Semalt - What Is A Data Ripper?

Ripping, often referred to as digital extraction is a process of copying audio and video content from CDs, DVDs, and other streaming media to a computer drive. The process is done using specific software called rippers. The ripper program uses an encoder to compress the file and then stores it on the computer drive. Most ripping programs have converters. The converter program changes the file format to other formats. The process of copying the ripped data into a recordable file is referred to as burning. Some of the programs can rip and burn the file in one step by re-encoding the file in the process.

The name ripping has no relationship with the slang phrase "rip off" which means "stealing." The term is often used due to speed especially when compared to the time required to re-record and CD or DVD. Others believe that the name stemmed from the Raster Image process (RIPping). The generic meaning was analog to digital conversion of media, especially in tape audio and vinyl. Today, it often means capturing any media and converting the same to a different format. Nowadays, conversion of files is digital-digital than analog-digital.

An example is ripping an audio CD containing 16-bit, 44.1 kHz LPCM-encoded audio. The software instructs the CD drives firmware to read the file and parse out the LPCM samples. The software renders the data in WAV or AIFF file formats. It can as well feed them into a Codec to produce an MP3 or FLAC file. Ripping can be done a track by track basis or all the tracks at once. Some tools may have the capacity to detect and rectify error during and after ripping. DVD rippers often function the same way as the CD rippers, but DVDs do not contain data files for use in computers. The commercial DVDs are encrypted to prevent authorized access to the files. They are also large making it inconvenient to copy to ordinary DVD-R. The ripping software can re-encode though there will be some loss of quality during compression.

Difference between DVD Ripping and DVD Copying

DVD copying and DVD ripping are two concepts that look so similar but different. They are similar in that both involve getting around content restrictions and allow one to manipulate the data as he/she wish. Copying is as simple as left-clicking the mouse and selecting copy. It can be done using common programs such as Window Media Players. DVD ripping involves extracting data and saving it in a different file format. It gives the users the freedom to play the file on multiple devices. Ripping requires specific programs.


Illegality issues have surrounded the concept of ripping in different countries. In most countries, it is legal to make a copy of a media one owns for personal use. The restrictions apply not to sharing, selling or distributing to anyone else. The Motion Picture Association of America is against extending the policy for commercial video. Ripping a material that is not in the public domain without the owner's permission is regarded as copyright infringement. Some countries allow the same in specific circumstances under the fair use type laws.