How can I convert a CD into MP3 files with Windows XP and Windows Media Player 9?

At first sight it seems it can only save WMA files.

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    @Paperlantern: 1) too much work 2) i'd like to have a simple recipe that works on every machine "out of the box". – Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 20:19
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    why the downvote? If the answer sounds "it's not possible", is that an automatic reason for downvote? I don't think so. – Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 20:26
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    WMP10 Has this ability, but not WMP9. – Andrew Lambert Jan 16 '12 at 20:32
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    As for the downvote, it wasn't me, but I think people like to see a little more effort in the question. Yours was very direct yes, but like I said, a little more backstory and reasoning would have been helpful. – Paperlantern Jan 16 '12 at 20:57
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    "little more effort in the question"? why should I question 1000 characters long if it can be expressed with one simple sentence? Its saving people's time. Or does somebody get irritated just because the question is 100% clear from the title itself? – Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 22:45

There isn't a solution out of the box, since WMP version 9 doesn't ship with the MP3 encoder out of the box (later versions do).

No matter what you do, you'll need to install something in order to get this to work for you.

My suggestion is to install a program like CDex which runs on Windows XP, is straight forward to use and powerful if you need more encoding options later.

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  • thanks for the tip for CDex, but I prefer not to install new programs... – Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 20:36

Simple solution: just install an mp3 codec for Windows Media Player! Works for WMP 9! No new software needed.


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    Oh ok. I guess we we're all half right then! Half points all around! (Or 1/3) – skub Jan 16 '12 at 20:34
  • well @skub, but your part of the answer is rather obvious :-P – Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 22:46
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    Technically, this MP3 codec is "new software". – user1686 Jan 16 '12 at 23:19
  • @Tomas You asked it... haha – skub Jan 16 '12 at 23:22

As of version 8, Windows Media Player contains a MP3 CBR encoder (l3codec?.acm); however, this must be enabled manually in earlier versions by editing the registry.

You can do this through regedit.exe; the key name is HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Settings\MP3Encoding in which you have to add four REG_DWORD values, each representing a position in the "Quality" slider: LowRate, MediumRate, MediumHighRate and HighRate. The data has to be in bps; for example, 0x1f400 (hex) or 128000 (dec) for 128 kbps.

The following .reg file, when imported, will enable 128/192/256/320 kbps:

Windows Registry Editor 5.0


This appears to be enabled by default on my system (Windows XP with WMP 11).

However, some sources claim that the l3codeca.acm codec, used by earlier versions (up to v10), is rather limited in features – for example, 22050 Hz sample rate. (I could not verify this myself.) WMP 11 includes l3codecp.acm, which does not appear to have such limitations. Since you are using Windows XP, you can (and probably should) upgrade to WMP 11.

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I'm not 100% sure if WMP 9 will rip to MP3. I know 10 will and I'm certain 12 will since I just took the screenshot in 12.

Go to the menu Tools - > Options. Then select the "Rip Music" tab. Under "Rip Settings" select MP3 from the "Format" drop down menu.

enter image description here

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    of course I tried this, it doesn't show the "mp3" possibility. But it does after installing the codec (see my answer) – Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 20:32

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