What Is the Difference Between Ripping a CD and Burning a CD?

Ripping a CD occurs when a user copies music, videos and pictures from a CD to a computer, whereas burning a CD takes place when a user copies music, videos and pictures from a computer to a blank CD.

Ripping is done by a software program specifically designed to rip CDs. Alternatively, users can rip CDs using generic media players, such as Microsoft Windows Media Player or Apple iTunes. The program simply copies the media files from the CD to the computer.

Burning a CD also requires CD burning software. There are three common types of CDs users can burn, including audio CDs, data CDs and data DVDs. The appropriate CD to use depends on the content that is to be moved either to or from the CD, the size of the content and how the content is to be played. Audio CDs have a smaller capacity and are ideal for making music CDs that can be played on a computer, on a stereo or in a car.

A data CD is suitable for large amounts of content, as it has a larger capacity of up to 700 megabytes. It is ideal for large files, such as videos and pictures. A data DVD has the largest capacity of the three types and is suitable for very large amounts of content.