How to Create MP3 Files


MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 files, commonly known as MP3s, are compressed audio files created from a physical compact disc (CD), and can be created on your Windows PC or Macintosh computer when you import the CD's tracks through your computer's media player. The Windows Media Player or iTunes program on your PC provides CD ripping, and on Macintosh computers the default iTunes program provides the same function. Prior to importing the CD, you must configure your import settings to convert songs into MP3s as each program has a different default format for ripping music.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Media Player 10 or later
  • iTunes 6 or later
  • CD or DVD drive

Create MP3s on Your Windows PC

  • Click "Start" at the bottom of the desktop screen, then click "All Programs" and "Windows Media Player."

  • Select "Tools" at the top of the Windows Media Player's window, and click "Options" from the sub-menu.

  • Click the "Rip Music" tab, and select the drop-down menu beneath "Format." Click "MP3" from the menu, and select "Rip CD Automatically."

  • Select the "Apply" button at the bottom of the window, and click "OK" to save the settings and exit.

  • Open the disc tray and place the CD onto the tray, label side up. Push in the tray, and wait for Windows Media Player to automatically rip the CD. The MP3 files will be located in the "Library" section of the program.

Create MP3s in iTunes

  • Click the "iTunes" on your Macintosh computer's dock, and click "iTunes" at the top of the screen. On your Windows PC, click "Start" in the lower-left corner of the screen and click "All Programs" and "iTunes."

  • Select "Preferences" and select "Import Settings." Click the menu in the "Import Settings" window, and click "MP3 Encoder."

  • Click the menu next to "Settings" and select "Good Quality," "High Quality" or "Higher Quality" from the menu. Click "OK," and click "OK" in the General window.

  • Insert the audio CD into your computer's CD or DVD drive, and select the CD icon in the iTunes' sidebar.

  • Select "Import CD" in the lower-right corner of the program window, or click "Yes" on the Import CD pop-up window in iTunes. The CD's audio tracks will be stored in the "Music" section located underneath "Library" in the iTunes' sidebar.

  • Press the "Eject" key on your keyboard to remove the CD from your Macintosh computer, or click the "Eject" icon next to the CD icon in the iTunes' sidebar.

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  • Photo Credit mp3 player and cd image by Warren Millar from
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