correct for this check “On unkown CD’s” “open CD information dialog”.

4E. Now click on the Tools tab.

- Check Use CD-Text Information In CUE Sheet Generation.
- Also check Create ‘.m3u’ Playlist On Extraction and Write m3u playlist With Extended Information below it.
- Check Automatically Write Status Report After Extraction or you will not get a log file!
- If you have a multi-core cpu then you may want to use “On extraction, start external compressors queued in the background”, then set it to your number or cores. This will reduce the total extraction time.


-Retrieve UPC / ISRC Codes In CUE Sheet Generation isn’t required, but is always appreciated. You can also check Do Not Open External Compressor Window if you do not want to see one.

-If you have a multi-core system you can enable extra threads without jeopardizing your rip. One extra threads will be enough.

4F. Now click on the Normalize tab.

- Normalization destroys any chance of the rip being lossless.

4G. Now click on the Filename tab.

- Put in %N - %T like shown for track number, and song name. Once you are done, hit OK to exit out of the EAC Options.


- You could change this to %D\%C\%N - %T to automatically place it in an Artist/Album folder. Example: \Stone Temple Pilots\Purple\01 - Meat Plow.wav

4H. Hit F10 to bring up the Drive Options.

- A warning box will popup. Uncheck the box, and just hit OK here so it wont come back.

4I. Extraction Method Tab:

- Select ‘Secure mode’.
- Check ‘Drive Has Accurate Stream’ Feature.
- Check ‘Drive Caches Audio Data’.

- If your drive or drives do not show up, you may need to close EAC, and put this DLL in the EAC directory…
- Not all drives support the Accurate Stream feature. To see what features your drive has click the Detect Read Features button.

4J. Now click on the Drive tab.

- Hit the button for Autodetect Read Command Now. There needs to be a CD in the drive for it to detect the read command. Whatever read command it finds, use that.

4K. Now click on the Offset / Speed tab.

- Check your drives offset in the AccurateRip Drive Database. Use the offset it gives for your drive to set the Use Read Sample Offset Correction.

- Overread Into Lead-In And Lead-Out should usually not be checked. Only a handful of drives can do this correctly, and most are Plextors. If your drive supports it then use it but if your drive ever errors on the last track with this setting, uncheck it.
- EAC will auto-detect or you will need to look your drive up in the database listed above.

- When you push the “Detect read sample offset correction…” or put your first disc in you will see a dialog that will determine the correct offset for your drive.
- You will need a “key disc” of which there is not comprehensive list but since there are more than 20,000 key discs in the database you should be alright .
- If a this dialog does not come up then you have chosen a disc not in the database or is of a different pressing. Try another.

4L. Now click on the Gap Detection tab.

- Select either Detection method A, B, or C.
- Select Secure for Detection accuracy.

NOTE: One method will work better for your drive. Try them out to see which does.

4M. Now it’s time to setup the compressor. Hit F11.

- For FLAC: Make sure Use File Extension is set to .flac and in the Addition Command Line Options box, put this: -V -8 -T “artist=%a” -T “title=%t” -T “album=%g” -T “date=%y” -T “tracknumber=%n” -T “genre=%m” %s
- The extra settings: -A tukey(0.25) -A gauss(0.1875) -b 4096, may give you additional compression (~1%) at the expense of more cpu time.
- The bit rate option has no affect on the actual bit rate. Set it to anything you desire or leave alone.

- For WavPack: Make sure Use File Extension is set to .wv and in the Addition Command Line Options box, put this: -hm -w “Track=%n” -w “Title=%t” -w “Artist=%a” -w “Album=%g” -w “Date=%y” -w “Genre=%m” %s
- The bit rate option has no affect on the actual bit rate. Set it to anything you desire or leave alone.

This ends step 4.

5. Ripping the CD.

5A. You should still have a CD in your drive from an earlier step. Now hit F4 to Detect Gaps.

5B. Now make sure you have selected Append Gaps To Previous Track (Default).

5C. And then click Multiple WAV Files With Gaps (Non-compliant).

- This creates the CUE file that holds track layout information.
- if no CUE sheet is used, a program like Nero will spontaneously insert 2 seconds’ pauses between all your audio files when you burn it.

- This process can take a while. Don’t expect it to rip at blazing speeds of 30-40x.

5E. Completing the process with Test & Copy!
- Hit CTRL + A to select all tracks. Hit SHIFT + F6 to rip, w/ test & copy, compressed files.

- If you want WAV, just hit F6.

It is recommend you save these settings using the profiles menu on the bottom of EAC. To do this click ‘New’ and create a profile. Then save the current settings into that profile!

