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Chapter 5. Ripping and Encoding: Creatin... > Ripping from Other Sources

5.4. Ripping from Other Sources

Of course, the audio you want to encode isn't always going to originate on audio CDs. Many of us still have huge music collections stored mostly on LPs, cassettes, DAT, 8-tracks, reel-to-reels, and possibly other media. MP3 represents a great opportunity to finally create a permanent digital archive of these collections... or at least the best of them (most people would have to be horribly masochistic to dedicate themselves to the digitization of every track they own). The good news is that encoding your existing collection in this way is do-able. The bad news is that it's going to require quite a bit more manual labor than encoding from CD. Since you can't stick an LP into your computer and let it twirl, you've got to go to the extra step of patching your home stereo into your sound card and manually cueing everything up properly. And of course, there are no batch-ripping/encoding solutions available for digitizing 8-track tape collections. Finally, you may have to separate songs manually when encoding from analog sources—LPs don't have any real awareness of when one track ends and the next begins. Without special software (see the following section), you'll have to do all of that yourself in an audio application prior to encoding.

The term "ripping" doesn't exactly apply when talking about sources other than compact disc—nothing needs to be ripped since the source isn't hidden, as it is with .CDA files. We use the term "ripping" in a somewhat looser sense in this chapter, though it might be more accurate to refer to "extraction."


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