If you’ve got a staggering collection of CDs that you’ve been wishing could join your digital music collection either for space or backup, now might be just the time to do it. Exact Audio Copy does exactly what it says, making perfect copies of audio CDs as quickly as it is possible to do so. The software takes advantage of technology like AccurateRip and multi-reading to provide high quality music rips. We take a look at how Exact Audio Copy works and whether you should entrust your precious music collection to it.

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Installation and Setup

EAC takes around a minute to install and consumes around 9MB of disc space. The program uses up around 15MB of memory when idle. When ripping the program should maintain a similar level of RAM usage but you’ll notice your CPU load increase quite heavily, which is a standard side effect of burning or ripping a CD.

Ease of Use

Exact Audio Copy may not look like much from the screenshots, but the interface works really well and what the program is lacking in visual ability it more that makes up for in the far more important technical qualities. For those new to audio and CD ripping there’s a wealth of optional setup you can do, and the program even tests your DVD/CD drive to determine which features you’ll be able to use right from the start.

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You’ll also be able to specify how you want your files saved and even if you’ve had no previous experience with MP3 and FLAC files, the program will help you out. About the only thing it doesn’t do is supply the LAME encoder which you’ll need to make MP3 files – something you can easily find online. Exact Audio Copy also lets you pick a selection of songs from any album so you can pick and choose which tracks you want to keep – very useful for compilation albums.

If you’re an advanced user, EAC gives you a wealth of different setup options right down to which hardware features to use to produce your copy. You can produce a range of statistical data from your rip, including LOG and CUE files.

If you’ve never used a ripping program, EAC might seem a little daunting but actually it’s very easy for beginners and very powerful for experienced users. If you need a program that will give you the absolute best quality when ripping your music collection, EAC is it.

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