CD Ripping: Fractional Tracks

Mary gets books-on-CD at the annual library book sale, but she’s found they’re easier to use in MP3 format. We regard format transformation for our own use as covered by the First Sale Doctrine and Fair Use, but, obviously, various legal opinions differ.

I use Asunder to rip audio CDs, although it doesn’t handle non-recoverable errors very well at all. Wiping the offending disc with nose oil or ripping from a different drive will resolve most of the issues, but a recent acquisition had a nasty circumferential scratch in the middle of Track 7 that just didn’t respond to Black Magic.

CDparanoia can rip portions of a track, so a little binary search action extracts the usable data from Track 7:

cdparanoia "7-7[4:35]" Track7a.wav
cdparanoia III release 10.2 (September 11, 2008)

Ripping from sector  177155 (track  7 [0:00.00])
	  to sector  197780 (track  7 [4:35.00])

outputting to Track7a.wav

 (== PROGRESS == [                              | 197780 00 ] == :^D * ==)   


cdparanoia "7[5:30]-7" Track7b.wav
cdparanoia III release 10.2 (September 11, 2008)

Ripping from sector  201905 (track  7 [5:30.00])
	  to sector  208894 (track  7 [7:03.14])

outputting to Track7b.wav

 (== PROGRESS == [                              | 208894 00 ] == :^D * ==)   


With that in hand, you import the two WAV files into Audacity with a five second gap between them, drop two seconds of A-440 sine wave in the gap, and export to MP3.

The M3U playlist entry has the track time in seconds, so I hand-carved that entry to match the abbreviated length:

#EXTINF:376,Disc 14 Track 7
14-07 - Track 7.mp3


7 thoughts on “CD Ripping: Fractional Tracks

  1. You may know, you can polish scratches out of CDs the usual way (finer grits of abrasive until it looks like new.) Of course, extract all the data you can before you attempt this, just in case…

    1. I have tried many different polishes on scratched DVDs this past year: toothpaste, 3M rubbing compound, 0.5 micron chromium oxide paste, etc. By far the most efficient has been Meguiar’s PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish. It will work on all but the most egregious scratches, and doesn’t take forever about it.

    2. The Big Box o’ Abrasives actually has sandpaper down to 3000 grit and, a long time ago, I tried polishing a couple of discarded CDs. Conclusion: the data must be very very valuable before that would be worthwhile…

      Can’t think of any other use for 3000 grit paper, though!

  2. The base-level Forester we have has a CD player that handles MP3 formats, so I took a bunch of CDs and made 5 MP3 CDs. Took care of music on a round trip from Oregon to Illinois with some to spare. (I caught some radio, too, usually AM. It’s alive and well in flyover country.)

    1. I wonder if you can listen to AM from a commercial flight while flying over “flyover country”… Would anyone frown? Can you still buy a small AM receiver? You know, what old folks call a “transistor radio”.

      1. The base unit doesn’t have a USB jack, and the MP3-on-CD interface isn’t overly grim. I put each album’s ripped data into a separate directory, and the unit just goes through directories and tracks in alpha-numeric order. I didn’t really care that Cats came immediately after Caberet. YMMV [grin]

        Back in the Bronze Age, Sony sold an AM stereo Walkman. When that died, (circa 1990) I bought another brand. AM, no stereo. Haven’t used it in years.

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