Putting music from CD to your computer, a process commonly known as "ripping," is a basic task any modern computer equipped with a CD player and music software can handle. Popular software includes Windows Media Player, which is pre-installed on all Windows-based machines, and iTunes on all Mac computers. The iTunes program is also compatible with Windows computers, but it must be downloaded from the Apple.com website.
Insert a music CD into your computer by pressing the button on the CD player. This opens the CD player's door and allows you to insert the CD.
Open the music software program by clicking the icon on your desktop, or by searching for it by name in the "Start" menu. Depending on the music program settings, the program may automatically open after the CD is inserted.
Click the "Rip" tab at the top of the Windows Media Player screen or "Import CD" at the bottom of the iTunes screen. The music on the CD begins to transfer to your computer and appears in your playlist when completed. You may now play your music through the music player, transfer it to portable music devices or burn mix CDs of your favorite tracks.
Both Windows Media Player and iTunes offer numerous music identification headings to enable detailed song searching as your library grows. Some information, such as song name, album and artist, may automatically display, but you may add song ratings, genres, dates and other identifiers as needed.
CD music files may be saved in several file formats and quality bit-rates. Since these are subject to user preference, you may consult the help menu in the software to see which format is right for you.
Wipe the CD with a clean, dry cloth before inserting into your computer to avoid possible skips or transfer problems.
Matt McKay began his writing career in 1999, writing training programs and articles for a national corporation. His work has appeared in various online publications and materials for private companies. McKay has experience in entrepreneurship, corporate training, human resources, technology and the music business.