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How-To Geek

Ripping

Ripping is the process of converting audio or video from its native format to another format for the purposes of reducing the file size and/or re-encoding it to play on a wider variety of devices.

A form of ripping familiar to most people is the process of converting the audio tracks off a music CD into MP3, ¬†AAC, or other portable audio format in order to load the music on an iPod or other portable music player. Any time you pop a CD into your computer, fire up iTunes, and copy the music over to your iTunes library, you’re ripping a CD.

The origins of the usage of ripping in a technological context are unclear. Some sources indicate ripping was intended to indicate that the process ripped off the recording industry by copying albums, while other sources claim it references rip saws, wood working tools used to resize and reshape large pieces of wood much like a CD-to-MP3 ripping tool compresses large albums into MP3 player friendly sizes.

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