Here are answers to some common questions about ripping CDs in Windows Media Player. If you don't see your question listed here, see Windows Media Player: frequently asked questions.

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What is ripping?

Ripping is the process of copying songs from an audio CD to your computer. During the ripping process, the Player compresses each song and stores it on your hard disk as a Windows Media Audio (WMA) or MP3 file. After that, you can sync the files to a portable music player, burn the files to a mix CD, add the files to a playlist, or simply play the files without having to find and insert the CD.

What happens if I decide to copy protect music that I rip?

If you copy protect the tracks that you rip from a CD, the ripped files are protected, which means that media usage rights are required to play, burn, or sync the file. If you copy the files to another computer and try to use them, you might be prompted to download media usage rights for that computer. There are a limited number of times that you can download media usage rights for your ripped files.

If you intend to use your ripped music on multiple computers, do not copy protect the files. If you want to limit the distribution of any songs that you rip, turn on copy protection before ripping. Note that you can't remove copy protection from a file once it has been applied. Copy protection is only available when you rip music to a Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. For information about turning copy protection on or off, see Change settings for ripping music.

Where do I find the files that I ripped?

Ripped files are automatically added to your Player library. On your computer, the files are located in the folder that is specified on the Rip Music tab of the Options dialog box. You can change the folder at any time.

Can I rename or move files that I have already ripped?

Yes. If you change the naming convention or storage folder for ripped files, you can apply the changes to files you had ripped previously as well. To do so, select the Rename music files using rip music settings and Rearrange music in rip music folder, using rip music settings check boxes on the Library tab of the Options dialog box. When you do so, each file will be renamed and moved the next time media information is retrieved or edited for the file.

Can I change the format or bit rate of files that I have already ripped?

It is not possible to use the Player to change either the format (for example, from WMA to MP3) or bit rate of previously ripped files.

Can I listen to music while ripping?

Yes. You can listen to any of the following while ripping music: the CD you are ripping, other content in your library, other audio CDs if you have multiple CD or DVD drives, or streamed content from the Internet. Note that if your ripped music files have audio defects, such as skips, pops, or other problems, rip the music again and avoid performing other tasks on your computer during the ripping process.

Can I copy the contents of a video DVD onto my computer using the Player?

No. Windows Media Player 11 does not support copying the contents of copy-protected media such as video DVDs.


  • Unauthorized use and/or duplication of copyrighted material may be a violation of copyright law in the United States and/or other countries/regions. Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to, software, documentation, graphics, lyrics, photographs, clipart, animations, movie and video clips, as well as sound and music (including when MP3 encoded). Violation of U.S. and international copyright laws may subject you to significant civil and/or criminal penalties.