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Audiograbber

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11 Reviews
  • bit out of date now
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    11 Reviews
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      08.10.2002 03:48
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      If you own a portable mp3 player the chances are that you?ll either have downloaded a heck of a lot of music (take me, with an mp3 collection approaching 3000 tracks for example ? approximately 15Gb of hard drive space) or you will have got an MP3 ripping program. After all, how do you think that mp3 files are made originally? Friends have often entrusted their musical masterpieces to me for ripping ? not so that I can send them off to people all over the net but so that they can send mp3 demos via e-mail (with is next to free if you are a pikey student and don?t want to get 250 demo CDs rejected which you?ve had to pay for!). In order to rip audio tracks into mp3s, I have used Xing Audiograbber ? a very useful bit of kit indeed. I originally got the free version, being a pikey student at the time myself, and this was perfectly adequate to get me into the ripping mp3s to start off with. The free trial version can be downloaded from the Audiograbber website at http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net/, clocking in at a tiny 1.4Mb for the setup files, or from any download portal (e.g. tucows.com, download.com or similar sites). You will also need an mp3 encoder too ? lame3.92 is the current version I use, and again can be downloaded through a link from the audiograbber site. The setup process is pretty straightforward, and just as long as you copy the mp3 encoder to the same directory as audiograbber you should be up and running pretty quickly, once you have configured audiograbber to recognise the ripper. If you don?t then you can rip CD-DA (CD Digital Audio) tracks into .wav files, but that it about as much use as a chocolate fireguard in a blast furnace! There is however a slight restriction with the trial version in that you cannot rip all the tracks off a CD ? you can only rip half the tracks each time you open the program, and there is the problem that you won?t automatically get one half of the CD and then another. Have no fear though, the registered version
      is only USD 20 (about the cost of a CD album?) so you can soon get round this? The current version works on all current incarnations of Windows, previous versions having been somewhat more selective about which versions of the operating system they would work on. There are various language versions available ? English, French, Spanish, German and Italian versions are part of the standard pack with a host of alternative language options downloadable. The latest version is also usefully compatible with the MS Media Player?s WMA format including the packaged WMA format ? great if you want to make a copy and don?t want it to be copied (some doodah means it can only be played on the machine on which it was ripped ? and who said that Audiograbber didn?t want to prevent music piracy on a widescale!). Whistles and bells: Okay, so far I?ve just given the basic rundown of the very basic features of the software, the bare minimum that will get you ripping and burning to start with ? but there is more to Audiograbber than this. Act normally: Normalising is something I would recommend to everyone ? files that are not normalised are often of different volume levels ? bit like how adverts on television seem to be louder than the programmes! If you don?t rip directly to mp3s (the fastest option ? a five minute song can be ripped in about a minute or quicker depending on your CD Rom drive!) but convert to a temporary wave file (.wav) you can then rip to mp3 after normalising and the CD volume levels will be the same throughout ? great for compilation CDs! Name that tune: If you have ever downloaded an mp3, you?ll know that generally there is information about the file included. For example: the name of the song, album, year of appearance, artist, genre, length and bitrate (sampling rate ? 128kbps corresponds to CD Audio quality ? 44100 samples per second). So then when you chuck it into an mp3 player (e.g. Winamp) you get all the inform
      ation which is very useful when compiling playlists? Quantity over quality: Decreasing the bitrate will mean that the mp3s take up less space on your mp3 player. If you can handle no getting CD quality (well the equivalent thereof!) then you could always decrease the bitrate from 128kbps to 112kbps or 96kbps to get more music on your mp3 player ? I don?t tend to bother with this any more, since I effectively use my computer as a jukebox and therefore go for the bigger files. 8 track cartridge?: As long as you have an audio input you can rip from any source ? audiograbber has an interface so if you really want to rip your favourite C-90 or 12 inch LP you can ? and if you have got eight track cartridge I dare say you could manage to rip from that too, although I think trying to rip a 78 would not be possible... And then you can get rid of the pops, hisses and crackles ? but that wouldn?t be half as much fun, would it kids? System requirements: A CD Rom drive (for ripping those CDs doofus!!!), hard drive space (you?ll be letting rip more than the Phantom Raspberry Blower probably!). As far as processor power goes you?ll have no probs running this on a very old Pentium with a quad speed CD Rom drive ? providing the CD Rom drive supports digital audio ripping, and obviously you?ll require a sound card that is connected to your CD drive... If you don?t have a burner this could be the one for you ? a cheap solution, which whilst now showing its age is still very useable. All in all this is still a good little program, even if shipped software with CD burners is now on a parallel to it, and doesn't have the hassle of having to manually configure the mp3 encoder. You may well still find a use for this one!