6. Aftermath

Once you have completed all the steps above you should have a folder with the following contents:
- You may have to move the log file into the folder.

Now you are able to archive all your CD’s!

Please share this guide with your friends and if you like it, click the social bookmarking links provided. :-)

  • #1 written by Jonny
    about 3 years ago

    If you select the bit rate - 128kb/s in the Compressions Options page.
    Does that mean it will compress in 128kb/s?
    I am doing it in .FLAC and I want to know if this is true lossless.

  • #2 written by dbcalo
    about 3 years ago

    the option you are talking about has no effect on what flac will do. the actual bit rate will tend toward ~1000kbits — give or take a couple hundred. this option can be ignored. so leave it alone or set it to anything you want.

    edit: this has been incorporated into the main body of the guide.

  • #3 written by Mike
    about 3 years ago

    Thank you for the guide, and nice music selection btw =)

  • #4 written by The Dude
    about 3 years ago

    Is there a reason why you put -w “Track=%n” instead of -w “Tracknumber=%n” for the wavpack tags?

  • #5 written by dbcalo
    about 3 years ago

    nope. no particular reason other than it works.

  • #6 written by Carl
    about 3 years ago

    What are the fout large ‘buttons’ down the left side of the EAC panel for (WAV, MP3, IMG, WRI)?

  • #7 written by dbcalo
    about 3 years ago

    Those are for basic operations. Ripping to wav, compressed audio files, an image file, and Writing to disc. They do not provide for the advanced features such as test and copy.

  • #8 written by Carl
    about 3 years ago

    Thanks for answer. So if I simply want to make a perfect full backup of a CD, it’s ok to just use the IMG button to extract, then use the WRI button to burn?

  • #9 written by dbcalo
    about 3 years ago

    If you want to make a perfect backup you’ll want to do test and copy. I prefer making individual files but to each their own. As for burning with eac you need to setup the writing offset which I don’t have covered in this guide.

  • #10 written by whoami
    about 2 years ago

    Thanks a lot for this guide dbcalo. It would have been hard for me to configure it without this guide. I always end up with wav format no matter what but now I can with flac thanks to you.

  • #11 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hello dbcalo. I posted the below on an audio forum, but no one seemed to be able to answer my questions but only in part could they. Would you mind reading them over and giving me any help you can. I would really appreciate it immensely. Thanks. Chuck.

    I’m in my early days of learning about all the ins and outs of audio and have a long, long way to go, so I’m not yet even a newbie, I’m a newbit. I’ve done a lot of research so far so that I didn’t come on this forum looking like a bum rumaging around for handouts and freebys. So I have a beginning anyways.

    My first question has to do with my recent introduction to EAC. In the past, I’ve always used WMP to rip my CD’s, but when I took one of my burnt disks into a higher end audio store to see if it would play on a particular player that I was interested in, I found out how awful a ripping job Windows was doing. I usually ripped at 192 using WMA. So, I went searching for better and found that EAC sounded like what I needed. I want to use it to rip to FLAC so I can archive my music. To date, I have not ripped anything using EAC because I just learned about it and that brings me to ask you good folk my first question.

    1) I noticed that there are step by step tutorials on the net for the last version of EAC, but does anyone know if there is a recent tutorial that is in sinc with the new EAC version (VO.99 prebeta 4) so I can follow the new steps exactly?

    2) The other day I downloaded the latest EAC but since I’m a beginner, I checked off “beginner”. Has anyone ever ripped something with the new version in the beginner mode? Would it still sound a lot better than what I was using to rip previously?

    3) If I want to put EAC to expert mode, do I have to take the programme off and re-load it this time clicking “expert” instead, or is there some way to go into the programme and check off expert. I looked for it in all their settings but could not find where to change my choice.

    4) Once I have ripped a disk using EAC with FLAC, how do I get it to MP3. Can I go from FLAC then into LAME to MP3? Boy, do I need help.

    One last thing for now, can anyone tell me which LAME version is the most stable and tested and could you direct me exactly to that site.

    Thanks so much ahead of time guys. I look forward to hearing from you.


  • #12 written by dbcalo
    about 2 years ago

    Chuck, I’ll try my best to answer your questions.

    The reason your cd sounded bad when you put it on the high end equipment was that WMA/MP3 and the like are lossy codecs and strip out audio content to reduce the file size. WMA/MP3′s aim is to remove frequencies you don’t hear; the majority of equipment cant reproduce. Due to this the high end equipment makes this particularly apparent as you’ve noted.

