So you finally got one of those MP3 players for the holidays. You got one as a gift or you finally realized that this is the future of music...

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So you finally got one of those MP3 players for the holidays. You got one as a gift or you finally realized that this is the future of music and got one for yourself. Either way, congratulations and welcome into the 21st century.

Now you can go online and download the newest tunes without having to go to the local music store. Now you can take your music with you wherever you go. Now you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to buy the latest recordings. You are truly one with your music.

But wait a moment. What about your current collection of CDs? You have literally hundreds of them. They represent a small personal fortune and they contain all of your favorite recordings. So how do you get all of those songs they contain into your player? And then the cold, cruel reality hits you as you realize that the only way to get your CDs into your MP3 player is to rip them one at a time. You have to take each individual CD, drop it into your computer’s CD drive, run a ripping program, wait for each track to be ripped off the CD, save them on to your hard drive, eject the CD, put in the next one and repeat until your entire CD collection is converted.

Don’t despair. Using some really clever thinking, Primera Technology has taken one of its hardware products initially developed for automatic disc duplication and given it the ability to automatically rip the music from stacks of CDs.

You really don’t see things like this happening very often in the world of computing — a dedicated piece of hardware gets a completely different ability solely via a piece of software.

Primera’s little software gem is called PTRip. It (www.primera.com/PTRip) uses Primera’s series of Bravo Disc Publishers. Depending on the Bravo model, you stack a varying quantity of recordable discs into its input bin. A little robotic arm picks up a disc, drops it into a reader/burner optical drive and makes a duplicate. The Bravo can also print a full color image directly onto the duplicated disc. That alone makes the Bravo a wonderful product.

But evidently someone at Primera realized that the Bravo already had all of the needed mechanics to automatically rip the music from a stack of CDs and do all of it hands-free. All they would need is a program to tell it what to do. And that’s exactly what PTRip does, and it does it really well.

PTRip works with both Windows Media Player and Apple’s iTunes. All you do is stack your CDs into the Bravo’s input bin. Discs are robotically loaded and all tracks on each of the discs are imported into iTunes or Windows Media Player. The process continues automatically until the input bin is empty. Once imported, files are ready for playback on portable players including Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iTouch devices, Microsoft Zune and many other brands and models of MP3 players and cellphones.

Depending on the Bravo model you own or wish to buy, the number of discs you can load to be ripped will vary from 50 all the way up to 350 discs using the ADL-MAX Disc Autoloader on a BravoPro model. PTRip works with Bravo SE, Bravo II, BravoPro, Bravo XR and Bravo XRP Disc Publishers. PTRip is priced at $99 but for a limited time Primera is making its PTRip application available at no charge. PTRip works with the Windows operating system only.

With a Bravo and PTRip, you’ll truly have a lean, mean ripping machine. You’ll breeze through your current CD collection and maybe even the collections of some of your friends that find themselves in the same predicament. Who knows? Maybe you’ll charge for the conversion service and let your Bravo pay for itself.