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Creating your own MP3's
of your own Audio (Music) CD, used to be pretty difficult. One needed
specific tools and an MP3 codec.
First one needed a tool
to copy an audio track to harddisk, a so called ripper, like Audio-Grabber,
which still can be found at the Audio-Grabber
homepage. Besides the ripper, one needed a tool and a codec
to convert the track to MP3, this
is usually the modified Frauenhof codec by Radium
which you can still download
Time has changed things a bit and tools for burning
CD's often support the ripping of tracks as well. Tools like Nero,
rip the track and convert it instantly to MP3 for you saving you a lot
On their website you
a trial version. This guide is written specifically for Nero, explaining
step-by-step what to do.
Note: The screenshots used on this page
are made on a Windows XP PC, using Nero version 184.108.40.206 Depending on the
Windows version and Nero version, the images on your PC might be different!
Note: Read the disclaimer
first! Copying music CD's may be illegal!
- Insert a music
CD in the CD-player of your PC.
- Install and start
- Select the proper
- Using the (Internet) CD-database and
the unknown CD.
- Selecting the
- Settings of the MP3 properties.
- Finding a place for your MP3's.
Step 1: Insert
the music CD into the CD-/DVD-Rom player
To make your first start a bit easier, start with inserting
a music CD in a CD-player of your PC. This can be the CD-writer, a regular
CD-Rom player or a DVD-player. This way, your first "rip"
(copying the audio tracks) will be easier since Nero instantly knows the
Step 2: Install
(if needed) and start Nero
If you just downloaded the trial version of Nero, then
you must install it first. Double click the file you just downloaded.
The file is called "NEROabcd.EXE" where
"abcd" indicates the version number of Nero.
Warning for Windows XP users: Use version 220.127.116.11 or newer! Earlier versions
do not work properly.
After installation, we start Nero. Nero is to be found
in the start menu at the item "Ahead Nero". Click the
Windows "START" button, select "Programms",
select "Ahead Nero" and finally click "Nero -
Nero will now start, in case you have a CD or DVD writer,
Nero will show you that it found a device capable of writing either of
them (in the lower right corner - see second screenshot below).
Nero usually starts out with the Wizard (screenshot
1) or the "New Compilation" (screenshot 2) window. Close
either windows by clicking the button "Cancel".
Screenshot 1: The Wizard
Screenshot 2: "New Compilation" window
Step 3: Select
the proper CD-player
Go to the menu "Recorder" and click
the option "Save Track...".
There now appears a window, asking you which CD-player
Nero should use, if you have more than one CD-Rom player. On my PC:
Here you see that my PC knwos 3 CD-players. The "V386
Stealth DVD" (a free and excellent virtual CD player, download
at CD Daemon),
a"Plextor CD-R PX-W1610A" (the CD-writer - you can recognize
this beacuse of the "CD-R" text) and a "Hitachi DVD-ROM
GD-5000" (my DVD player).
Now click once on the CD-player you are about to use
- this is the CD-player where you inserted the music CD, and click the
Step 4: The CD
Nero will now start to analyse the CD you have in the
Pretty quick, Nero is finished analysing
the CD and will show the CD-Database window. Here you can create a databse
of your own CD collection, or get the CD author, titles etc. from the
Internet. Information of this CD can be retrieved of a so called CDDB
- a very large CD-content database. This can save you a lot of time, typing
the titles of songs etc. This data - if available for the CD you have
- is being used for generating filenames for your MP3's in the format
"band - title.mp3" instead of "Track01.mp3".
So suppose you have the CD of "Anne Clark" and the song
you are about to copy is called "Shades", your MP3 will
be called "Anne Clark - Shades.mp3". Which can save you
a lot of time later on when looking for that particular song in your MP3
Caution: Nero will close
this window automatically after a predefined time!
So now you have to make a choice. Do
I want to retrieve data from the Internet?
If the answer is YES, then click
the "Access Internet Database" button. Nero will contact
the Internet to see if this is a known CD. If Nero does find your CD in
the CDDB database on the Internet, it will show the found title(s) in
the upperpart of the window. Now click the diserd title and next click
the "Selected CD" button to use this data.
