DIGITAL LIFE MADE EASY (4) – What is the difference between ripping and burning? Where do I use what?

Our digital life is meant to make things easier but in fact, it is not that easy without knowing some of the fundamental concepts behind the digital world. This blog series deals with typical questions that may sound easy on first sight, but digging deeper into them, there is quite a lot to know and learn.

In this blog, we try to answer the question: What is the difference between ripping and burning? Where do I use what?

Taking it very basically, one could say that ripping is the opposite of burning. However, there is much more detail behind this question as this FAQ will show.


In fact, when you rip a disc the used software will extract and convert data stored on (burned to) your disc in a given disc format / disc standard, e.g. an Audio CD, a DVD-Video disc, an AVCHD disc or a Blu-ray disc. When ripping a disc, you will get access to the original data files stored on the optical disc and will be able to store these files in a digital file format of your choice, in order to further utilize the ripped files.

Audio CD Ripping

Take Audio CD ripping as an example for probably the most often used case for ripping. The Audio CD – as the CD-DA standard requires – always contains audio files in PCM audio format (lossless uncompressed) with 16 bit and a sample frequency of 44.1 kHz.

When ripping the individual songs of your Audio CD to file you will like to maintain the audio quality but would rather reduce the file size so that it fits nicely to the storage capacity of your smartphone or MP3 player. Typical audio compression formats like MP3 or AAC cater for this and provide almost true Audio CD quality with only taking a fraction (1/11) of the space the uncompressed audio file on your Audio CD needed before.

The conversion of the audio format is done in the background when ripping starts. If possible, you should check available settings and set the output format to match your needs. Many Nero applications (see table below) allow you to pre-select the wanted audio format before ripping your Audio CD to file.

Although MP3 and AAC are most often used for ripping, there are cases when you  would rather want to rip your files to uncompressed WAV, which is basically the native format of the audio files on your disc. Using WAV is absolutely meaningful when you want to do some tweaking or editing of the ripped audio files with an audio editor before you finally convert the edited files to a compressed format of your choice. If you used compressed files in the first place, you would gain results of poorer audio quality – the already compressed files would have to be compressed again when being output to MP3/AAC.

save audio tracks

‘Save Audio Tracks’ format options in Nero Burning Rom and Nero Express.

When you use Nero Burning ROM for Audio CD ripping you get the largest number of format options. If your key purpose for ripping is just getting the music from your Audio CD straight to your mobile device, use Nero Disc to Device which is exactly made for this job.  

TIP! Also take a look at Nero KnowHow 00038.

Many Nero applications allow you to do Audio CD ripping and also integrate Gracenote® Music Recognition as the most convenient way to automatically add album information and cover art to your music files.

TIP! For details, see the table below.

DVD Ripping 

Take DVD-Video ripping as another example. Your video disc allows you to play single video titles via a disc menu structure that your DVD player can read. When ripping, these titles need to be stored as single files in a wanted format. DVD-Video makes use of the MPEG-2 video format, which needs about double the storage space than MPEG-4/AVC for the same quality.


Video format options in Nero Recode

When you want to rip your DVD-Video consider your use case. For storing it in good quality, e.g. for playing it back on your smartphone or via the home network, we recommend using the MPEG-4/AVC format. Nero Recode and Nero Disc to Device will do a great job for you, here.

However, when you want to use files/titles from a DVD-Video in a video project we do not recommend to rip the disc but just import the files from the disc via Nero Video without converting. For more details on this case see below (under ‘Burning’).


Now, when it comes to burning, you need to take a look at the disc formats and standards, which you are going to use. Let us take the examples of an Audio CD, an MP3 disc, and a DVD-Video disc.

Burning an Audio CD

Several Nero programs let you burn Audio CDs. When you import audio files into your burning project these will be converted and burned to a standard Audio CD based on the CD-DA standard.

Due to audio quality reasons, the audio format of choice for your imported files when creating an Audio CD should be WAV. This is an uncompressed audio format and when you use it with 16 bit and 44.1 kHz, it will have the same format specification as the Audio CD, with no loss in quality. For example, when you digitize an LP it is recommended to have all LP titles available as WAV and import these into your Audio CD project.

