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RCA's computerless ripping system

RCA's computerless ripping system

The fact that you're reading this blog says you have (or at least have access to) a computer. Chances are you've also ripped a CD to MP3 files on your computer. But there are plenty of people out there who are still confounded by this process, and for them, there's RCA's Rip & Go RS2052 Digital Music Studio ($179). This bookshelf audio system functions as a normal home stereo with a five-disc CD changer, a digital AM/FM tuner, and a remote, but there's a twist: It also allows completely computer-free ripping of CD audio directly to a 128MB MP3 player (included). You can choose to rip content from any of the five CDs or select a combination of tracks from different discs, although RCA hasn't yet mentioned if the songs will be tagged with album, artist, and track info. The player will hold approximately 2 hours' worth of songs, assuming 3-minute tracks ripped at 128Kbps into MP3; at this point, the ability to select any other bit rate or format is questionable. The portable device also includes headphones, shuffle and repeat playback options, and various EQ modes.

In addition to normal audio discs, the RS2052 can play CD-R and CD-RW discs, as well as MP3 and WMA files. Although it's unclear whether the unit has any internal memory other than that of the MP3 player, an SD memory card slot is included for playing music from any SD cards with compatible content. The system also features an intro function for sampling the first 10 seconds of each track, which is undoubtedly helpful for transferring desired tunes to the MP3 player.