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Beginners Guides: Creating MP3 Music Files

Beginners Guides: Creating MP3 Music Files  - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Quick and simple instructions on how to make MP3s out of your CDs, and make MP3s into audio CDs back again. Digitized audio is governed by bit-rate, or the amount of song data that is transferred per second to the device that is playing the song. A digital audio recording using the 'Redbook' audio CD standard uses 1.4 million bits of data per second. This is the amount of information necessary to play a virtually identical digitized version of the original analog music.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Beginners Guides Dec 31 2003   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > Beginners Guides

How to Create MP3 files from CD audio disks

Creating MP3 music files requires the use of a CD 'ripping' program, software that can encode your music CDs into the much more compact MP3 format. While Windows XP technically provides this ability with recent versions of Windows Media Player, we have had much more luck using freely available third party software. For this article we chose the dBpowerAMP music converter software, based on its ease of use and popularity. This package is freely available from download.com, among other places.

Now we'll go over how to create MP3 files from your CD collection. We'll do it the quick way first, then go over some of the options available to you after that.

Creating MP3s part 1: the quick and dirty way

Once you have downloaded and installed the software, open the 'DMC audio CD input' shortcut from the desktop or start menu.

This program enables you to extract music files from your audio CDs and turn them into MP3 files.

First things first. Insert an audio CD into your CD drive. For the purposes of this tutorial, we recommend you use a CD that is at least a couple of years old, as many newer CDs use some form of copy protection which will prevent your drive from reading them correctly. We discuss this issue later in the article. Notice that after a couple of seconds, the CD title and a track-by-track song listing appear, assuming you are connected to the Internet.

Music converter, like most other CD ripping programs, connects to one of the Internet music databases and downloads information on your audio CD based on an ID number from the disc. Rather convenient.

All you have to do now is check the individual tracks that you wish to convert into MP3 files and press the 'rip' button in the top left corner. The software will automatically extract and convert the selected tracks into MP3s and place them in the 'C:\Converted Music' directory. That's it. Rinse and repeat.

Creating MP3s part 2: getting into the details

First let's find out how to create your MP3s in a specific location on your hard drive and change how they are named.

With audio CD input still open, click on the 'options' button in the menu bar.

The 'output to' option allows you to set the directory the MP3 files will be created in.

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Contents of Article: Beginners Guides
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Creating MP3 Music Files
 Pg 2.  — How to Create MP3 files from CD audio disks
 Pg 3.  Encoding level vs. sound quality
 Pg 4.  Variable bit-rate
 Pg 5.  How to create audio CDs from mp3 files
 Pg 6.  Alternatives to MP3

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