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        21.02.2001 06:16
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        The job of an audio ripper is a fairly simple one: to get digital audio data from a CD onto your hard drive without losing any quality at all. It is really the advanced features and the performance of different rippers which sets them apart, and Audiograbber must surely be one of the best in both of these areas. Whilst some programs allow you to rip audio faster than Audiograbber, there may be errors introduced. Audiograbber protects against this by checking the ripped wave file against the version on the CD when it has finished ripping it, and gives you the option of ripping it again if there are errors. Some of the really useful features of Audiograbber aren't immediately obvious until you really need them. For example, if you are low on hard disk space, and intend to rip a CD and encode it to MP3 in one go, Audiograbber will rip one CD track at a time, encode it, and then delete the .wav file before ripping the next track. And it'll even calculate how much disk space you will need to do all this before it does it and warn you. Very useful. The file naming can be setup in a couple of clicks, so you can have any combination of artist, track name, album and track number in any order you like in the name of the files produced. The MP3 encoding setup is blissfully easy, whether you encode with a CODEC or a standalone program. All your settings are stored, and Audiograbber will retrieve information from your Windows CD player or from CDDB (a huge online database) to get the track, artist and album names and automatically put it into the ID3 tag of the MP3. The estimates it gives for encoding time are remarkably good, considering how variable it can be with some types of music (music with rapidly varying bass and treble together in particular). They seem to be constantly recalculated during the process to give you a better idea of how long is left. Support for CD-Roms is perfection itself, with a choice of either ASPI
        or MSCDEX, although you shouldn't really be using the latter anymore, as it isn't any good. There are a number of additional advanced setup features for your CDRom, such as rip offsets, but for most they are unnecessary. The interface is nice and uncluttered with just about all the functions you use regularly within two clicks. All this, and it'll even turn off your PC when its finished if you want. And whats more, it's cheap too. It's difficult to fault this program, and the developer clearly deserves your bucks!

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          29.01.2001 13:41
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          I have tried this software for some time and it really works well , some of the good features are that it is quite user friendly , lots of options like converting to wma or mp3,converting via a wav file and above all the version available on the net is totally free. but there are some things that can be worrying for the user, first being tha the bir rate supported is not very high as in some other encoders secondly u have the limitation of encoding a limited number of tracks randomly selected by the program at one time . so if you have toencode a single track u might have to run this program maybe 3 4 times till that track is in selectionand u can then continue encoding

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          11.12.2000 01:06

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          Right, MP3. Everyone knows about it - good. Damn it! I can't rip my favourite songs onto my computer at CD quality because my recorder isn't good enough. I'm not paying for each song to download onto my computer. Solution: Audiograbber. You can set up everything you've ever dreamed about tweaking the quality of on you're MP3's, and it's totally free!!! This in my opinion is the best ripper on the net at the moment, and would definitely recommend it. But i haven't got a player!? Solution: Winamp. Obvious, traditional, and still excellent. Drag-and-Drop playlist organising, no environmental audio adjustment. Just pure unrefined sound. Plus the fact it's easy to use and the one thing that everyone should know about........ skins!!!!!!!!!!! You can change the front to suit your mood. Top marks - Nice one!

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          25.11.2000 15:35
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          Just about all of the other reviews are in favour of Audiograbber, but I have to say, I am not so sure. It seems to me that AG is very intolerant of errors. I have "grabbed" a number of CD's which I have previously burned on my PC and the results have been so poor (crackles on playing back the result) and have cost me so many replaced CD's that I have stopped using the programme. In fact, so intolerant is it, that a bad track, one with a lot of errors, which on a decent Hi-Fi system with good error correction plays back without problems, can cause the whole thing to seize up solid and the only way out is the reset button. One thing that comes out of this is that it would appear that home-grown CD's are likely to have more errors than those which have been commercially pressed. This is maybe no great surprise. Frankly, I'm amazed PC burners work at all! As I say, I have stopped using it though now that I have a 20GB second drive for audio, I don't have to dump CD's to make room for the next one any more, I can archive up to about 20 images. However, as I say, it has cost me quite a few free replacements when I realised that I was providing poor quality CD's to my clients (singers in amateur choral groups mainly). I therefore recommend the programme but only with reservations. If you have to audition all the material before either burning more CD's or making MP3's, you might just as well monitor as you record. Admittedly, you lose the useful feature of isolating each track automatically, but topping and tailing with something like Sound Forge works fine.

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          14.10.2000 17:19
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          Having a Diamond Rio (visit my opinion on this if you wish) then I need to take my favourite tracks from Audio to MP3 to download. The software lets you name the tracks and basically all you have to do then is grab them. The quality can be adjusted but I use 128 all the time as this is CD quality. There are no glitches or noises like some of the tracks downloaded from Napster. Trial versions are available off the net but not all the options are full functional but download it and try it you will not be disappointed.