When you import files into your Audio CD burning project that consist of compressed MP3 this format has to be re-converted to match the Audio CD specification, which will result in a slight loss of audio quality on your final Audio CD. The better choice for this case is creating an MP3 disc, as explained below.

Burning an MP3 Disc

If you want to burn a disc containing your previously ripped audio files for e.g. playing it in your car stereo, you should not burn an Audio CD but an MP3 disc as a regular data disc. Compared to an Audio CD, an MP3-CD (data disc) would give you about 10 times more music files on your disc. When using a DVD data disc instead  –  given your car stereo supports DVD media – you could even burn a multitude of songs to your disc.

Burning a DVD-Video Disc

Burning a DVD-Video disc requires converting all source assets in your project to MPEG-2 standard. Any incompatible file that you have imported including the disc menu will be converted to MPEG-2 before the disc is burned. If you want to use titles from a DVD-Video disc within a new disc project you can also import titles form your DVD-Video discs into Nero Video. Import DIsc

Import disc options in Nero Video

In this case, thanks to Nero SmartEncodig, MPEG-2 compatible files in your project will not be re-encoded but maintain the source video quality – also resulting in a shorter duration for burning to disc.

TIP! Take a look at Nero KnowHow 00112 to learn more about how to burn a DVD-Video disc.

Still, one might want to say that ripping and burning do opposite things in independent processes. However, as mentioned in this blog, there is quite some interdependence in certain cases, and it is good to keep this in mind when starting your project.

Disc Ripping with Nero Applications

Rip Table

*only for non-copy protected personal use

Disc Burning with Nero Applications

Burn Table

*only with available disc structure within a folder (no disc authoring possible)

 Nero Know How 00115

If I have active Nero Volume Licenses, can I upgrade the number of seats (even to the latest product version)? What do I need to do?

Yes, you can upgrade existing Nero Volume Licenses for a special price, and additional conditions for new seats can be discussed.

Please refer to the two examples below that relate to the different scenarios of your question.

Example 1

I have Nero Volume Licenses for one thousand seats, which I am using on one thousand PCs.

Now I have bought five hundred new PCs and want to extend the given Nero product licenses to one thousand five hundred seats.

Please contact your Nero sales representative and he will offer you a special price for your individual scenario.

Example 2

I have Nero Volume Licenses for one thousand seats, which I am using on one thousand PCs.

Now, I have bought five hundred new PCs and want to extend the given Nero product licenses to one thousand five hundred seats with the latest Nero product version.

Please contact your Nero sales representative and he will offer you a special price for your individual scenario.

Nero KnowHow 00114

Do Nero Volume Licenses end? What do I have to know about Nero Volume Licenses?

Nero Volume Licenses are available in two different components:

  • The license itself, i.e. the regular Nero Volume Licenses per seat
  • An optional Maintenance License per seat on top of a regular Nero Volume License
  1. Regular Nero Volume Licenses per seat

Nero Volume Licenses are perpetual, i.e. they continue without limitation or termination, and allow you to use your product as long as you want under the two conditions below:

  • You can only use it for the specified Nero product
  • The licenses are only valid for the given number of seats as specified on your certificate (see example)


I have Nero Volume Licenses for one hundred seats, which I am using on one hundred PCs.

Now, I have bought twenty new PCs. How can I handle this without buying a new license?

If you do not intend to upgrade your Volume Licenses and just use it as normal, you could uninstall your Nero Volume License software product on twenty of your old PCs and install your Nero Volume License software product on the twenty new PCs, instead. This way the number of active seats will not change and you will comply with your purchased licenses.

General rule for this case: please make sure that the number of active PCs running Nero software never exceeds the bought number of seats per Nero Volume License.

  1. Nero Maintenance License per seat on top of a regular Volume License

In addition to a given regular Nero Volume License, you can buy an optional Maintenance License for the duration of one, two, or three years. The selected Maintenance ends on the expiry date shown on your Maintenance Certificate. A Maintenance Certificate is not auto-extended.

