How to Digitalize (Rip) Music from Your CDs and Vinyl Records
Part 3 – CDs
Again, please remember that you cannot legally make DIGITAL COPIES of records or CDs that you own in all countries. Before making copies of your media, always verify legislation in the country in which you reside.
This is Part 3 of three part tutorial on how to make digital copies of music CDs and vinyl recordings that you own.
- Part 1 – Requirements and setup to make digital copies of vinyl recordings
- Part 2 – Process to make digital copies of vinyl recordings using Audacity music editor
- Part 3 – Requirements and process to make digital copies of music CDs
This is a much easier process than ripping vinyl records.
Before starting, there is one very important audio setting that you should verify: is Stereo Mix enabled in my Sound Recording settings?
Please see this 6 minute YouTube video to learn how to do this: How to Get or Enable Stereo Mix on Windows 10.
What you need to rip CDs are a CD/DVD drive on your computer and software capable of ripping music CDs. Most PCs have an integrated CD/DVD drive. If not, you can purchase an external drive from between $50 to $120 (Canadian).
There is plenty of free software to rip music CDs (like the CD albums you buy in any store). There is also plenty of free software to manage your music library, so I recommend using one app that will both rip and manage your music library:
- for PC or Mac, iTunes will work on both
- for PC’s only, Windows Media Player has Windows versions from XP to Win10 (i.e. XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10)―if you can’t find it, here is an article that explains How to Reinstall Windows Media Player in Windows 7, 8, or 10 to Solve Problems
If you want to use something else, my go-to site for crap-free FREE APPS for Windows, Mac and Linux: Gizmo’s Freeware:
- this is the page for: Best Free CD Ripper
- and for: Best Free Music Player and OrganizerBest Free Music Player and Organizer
For example, here is a Gizmo’s Freeware Editor’s Choice app for CD ripping, managing music files and creating complex music libraries or play lists:
MusicBee makes it easy to manage, find, and play music files on your computer. MusicBee also supports podcasts, web radio stations and SoundCloud integration.
If you’re interested, can download this free here: MusicBee
So here are the steps to rip a CD illustrated using Windows Media Player:
- open Windows Media Player
- put a CD in the CD/DVD drive, it will appear in the library pane on the left
- click on the drive (mine is F:), open Rip Settings (just above the track list) and select a folder to rip the music to
- select the track you want to rip and click on Rip
- click on Open Folder to see the ripped tracks
Here is a 2 minute video I uploaded to YouTube to illustrate the process: Rip CD with Windows Media Player: