Rip music: Frequently asked questions

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

For more detailed info about ripping CDs and changing rip settings, see Rip music from a CD in Windows Media Player 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 PC. During the ripping process, the Player compresses each song and stores it on your hard drive as a Windows Media Audio (WMA), WAV, or MP3 file. Then you can sync the files to a portable music player, burn them to a CD, add them to a playlist, or simply play the files without having to find and insert the CD.

Where do I find the files that I ripped?

You can find your ripped files in two places:

  • In the Player Library. Files are automatically added to the Player Library after you rip them.

  • On your PC. There's a folder in your Music library that contains all of the files you've ripped. To find out the name of the folder, look on the Rip Music tab in the Options dialog box in the Player. You can change the folder at any time.

    For more info 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 want to change the way you name or store your ripped files, you can apply the changes to files you've ripped previously. To do this, go to the Library tab in the Options dialog box. Select the Rename music files using rip music settings and Rearrange music in rip music folder, using rip music settings check boxes. When you do this, each file will be renamed and moved the next time you look up or edit media info.

Can I listen to music while ripping a CD?

Yes, you can listen to:

  • The CD you're ripping.

  • Other content in the Player Library.

  • Other audio CDs, if you have multiple CD or DVD drives.

  • Streamed content from the Internet.

If you find that your ripped music files have audio defects, such as skips, pops, pauses, or other problems, try ripping the CD again and avoid performing other tasks on your PC during the ripping process.

What happens if I decide to use copy protection for music that I rip?

If you use copy protection for the tracks that you rip from a CD, you'll need media usage rights to play, burn, or sync the ripped files. Media usage rights give you permission to use a protected file in a particular way. If you copy the files to another PC and try to play them, you might be asked to download media usage rights for that PC. You can download media usage rights for ripped files only a limited number of times.

If you plan on using your ripped music on multiple PCs, it's a good idea not to copy protect the files. However, if you want to limit the distribution of any songs that you rip, you need to turn on copy protection before you start ripping the CD. 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.



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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