For many years now MP3 music files have become mainstream. With the enormous number of MP3 players on the market, it seems everyone owns one. It is hard to walk down the street and not see anyone listening to their MP3 player. There are many people out there who may not know how to create their own MP3 files from their CDs.
In this post I will provide a step-by-step tutorial on creating MP3 files from your CDs using Windows Media Player. I chose this application because it is readily available on any Windows system.
Specify MP3 Options
Before we begin creating MP3 files it is important to first ensure we have set some important settings in Media Player. If you haven’t already done so, please start Windows Media Player.
To set the MP3 options, use the following steps:
- Right-click an empty portion of the top toolbar to display a menu.
- From the menu select Tools->Options. The Options dialog box should now be displayed.
- Click the Rip Music tab.
- Under Rip music to this location you can specify the location you want the MP3s to be stored. If you would like to change this directory, then click Change and select a new directory. Click the File Name button to change the file naming convention for your MP3 files.
- Under Rip settings, select mp3 from the Format list.
- By default the audio quality is set at 128Kbps. I usually choose a higher quality since space is not really an option. If you want better quality, move the Audio Quality slider to the right. I usually select 256Kbps as the quality. The file size will be doubled by the quality will be better.
- Click OK to save your changes and close the Options dialog box.
You have now setup your CD ripping settings and are ready to convert your CD tracks to MP3 files. Since these settings are saved, you will not need to specify them when you create MP3 files in the future.
Converting CD Tracks to MP3 Files
Windows Media Player makes converting CD tracks to MP3 files very easy. The process is fairly quick and you can convert multiple tracks from a single CD at the same time. Use the following steps to create MP3 files:
- Insert an audio CD into either the CD or DVD ROM in your computer. It doesn’t matter which drive you insert the disc into as both can read CDs.
- In the Windows Media Player menu bar at the top, click Rip
- Click the CD/DVD-ROM drive from the list on the left.
- A list of the audio tracks will now appear with all tracks selected. Click the Start Rip button in the lower right corner if you wish to convert all tracks to MP3 files. If you wish to select only a few of the tracks, then uncheck the checkboxes that you don’t wish to convert, and then click the Start Rip button.
- The progress bar will be displayed beside the tracks currently being converted. Once the message Ripped to libraryappears beside the tracks you selected, it means that the MP3 files have been created and are saved in the directory specified in the previous section.
You can repeat the above steps to convert tracks in other audio CDs. The MP3 directories are organized by artist and then album within the directory you specified in the previous section. This allows you to convert many CDs while still maintaining some organization.
Note: You will also find some JPEGs included with your MP3s. These are images of the album covers if you have downloaded them from the Internet.
Creating MP3 files is really easy with Windows Media Player. After you save your MP3 settings, all you need to do is insert an audio CD and select the tracks you want to convert to MP3 files.