Rip music: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about ripping CDs in Windows Media Player.

For more information about ripping CDs and changing rip settings, see Rip music from a CD and Change settings for ripping music.

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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), WAV, or MP3 file. After that, you can sync the files to a portable music player, burn the files to a 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, then you will need media usage rights to play, burn, or sync the ripped files. 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. You can download media usage rights for ripped files only a limited number of times.

If you intend to use your ripped music on multiple computers, don't copy protect the files. If you want to limit the distribution of any songs that you rip, turn on copy protection before ripping. You can't remove copy protection from a file once it has been applied. Copy protection is available only when you rip music to the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. For more 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 the Player Library. On your computer, the files are located in the folder in your Music library specified on the Rip Music tab of the Options dialog box. You can change the folder at any time. For more information about the location of ripped files, see Change settings for ripping music.

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've 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 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 the Player Library, other audio CDs if you have multiple CD or DVD drives, or streamed content from the Internet. If you find that your ripped music files have audio defects, such as skips, pops, or other problems, try ripping the CD again and avoid performing other tasks on your computer during the ripping process.


  • 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.

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