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Help File Help: CDs You Can Play But Can't Rip

Once again, I turn to the collective brainpower of this blog's readership for help with a tech problem that's stumped me. Today's puzzler involves music CDs that play normally in regular CD players, but which a computer can't rip at any acceptable level of quality. Either the machine never finishes the copy or coughs up a series of scratchy, largely unlistenable files.

I've only encountered a few discs with this problem, but these stubborn few have defied all my efforts. Enabling the "Use error correction" option in iTunes (under the Advanced heading in its Preferences window, click the Importing tab) hasn't made a meaningful difference. Nor has using different computers or other CD-ripping programs, such as Microsoft's Windows Media Player or the open-source Exact Audio Copy.

The CDs themselves appear physically fine, without any visible scratches. None have been reported as including any copy-control systems that would obstruct ripping. And when I throw them into the CD player in the car, they sound fine.

What else should I try--besides asking to see if friends have copies of these albums that I could rip in place of my own?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  February 6, 2008; 1:34 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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