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How to rip a CD

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How to rip a CD: By tidying up your room, you found old music CDs with interesting songs. Now, however, you almost no longer listen to music with the stereo player and, therefore, you would like to transform that disk into a series of MP3 files that you can play on your PC, mobile phone or on your trusted portable player. Well, tell me where the problem is.

With the programs that I am going to suggest in this guide of mine, you can in fact, directly pour the contents of any disk on your computer (a practice that in technical jargon is called “ripping”) without making any effort. All you need to do is choose the resource that you think is best for you and follow the instructions for use to be able to rip a CD . Furthermore, the procedure is feasible not only for audio discs, but also for video discs and containing data of all kinds.

Then? Can I know what are you still doing there impaled? Position yourself comfortably, take a few minutes of free time just for yourself and immediately begin to focus on reading the following. I am sure that, in the end, you will be able to say that you are happy and satisfied with what you have learned and that, even if necessary, you will be ready to provide useful tips to all your interested friends. Let it bet?

How to copy a CD to your PC

If you need to rip a CD on your computer, Windows or Mac that is, you can resort to the use of one of the ad hoc tools that I will report below. They are all simple enough to use, even by those who, a bit like you, do not consider themselves a great expert in new technologies. Seeing is believing!

How to copy a CD to PC with VLC

VLC copy CD

The first useful tool to be able to copy the contents of a CD on the computer that I recommend you use is VLC : it is a famous and appreciated multimedia player, totally free and of an open source nature, which allows you to play any audio file format and videos without resorting to the use of external codecs. I chose to report it in this guide of mine as it also integrates useful functions for ripping CDs and DVDs. Note, then, that it is compatible with both Windows and macOS (as well as with Linux).

To download the program to your computer, visit its website and click on the Download VLC button . Once the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the obtained .exe file and, in the window that opens on the desktop, click on the Yes , OK , Next (three times in a row) and Install buttons . Then complete the setup by clicking on the Finish button .

If you are using macOS , instead, open the obtained .dmg package and drag the VLC icon to the Applications path  of the Mac, then right click on it and select the Open item from the context menu. Therefore, press the Open button in the window that opens on the screen, in order to start the software, however, going around the limitations imposed by Apple towards applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be performed only at the first run).

At this point, insert the CD you want to rip in the burner connected to the computer, wait for the VLC window to be visible, then if you are using Windows , click on the Media menu located at the top left, select the Convert / Save  from this item last and, in the further window that opens, went to the Disc tab .

Then proceed to select the type of your disk from the Disc selection section : you can choose between the audio CD option (if you have to rip an audio CD) and the SVCD / VCD option (if you need to rip a video disc). Then choose your recorder from the Disc device drop-down menu , adjust the other available options, based on the type of disc previously selected (to view all the available options, tick the box next to Show more options ), and click on the Convert / Save button located at the bottom right.

Finally, select the conversion profile you prefer, through the Profile menu (you can click on the button with the adjacent wrench to make further adjustments), indicate the position where you want to save the CD content, by clicking on the Browse button next to it labeled Target File , and start copying the disc by clicking the Start button .

If you are using macOS , instead click on the File menu located at the top left, select the word Convert / Transmit  from the latter and drag the CD icon present in the Finder or on the desk in the further window that has opened. Then select the conversion profile you are interested in using the Choose profile dropdown menu (to make any customizations, press the Customize button ).

To conclude, press first on the Save as file button  located at the bottom and then on the Browse button , to define the output position, then click on the Save button and wait for the procedure for copying the contents of the CD to be completed.

How to copy a CD to your PC with HandBrake

HandBrake

Another program that, in my opinion, you would do well to consider, if you want to be able to rip a CD, is HandBrake . Have you never heard of it? Strange, it is very famous. However there is no problem, let’s fix it immediately: it is a free, open source software compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux, which allows you to save the contents of video CDs and DVDs in MP4 or MKV format.

To download it to your PC, go to the program’s website and click on the Download HandBrake xxx button . When the download is complete, if you are using Windows , start the obtained .exe file and, in the window that opens on the desktop, click the Yes , Next (twice in succession) and Install buttons . Then complete the setup by pressing the Finish button . Then start the program by clicking on the relevant link that has been added to the Start menu .

If you are using macOS , open the obtained .dmg package , drag the program icon to the macOS Applications folder , right click on it and select the Open item from the context menu. Then press the Open button , in the window that opens, in order to start the application going around the limitations imposed by Apple on software from non-certified developers (an operation that must be carried out only in conjunction with the first run).

Now, insert the CD of your interest in the burner connected to the computer, then select, in the HandBrake window that has meanwhile appeared on the screen, the name of the disk  from the menu on the left (if no menu appears, press the Open Source button always located top left). Next, expand the Presets menu located at the top right and indicate the conversion profile you prefer among those listed or, alternatively, the type of device on which, after copying, you intend to play the disk.

