Convert CD to mp3

Having your music in digital form is naturally more convenient than having it on CD. With mp3s, you can bring thousands of songs with you wherever you go, whether it’s on your computer, laptop, cell phone (such as an iPhone), or digital music player (such as an iPod). But, what’s the best way to convert your audio CDs to mp3s? There are many different options out there for doing this, but there is an easy way to do it with free software.

Download iTunes & Insert Your Audio CD

To convert your audio CD to mp3, first download the free iTunes music program to your computer. You may already have iTunes on your computer, but if not, it’s definitely great software to have to manage mp3s and other digital music and media formats. Best of all, it’s free. You can easily convert the audio CDs you already have to mp3, but you can also purchase and download music and movies to your computer in the iTunes Store. iTunes is available for both Mac and PC, and you can download it here.

Once you have downloaded, installed, and opened up iTunes, insert your CD into your computer’s CD or DVD drive. iTunes will automatically recognize your audio CD and display it in the navigation column on the left-hand side of your iTunes window. You should now see a track listing on the main part of the iTunes window, and on the bottom right-hand side of the window, you should see two buttons. One will say “Import Settings…”, and the other will say “Import CD.”

Audio File Formats

If you really need to have your music in mp3 format (rather than another audio format – AAC, in particular), you will need to adjust your Import Settings before converting your audio CD. If you have an AAC-compatible digital music player, such as the iPod, you don’t need to worry about the settings. If you aren’t sure, try a google search, or this article on AAC-compatible digital music players. mp3 and AAC are essentially the same other than their compatibility with various digital music players. mp3 is more widely compatible.

So, if you do prefer the mp3 format, 1) click on the “Import Settings…” button. A dialog box will appear. 2) Where it says “Import Using,” choose “MP3 Encoder.” 3) The “Setting” preference below this changes the audio quality that your audio CD is converted at. If you have limited space on your hard drive or music player, and aren’t worried about the quality of the sound, “Good Quality (128kbps)” should be fine. Most people won’t notice the change in sound quality between this and “Higher Quality (192kbps),” but you may want to experiment just to be sure you are satisfied. If you click “Custom…” you can go as high as 320kbps, or even lower than 128kbps, if you like. Spoken word and audio book CDs can usually be enjoyed just fine at 96kbps, and take up far less space – which is good because audio books are often very long. Choose the settings that are right for you, and 4) press “OK.”

Import Your CD

Once you have the right settings, 5) click “Import CD.” iTunes will now convert your audio CD to MP3 (or AAC, whichever you chose), and organize it by Artist and Album in your iTunes Library. When the conversion is complete, you can find the digital copies of your music by clicking on “Music” on the left-hand side of your iTunes window. Click through and play a track!

You can now eject your CD by clicking on the eject icon next to it on the left-hand navigation of your iTunes window.

You now have your music in a digital format – ready to enjoy on your computer, laptop, iPod, or whatever digital music player you prefer. It’s that easy.

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2 Comments

  • thank you for the help. with dual screen setup i was able to read your instructions on one screen and execute the step on on the iTunes window i have displayed on the other screen.

  • Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow,
    just wanted to say superb blog!

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