What is the difference between ASPI, ASAPI and Native drivers?

EAC communicates directly with the CD-ROM drives. For this EAC make use of several interfaces which do the low level work. You can choose the interface by your own in the EAC options (depending which interfaces are installed in your computer).
ASPI is from Adaptec, it comes preinstalled in Win95/98. In all other Windows it needs to be installed, but in these OS the installer tests if any Adaptec hardware is in your computer. Nevertheless you can try to install it, download for Windows 95 only and all other windows versions.
VOB produced a replacement called ASAPI. It is freely available from here.
In WinNT/2000/XP EAC is able to use a native interface in that OS. This is still buggy and only recommended when you don’t want to install 3rd party software. Nevertheless, this will only work if you are logged in with admin rights. If you encounter problems, it is strongly recommended to download ASAPI and to change the interface to that.

When trying to install EAC in Windows NT or Windows 2000, I get the following error message: “The DLL WNASPI32.DLL could not be found in the specified path” then a list of paths. I searched my hard drives and the named DLL does not exist on my machine. I found the DLL on the web and installed it into windows\system32\. Then I tried to re-install EAC and got the following error message: “The ASPI interface could not be initialized correctly! (Error E4h) (ASPI for Windows failed init)”. What now?

EAC needs a driver called “ASPI”, it is an SCSI driver, but works also with IDE CD-ROM drives (not a single file, but a complete package, so installing just the DLL won’t help). It is included in Win95/98, but not in Windows NT/2000. The newer versions of EAC should not absolute need ASPI anymore, but ASPI would be nevertheless the most stable. ASPI is available from different manufacturers (of SCSI interface cards), but it seems that the only working one with EAC is coming from Adaptec.
First of all you should upgrade to a newer version of EAC, as ASPI is not absolutely necessary any more.

I use Windows NT/2000, but EAC seems to have problems to store the options or get any SCSI response.

Make sure you start EAC from an admin account, as some functions need a to access low level system routines, which are not accessable from user accounts. If you use the “Native SCSI Interface”, try the “ASPI Interface” instead, perhaps it will already help.
A user send this suggestion, feel free to try it out :
In administrator mode, Start, Run, MMC
Console Menu, Add/Remove Snap-in
Group Policy
(Group Policy will be shown as “Local Computer Policy”. Actually, if your computer receives its policies from a network server, it won’t show and you’ll have to set it directly on the server, ask your admin then. )
On the tree, Console Root, Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Windows Settings, Security Settings, Local Policies, Security Options
Find “Restrict CD-ROM access to locally logged-on user only”. It should be disabled by default. Enable it.
No need to reboot, when quitting MMC, no need to save.
What this does is allow any local software to lock the drive for exclusive use. What this removes is the ability to use the CD-Rom as a Terminal Services client. With this, EAC works seamlessly. It also makes it possible to use a CD-Writer as restricted user with whatever software you choose.

Do you plan to release a Linux or MAC version of EAC?

Sorry, no Linux nor MAC version is planned at all. But it is reported that EAC runs in an emulation layer (WINE for Linux and Virtual PC Win 98 for MAC), so if you own this software have a try.

Is it possible to extract audio digitally from a (Video) DVD?

Yes, but not using EAC and though it’s more manual work. For an unprotected DVD, the only hardware you will need is a DVD drive and a software to demultiplex the VOB files into the audio streams (usually compressed in AC3 or DTS). Then you need a programm to decompress these compressed files (a AC3 decompressor or a DTS decompressor).
“Real” Audio DVDs and SACD have a compression scheme that is not yet by software decodeable (MLP from Audio DVDs should be playable with some Creative hardware though).

What are gaps (pre-track gaps)?

When playing an audio CD in a standalone player, often the time display will show up negative values before actually starting a track. This gap is usually used for seperate two different tracks. If jumping to a specific track, it will start with the actual music, only when running into a track the gap occurs.

What is meant by “on-the-fly” ?

This means that one action is performed while (or intermixed with) another action. So e.g. if you extract and compress at once (and not extract first and compress afterwards), you could call it on-the-fly compression.

I only own a very bad soundcard, or no soundcard at all… Does this matters?

No, your soundcard has nothing to do with ripping or burning cds. If you use digital extraction (which EAC does), you are not using the soundcard to create the wav, it’s read directly from the cd.

I downloaded the file EAC.ZIP from your homepage. Whenever I doubleclick on the file a text editor opens and shows garbage. How can I start EAC?

A ZIP file contains compressed files. This is easier for the transmission of several files. For decompression you need an UnZIP program like WinZIP.

Where is the official homepage for EAC? Where can I download new versions?

It is at http://www.ExactAudioCopy.de/ There you will find a download page and a forum for persons who dislike the mailing list, but is not as good supported as the mailing list.