How To Rip Music From CDs Using Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is not only good in playing music that are saved in your machine’s hard drive but also works well in playing CDs and other disk storage devices. You might have purchased an audio CD and want to copy its contents to your machine’s hard drive legally so you can pass it to others on your network or just burn some of it combined with some other music contents. If this is the case then you can do the legal process of transferring music from CDs that you own into your computer’s hard drive which is called “Ripping”. In this tutorial, we will get you through the steps involved in copying your music from a disk storage device to your computer’s hard drive using Windows Media Player so get your Windows 8.1 machine ready and follow the steps below.

Prepare the Disk Storage Containing the Music Files

The very first thing that you need to do is of course to prepare the disk that holds all the music files which you want to copy into your machine’s hard drive. Be sure that the disk doesn’t have any scratches and other damage that can interfere with the music ripping process. It will also be good if you wipe the under side of the disk with a smooth cloth or cotton and take away any dirt on the surface that can cause some problems later on when it gets inserted into your machine’s disk drive.


You can also use a disk cleaner if in case you’re planning to use an old audio CD kept in a corner for a long time instead of just wiping the under side of the disk. You should also remember that you should not apply too much pressure when wiping as it may bring scratches on the surface. If you see a dirt that can’t be removed no matter how much you wipe it, use a disk cleaning liquid and don’t force it to be taken away by hard and heavy wiping.

Properly Inserting a Disk

Before you can access the ripping options on Windows Media Player’s main screen, you will first need to make sure that it is inserted into your machine’s disk drive. Different laptops have varying locations of their dis drives so be sure to first locate the one on your machine and once you find it, just click on its eject button and it will open. Another way of doing this is by accessing the “This PC” section on File Explorer and on the contents pane, simply right-click on your disk drive’s thumbnail.


Now, when the right-click menu appears, simply click on the option that says “Eject” and the disk drive on your computer will just open automatically without you clicking on the physical eject button. Once the disk drive opens, simply insert the CD into it and make sure that it is properly placed to avoid problems in playing the media. Oftentimes, you would need to apply a bit of pressure to get the middle hole of the disk fit into the holder on the disk drive. The middle part of disk drives on laptops are designed to fit tightly with the hole at the middle of every disk so that sudden movements on your portable computer would not make the disk move as well or get displaced.

Viewing the Disk’s Contents

After the CD gets inserted, you will need to wait a few seconds while your computer tries to read it. After the reading process, you will see a prompt that will appear on the top-right portion of the screen which asks you what you’d like to do with the disk that you have just inserted.


Just click this prompt and you will see the options appear on a slightly bigger screen that is white this time. From these options, simply click on the one that says “Play audio CD Windows Media Player”.


When Windows Media Player opens, simply click on the “Switch to Library” button at the top-right corner of the Window to access the list of music that are stored in the disk.


Now, on the Libraries view of Windows Media Player, you will see a list of music arranged in order according to how they are stored in the audio CD that you inserted into the disk drive. At the left of each song title are tick boxes which are all marked with a check by default which means that they are all selected for whatever action that you want to do. Just remove the check marks of the songs that you don’t want to include in the ripping process and after you do so, just hit the “Rip CD” option on top.


After doing so, you will see the whole status of the ripping process for each of the music that you selected to rip on the right portion under the “Rip status” column. Just wait until all of the music gets ripped from the audio CD. Once a song gets ripped completely from the Disk, you will see that the “Rip status” will say “Ripped to library”. To view all the music that was just ripped from the audio CD which you inserted earlier, simply click on the “Music” link from the navigation pane located at the left of the Windows Media Player screen and once the list of music saved on your hard drive appears on the contents pane, simply enter the title of one of the songs that you ripped into the search input box located at the top-right portion of the screen and the results will then appear.


If the audio CD itself has a name which is the case of the one I ripped music from in this tutorial then I just entered the name of it which is “Valentino Tango” and it appeared right away on the search results together with all the music that it contains. You can also choose to sort the songs under “Music” into album artist to make it easier for you to locate the songs that you have just ripped.

Changing Some Rip Settings

The way how Windows Media Player rips music from audio CDs can also be tweaked by accessing the “Rip settings” section. To do this, simple click on its button at the top and on the options that will appear on a separate box, simply click on the item that says “More options…”. After doing so, a small Window will appear which is labeled “Options”. From this Window, you will be able to find some tweaks to the ripping process such as changing the location of where the  ripped files would be saved, choosing to what format will the ripped music be converted to and as well as tick boxes for copy protecting the ripped music and ripping any CD automatically. Just check the options that you want to set active on this Window and try exploring on the other tabs to learn more tricks that you can do. After making the changes and tweaks that you want, simply hit the “Apply” then “OK” buttons at the bottom.


As you can see, Windows Media Player offers some easy-to-manage features and an awesome way of legally copying music to your Windows 8.1 machine’s hard drive. On our next tutorial, we will discuss the steps of burning some contents on to a Disk storage device like an audio CD and others so be sure to stay tuned with us here on windowstechies.loc as we make Windows easier for your one tutorial at a time!