moderated Re: I need a refresher course for windows media player. frown.


Ripping a CD Using Windows Media Player

What follows presumes that you will be ripping to MP3 format.  Please read all the way through the instructions first, as the information about the MP3Gain Utility and setting up a staging folder for it are every bit as important as the basics of setting up CD ripping.  There is a separate set of instructions focusing on using MP3Gain itself.

1. Open Windows Media Player (WMP) and insert a CD.  You can stop it as soon as it starts playing.  You cannot do the steps that follow unless an audio CD is in the tray and its tracks have been recognized by WMP.

2. Once the CD has been stopped, hit ALT+E to open the Rip Settings dropdown menu.  Make sure you select the file format and audio quality level you wish to have used on future automatic rips.

3. If you happen to have closed the Rip Settings menu ALT+E will open it again.  There are two entries in this menu that immediately follow the Audio Quality entry:

                 a.  Rip CD Automatically

                 b.  Eject CD after ripping

both are check toggles and can be used in whatever combination you'd like.  If your goal is to always just rip a CD immediately without playing it (unless you press the Play button) then both of these should be checked.

That's it.  From the point you've got both of those boxes checked if you insert a CD that has not already been ripped it will immediately be ripped to the location you've set up for your music library (for most of us that's the Music library that Windows has set up out of the box, but it can be changed) and ejected when the rip is complete (or has failed at some point - which is rare).

If you are ripping to MP3 format, and intend to use your resulting files on various players, I strongly suggest you take a look at the free MP3Gain utility.  It saves both your sanity and your ears since the differences in the volume levels used for different albums is substantial.  The program does a statistical analysis of how loud a given track "sounds to the human ear" and adds a tag at the start of the file to adjust it to a target volume (and 89.0 db is their default, and works well).  It does not reencode the file so it has no impact on the sound quality.  I also strongly suggest that you do the following in Windows Media Player so that freshly ripped files go to their own staging folder to be processed with MP3Gain rather than directly into your Music Library, which is where ripped content would go by default:

1.       Open the Tools Menu (ALT+T) then choose Options (O).

2.       Navigate to the Rip Music tab.

3.      In the Rip music to this location section, there will be a folder listed, which defaults to your Music library.  Activate the Change button and then, if you’ve created the folder you want to use ahead of time, navigate to it and activate the OK button.  If you didn’t create it ahead of time, navigate to the folder where you want it to be created, then hit the Create New Folder button, give the new folder a name, then hit OK.  I suggest using your Documents folder and to have a specific folder under there named something like For MP3Gain Processing, so it’s obvious what’s in there needs to be processed.

4.      You can also take this opportunity to recheck your settings under the Rip settings section to ensure that you have the checkboxes for Rip CD automatically and Eject CD after ripping are both checked and your MP3 bit rate (Audio Quality) is set where you want it.  I always use the maximum of 320 Kbps, but many don’t go beyond 192 Kbps.  That choice is entirely yours.

5.      Activate the OK button to close the Options dialog.  If you checked both checkboxes, going forward any time you insert a CD when Windows Media Player is running it will automatically rip the contents to your staging folder and then eject the CD once the rip process is complete.  A rip for most CDs takes several minutes, at most, but the longer the CD the longer the rip time.

You will move the music files from your staging folder to your actual Music library after you have processed them with MP3Gain.


Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363  

The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it.
       ~ Lawrence Krauss

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