You want to rip music from an audio CD to your computer's hard disk—in other words, copy it to your PC in a digital format, so that you can listen to it on your PC, or on a portable MP3 player.

Here is how to do it

Windows Media Player offers built-in tools for ripping music and storing it in a variety of formats, including MP3 and WMA. (Note: versions of Windows Media Player older than version 10 cannot rip music into the MP3 format, without buying extra software.) Here's how to do it:

Run Windows Media Player by choosing Start All Programs Accessories Entertainment Windows Media Player.

Click the Rip button.

Insert the CD whose music you want to rip into your CD drive.

Windows Media Player will show a list of all the tracks on the CD, but there may be no information associated with each track. To have Windows Media Player search the Internet for information about the CD and each track, click Find Album Info.

Windows Media Player will display the name of your album. If the information is correct, click Finish. If it's not, click Search to see if it can find the information in your existing music database, or else click Edit, and you can manually enter information about the album and each track.

Depending on the information that Windows Media Player finds, it may not find all the information about each track. After it populates the information, you can edit any track by right-clicking it, choosing Edit, and typing in the new information.

Put a check box next to each track that you want to rip, and uncheck the box next to each that you don't want to rip.

Before ripping your music, choose the audio format, and the quality of the files that you will rip. Choose Tools--Options--Rip Music, and from the Format drop-down box, choose an audio format, either MP3, or one of several WMA formats. Then choose the audio quality by moving the slider under Audio quality to the left for less quality, and to the right for higher quality. Generally, a rate of 128 Kbps is considered almost CD quality, while bit rates above that provide higher quality. The higher the quality, the larger each file.

When you've chosen audio quality and format, and checked all the tracks you want to rip, click Rip Music. Windows Media Player will show you its overall progress, as well as its progress of ripping each track.

When you're done, you can play your music by clicking the Library button. Your new tracks will appear there. To play any one, double-click it.