how to rip a multi-track mix cd to a single mp3 file

Water on a CD is generally not such a good idea, but it looks nice doesn't it?Sometimes you get these CDs that contain a mix or has to be played seamlessly as all tracks flow into each other. When you want to rip that CD to convenient mp3 or ogg files however, you end up with a bunch of individual files which have to be played in the right sequence, or the mix gets screwed up, and it has to be played seamlessly, without the slightest of delays inbetween the tracks, or the mix gets screwed up again.

To avoid this kind of frustrating nastiness on all sorts of different soft- or hardware mp3 players, I thought it would be a good idea to rip the mix as a single big mp3 file. Unfortunately my favorite ripping software (CDex) doesn’t allow this, and only rips the individual tracks into individual files. With the use of some more free tools, I managed to get the job done however. Yay for me!

So here’s the rundown on how to rip a mix CD to as single mp3 file:

  1. Rip all individual tracks to wav files using the open source CDex audio CD ripper tool. Make sure you include the track number as the first part of the filename. This is handy afterwards.
  2. Download the free program called WaveCat. It looks really old, and it probably is, but it does the trick so what the heck. Using WaveCat you select all your previously ripped wav files and concatenate them all together into one big mofo of a file. The track number the filename will have the tracks sorted nicely for you now, so you can just hit “Select all” and the “Catenate” button after entering a descriptive filename.
  3. Using Audacity, an open source audio editing and recording tool, you can now open the huge wave file (this will take a while), and then simply export it in mp3 or ogg format (this will also take a while).

That’s it.
If you know a quicker way, feel free to let me know in the comments. I think it’s too much of a hassle like this really, but then again, it’s not like I have to do this a lot.

Photo by Ian Boyd, cc-licensed.

6 thoughts on “how to rip a multi-track mix cd to a single mp3 file

  1. iamshimone

    Using Exact Audio Copy

    1. Select All tracks
    2. Click Action
    3. Copy Range – compressed

    For me it seems to copy it uncompressed but then you can just drag/drop the .wav file back onto EAC and it will compress as MP3.

    EAC is definitely the way to go for your CD-ripping needs. I’m backing up my entire collection and using the recommendations from Hydrogen Audio Forums: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/

  2. iamshimone

    Using Exact Audio Copy

    1. Select All tracks
    2. Click Action
    3. Copy Range – compressed

    For me it seems to copy it uncompressed but then you can just drag/drop the .wav file back onto EAC and it will compress as MP3.

    EAC is definitely the way to go for your CD-ripping needs. I’m backing up my entire collection and using the recommendations from Hydrogen Audio Forums: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/

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