If the answer is NO, click the "Cancel"
button (or wait for Nero to close the window) and continue with Step
The unknown CD - OPTIONAL!
THIS STEP IS ONLY RELEVANT IN CASE
YOUR CD CANNOT BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET DATABASE!
It is very well possible that the CD you
have can't be found on the Internet yet. These two messages will appear:
You now have the option to create your
own database. Incase you have an original CD, you migh consider sharing
the information on this CD with others by uploading the data to the Internet
Database. Thousands have done this before you - which is why the database
is available. Your contribution is also welcome. You don't have to, but
it would be nice.
Unfortunally, this requires some qork on
your side - which is for most user too much work (unfortunally).
To be able to add the CD to the Internet
database, you will need to close all windows, so you get back to the basic
window of Nero. Now choose "File" - "Preferences"
and click the tab "Database". You will see a similar
You will need to complete these fields:
|Your E_Mail address:
||Your e-mail address.
||The name of your mail-out server (known
as SMTP server in for example Outlook)
Now click the "Apply' button
and the "OK" button. Go back to Step 3.
Once you are back at Step 4, you will need to enter the CD data. Try
to be acurate and enter as much data as possible. Typo's and titles
like "Unknown" or "CD number 10 of Hans' collection"
are not usefull to anyone.
Step 5: Select
the desired songs
In this example I use the CD of the "Deaf
Dog Blues Band" (Hi Ton!), which is the CD I inserted into my
CD-Romplayer, After clicking the "Selected CD" button,
as described in Step 4, the following window will appear.
In this window all songs of that particular CD are displayed and selected.
Now you can selecteer the songs you would
like to convert to an MP3, using the left mouse button (or click the "Select
All" button if you want them all). When selecting 2 or more songs,
keep the CTRL toets pressed while selecting your songs. Windows
explorer works in a similar fashion.
Step 6: Setting
the MP3 properties
At the field "Output file format:"
you can set the desired output format. By default it is set to "mp3PRO
(*.mp3)". Although we are not going to be using the mp3PRO format,
we still need to keep it on this setting to create regular (non-mp3PRO)
MP3 files. Now click the button "Settings..." for detailed
settings - the default settings are not good enough for us.
- Uncheck the "Enable mp3PRO" option.
Although mp3PRO produces a better quality, due to compatibility issues
with particular MP3 players, we do not wish to use this.
- Set "Encoding quality" to "Highest".
It will take Nero a bit more time, but it is well worth the result.
- Check "Constant bitrate" en zet
de waarde op "128 kBit, 44100 Hz, Stereo" (or higher).
A variable bitrate produces a better compression ration (i.e. files
get smaller with a similar quality).
Downside is that not all MP3 players are able to handle variable bitrates.
So if you're sure you playback device can handle it (for example your
PC), then use it.
If not, or in doubt, DON'T USE IT.
Click the "OK" button.
Step 7: Where to
store your MP3's?
Now you're back in the "Save Track"
Here you can define where to put the MP3's files.
At the field "Path" you can enter the path where to store
your MP3's by typing it. You can also (which is easier) click the "..."
button and browse your PC for a location.
If you think you've done everything the
way you want it, then click the "GO" button. Nero will
now start copying the tracks - while converting them to MP3 - to your
The upper progressbar indicates the progress
for the current sound-track, the lower progressbar indicates the total
progress of the ripping and converting process.
Depending on the speed of your PC, the
amount of memory and the speed of the CD-player. To give you an indication:
my PC (AMD Athlon 1300 Mhz, 1 Gb memory and a 40 speed CD player) takes
up to app. 4 minutes to rip the "Deaf Dog Blues Band"
CD (which is not a fullsize CD). Like I said before,... it's different
for each PC.
As soon as the "Progress"
window disappears, you can click the "Close" button to
quit ripping. If you do not want to quit, and want to rip the next CD,
then follow these steps:
- In the lower right corner, there is a button called
"Drive". Click it and select the option "Eject".
The CD is now being ejected.
- Wait a few seconds and click the "Drive"
button again, now select the option "Refresh".
Nero will now start to analyze the CD,... You're now back to beginning
of Step 4. Go there and read on what to do ...