Pick random tracks
f.ex. using a specific favorite list and/or your entire music collection. AmpJuke can apply a "fair rotation" for random play. Read more
Do you know any good programs to rip CD's and encode them as MP3, OGG, WMA and/or APE ?
Yes. You really should consider using CDex. This is one of my absolute favorites, since it allows for ripping and encoding within the same program.
There are also many other benefits related to CDex. I suggest you take a look at it here.