other utilities nr 1 - EAC

exact audio copy gets good review for a ripper
and its on my cd that came with a magazine
(which is how i got audacity)

cant download many programs as dial up is too slow
and they are too big so the mag cd is a big help

anyone had experience with EAC
the fact that it is PREbeta bothers me

With good (not scratched) CDs, EAC will, as long as it is set up correctly for your optical drive, produce perfect copies.
On scratched or poor quality CDs it can be extremely slow and the results no better than other CD rippers that are many times faster.

Foobar2000 is extremely fast at ripping CDs and the quality of the rips appear to be pretty good, though probably not “bit perfect”. Foobar2000 is also an excellent lightweight music player that supports almost all audio formats and can convert almost any audio format into other formats.

my problem is getting something that is good enough
without having to try to do a long long long download on dialup
which is more likely to fail than ever complete

Foobar2000 is 3MB and is also available as a bit-torrent which pretty well guarantees successful download even on a very limited connection.