Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Last updated: 09/10/2020
Recently my stepfather asked me about him convert an audio CD to MP3 so he can listen to it on his computer. I thought this was a great tip to share here and that this tutorial could be of use to other people. Did you know that most versions of Windows have by default a good way to simply rip tracks from CD and compress them to MP3 with the player Windows Media Player ? It is actually very easy to convert audio CD to mp3 in Windows through this.
Convert audio CD to MP3 files with Windows Media Player in Windows 10
Here is a step by step tutorial made under Windows 10 but it is also valid for older versions of Windows, Microsoft’s operating system: it will also be useful if you are using Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista etc…
- To rip an audio CD, click the Windows 10 Start menu, type windows media player then click on the application offered by Windows 10 search.
- Click in the left menu on your audio CD (easily identified by its icon) that you have of course previously put in the CD drive of your Windows PC. The audio tracks will appear in the right part of the window. Make sure all tracks are selected before ripping the CD.
- Check that the selected file format is the format mp3 clicking on Extraction parameters then Format. If you do not change the file format, the audio tracks will be saved in the default Windows Media Player format, as a Windows Media Audio file (.wma) and not in the format .mp3. Learn more about audio file formats.
- Then click in the menu on Rip the CD to start converting the tracks from the audio CD to mp3.
That’s it, it’s now up to Windows Media Player to do the work and extract the audio CD track by track. The progress is visible in the software window.
If you want to know more about Windows Media Player for Windows 8 and Windows 7 : https://support.microsoft.com/fr-fr/help/18612/windows-media-player
Where are the mp3 tracks recorded by Windows Media Player?
Once the ripping is complete, you can find the audio tracks converted to mp3 format in your default music folder. Your music library is located by default in My music, accessible from Windows file explorer.
How to change the save location of converted mp3s
If you want to change the folder where Windows Media Player saves ripped audio tracks from audio CD, just click Extraction parameters then on Additional options.
In the window Options, click on Modifier in the section Rip music to this location then select where you want to save your mp3 files.
How to change the quality of mp3 converted by Windows Media Player?
If you find like me that the default quality of the audio tracks is a bit tight (128 Kbits / s by default in Windows 10), you can modify the quality of the mp3 files by clicking on Extraction parameters then Audio quality. I advise you to choose an audio quality 256 Kbits / s for a better sound reproduction.
File name options
If you are connected to the internet, Windows Media Player will search its database if it finds the disc you want to compress to mp3. If so, the album name, artist name, track titles will be available and can be used for your mp3 files. Otherwise, you will have to enter your CD information yourself if you wish.
By default, Windows Media Player does not use all of the available data. You will therefore have to click on Extraction parameters then on Additional options. Then click on File name in the section Rip music to this location
Select the information (also called metadata) you want to save for your ripped audio files such as performer name, album name, track number, or song title.
Other audio formats available
The mp3 format (having the file extension .mp3) has been the most popular audio format for years, although it is not the most successful file format. It uses a strong compression which degrades the audio quality. So prefer a quality of 256 or 320 kbps for maximum rendering. The main advantage of the mp3 format is that it is now recognized by all devices released for ten years (computer, smartphone, tablet, mp3 player etc …).
But this is not the only file type available to convert audio CD to files playable on your computer. For example, it is possible to convert your audio CD into files Ogg (royalty-free and free format) or Wav which are high performance audio file formats without loss of quality. On the other hand, quality comes at a price and your audio files will be larger or smaller depending on the quality of your audio files. And these formats are not always recognized by all devices, even if they are widely democratized nowadays.
To learn more about audio formats: