Ripping CDs worth it?

Hi all,

I was wondering whether it would make sense to rip CD’s myself. Spotify calls their “very high” quality cd-quality. My dad has a box full of CDs which I could rip if I buy an external DVD reader.
Also, what is Tidal’s hifi quality (not the master), because apparently it’s a higher bitrate but is it also from CDs?
Would ripping the CDs as FLAC using EAC be an improvement over Spotify?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Ripping cds to a lossless format like flac will sound better than Spotify.

Tidal hifi is lossless cd quality streaming, so that is also higher quality than Spotify


So would ripping a cd result in something equivalent to the “hifi” quality of Tidal? I find it very difficult to get myself to fork over $20 a month for Tidal if I’m honest.


Yes I personally think it’s better sounding than tidal too. I only really use my ripped cd collection or digital download releases. You just don’t have as much access to music as you have to buy all the CDs and digital downloads, but it depends on the person if that’s a concern or not


Hifi quality is 16bit-44Khz, exactly the same as CDs. Of course, we have no way of knowing where they’re sourcing those FLACs from… :female_detective:


Only for ‘master’ tracks though right? I think OP wants the $10 tier

I’m not really sure whether I would here it, I want to try and since my dad and I share a lot of our music taste I am fortunate to be able to try with very little investment. I was just confused by the “cd quality” that Spotify claims.
I guess I would mostly notice it with classical music and progressive rock, so I don’t have to have all my music ripped. I would still keep spotify for podcasts and music I don’t have ripped.

No there are master tracks and hifi tracks. Hifi is also in the $20 tier, AFAIK the $10 tier is basically the same as Spotify (could be a different algorithm, but at least comparable).

Yeah spotify does not offer lossless audio, so idk why they say that.


Tidal give you their Hi-Fi access for 10 bucks if you’re a student. Def rip your CDs. It’s something you’ll be able to have forver (as long as you back up) and you’ll never have to hassle or re-rip the CDs.

1 Like

Okay cool I just like to clarify because the ‘hifi’ tier and the ‘hifi’ quality tracks (as opposed to 'master’s quality tracks) sometimes gets confused

1 Like

I think Spotify’s claim is based on some research that shows that very few people reliably can tell the difference between a compressed 320 kbps file and the standard 16 bit/44.1 KHz cd audio file. So I think they’re logic is something like “you can’t actually tell the difference between our high quality and cd quality.” And for the most part, they’re right. Unless of course you’re talking about regular inhabitants of HiFi Guides. But then, we’re not their target demo.


To answer the OP, yes. If you already have the CD’s what have you got to lose?

I still think it’s a bit misleading though. Also I thought Spotify was actually doing a beta with actual cd quality back in like 2017, that died a silent death…

Theoretically, a 16/44.1 FLAC stream from Tidal/Qobuz/Amazon should sound identical to a local FLAC file sourced from the same master. IMO, Tidal comes up a bit short as I’ve noticed they tend to roll off the high frequencies a bit. Outside of that, any audible difference between streaming or locally playing the exact same file would be because of jitter. Because a streaming signal has to be transmitted over hundreds or thousands of miles and go through all kinds of switches and relays, there are more opportunities for bits to get lost. In practice, it’s really hard to hear a difference if there really is a difference at all. As far as sound quality is concerned, the difference between streaming and local is probably not a big deciding factor in the “worth it?” question, IMO.

Other factors such as having your music if your ISP goes down are nice. And try as they may, the streaming services don’t always have ALL the music you may want to listen to. They all have holes in their libraries that I’ve found.


$25 on a cd reader, neithe my laptop nor my pc has one.

It really only matters on very very high end setups tbh, otherwise lossless streaming tends to make more sense to most people

In the case of rock, pop etc recordings a lot of older CDs have better mastering than currently available versions which have been “improved” by remastering which strangles the dynamic range and brickwalls them.

Yes, it is misleading. They all mislead to some extent on the quality question. Amazon HD is calling 16/44.1 streams “HD”, which they aren’t, but they’re betting they can convince people who are used to lossy compressed files they are HD.

It depends, some early cd’s really sounded bad while the engineers were still getting used to mastering for cd and the newer remasters improve this (or they were just rips of the master tape). But for stuff in like the 90s to 2000s I agree the “remasters” were mainly just a hotter master with a bit more compression or something