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How To Copy Music from CDs Using Windows Media Player

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Step 1: Quick Rip vs. Normal Rip
How To Copy Music from CDs Using Windows Media Player

A quick CD rip using the "AutoPlay" menu.

Photo by Jason Hidalgo

Ever wondered how to rip or copy music from a CD? This tutorial will show you how, using a program available to anybody with a PC for free — Windows Media Player.

In teaching you how to use Windows Media Player to rip music or tunes from a CD, I will be basing this tutorial on Windows Media Player 11. Even if you don't have Windows Media Player 11, recent versions of WMP (e.g. Windows Media Player 10 and Windows Media Player 12) basically use the same steps, so ripping with other WMP versions shouldn't be a problem.

We'll look at two ways to rip or copy music from a CD via Windows Media Player: a quick rip option and a normal rip option.

QUICK RIP

You can do a quick rip if the "AutoPlay" menu comes out when you insert a disk in your computer's DVD/CD drive.

One of the options under AutoPlay is to "Rip Music From CD (using Windows Media Player)" which will automatically launch Windows Media Player and the Rip menu. Make sure you uncheck the "Always do this for Audio CDs" box so your computer doesn't automatically launch the Rip menu every time you insert a CD (i.e. in case you just want to listen to a CD next time).

Start the ripping process by clicking on the "Start Rip" button (e.g. in Windows Media Player 11, for example, it's on the lower right once you're in the Rip menu). You'll also have an option to use your Internet connection and have Windows Media Player automatically find details about the CD you're using so you don't have to fill out album and song details yourself (for this tutorial, let's assume that you're not connected to the Internet, which means you'll end up with an unknown album with unknown songs). You'll know the ripping process is done once all the songs show "Ripped to library" under "Rip status."

By default, Windows Media Player will rip your tunes in WMA format and save it in your "Music" folder. You can access the folder by clicking on the Windows logo at the bottom left of your computer's screen. For Windows XP, for example, it'll be the "Start" button. For Windows Vista or Windows 7, it's the circular icon with the Windows four-panel graphic that looks like a waving flag.

Clicking the "Start" button in Windows XP will bring up a menu box with "My Music" as one of the options. For Vista, clicking on the Windows button will bring up a menu with "Music" as one of your options. Anyway, clicking on either of those choices will open your music folder. Look under Unknown Artist and you should be able to find the Unknown Album you just ripped. Once you find the songs, you can rename them one by one.

To do a normal rip, let's go to the next step.

Related Video
Burn a CD in Windows Media Player
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