“Ripping” is the process of converting music from a CD into digital MP3 files, so they can be viewed on a computer.
After this step, the files can be transferred to a smartphone or an iPod. The CD can still be used, but the songs will also be portable and more convenient for users.
Pete Szkolka, musician and owner of Szkolka Studios in Colombia, said the first step is to insert the CD into an internal or external disc drive. Most desktop computers have an internal optical disc drive, allowing the user to insert the CD directly into the computer.
With a newer laptop, purchasing an external disk drive will likely be necessary. This device plugs into a computer’s USB port, allowing the user to insert the CD into the disc drive that is connected to the computer.
Most prices range from $20 to $40 and are available on Amazon and at stores such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.
Whether it’s iTunes or Apple Music on a Mac, or Windows Media Player on a Microsoft computer, the first step is the same: insert the CD into the disc drive.
Using an Apple computer
The process may differ depending on each computer and its update, but the steps are generally the same, said Wil Reeves of Centro Cellar Studio.
Once the CD is inserted into the drive, it will appear in iTunes. The computer should recognize the album and display the track number and title of each song.
Click “import” and it will take a few minutes to download the music.
Once the songs are downloaded, eject and remove the CD from the disc drive. The songs will now be in the iTunes library, available to listen to on the computer, Reeves said.
To get music on an iPod or iPhone, connect the device to the computer. To do this, plug the mobile device into its charger, with the other end plugged into the computer’s USB port.
Select the device in the Finder sidebar, click “music” and “sync music to [device name]“, according to the guidelines of Apple Support. After choosing to sync all or part of the music from the computer, choose “apply” and “eject” before disconnecting the device.
Using a Microsoft computer
Windows Media Player, the system of Microsoft computers, creates WMA or Windows Media Audio files instead of MP3 files. WMA files are harder to play on other devices, Reeves said, so the first step may be to change them to MP3.
To do this, click on “extract” and “more options”. Under “ripping settings” there should be an option to click MP3 instead of WMA, according to Microsoft support.
From there, the process is similar to iTunes. Click the “Rip CD” button and the songs will be downloaded. Windows Media Player automatically places files in the music folder.
Do not share the music with friends or on an online file sharing network. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, ripping a legally obtained CD for personal use is permitted, but sharing it may result in copyright infringement online.
One scenario is to rip a CD, then put the “MP3 copy on the Internet, using a file-sharing network so millions of other people can download it,” according to the website.
Another example of copyright infringement is joining a file sharing network and downloading music. Avoid these scenarios to keep everything legally secure.