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Creating Audio CD Image

We all have heard of the ISO image format which is a very popular way of backing up data CDs & DVDs. A very easy way of creating an ISO image in linux is by using the dd or dcfldd command. Similarly, in Windows, applications such as Nero have an option to save a CD as an ISO image file. However, when it comes to audio CDs it is not possible to backup them as ISO image file as they have multiple tracks. Here are two ways to create an image of audio cd for archival purposes.

  1. Exact Audio Copy (EAC)
    Exact Audio Copy is a Windows CD Ripping application which has gained a lot of popularity for its almost perfect ripping mechanism of even scratched and damaged media. EAC can also be used to create an image of the audio CD for archival purposes. The image can either be uncompressed WAV file or a compressed file. Apart from this image file, a CUE sheet file is also created which stores information about the tracks. The best part is that EAC is free for personal use albeit not free software.
  2. cdrdao

    cdrdao is free software for authoring and ripping of CD-ROMs. The following command I believe will help in creating an almost exact copy of the audio CD.

    # cdrdao read-cd -v 2 --device /dev/cdrom1 --datafile audiocd.bin --read-raw audiocd.toc

    This is the same command used by Brasero when making a copy of an Audio CD.

  3. I have also come across a command "readom" which has a "--clone" argument that is used by k3b in its "Clone Copy" option for audio CDs. However, I've read in a lot of forums that this does not backup the audio CD in a reliable way. That is when the image is burnt back to another CD, it may not be playable by all audio CD players. However, I think this command may be useful to backup data CDs with sector errors.


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