I use EAC with the LAME mp3 encoder as a plugin. If you want the absolute best quality, they are the only way to go. EAC can be a bit slow though with its error correct, but I think it is worth it for the quality. Check out: http://www.ping.be/satcp/ for some tutorials on setting up EAC and LAME.
EAC is most likely a more capable ripper if you use the error correction features right, and the latest version with the installer is much much easier to install than it used to be.
Why settle for second best when you can have the greatest for free?
thanks for all the responses, I will check them out, but I noticed I may have had the answer right under my nose with roxio easy cd creator- it seems it also creates mp3 files from cds- I haven't tried it yet I will check all your suggestions first, thanks
Seriously... don't go with the Roxio solution.
It may take you 10 minutes worth of reading up on things to start making near-perfect MP3's, and you'll be glad later on you did when you don't have to re-rip your CD's because you're unhappy with the way the MP3's sound.
Go to http://www.r3mix.net and do a little reading, would be my heartfelt advice.
Another vote for EAC. But make sure to read a little before you started ripping a big collection. For example, if you intend to use a MP3 tagging and organization program, or a player like Musicmatch Jukebox which has excellent tagging and database functionality built-in, you will want to pay attention to the way you set EAC to create file names and ID tags. Also, you should set EAC to create .m3u playlists for each of your albums as you rip them. Finally, before you start, you'll want to think about how you want to organize your files into directories.
Re-ripping CDs b/c you did them wrong the first time is a real PITA.
Btw, I have over 100 CDs ripped to .wav files, and play them back on the HT system through a networked HTPC. I would never go back to a CD player.
Hardly "jitter" errors... let's not confuse our terms here. Drop outs or downright errors in the data, more likely.
Jitter is a problem in timing of digital signals and the latest bugaboo among the audiophiles driving them to buy mega-expensive digital cables.
Those pops due to read errors from the disc are, btw, exactly what EAC eliminates and makes it better than CDex, IMHO.