Home » Computer Guides » How to Copy-Rip Audio CD to PC

how to copy (rip) an audio CD to your PC.

If you've got any sort of music collection, even if it's just a few CD's, why not copy (or rip) them to your computer.

There's a couple of very good reasons for ripping your music collection onto your PC.

First, it serves as a backup, in case you lose or damage your original CD.

Second, you could burn a copy of the original and use that in your CD player. This way your original gets very little use & so should stay pristine.

And finally, you can obviously listen to your music on your computer with just a couple of clicks.

at home computer-rip cd

copy a CD to PC.

Copying your music CD's to your computer is generally called ripping. You rip the CD.

Although there are lots of programs out there that you could use to rip your CD's, we're going to use Windows Media Player.

Media Player is fine for this job and it's already installed on most PC's.

Load the audio CD that you want to copy into the CD/DVD tray.

Ignore any pop up messages that appear.

If the CD starts playing, just stop it by clicking the X in the top right corner.

ignore pop up messages & stop CD from playing.

Then start Windows Media Player by clicking the START button, then type -

media player.

When Windows Media Player appears at the top of the list, left click it.

click window media player.

If this is the first time you've used Media Player, you may see the Welcome to Windows Media Player window.

Just click the RECOMMENDED settings button and then click FINISH.

click recommended settings.

Once Media Player has started up, look down the list in the left pane and click the name of your CD.

The contents (music tracks) will be shown in the right pane.

Select your CD.

rip settings.

On some computers, Windows Media Player will be set to rip audio CD's in a format called Windows Media Audio (WMA).

We don't want that. We want all our ripped music to be in the MP3 format.

MP3 is a far more versatile file format. Which means you'll be able to play your music on most devices.

So it's well worth checking that Media Player is set to copy your music as MP3 before we start.

For more information about file formats click  What are File Formats

Click the RIP SETTINGS button, then click MORE OPTIONS on the menu that opens.

click rip settings then more options.

In the window that opens, check your on the RIP MUSIC tab.

Then look at the FORMAT box.

If it's set to MP3, your good to go. If it's set to anything else, click the drop down arrow head, then click MP3.

You can also change the quality of the recording on this page.

set format to MP3.

Better quality recordings will take up more space. But generally I shift the slider all the way to the best quality.

When done, click the OK button.

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let it rip.

You'll only have to check or change the rip settings this once. Windows Media Player will remember and use these settings from now on.

So now we're all set up, it's time to copy that CD.

To start copying your music, click the RIP CD button.

click rip CD button.

If this is the first time you've ripped a CD, you may see the Rip Options window.


Adding copy protection will severely limit what you can do with your music. You don't want it.

Finally click the OK button.

no copy protection.

When seeing this notice, many people will mistakenly believe that they are protecting their music from damage or deletion or corruption or some such.

That's not the case. What this is actually going to do is to stop you from transferring your ripped music onto other devices.

Once the rip process starts, you can see what's happening by checking the RIP STATUS column.

  1. Pending - is waiting to be ripped.
  2. Ripping - is being copied.
  3. Ripped to library - it's been copied.

Windows Media Player will automatically create a new folder, inside your Music folder, to store your ripped CD.

When all the tracks have been RIPPED, it's worth going to your Music folder and checking that the CD is there and that all the tracks are there (it wouldn't be the first time a computer has fibbed).

Change CD and go again.

It's there and ready to play.


playing your music.

Now that your favourite music is on your PC, your gonna want to hear it.

Play it back and build playlists.

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