Audiograbber

Jakie Franck

 

95%

 

Version 1.62 reviewed by Bob Starrett - 04/07/00

There are lots of ripping programs available today and they have a wide range of functionality. Perhaps the most comprehensive, however is AudioGrabber. Don't be scared off by some of the advanced options that show up in the General Settings menu. The defaults will work just fine, but you do have a very sophisticated and powerful tool on your hands once you have downloaded and installed AudioGrabber.

There are lots of programs like this around, but none is as powerful and complete as AudioGrabber. It does all the standard stuff, rips from CD, compresses to mp3, but it also does a whole lot more. AudioGrabber can also compress to Microsoft's WMA format. It has a line-in function for recording from analog sources, and you can choose your favorite external mp3 player as the program's default.


Line In Sampling Window

When you insert a CD, AudioGrabber can immediately go to CDDB and pull down the artist name, album name and song titles. To rip tracks, simply click the boxes next to the songs you want to extract and off you go. By setting the codec to be used in the mp3 setting screen, you can easily change to mp3, WMA or WAV as the destination format. WAVs can be ripped from 22,050 8 kBit/s mono to full CD quality 44,100 16 kBit/s stereo. Mp3s range from 32 kBit/s 44,100 mono to 320 kBit/s Joint Stereo using the optional Lame encoder which can be easily downloaded from the AudioGrabber web site. The Lame encoder is recommended, as the built in Fraunhofer encoding only has 8 kBit/s 11,025 mono to 56 kBit/s 22,050 stereo encoding. WMA files can be encoded from 5 kBit/s 8,000 mono to 160 kBit/s 44,100 stereo.

Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) has traditionally been problematic on many CD-ROM drives and on some CD recorders. AudioGrabber addresses this by allowing you to try ripping with either ASPI or MSCDEX. You can also set the rip offset for troublesome drives and add leading and trailing silence to the tracks you rip. You can easily set normalization through either beginning or advanced menus. You can choose among several CD-ROM drives or recorders if you have more than one and you can set the rip method and speed manually or use the detect feature to set it automatically.

AudioGrabber installs no DLLs OCXs, device drivers, registry entries or anything else except itself in a single directory. That's clean programming.

The program changes languages on the fly and can be used in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian. Nineteen additional language files are available for download from the AudioGrabber site. You can even make your own language file for the program.

As far as performance goes, a 3 minute song ripped directly to 128 kBit/s stereo mp3 took 46 seconds from a TDK 8/4/32 recorder. For pure ripping speed, directly to WAV files, AudioGrabber screams, coming in at 13 seconds for a 3 minute WAV file from CD, equaling the speedy TDK CD Blender software which also took a mere 13 seconds to pull the file.

With its big bright menu buttons, fast ripping and encoding speed, available plugins and many program options, AudioGrabber is about as good as you can get for ripping and encoding software. While novices may be put off by some of the more arcane options, and as recorder and drive technology improves to the point where some of the options may no longer be necessary for clean, fast audio extraction, it is nice to have everything you could need right there…..just in case.

Pros

  • Super fast ripping
  • Great drive support
  • Supports WMA and VQ

Cons

  • Advanced features might intimidate beginners
 

Download

The free/shareware version has been limited to only handle half of the tracks and those tracks are selected randomly at program startup (with a slight advantage for odd tracks). The full version can of course handle them all.

Product Download Page
v1.72 build 2: agfreesetup.exe 1.3 MB
v1.80 beta 3: ag180freebeta.zip 824.5 KB

 

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