A Nero Maintenance License includes the following services and benefits:

  • VIP-Level Technical Assistance
  • 1 Free Version Upgrade
  • Guarantees system compatibility and security


Nero KnowHow 00113

How to burn .mp4 or .avi movies to DVD so that they play on a DVD Player?

When you want to create a DVD that plays on your DVD player you initially need to understand which kind of format needs to be present on your DVD disc.

There is a fundamental difference between a DVD data disc and a DVD-Video disc.

A DVD data disc can be filled with any kind of date content whereas a DVD-Video disc consists of a defined disc format structure that lets you navigate through DVD disc menus and lets you play your files via these disc menus. Also the video file formats that you use (in your case mp4 and .avi) need to be made compatible as a DVD-Video disc only accepts MPEG-2 video codecs*.

*For more details check the Glossary in Nero KnowHow

 Step 1 – Select the DVD-Video creation option

Nero Video is the application of choice within Nero Suite that provides easy yet powerful high-quality DVD-Video creation.


  • Launch Nero Video
  • On the start screen (“Home”) select “Create Disc > DVD > DVD-Video”

 Step 2 – Import and sort your content

Content screen

  • You will see the content screen for your disc project, now
  • Click on “Import > Import files” to add your video files to your disc project
  • Within the explorer view browse and select the videos you want to add, and press “Open”
  • The videos will be imported and listed
  • Note that the videos will be listed in the given order from top to bottom, and this will also translate into the order of clips being shown in your DVD menu
  • If you want a different order, just drag and drop the clips to the corresponding position within in the window (in the screenshot you can see that clip 00022 and 00019 have been dragged to the top of the list)
  • when all is good click next

TIP: You cannot insert images or image sequences directly into a DVD-Video project. If you plan to do so, make sure that  you have none of your video clips in the actual list selected. Then click ,Edit’. Within the editing mode simply drag the wanted images to the timeline and click ‘Next’. Your image sequence will now be present as an individual video within the clip list of your DVD project and be available as a regular video for playback via your DVD-Video disc navigation menu.

Step 3 – Select a suiting disc menu

menu screen

In this screen you can select between a number of categories and numerous templates inside of the individual categories. As you can see in the screenshot, we have selected a disc menu template from the ‘Smart 3D’ category.

  • Click “Next” to get to the preview function.

TIP: You can also customize DVD-menus and create your very own templates to use over and over gain. For more details on how to customize disc menus in Nero Video check Nero KnowHow 00033

Step 4 – Preview your disc

preview ausschnitt

In this screen, you can realistically preview your disc with all menus and all pages in exactly the same way your DVD player will show it. Give yourself some time for checking before you click on ”Next”.

Step 5 – Burn your DVD-Video disc


  • Within this screen select your recorder under “Burn to…”
  • Insert a blank DVD disc into the recorder (DVD±R or DVD±RW or DVD±R DL)
  • Click “Burn”

Now, a windows opens showing you the status of the final processing – initially rendering of the disc menus and the video titles, before switching over to the  status of the final burning process. No further action is required here.

  • You will be notified when the burning is finished.

TIP: There is a dependency between the content that fits onto your disc and the quality setting within ‘Recording Format Options’. Find more on that topic under NeroKnowHow 00022         

Nero KnowHow 00112

What’s new in Music Recorder for Nero Platinum 2018?

With the latest online update of Nero 2018 Launcher you will find that Audials Music Recorder replaces the former Music Recorder.

The former Music Recorder was based on Audials 2016 technology. The new Audials Music Recorder is based on Audials 2018 with below new features.

Audials Music Recorder in Nero Platinum 2018

  • updated speed
  • find more radio stations quicker
  • reworked user interface
  • new Dashboard ‘Audials Home’
  • new central search function
  • better quality music search results
  • create up to three wish lists for artists or songs at a time
  • now edit the wish list and use the drag-and-drop function to add new wishes or delete old ones*
  • save found songs to your PC as a virtual song (e.g. a YouTube link) and play your virtual song like a local file**
  • includes ‘Audials Music Universe’ with new ‘Audials Music Zoom’
  • and more

* if one wish list is done you can delete it and add another
** you need to be online to use this feature 

Nero Know How 00110