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Stack Of CDsI love my audio CD collection. I really do. But carrying a hundred CDs with me on a vacation just so that I can listen to that one song when I have to, isn’t exactly my idea of fun.

On the other hand, my iPod lets me take more than a hundred CDs worth of songs and is perfectly at peace sitting in a corner of my backpack.

So is there even a choice here ?

For folks like me who have a small fortune invested in CDs of their favorite artists, the best option is to convert all those CD tracks to MP3 format and that is what this post is about. A list of 5 tools that’ll help you convert your CD’s to an MP3 collection.

iTunes

iTunes is one of those software that almost everyone has on their computer – either because they own an iPod or because, well, they like it. It is a resource hog, I’ll admit, but is also a very capable media player.

What many people don’t know is that iTunes is also a very good software to convert a CD to MP3 format, and the process really couldn’t have been simpler.

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iTunes, by default, saves songs imported from CDs in the AAC format. To change the default to MP3, open the Preferences Window (Edit->Preferences) and click the Import Settings button.

convert cd to mp3 format itunes


Select the MP3 Encoder option from the drop down and Click OK.

Now all you have to do is insert the audio CD in the computer and as soon as iTunes detects it, it will pop-up a dialogue box asking for your permission to “import” the CD to it’s Library. Click Import and let iTunes do its job.

FreeRIP

One of the reasons that I like FreeRIP is its support for the lossless FLAC file format but FLAC is not the only format FreeRIP rips to and it is equally at home with the MP3 format also.

If you’re ripping songs to put on your iPod, MP3 is what you want to stick to. Just insert the audio CD in the CD tray and select the Rip Selected Tracks to MP3 option from the Rip menu.

convert cd to mp3 format

BonkEnc

BonkEnc is another easy to use free and open source CD ripping tool that can also be used as an audio converter for converting audio files into different formats.

The process of encoding is as easy as it can be. Insert the CD in the drive tray, press the CTRL+E key combination and grab yourself a cup of coffee.

convert cd to mp3 format

You can also download a portable version.

CDex

We’ve written How to Rip a CD to MP3 & Auto-Name Files Correctly How to Rip a CD to MP3 & Auto-Name Files Correctly Read More about CDex earlier The Mark Pack - The Essentials On My Computer - Part Two The Mark Pack - The Essentials On My Computer - Part Two Read More and it’s managed to make this list too. Says a lot about the tool that I personally swear by. Download and install it if you need a simple no nonsense tool.

convert cd to mp3

To convert CD tracks to mp3 format, insert the CD, select the tracks that you want converted and hit the F9 button. It really is as easy as it sounds.

You can also download a portable version.

Exact Audio Copy

Exact Audio Copy or EAC claims to read audio CDs “almost perfectly” and it even tries and correct errors that it finds. The downside is that it doesn’t ship with a built-in MP3 encoder. But, EAC works with the excellent open source MP3 encoder, LAME.

LAME is one of the best MP3 encoders around and a number of commercial programs also use it and you’ll have to download the LAME library on your computer for the encoding functions of EAC to work.

When you run EAC for the first time, it takes you through a wizard which, among other things, asks for the location of the lame.exe file that you downloaded.

convert cd to mp3

That is just about the only configuration you’ll need to perform with EAC. Insert an audio CD, click on the MP3 icon in the sidebar and sit back and relax.

convert cd to mp3

What tools do you swear by for ripping CD’s? One of the above or something totally different? Let us know about it in the comments.

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