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So how do you convert your audio CD to MP3?

To convert an audio cd to MP3 there is a whole range of software to choose from, some are free, and some are really expensive. Both have their positives and negatives.

Most of the expensive audio CD to MP3 converters don't even have a trial option, so you have to take the plunge and buy...not good, even if they do have a no quibble money back policy- it takes too much time. Most of the expensive software audio studios have utilities attached that you can find for free anyway.

Freeware on the other hand is good but there is always something lacking. Whether it be reduced convertion quality, functions, output or even bugs. Also, one bug bear is that there is usually no future updates, or you have to pay for those (like in a pro version).

There is one piece of software that I have found to be one of the quickest, cheapest, simplest and best sounding. It is a rare breed in that it is trial-ware (you can only convert the first 5 tracks on your CD, but it has no time limit or annoying pop-up screens), and it will be the basis of this guide (as most rippers are roughly similar in set-up). It is called Cool CD Ripper. Click the link to download (and its only 1.3MB).

Convert an audio CD to MP3 step 1.

Right then. The title screen will look like this:

cdtomp3converter

Have a look around. It is fairly colourful and is very easy to work. Make sure the CD is working by clicking on the play tag (if it doesn't work make sure that your "device" setting for your CD player is selected). Make sure that the "extract to" tag is MP3 (you can change that to WAV, WMA or OGG), and that the "output folder" is correct. All these can be changed by the "options tag". This also enables you to choose the file name, album name, and output.

Convert an audio CD to MP3 step 2.

Once you have inserted your CD and found that everything is working well it is time to convert your chosen tracks.

cdtomp3converter

You will notice that only the first 5 tracks are ticked (due to it being trial-ware), so either keep them ticked or untick the tracks that you don't want converted. Also clicking on the track itself will make it go blue and highlights your selection even more. Then press extract.

Convert an audio CD to MP3 step 3.

Once you have done that, find the tracks in your destination folder and they are now an MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG or whatever you chose. Easy. And it was over very quickly, and if you hear the tracks they are of fine top quality. To finish, eject the CD using the "eject tag".

Convert an audio CD to MP3 to your own CD step 3.

Now it is time to burn the CDs.

The most powerful out of the burner software is CD BurnerXP Pro. This seems to be the best of the bunch. It also has a forum for any help issues you may need to talk about. It is also free, if you want to give donations to them (via PayPal) but that's up to you.

It also seems to get updated on a regular basis, again all for free. It may be an idea to download this programme quickly as it may go to shareware if it takes off- it's just a thought.

If you have a mobile phone that can accept MP3s, click for the ultimate guide on audio CD to MP3 to ringtones.