Burn and rip CDs

Applies to: Windows 8.1Windows 7Windows Media Player

When you copy music, pictures, and videos from your PC to a blank CD or DVD, it's called "burning." When you copy music, pictures, and videos from a CD or DVD to your PC, it's called "ripping." You can use Windows Media Player to do both.

Burn CDs (or data DVDs)

Different discs you can burn
With Windows Media Player, you can burn three kinds of discs: audio CDs, data CDs, and data DVDs. To decide which kind of disc you should use, you'll need to think about what you want to copy, how much you're copying, and how you want to play the disc. This table helps you decide what type of disc to use.


 Disc type Description
Audio CD
Choose this option if you want to make music CDs that you can play in your car, on your stereo, or on your PC.
  • Use this for music only
  • Capacity: up to 80 minutes
Data CD
You can play a data CD on PCs and some CD and DVD players. The device must support the file types that you add to the disc, such as WMA, MP3, JPEG, or Windows Media Video (WMV). Choose this option if you have lots of music and a CD or DVD player that can play the file types you add to the disc or if you want to back up your media.
  • Use this for music, pictures, and videos
  • Capacity is about 700 megabytes (MB), or roughly 8 hours of music
Data DVD
 You can play a data DVD on PCs and some DVD players. The device must support the file types that you add to the disc, such as WMA, MP3, JPEG, or WMV. Choose this option if you have a lot of files that won’t fit on a single CD because a data DVD has a lot of space.
  • Use this for music, pictures, and videos
  • Capacity is about 4.7 gigabytes (GB), or roughly 54 hours of music


Rip CDs

When you rip music from a CD, you're copying songs from an audio CD to your PC. During the ripping process, the Player compresses each song and stores it on your drive as a Windows Media Audio (WMA), WAV, or MP3 file.

Ripped files are automatically saved to the Music folder, but you can change the location using the options on the Rip settings tab.

Rip music from a CD
Make sure your PC is connected to the Internet if you want Windows Media Player to automatically get info about the songs, such as the name of the CD, the artist, and titles for the tracks being ripped.

  1. Open Windows Media Player.
  2. Insert an audio CD into the PC's CD drive.
  3. Select the Rip CD button
    Rip CD button
    .