    1. This guide covers the most recent version of EAC.
    2 & 3. The beginner mode removes certain options but since this guide conveys the correct settings, you won’t need the beginner mode. So I suggest leaving it in expert mode.
    4. FLAC is a lossless codec. Meaning it shrinks file sizes similarly to how a zip file would but it’s specific to audio. This means a file size reduction and no audio quality loss like you would get with WMA/MP3. Going from CD to MP3 and back to CD will not restore the original cd audio but FLAC can restore the original. Even a burst rip to FLAC will better audio quality than MP3.

    As for MP3 you will want to check out http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/ for the latest recommended LAME version. I omitted lossy codecs completely from this guide for various reasons.

    The latest version of EAC available on the EAC site is stable and tested (.99 Beta 4)

  • #13 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Thanks dbcalo for responding so quickly. I was wondering if we could visit my question 3 again. I had downloaded EAC already but chose “beginner mode”. So, here’s the question:

    3) If I want to put my downloaded EAC to expert mode, do I have to take the programme off my computer and re-load it, this time clicking “expert” instead of beginner? Or, is there some way to go into the programme and change it to expert? I looked for it, i.e. how to do it, in all EAC’s settings but could not find where to change my choice. What do you think?

    Thanks. Chuck.

  • #14 written by dbcalo
    about 2 years ago

    It is not necessary to uninstall EAC. All you need do is open EAC, hit F9 (or File -> EAC options), click on the tools tab and untick “activate beginner mode.” Then you’re set.

  • #15 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hello dbcalo:

    Thanks to you and your site I’m on my way. Question: you have in your instructions at 5E to choose compressed. What if I choose uncompressed instead? Can you tell me the difference in choosing the one over the other at that point in the instructions? You see, I am wanting to achieve truly archival quality extractions so that I know that I have the best quality rip that I can have with EAC.

    If you can thoroughly explain your answer to me, since I’m a novice, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks, dbcalo


  • #16 written by dbcalo
    about 2 years ago

    Most people opt to use FLAC as it’s the most widely used lossless codec. As for wav you would tell eac to rip uncompressed instead of compressed under the action menu (action>test and copy selected tracks>uncompressed). If you chose uncompressed it would be the same thing as a FLAC file but larger since FLAC is a lossless compression technique. Some people prefer to rip to wav but that does take up more space and you cannot tag (track, artist, album type info) the files for playback on a computer. FLAC on the other hand is taggable and can store all relevant info about the tracks.

    You could use Wavpack and it does give slightly better compression and as such a smaller file. If you plan on trading with people Wavpack is a little less known but if it’s just your collection it should be fine.

    Hope that helps.

  • #17 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hi dbcalo, and thanks for responding back. I hope you don’t mind fielding a few more questions for me. I appreciate it.

    So, what you are saying is that if I choose “compressed” which is (5E) in your instructions, then I am choosing FLAC, is that right? Because that is exactly what I wanted EAC to use. (I did notice that when downloading EAC 99 prebeta 4, that FLAC was a part of the software.) Thanks.

    Another question for you db: I’ve read that you should not turn on “drive caches audio tag because it really slows down the rip with no appreciable difference in quality. Can you comment on that one. Thanks.

    In your instructions of(4M)”The extra settings: -A tukey(0.25)…….may give you extra compression” Does that mean less quality and that is why I wouldn’t want to put it in, or does it mean better quality and therefore if I want extra quality then I should cut and paste those extra intructions in at the end of the other code?

    The last question for you db: I would like to have LAME as one of my encoder options. Can you refer me to a good site to download the newest version of LAME? Do you use LAME yourself? Or do you prefer other encoders?

    Thanks again dbcalo, I hope you don’t mind the questions.


  • #18 written by dbcalo
    about 2 years ago

    ya. if you’re going to use compression you’re gong to want to use FLAC. I do believe that you will still have to download FLAC and point EAC to it even though the new tab for it is there. The extra setting does not effect the quality one way or the other. It will however increase the cpu time for the slight gain in compression.

    As for the drive caching the issue there is that not all drives cache, let alone cache correctly. So that’s the reasoning behind that.

    If you’re interested in LAME then check out http://www.hydrogenaudio.org

  • #19 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hello dbcalo:

    Thanks for responding to my last note. And I really appreciate your help.

    1. Can I ask you: in EAC under compression options and then under the ID3 Tag tab, can you tell me which ones I should have a check mark beside? I might have gone in there and changed something that I shouldn’t have and I want to be sure that I have them right.

