Do you have a lot of physical audio CDs with either music or audio books on them and wonder how you can get those audio CDs onto your iPod or MP3 player?
Well, you’re in luck because with iTunes and a few simple steps to follow, you can “rip” or convert these audio CDs into digital files that you can then listen to on the portable digital player of your choice.
iTunes is free software that can be used on either a Mac or PC. You can download it at http://www.apple.com/itunes .
Open iTunes, insert the audio CD into your computer’s CD drive and then follow these easy steps.
1. CD Track Names and Information : The CD will show up in the iTunes Source list. You should see a list of track numbers, and if you are connected to the internet, possibly the name of the CD and its tracks. If you only see track numbers, try clicking on Advanced > Get CD Track Names to see if it will retrieve the information for you. You can enter in the information yourself also by clicking Edit > Select All, then click File > Get Info. This will bring up a window where you can enter in the artist (or author), the title in the album field, and the CD number if necessary in the Disc Number field. Then click OK to write this information to the tracks.
2. Decide Which Format : If you are using an iPod, you don’t need to worry about this step unless you want to change the bit rate or optimize for voice. iTunes by default rips CDs in AAC file format which is what the iPods need. If however, you are using another MP3 player, you need to change the format to MP3. You can do this by clicking Edit > Preferences, then click Advanced, then Importing. In the Import Using menu, select MP3 Encoder. You can also choose your bit rate if you’d like. If you are using an iPod and ripping audio book CDs, you might want to consider checking the Optimize for Voice option so your files compress more efficiently.
3. If you are ripping an audio book CD, you might want to consider joining the tracks together so you don’t end up with a hundred tracks to manage. You can do this by selecting all of the tracks of the CD and then click on Advanced > Join CD Tracks. If you are using iTunes or an iPod to listen to the digitized audio book, you might want to set it up to allow you to “bookmark” or save your place in the book. You can do this by selecting all the tracks on the CD and then click on File > Get Info. At the bottom, choose Yes for the Remember Position setting. Then when you stop listening before the audio book is finished, it will remember where you left off.
4. Now you’re ready to rip and digitize your files : Click on the Import CD button at the bottom. It will take a few minutes for the file to complete the ripping process and become a digital file. Once it is finished, you can follow the above steps to rip more audio CDs, and when you’re ready to listen, just create a playlist in iTunes, or sync up with your iPod. If you are wanting to sync with another MP3 player besides the iPod, click on the new digital file and then select File > Show in Windows Explorer or File > Show in Finder (for a Mac). Now you can copy the files wherever you want. When your MP3 player is plugged into the computer, usually via a USB port, it will show up as an extra drive, which you can copy the file directly to.
Now you can enjoy listening to all those audio CDs you already own on your computer, iPod, or MP3 player and have the convenience of a digital file instead of a stack of CDs. Welcome to the digital world!