How-To Geek

Rip & Convert Your Music Collection with CDex

Looking for CD ripping software that does a quality job? Now you can enjoy having great results when ripping and converting your music with WildFire CD Ripper CDex.

Update! It’s been brought to our attention by our great readers that Wildfire is actually a re-skinned version of the open-source CDex software. We’ve updated the link at the bottom to point to the truly free version. Sorry for the trouble!


The install process for WildFire CD Ripper is simple with a total of five install screens to navigate. On the third install screen, there is something that you do need to watch out for. Make certain to deselect the “P2P Energy – torrent toolbar” unless you want to have it installed on your computer.

Note: Once the installation process has finished, the WildFire CD Ripper homepage will automatically open in your default browser.


Here is what WildFire CD Ripper looks like when started up. The interface is nicely laid out and easy to navigate (very nice!).


Menus and Options

WildFire CD Ripper has a nice set of menus to give you quick and easy access to settings and adjustments. Here is a good look at all of the available menus.


The Settings Window looks very similar to the Main Window and is the same size. Here you can make personal adjustments for Generic Settings, Filenames, CD Drive, Encoder (this is the default tab), Local CDDB, and Remote CDDB. Going through the tabbed interface will show the nice amount of options/settings available for WildFire CD Ripper.


WildFire CD Ripper in Action

On our example system we decided to rip the newest Hannah Montana CD to mp3 format. The CD was easily detected, but with this still being such a new release we had to individually rename each audio track and fill in the information at the top.

Note: WildFire CD Ripper does allow you to check online for album information with a single click on the appropriate button on the Right Side Toolbar.


To begin ripping a CD, click on the tracks that you want to work with to select them and then click on the appropriate Right Side Toolbar button (based on the particular action that you are wanting to perform). Here you can see our choice to rip and convert the tracks to mp3 format.


This is the Progress Window that you will see while ripping your CDs. The window displays the progress only for the track that it is working on at that time…


One slightly unusual thing we noticed after WildFire CD Ripper finished with our example CD was the “Save Architecture” for the songs. You can see the architecture in the following screenshot. Notice that each song was placed in a separate subfolder underneath the particular track number.



Once you have the options and settings adjusted to suit your personal preferences, WildFire CD Ripper does a very nice job of ripping and converting CDs. WildFire CD Ripper makes a very nice primary or secondary ripping software to have on any computer.


Download CDex from

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 08/14/09

Comments (13)

  1. Alex

    “The interface is nicely laid out and easy to navigate (very nice!)” … Are you kidding?

  2. Starter

    I couldn’t imagine a ripping/encoding software that looks worse than Exact Audio Copy, but there it is :-) And I have never yet discovered a better ripping tool than Exact Audio Copy, plus any encoding option you might imagine. Most rippers go through a reading error, and the ripped track is flawed. To make great rips, you must use a software able to re-read potentually damaged sectors of the CD many times (not burst but secure mode).

  3. Starter

    Apart from the ripping thing, this one also carries crapware within the installation. Awful. There is a good text on Lifehacker today, about Digsby’s crapware practices.

  4. Gym

    This is a dead-ringer for the GPL licenced program, CDex.

  5. Senax

    Why bother with this (toolbar infested software) when there is ExactAudioCopy with accurateRip?

  6. Nik Simpson

    This looks like a simple re-skinning of CD-EX, even the order and names of the main menus are identical. You can get cd-ex without any toolbars etc from

  7. Deimdos

    “rip & convert”
    from CDex (open source) to Wildfire CD Ripper…

  8. jrb

    glad i wasn’t the only one that noticed this is a (badly) re-skinned version of CDEX, which is free, and doesn’t come with some PUA.

  9. The Geek

    Thanks for all the comments!

    I’m updating the article to link to CD-EX instead.

  10. Ben


    I propose a new rule for the software you recommend: If it installs junkware by default, don’t review it! ExactAudioCopy is free and works great and does none of this trickery. In fact, you can rip CDs using iTunes, WMP, and CDex, for free and not have to worry about toolbars! Here is to no more reviews of software with toolbars!


  11. The Geek


    You know what, we’ve actually been discussing doing exactly that. I’ll probably post a followup article in the next day or two.

  12. Ben

    Actually it appears ExactAudioCopy DOES install an eBay icon by default. Grr. I guess the standards can’t be so high then. I would propose then reviewing software with “moderate” amounts of junkware, or perhaps ones that do so with as little trickery as possible. The eBay icon in EAC can be not installed by de-selecting it during setup which isn’t too bad. And EAC doesn’t install toolbars.

  13. Jerry

    While I have not used ‘Exact Audio Copy’ (mentioned in the comments) I have used CDEX extensively. I had something like 1000 CD’s or so and each day I would rip a stack of them into MP3 format using CDEX, until I finally got them all ripped. It works great.

    Some CD’s that my kids had extensively scratched required manipulating the settings so that CDEX would read that track multiple times and at slower speeds so that it could be salvaged. So CDEX does have that capability, contrary to what a previous commenter stated, who obviously made an incorrect assumption about a product he hasn’t even tried.

    I have no idea whatsoever if ‘Exact Audio Copy’ is any good and I wouldn’t go to a review of that product just so that I could express my undying allegiance to CDEX.

    I have used CDEX for years, and thousands of times, and it has proven itself to me in that it does its job reliably.

    I am not bothered that there is now a toolbar packaged with CDEX, as long as they give me the option of not installing it. We should save our outrage for the makers of products that don’t give you any option of not installing the extra junk that you may not want, and not punish someone who needs to make a little money from their program.

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