    2. When I initially set up EAC and did not know alot, for some reason I thought that I did not need accuraterip, but now I know better. My question is, in order to get accuraterip engaged, do I have to take EAC off my computer and start all over by downloading the programme again, going through all those steps? Or can I leave EAC on my computer and turn on accuraterip somehow? If I can, can you explain to a novice how exactly to do this. I would be grateful.

    3. After I do what you suggest, is there a way to confirm that accuraterip was engaged utilizing your suggestion?

    Thanks very much dbcalo. If there is too much here for you, you could answer them one at a time at different times. And is it possible, since I’m really new at this, could you be thorough in your answers to me. It really does help.


  • #20 written by dbcalo
    about 2 years ago


    1. Tagging schemes depend on the codec. ID3 Tags are a particular tagging scheme but only apply to MP3/MP4 and a few others. FLAC has it’s own scheme and is taken care of in the extra command line code we pass to FLAC (-T “artist=%a” -T “title=%t” -T “album=%g” -T “date=%y” -T “tracknumber=%n” -T “genre=%m”).

    2. For a long while Accurate Rip was a separate program from EAC all together but these days it has been integrated into the main program. All you need do is pop in a disc that’s in the Accurate Rip database and a dialog will pop up informing you of that.

    3. If accurate rip was successful the ‘read offset value’ should be greyed out under Drive Options>Offset/Speed. If you can change the value in there then try putting in a few more discs. One disc you own is bound to be a ‘Key Disc’. If nothing happens it could also be possible your drive isn’t in the database and as such the method for figuring out the drive offset is a bit more complicated after that.

  • #21 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hello dbcalo. I need your help again. I set up EAC and I downloaded the latest Flac version 1.2.1b and directed EAC to it instead of the Flac that came with the latest EAC version. I started ripping a disk and in between each ripped song a Vista menu pops up, stopping the rip and asking me to allow the program. I say yes “allow” and then it brings up the Flac install window. I say “next” a couple of times and then the Flac uninstall comes up and I say cancel and then EAC starts to rip the next song and this happens each time. Can you tell me what to do to remedy this or what you think might be going on. Thanks very much and I look forward to hearing from you.


  • #22 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hi dbcalo.

    First of all, please ignore my last e-mail to you. That seems to be working now as I figured out the solution for it.

    Now that I am able to rip my cd’s and put them into FLAC, I am unable to use these in Nero. When I try to open it up in Nero to burn a CD or play the music, the computer says that it is unable to open the files. Can you tell me what I am to do at this point, now that I am able to archieve in Flac, how do I then use these files to burn or play the music using NERO. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.


  • #23 written by dbcalo
    about 2 years ago

    for burning audio, i prefer using burrrn (http://burrrn.net), but this plugin for nero should work too: http://www.bitburners.com/software/flac-v10033/3816/

  • #24 written by Chuck
    about 2 years ago

    Hello dbcalo:

    Thanks for your last response. Appreciated.


  • #25 written by Vivio
    about 2 years ago


  • #26 written by mister_playboy
    about 2 years ago

    Thanks a ton for this guide. I recently moved from Windows to Ubuntu Linux, and I would just like to mention that EAC can be used with WINE and functions exactly the same as it does with Windows! No need to give up this fantastic program if you switch!

  • #27 written by Mike Tame
    about 2 years ago

    When i hit “Test and Copy” a screen opens with “save” at the bottom, the same screen as when i hit the large MP3 buton on the left side. Is this right, am i ripping at the best quality?
    Also can Album/artist info be caanged after ripping is complete?
    Mike Tame

  • #28 written by dbcalo
    about 1 year ago

    yes, all mp3 settings are ignored by the FLAC codec. All tag info (album, artist, etc) can be changed to whatever you want it to be after the fact.

  • #29 written by sheezy
    about 11 months ago

    If this is true:

    “Any thing such as a CD-R copy of an album is not acceptable to rip since the rip will not be lossless to start with. You must have the original store bought CD for this to work.”

    Then what is the point of making a backup in the first place? If I burn a CD using the FLACs I have made, then my copy should be lossless, correct? What would I burn that on, other than a CD-R? So in other words, that statement makes no sense.

  • #30 written by dbcalo
    about 11 months ago

    This is a guide for people who don’t know how to rip in the first place. So, being that you haven’t ripped before, you won’t have setup the correct offset of the drive. This guide also doesn’t cover burning the files because burning the files requires setting the writing offset value. Plus, no one would want to trade with you if they are aware you were ripping from CD-R’s.

  • #31 written by sydney
    about 5 months ago

    Thank you very much! Im using .95pb5 and everything worked without a problem!

  • #32 written by rassilkacomua
    about 3 months ago

    А ниче так

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