How to Convert Music CDs to MP3

by R.L. Cultrona

An MP3 player gives you the convenience of taking all of your music with you wherever you go without having to lug around hundreds of CDs. While websites like and iTunes have provided us with the power to download MP3 files, you may be wondering what to do with the CDs you already own. Well, this will be music to your ears: Converting the songs on your CDs (a process called "ripping") is very easy to do.

Open Windows Media Player. If you don't have Windows Media Player, you can download it for free from Microsoft (see Resources).

When Windows Media opens, click the "Tools" menu at the top of the screen and then click "Options." This will bring up the Options menu. Click the "Rip Music" tab to set the options you would like for your CD, including where you want to save the file, how you want the file name to read, the format (change to MP3), and the bit rate (to balance quality versus file size). When finished, click "OK."

Click the Rip tab on the top of the player. Open the CD drive on the computer and place the CD into the the computer. The computer will read the CD information and display it on the screen.

Click any tracks that you don't want to rip from the CD in the track list. Windows Media will default to ripping all of the tracks on the disc.

Click the "Rip Music" button at the top right corner of the player. The songs will begin to be converted to MP3.


  • Windows Media is not the only program that will do this. If you have an iPod, you can use iTunes to perform this as well. Other programs such as Real Audio and Winamp also rip music.


  • Do not open the CD drive until the entire CD has been ripped to digital audio. Doing so can damage the drive and the CD.

Items you will need

  • Computer with a CD drive
  • Windows Media Player
  • CD you wish to rip the music from

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