Convert CD to MP3

Do you have a nice collection of CD, but you often use a portable MP3 player or car’s stereo is too modern and only accept pen drives? You are lucky because you can easily convert CD to MP3 and always bring your music with you.

This guide on how to convert CD to MP3 files is quite long, but you will find that is extremely easy. Don’t worry: you will have your music in just few minutes.

For your convenience you can click to read how Convert CD to MP3 on Windows and Convert CD to MP3 on Linux.

Convert CD to MP3 on Windows

In order to convert CD to MP3 on Windows you first need to download the following two programs:

Lame will come in a zip file and therefore you just have to uncompress it and place it wherever you prefer (for example “C:\Program Files\Lame”).

Exact Audio Copy on the other end come with an installer. Just run it and follow the steps.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

When the installer asks you what components you want, select all.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

When you run it for the first time, EAC will ask you if you want to use the GD3 metadata provider. Since is a pay service, choose if you want to accept or not; if you decide not to use it, you will still be able to lookup for CD and song names for free with the FreeDB service. Once you passed this prompt, start the “EAC setup wizard” by clicking next.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

During the setup you will be asked if you prefer quality or speed from the MP3 extraction. Personally I prefer quality.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Exact Audio Copy will then proceed to analyze your CD drive capabilities. The first part is automatic.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

But for the second part, AccurateRip, you need a music CD and it should be unscratched.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Exact Audio Copy will ask in which format you want to save the music. MP3 is usually the right one, unless you prefer the higher fidelity of FLAC (but note that most MP3 and car stereos don’t support it).

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Exact Audio Copy can extract the audio from the CD, but to convert the CD to MP3 it need an external program; here it’s where Lame come to play. Exact Audio Copy’s wizard tool should find the Lame executable automatically, but if it doesn’t manually select the folder where you extracted Lame before.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Exact Audio Copy will ask your e-mail address to enable FreeDB service (to lookup CD and songs title); you can use a fake address.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

The next step ask you for the naming convention for the MP3 files. Personally I prefer “Artist name – Song name”, but EAC offers many options to fulfill your preference.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Finally you get the last screen of the setup wizard. The choice about the basic/full options is only for the “Option” windows (the last step of this section) as the main interface will be the same.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

Finally you get the main UI of Exact Audio Copy!!! Note that the above steps were only for the installation and they are done once. For any audio CD you need to convert in the future, you can start from this point forward.

Insert the audio CD and click “Get CD information from Metadata Provider” to fill the CD and songs titles.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy
Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

EAC will download the information about the audio CD and now you are ready to generate the MP3 files by clicking the “CMP” icon on the left. EAC will ask you where to save the files and then it will start to convert them.
Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy
Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

And when it’s done you will have your music on MP3 ready to be transferred to your MP3 player!!!

The above instructions are enough for a generally good configuration of EAC. If want to squeeze more out of it you should go to the EAC menu and review the various “Options”. Considering that they  are very technical (that few people need), I hope you forgive me if I don’t cover them.

Convert CD to MP3 - Exact Audio Copy

 

Convert CD to MP3 on Linux

Under Linux there are many valid CD rippers with a graphical interface, but as typical for the penguin OS the terminal offers a faster way.

The tools to use are:
– abcde (A Better CD Encoder);
– Lame.

Install them with the package manager of your distribution.

Before being operational, abcde require a little bit of configuration. It would take a long time to explain and find a good configuration, but fortunately I found a good template on Andrew’s Corner site; use his recommended “abcde configuration for MP3: lame”.

Personally I just changed few parameters:
LAMEOPTS='-b 320'
OUTPUTDIR="(your favorite directory where to save the MP3s)"
OUTPUTFORMAT='${OUTPUT}/${ARTISTFILE} - ${TRACKFILE}'
MAXPROCS=8

Once you saved the configuration, place the CD on the drive and execute the command ‘abcde’ from the command line.

After few minutes you will find the MP3s on the directory you have specified as OUTPUTDIR.