How to Load Music Onto Your PC From CD’s

October 8, 2010

Computers are great for music. When you play music on your computer, the music either has to be coming in over the network or Internet, or the music has to already be loaded on your computer. In previous articles we talked about how to play music that is on the web. Today we are going to talk about how to load music onto your PC; specifically, how to get music from your CD’s onto your computer.

Generally, music can be loaded onto your computer either by downloading it (whether legally or illegally) or by copying music from your CD’s onto your computer. The process of copying music from a CD onto a computer is called ripping. I don’t know where the name ripping comes from for this process. It sounds violent, doesn’t it? I assure you, no music is harmed during the process of ripping a CD.

Just about any music player that runs on a computer and plays CD’s is capable of ripping a CD. But because Windows Media Player comes with Windows, I’m going to be using that as an example. So here’s how to rip your CD’s to your computer.

First, open Windows Media Player. There are several different versions of Windows Media Player. Which one you have depends on what version of Windows you have.  If you have Windows XP, you could have anywhere from version 8 to version 11. If you have Vista, you should have version 11. If you have Windows 7, then you should have Windows Media Player 12. Windows Media Player 12 will not work on XP or Vista. If you have XP and you don’t have version 11, you can download it by clicking on this link:

Now that you have Windows Media Player 11 running, you will see a tab called “Rip”. Click on the small arrow icon just below the Rip tab and click “More Options”. Here is where you can set the options for ripping. You will only need to do this once on your computer. From then on, these options will be in effect by default. It’s important to know where the music is going to end up on your computer once it’s been ripped. In the section “Rip music to this location” it shows you where the music will go. If you don’t like where it’s going to put it, click the “change” button to tell it where you want it to put the music.

Next, change the format to MP3. And lastly, set the audio quality to 128kbps and click OK to save these settings. Now that all of the settings are ready, insert a CD into the drive if you haven’t already. You should then see a list of all of the tracks on the CD in Windows Media Player.  You can add and remove checkmarks in the boxes next to each track to tell it which tracks you want to rip. Only the tracks with a checkmark next to them will be ripped. When you are ready, click the button marked “Start Rip”.

It will take several seconds for each track to be ripped. Once complete, each song you selected will be in your rip folder in MP3 format and ready to be listened to.

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