Ripping is the process of copying audio or video content to a hard disk, typically from removable media such as CD or DVD, although the word refers to all forms of media. Despite the name, neither the media nor the data is damaged after extraction. Ripping is often used to shift formats, and to edit, duplicate or back up media content. Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) is a more formal phrase applied to the ripping of audio CDs. A rip is the copied content, in its destination format, along with accompanying files (such as a cue sheet or log file from the ripping software).
Ripping is distinct from simple file copying, in that the source audio/video often isn't originally formatted for ease of use in a computer file system; ripping such data usually involves reformatting it and optionally compressing it during the extraction process.
The source material being ripped need not be digital; ripping can involve digitizing audio and video originally stored on analog formats, such as vinyl records.