Rip & Burn Basics
I have a big music collection on CDROM discs. I'd like to get all this music on my computer and burn my own mix CDs. Can you help me get started?
Copy Music From CD to PC, or PC to CD
Is your downloaded music piling up on your hard drive? Maybe you'd like to free some space on your hard drive space while still enjoying your favorite tunes. Or perhaps you've got a bunch of CDs with only one or two songs on each that you really like. Here's how to enjoy your favorite selections on a CD you create yourself. It takes just a few minutes to learn how to "rip" songs from a CD, and "burn" your own mix to a new disc. Read on and you'll soon have a clean hard drive and shiny new CDs with all your favorite music.
Hardware for CD Burning
Burning a CD is a term used for putting data onto a writable CDROM disc. When a blank CD-R (Compact Disk - Recordable) is put into a special type of CDROM drive, the laser in the drive will burn the inside silver disk that stores information on the CD. If you want to burn CDs, you'll need a drive that says "Compact Disc Recordable" or even better "Compact Disc Rewritable" on it.
Your computer might already have a CDROM drive capable of burning discs if it was made in the last few years. If not, you can find an internal or external drive at most computer and electronics stores for around $50. External drives are easier to install because you don't have to open the system unit and mess with wires, but they cost a little more.
You will also need blank CDs, which can be purchased at office supply stores or any place that sell computers. You will see two different kinds of blank CDs. One is the CD-R and the other is CD-RW. CD-R means that you can record on the CD just once. A CD-RW (Compact Disk - Rewriteable) allows you to add to or record over music on the disc. Either one will work, though CD-RW are suggested for people who need to record over and over again on a CD, for storing data like documents. You may not want to do this with your music files. Most people burn a music CD once and leave it alone, so it's probably better to go with the cheaper CD-R's if all you plan to do is to burn music onto CDs. (For related information, see Lifetime of a CDROM Disk.)
Next, we'll look at the software you'll need to make your first music CD...
Rip and BurnYou may already have all the software you need, if you have the latest version of Windows Media Player. If you don't already have it, this software is available for free from the Microsoft website. If you have a music CD, and you want to make a copy of it, you can start by putting the CD into your computer's CDROM drive. After loading the CD, you'll see the songs pop up in Windows Media Player. One of the buttons at the top is titled "Rip". When you press that button, it will make copies of your songs and store the music onto your computer's hard drive.
Don't worry, it won't actually rip the songs off your original CD. If you like, you can copy all of your music onto your hard drive, to make backup copies of your CD collection. Burning copies of your CDs will let you enjoy your music longer -- you won't have to worry about scratching up the original CD.
To burn a new CD, first click on the Burn button, then click Edit Playlist. You'll see a list of all the music you have on your computer, so you can drag and drop songs from your Library to the Burn List. When you have all the songs you want for the new CD, put a blank CD into the drive and hit Start Burn. Once the process is done, the CD pops out and there you have your own music CD, ready to play in your CD player.
If you want more control over the CD burning process, consider Nero, or Roxio. A valuable resource for information on CD burning can be found at BurnWorld. Check it out for articles and reviews on hardware and software.
Got comments about ripping or burning CDROMs? Post your thoughts below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 1 Mar 2007
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Rip & Burn Basics (Posted: 1 Mar 2007)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved