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Definition: digital audio extraction

A feature of modern CD-ROM and DVD drives that allows the digital audio data from CDs to be passed to the computer via the drive's IDE or SCSI interface. Before this feature became available, ripping CD tracks required using the analog output of the drive and converting it back to digital again, resulting in inferior sound quality. See ripping, CD-ROM audio cable and MP3.

Digital and Analog Outputs
CD-ROM drives convert audio CD data to analog and send it to the sound card and headphones. They also send audio CD data to the computer's bus, which is known as "digital audio extraction."