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          04.10.2000 18:22
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          Audiograbber is an essential piece of software if you want to copy your CD collection into MP3 format (legally of course!). There is a free version which will copy a randomly selected half of the tracks on the album each time. Its a simple case of restarting Audiograbber if you want to grab the other tracks, although this can be a bit hit and miss. The program is highly customisable, you can set the amount of silence at the beginning and end of a track to discard, in order to save on file size. It has a CDDB enabled interface, so you can download track listings for your CDs from the web. It also has a very useful normalisation setting, which allows you to record MP3s at a set volume, which is useful when different CDs have been recorded at different volumes. The software is extremely easy to use, and performs well. A couple of minor problems though - you will find that if you are constantly starting and exiting Audiograbber, it will chew up all the memory on your computer (memory leak), the only way to cure this is to restart your computer. This is only a problem if you do this a large number of times, e.g. if you are copying a number of CDs successively. The other problem is that you will need to find a copy of the BladeEnc MP3 DLL encoder, a small bit of software that allows you to perform the conversion to MP3. Without this, you can only rip the CD tracks to WAV files, which take up vastly more space on your hard drive than MP3s. Despite these minor irritations, for free this is an extremely capable piece of software. This comes highly recommended.

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          13.08.2000 04:35
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          They say that music soothes the savage beast. But music and computers don't always work well together. After all, if you're using the CD-ROM, you can't very well listen to audio CD music, can you? Well, don't be too quick to answer. In case you missed the recent press, MP3, the online music format, is making big waves (or small WAV's - bad joke, sorry). MP3 is a standard for encoding CD quality music to a manageable size for storage and playback on computer. Audiograbber is an application that allows you to create MP3's or WAV's from your favorite CD. The program starts by capturing a song to a WAV file, which takes about 2 - 4 minutes and results in a file which may run as high as 60 megs. Then if the program is configured to use an MP3 encoder, it can translate that WAV into an MP3, which usually takes 6 or 7 minutes, and results in a file around 5 megs or so. The kicker is that you need to have an MP3 encoder on your system already to create the MP3 (I use Blade Encoder). The program is easy to use, with a reasonable setup process, and one click encode ability. The speed and status indicators are decent, and it allows you to set CD and track names to identify the file. My only problem really is that the package should be bundled with an MP3 encoder. Encoding to WAV files is possible without that piece, but who wants 50 meg files for each track on your PC? Bundling with an MP3 encoder would provide a much more complete package. One question people might have is the legality. As I understand it, it's legal to make an MP3 for your own use from a CD you've purchased, and possibly download an MP3 for evaluation (not clear on this last point). I encourage everybody to buy the CD's you like, if piracy becomes a serious problem, we may lose a great online capability because it's misused.

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            14.07.2000 04:18

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            This audio utillitie is excellant. It has a really slick and quality looking interface with really good performance. With ease you can rip your favourite tracks from cd and convert them into high quality mp3 to listen to on your computer. The program is free but you dont have full use of all its features unless you pay to register it. it is much better than most over rippers due to its easy to use interface and speed. I recoomend this to anyone who wants to rip their cd's easily and quickly.

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            13.07.2000 21:02

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            Although this isn't free, there is a freeware version in which you can download with all the features, with the only catch being you can only rip half the tracks from a CD, although through my own experience I know it changes the tracks you can rip each time you run it. You can also make it normalize a track (i.e. make it the same volume as all the other tracks), and also encode it as an mp3. Plugins can also be downloaded that can add new encode options such as 44000kHZ and 128kbp/s. You can select each option you want for each track and just leave it on its own and let it do everything for you. This is an all-in-one encoder that's seriously worth considering.

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            07.07.2000 17:53
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            I could not find a place to put Sound Limit so I thought i'd it here, so here's what I have to say about Sound Limit. Making mp3 music files could not be easier. Sound Limit is a simple and effective program that converts CD music to mp3 and vice versa. Lets get to grips with a few terminologies. Compact Disc Audio(cda) - This is the format that standard CD players such as Discman plays. Music on Albums/singles are cda format. .wav - From this format you can make mp3 files or cda. If you are converting your album to mp3 it has to be converted to .wav file first and then mp3. It's like the middleman, it has to go through that process. MPEG Layer 3(mp3) - Compressed music that is an average size of 4MB. You can have approximatly 150 songs on 1 CD. A normal album can only hold about 15 songs. If you have a collection of mp3's on a CD or your hard drive then you cannot play it on your, say, car stereo system. Sound Limit allows you to convert the mp3 files into .wav files and then into cda. You can then copy the songs onto CD and play it on any Compact Disc player. You can also compile your own music album. Pick songs from your favourite albums/singles and then copy them onto a CD. Sound Limit is one of many mp3 decode/encode software and you can download it from the internet. If you find this software useful then please purchase the full copy from the manufacturers.

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