Rip CDs with Windows Media Player 12

March 21, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Among the tools and applications included with Windows 7, one of the most popular is Windows Media Player, a long-standing component of Windows that has been included since Windows Me!

The most recent version is Windows Media Player 12, which is available only for Windows 7 – XP and Vista users must stick with Windows Media Player 11. Released in 2009, Windows Media Player 12 allows you to playback audio, video and recorded TV as well as view images, and also allows you to stream content to other devices (such as an Xbox 360) as well as rip and burn CDs and DVDs.

All of this is made possible thanks to a database that records all of the details of your media, where files and album artwork are stored, etc., making Windows Media Player a top choice for home media management and entertainment.

Of course, nothing is better than enjoying your home media, and the most common way of doing this is adding tracks to your Windows Media Player library and listening to them.

Rip CDs with Windows Media Player 12

Adding Music to Windows Media Player 12

Ripping tracks from your CDs is made extremely easy with Windows Media Player 12 – all you need to do is launch the program from the Start menu and insert a CD. Windows Media Player will automatically display the track listing of the disc with filled checkboxes in the main pain and a full track listing with artist name and track duration on the right in the Play tab.

Adding music is simply a case of ticking the boxes for the tracks you want to rip and selecting Rip CD.

However before doing this you might want to check your Rip settings, where you can select a Format (such as Windows Media Audio or MP3, the latter being best for third party media players and MP3 devices) and an Audio Quality for the rip; these can be set up as defaults via Rip settings > More options…, where on the Rip Music tab you can specify a Format and Audio quality for ripped CDs that will apply to all future rips.

Also in the Rip Music tab you will find a default location where music will be ripped to under Rip music to this location, and this can be changed by browsing for a new location via the Change… button. You can also set a File Name… convention, which by default displays track number and song title.

Enjoying Music in Windows Media Player 12

To browse and enjoy the music you have ripped to your PC in Windows Media Player 12, head for the Library button at the top of the application window and then select Music.

You will then have the choice to display tracks by Artist, Album, Genre, Year and even the Folder the tracks are stored in, among many other choices.

For instance, double-clicking Artist will display the artists in alphabetical order, while double-clicking Genre will group tracks into different musical styles. You can also display by the Windows Media Player star Rating system.

Playback options in Windows Media Player 12 are available via the main menu toolbar, accessible by right-clicking the top portion of the application, pressing CTRL+M to toggle it on and off or tapping ALT.

In the Play menu you will see options for Shuffle (CTRL+H) and Repeat (CTRL+T) as well as Play (CTRL+P) and Stop (CTRL+S), while the application interface also features these commands as buttons, along with next and previous track buttons and a volume control.

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