I've recently revived an original clamshell iBook which has something my modern MacbookPro lacks: a CD drive. This has given me an idea: ripping CD's with my iBook and bringing them over to my newer computer.

Is there a piece of free software for classic Mac OS which is capable of ripping lossless audio files from CD's for free ?

  • Looking at the answers, it's better to specify what you mean with "lossless". "Lossless" in the original meaning (no mp3) or "lossless" in the rather modern meaning (lossless but compressed like Apple Lossless or FLAC).
    – klanomath
    Feb 18, 2018 at 7:35

3 Answers 3


As far as I remember (AFAIR), no extra software is required to rip audio CDs lossless in Mac OS 9. You can simply open the CD and use the Finder to copy the music files to the hard disk.

The final data format is AIFF.

This probably won't work for copy protected audio CDs (non-Red Book).


While I am a big proponent of of not throwing away useful tech, there is a point (for me) of diminishing returns. I do exactly what IconDaemon does and keep a USB DVD Reader/Writer specifically for this purpose (I think I use it, at most 4 times per year).

That said, if you're interested or passionate about keeping Vintage tech running, there is a couple sites you would be interested in:

  • Mac OS 9 Lives. Resource repository and user forum for everything (?) Mac OS 9 related.

  • Macintosh Garden.

    The Macintosh Garden is an abandonware archive, dedicated in particular to supporting the Macintosh computer platform.

Doing a cursory search, I was able to find these little gems: DVD Extractor and AudioCatalyst

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I looks like they will rip audio, but not having vintage hardware (or time, for that matter) to test this out, I can't verify. However, you may find some useful resources there as they too have a user forum and IRC chat available.

Availability of lossless codecs.

It's highly unlikely you're going to find something with the capability of lossless ripping because Mac OS 9 was EOL'ed in in May of 2002 while FLAC wasn't released until July 2001. Apple's own ALAC wasn't released until April 2004 (AIFF is not lossless; it's uncompressed). Wav, which is "uncompressed" and considered (at the time) lossless was a Windows format and while compatible, not popular on Apple products. WMA is the Windows lossless format.

  • 4
    CD-Audio (PCM) > AIFF is considered lossless (because the original bit sequence will be restored after burning the AIFF back to CD-Audio (PCM)). It's not lossless compared to any original analog source.
    – klanomath
    Feb 17, 2018 at 17:29

You can easily purchase a USB DVD/CD reader/writer for < $US50 for your newer computer and rip to your heart's content with a faster, more reliable device.

In fact, I spent quite some time last summer re-ripping a large stack of non-commercial studio recordings I'd ripped at very low bit rates into iTunes because my G3 had a massive 250Mb 2nd drive and I had to conserve space.

I use this LG model, available at Amazon (US). CD & DVD DL read/write. $US20 US.

  • To the two down-voters, why? Yes it does't technically answer the question asked and probably should have been a comment, however considering how old Mac OS 9 is and the hardware the OP has, this is IMO a reasonable alternative answer and doesn't deserve a down-vote! +1 as a reasonable alternative answer. Feb 17, 2018 at 19:32
  • How long have you had this LG ? I had one of them and it only lasted 1-2 years
    – NoahM
    Feb 18, 2018 at 18:09
  • @NoahM - I've had a similar drive (LG) that's going on 5 years now. LG makes good products
    – Allan
    Feb 18, 2018 at 19:24

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