Digital life made easy

Our digital life should make many things easier. In reality, however, this means that it only really gets easier once you understand the basic concepts behind the digital world.

In this blog we will deal with the question: What is the difference between ripping and burning?? Where to use what?

Simply put, ripping is the opposite of burning. However, there is a whole lot of detail behind this seemingly simple question, which we want to bring to your attention in this blog.


When you rip a disc, the software you use extracts and converts the data previously stored on your disc in a specific disc format: z.B. Audio CD, DVD-Video disc, AVCHD disc or Blu-ray disc. If you rip a disc, you get access to the original files stored on the optical medium and are then able to save these files in a format of your choice and use them further.

Audio CD Ripping

Let's take z.B. Ripping an audio CD as probably the most common use case. The audio files on an audio CD – as required by the CD-DA standard – are always in the uncompressed PCM audio format (lossless uncompressed) with 16 bit and a sample frequency of 44.1 kHz.

If you want to convert the individual music tracks of your audio CD into audio files, you are surely interested in getting a high audio quality with low storage space requirements at the same time, so that your ripped files fit well on your existing devices like smartphone or MP3 player. Typical audio compression formats are MP3 or AAC – with nearly Audio CD-like sound quality at a significantly reduced storage footprint (1/11) compared to the uncompressed file size on your audio CD.

The conversion (conversion of audio format) happens automatically in the background during ripping. The preferred audio format should, however, if possible, be adapted to your own needs beforehand. In many Nero application (see table below) you can select the audio format of the ripped files.

Even though MP3 and AAC are most commonly used for ripping, there are cases where it makes sense to rip audio files as uncompressed WAV files. So z.B., if you want to edit ripped audio files with an audio editor before final dubbing. With already compressed files you will get worse results in this case, because the already compressed files (after editing) will be converted once again for output to MP3 o.Ä. Would have to be converted.

Digital life made easy

'Save audio tracks' format settings in Nero Burning ROM and Nero Express.

You have the greatest options for format selection in Nero Burning ROM. If you want to rip directly to a mobile device, the easiest way is to use Nero Disc to Device, which is made for exactly this task.

TIP! Also check out Nero KnowHow 00038.

Many Nero applications allow ripping of audio CDs with integrated Gracenote® Music Recognition. This automatically creates album data. Album art added to your music files.

TIP! See also the table below.

DVD Ripping

Let's take ripping a DVD video as a second example. Your video disc allows you to select and play individual titles using a disc menu structure that your DVD player can read. When ripping, these titles must be created as individual video files in the desired format. DVD-Video basically uses the MPEG-2 video format, which requires about twice as much storage space as AVC/H.264 with similar picture quality.

Digital life made easy

Video format settings in Nero Recode

When ripping, consider your use cases. To rip video in good quality from a DVD-Video you z.B. On your smartphone or home network, we recommend using the AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4) format, which is usually preset in Nero Recode and Nero Disc to Device.

However, if you want to use video files from a video DVD in a new movie project, we do not recommend ripping the disc, but simply importing the video titles from the disc into your project in Nero Video without conversion. More details on 'burning' below.


When it comes to burning a disc, you should first familiarize yourself with disc formats and standards. Let's look at the examples of Audio CD, MP3 disc and DVD-Video disc.

Burning an audio CD

Nero offers the possibility to burn audio CDs in different programs. If you import audio files into your burning project, they will be converted to standard audio CD format (CD-DA – Compact Disc Digital Audio): Two-channel 16-bit linear PCM sampled at 44.1 kHz.

For audio quality reasons, audio files in WAV audio format are best suited for creating audio CDs. If you choose this uncompressed format with 16 bit and 44.1 kHz, it has the same format specification as your audio CD and is lossless. Typical example: you want to digitize an LP. Then burn it as an Audio CD. It is recommended to digitize each song as a WAV file and import it into your audio CD project. To get the best audio quality on your Audio CD.

If you use compressed MP3 files in your audio CD project, they need to be converted again to conform to the Audio CD standard (CD-DA). This will cause some quality loss on the burned audio CD. If this is your use case, it is more recommended to burn an MP3 disc as described below.

Burning an MP3 disc

If you want to burn a disc with your previously ripped music tracks to z.B. To play them on your car radio, we recommend not to burn an audio CD but an MP3 CD as a data disc. Most car radios can read the MP3 format. Compared to an audio CD, you can burn about 10 times more songs to an MP3 CD than to an audio CD. If your car stereo even supports DVDs as media, you can burn an MP3 DVD as a data disc and fit many times more songs on your MP3 disc.

Burning a DVD-Video disc

Burning a DVD-Video disc requires that all video source files be converted to the MPEG-2 standard. Any non-compatible video file you imported into your project will be converted to MPEG-2 before burning – including disc menus. If you want to use titles from a DVD-Video disc in your current DVD project, the easiest way to do this is directly through the disc import function in Nero Video.

Digital life made easy

Disc import options in Nero Video

In this case, thanks to Nero SmartEncoding, MPEG-2 compatible video files in your project will not be re-encoded and will retain their full quality. This also contributes to the faster burning of the DVD-Video disc.

TIP! Also check out Nero KnowHow 00112 to learn more about burning a DVD-Video disc.

As before, it can be simplified to say that ripping is something like the opposite of burning. However, as this blog has shown, there are a whole lot of interdependencies in different cases and it can't hurt to keep that in mind before you start your project.

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