Then, use the Title menu , top left, to select the parts of the disk you want to save on your computer, press the Browse button located at the bottom, to indicate the output position and, finally, start the conversion procedure, by clicking on the Start button located at the top left.

If you wish, before starting the copy of the CD on the PC, you can customize the properties of the final video file: to do this, just intervene on the options and menus accessible after selecting the Summary , Dimensions , Filters , Video , Audio , Subtitles tabs and Chapters placed in the central part of the program window.

How to copy a CD to your PC with Nero

Nero Disc to Device

If what you are using is a PC with Windows installed and none of the programs that I have already suggested has convinced you in a particular way, you can consider using Nero , the historical and renowned suite for burning specific to Microsoft operating systems. . It is paid (it has prices starting from 49.95 euros, depending on the version chosen), but there is a free trial version that works without restrictions for a few days.

To download the trial of Nero Paltinum Suite (which is the version of the program that contains the useful tool for transferring the contents of the diskettes to your computer), visit the Nero website and click on the Download button that you find next to the program name . Then enter your email address in the dedicated field and click on the Download now button . For more details, you can refer to my specific guide on how to download Nero for free .

Once the download procedure is complete, open the .exe file obtained and, through the window you see on the desktop, tick the box relating to the acceptance of the terms of use of the program. Then click on the Next (two times in a row) and Checkout buttons . Then type your name , surname and payment information in the appropriate form (they are essential to proceed with the installation), click on the Continue button and wait for the software installation procedure to be started and complete.

When setup is complete, insert the CD you want to rip into the recorder and, in the program window that appears on the desktop, click on the Nero Disc to Device icon . In the further window that opens, then select the CD from the displayed menu, specify the location where you want to save the contents of the disk, indicate the parts of the disk you want to rip and click on the Send button .

How to rip an audio CD

The programs I told you about in the previous lines can also be used to rip an audio CD . However, if you are looking for something more specific, in my humble opinion, you would do well to refer to the resources that, instead, you find reported below.

Windows Media Player (Windows)

Windows Media Player ripping CD

If you are using Windows , to rip an audio CD you can rely on Windows Media Player , the famous Microsoft home media player present on all the company’s operating systems (except for the “N” editions), which, perhaps not all they know, it can also be used to copy the contents of music discs to the computer and to perform various burning operations.

To use it for your purpose, first start the program by selecting the relevant link in the Start menu . If you cannot find Windows Media Player among the installed programs, it is obviously because the software is disabled on the system. To remedy this, you can refer to the instructions I provided in my guide on how to download Windows Media Player .

Now, insert the audio CD you want to rip in the burn connected to the computer and, in the Windows Media Player window that has appeared on the desktop, select the album title in the left sidebar.

Then proceed to set the format and quality of the songs to be copied to your computer, by clicking on the Copy settings from CD button  located at the top and selecting the options you prefer from the menu that opens. Note that by default, songs are saved in Windows Media Audio format with an audio quality of 128 Kbps.

Once this is done, tick the box located next to the titles of the songs contained in the audio CD, start copying on the computer, pressing the Copy from CD button , and wait for the procedure to be started and complete. Afterwards, you will find the contents of the newly copied CD in the Windows Media Player library.

Music / iTunes (macOS)

Music ripping CD

If you are using macOS , you can rip an audio CD by relying on the use of the Music application  (on macOS 10.15 Catalina or later) or by using iTunes (on macOS 10.14 Mojave or earlier versions): these are, in fact, the predefined programs of Apple computers for playing music and managing them. They also offer useful functions for transferring the contents of audio discs to the hard disk and for burning.

To use it for the purpose object of the tutorial, click on the icon of the Music or iTunes application (the one with the white background and the musical note ) that you find on the Dock bar , insert in the burner connected to the Mac the audio CD that you intend rip and, in the window you see appear on the desk, press the Yes button , in response to the message by which you are asked if you wish to import the CD into the program library .

If you do not see any message regarding the import, start the procedure “manually”, by clicking on the File item located in the upper left part of the menu bar, selecting the Import item and then the audio CD via the additional window that opens.

Then wait for the copy of the contents of the disc on your computer to start and complete, after which you can access the album from the appropriate section of the application library.

How to copy a protected CD

CD-R

Would you like to pour the contents of some of your CDs onto your computer’s hard disk, to create backup copies that you can access in case of unexpected events, but the anti-copy protection applied to them prevents you from doing so? Well, I believe it well: the programs I told you about in the previous lines do not allow you to circumvent systems of this type: to do this, you have to resort to the use of some software specifically used for the purpose, such as those that I have mentioned in my guide on how to copy protected CDs .

In this case, however, keep in mind the fact that copying protected CDs in order to use them personally is absolutely legal. Except for this circumstance, however, the practice constitutes a serious crime punishable by law. In light of this, since it is not my intention to encourage illegal activities with my guides, I do not take any responsibility for the use that you will make of my indications.