Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Rip Your CD’s To MP3

MP3 is the “universal” digital music format. By using this format, your music collection will likely play on any music player device, for many years yet to come.

wmp_icon The newer versions of Windows Media Player (v’s 11 and 12) come with the ability to rip (copy from CD) music to mp3 files. Many music players, including Apple’s iPod, will not play the default .wma format,  but by switching to the mp3 format, you ensure that you can listen to your music on any music-playing device.

With these easy steps, you can set Windows Media Player to always “rip” your music CD’s to mp3 files.

1) Open the Windows Media Player (WMP): Click the Start button, then All programs, and scroll down the list (Or, type WMP in the Search pane).

2) Click the downward arrow under the Rip button

3) Select More options. (It should open to the Rip Music tab.)


4) In the Format section, use the drop-down arrow to select mp3.

4a) * Optional: you can also user the “slider” to set the music Audio quality “bit rate” from lower quality+smaller file size to highest quality+larger file size.
(I have chosen “Best Quality”, as I do not have an extensive music collection, and the size of my library is not an issue for me.)

5) Now click the Apply button, and then the OK button to close out the Settings window.

That’s it. You’re done. Until you go back in and undo your changes, Windows Media Player will always copy your music CD’s to the more portable, and universal, mp3 file type.

Today’s free download: If you are on an older Windows computer, and have not yet “upgraded” your version of WMP to Windows Media Player 12, you can download it here.

Today’s quotable quote: Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 20, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, digital music, file system, how to, Microsoft, PC, Portable Computing, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Just wanted to give a shout out to the fine folks at FreeRIP

    I used FreeRIP to rip my vast cd collection to Mp3 and FLAC. Excellent program!!


    Comment by g | May 20, 2011 | Reply

    • g,
      It appears that there are many such ‘ripping’ programs out there.. 5, at least (ha! more like 5,000) so it is good to get a “RL review”.

      And while there are certain advantages to downloading “the right tool for the job”, sometimes; there’s also an advantage to keeping a machine what I call ‘lean and mean” — if I already have a program that does x, I have grown reluctant to install yet another program that does x.
      (Back in the XP days.. you kinda had to..)

      I hope your library keeps growin’, and thanks for the reco!


      Comment by techpaul | May 20, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thankfully I have ripped all of my cds so I no longer need a program! I remember when I was searching for a program to do it, I was looking for something fast. The one great thing about FreeRip is you put the cd in the player, and it automatically tags, finds the album art, and rips away. I’m a freak about how I want my albums tagged so this was just the ticket.


    Comment by g | May 22, 2011 | Reply

    • g,
      Hey, that does sound good. Finding the album art can be a .. um, er, pain sometimes.

      (… If I remember correctly, you are sorta “into” music ..)


      Comment by techpaul | May 22, 2011 | Reply

      • I’m not sure what’s worse, my music fascination or my anal-ness about organizing it lol


        Comment by g | May 23, 2011 | Reply

        • g,
          I was once asked by a person if I could help “organize their music library”.

          They had not a tag.
          Nor common format.
          Nor single source.
          Nor “album art” (much less album name).
          In short, just gigabytes of randomly named music files, all tossed together.

          What a mess!

          Fortunately, modern ‘ripping’ software does a pretty good job of helping us label & sort.


          Comment by techpaul | May 23, 2011 | Reply

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