The History of Music Ripping

The term ripping refers to the extraction of digital contents from an electronic container. This slightly unusual term originated from Amiga games and it meant that music files could be ripped out of any Amiga computer console game.

Later on, the term became popular and it was also used to define the extraction of MP3 or WAV format files from audio CDs.

There is no actual ripping involved in the process, and the data is not damaged after extraction. The CD and the new files remain safe and they can be reused once the ripping process is complete.

Music ripping is used to shift formats, edit, duplicate and back up media content. The term rip is used for the extracted content in its destination folder. It is also used to include accompanying files, such as the metadata, the log file, or the cue sheet that may be generated during the process.

CD Rippers

A CD ripper, CD extractor or CD grabber, is the software that can convert tracks on your compact disc to your desired computer sound file. The more common sound formats include WAV and MP3 while FLAC is the format used by professional music CD ripping outfits. If done correctly, a CD ripper will convert the raw digital audio found on your compact disc to a computer file.

Here, it is important to understand that ripping the contents out of a digital container is quite different from copying the entire container altogether. This is because the copying software does not check for metadata links or file encryption.

A Historical Perspective

Back in the 90s, CD-ROM drives used audio compression mechanisms such as MP2 and other software to rip CDs. This was widely considered to be extremely undesirable by the music industry. A music CD could be seamlessly ripped, and the music distributed on the internet. This meant that the original creators of the music were deprived of their share of the profits that resulted from CD sales.

As technology outpaced protection efforts, most publishers become much more open to the idea that people who bought their music should be able to rip or copy it for their own personal use. 

As of now, Windows Media Player (WMP) has default settings that add copy protection measures to most ripped music files. WMP comes with a standard disclaimer that states that the end-user is responsible for any legal violations.

However, most audiophiles and other music lovers are only interested in storing music on their portable music devices and memory sticks so that they could enjoy it on the go. This is why this disclaimer applies only to people who intend to distribute music commercially.


We at Progressive Labs have some of the best facilities and software around to ensure the most accurate rips of your CD collection. Just give us a call and we will do the rest!