Rip (Copy) CDs to Your PC with Windows 8

In a process known as ripping, the Windows 8 Media Player can copy your CDs to your PC as MP3 files, the industry standard for digital music. But until you tell the player that you want MP3 files, it creates WMA files — a format that won’t play on iPods, nor many other music players.

To make Windows Media Player create songs with the more versatile MP3 format instead of WMA, click the Organize button in the top-left corner, choose Options, and click the Rip Music tab. Choose MP3 instead of WMA from the Format drop-down menu and nudge the audio quality over a tad from 128 to 256 or even 320 for better sound.

To copy CDs to your PC’s hard drive, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Windows Media Player, insert a music CD, and click the Rip CD button.

    You may need to push a button on the front or side of your computer’s disk drive to make the tray eject.

    Windows Media Player connects to the Internet; identifies your CD; and fills in the album’s name, artist, and song titles. Then the program begins copying the CD’s songs to your PC and listing their titles in the Windows Media Player library. You’re through.

    If Windows Media Player can’t find the songs’ titles automatically, however, move ahead to Step 2.

  2. Right-click the first track and choose Find Album Info, if necessary.

    If Windows Media Player comes up empty-handed, right-click the first track and choose Find Album Info.

    If you’re connected to the Internet, type the album’s name into the Search box and then click Search. If the Search box finds your album, click its name, choose Next, and click Finish.

    If you’re not connected to the Internet, or if the Search box comes up empty, right-click the first song, click Edit, and manually fill in the song title. Repeat for the other titles, as well as the album, artist, genre, and year tags.

Here are some tips for ripping CDs to your computer:

  • Normally Windows Media Player copies every song on the CD. To leave Tiny Tim off your ukulele music compilation, however, remove the check mark from Tiny Tim’s name. If Windows Media Player has already copied the song to your PC, feel free to delete it from within Windows Media Player. Click the Library button, right-click the song sung by the offending yodeler, and choose Delete.

  • Some record companies add copy protection to their CDs to keep you from copying them to your computer. If you buy a copy-protected CD, try holding down the Shift key for a few seconds just before and after pushing the CD into the CD tray. That sometimes keeps the copy-protection software from working.

  • Windows Media Player automatically places your ripped CDs into your Music library. You can also find your newly ripped music there as well as in the Windows Media Player library.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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