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Chapter 11. Sights and Sounds: Music and... > Messing with Media Player's Audio CD... - Pg. 126

Sights and Sounds: Music and Other Multimedia 126 Hard Disk Rock: Copying Tracks from a CD Media Player's audio CD playback is flexible, for sure, but playing audio CDs suffers from two im- portant drawbacks: · Shuffling discs in and out of the drive can be a hassle. · There isn't any way to mix tunes from two or more CDs into a single playlist, even if your system has multiple CD and/or DVD drives. NEW!To solve these dilemmas, the Windows XP version of Media Player enables you to copy individual tracks from one or more CDs and store them on your computer's hard disk. From there, you can create a custom playlist that combines the tracks in any order you like. Before I show you how you go about copying tracks from an audio CD, let's take a second to set a few options related to track copying. In the Media Player window, select the Tools, Options command to display the Options dialog box, and then select the Copy Music tab. Here's what you can do in this tab: · Change the location of the copied tracks--The default location is your My Music folder. Note that Media Player creates a new subfolder for the artist and then uses that to create another subfolder for the CD. Your best bet is to leave this as is, but if you want to change the location, click the Change button. · Set the file name format for the tracks--By default, Media Player stores the tracks using file names of the form nn Song Name , where nn is the two-digit track number and Song Name is the title of the song. To change that, click Advanced to open the File Name Options dialog box. Activate the check box beside each item you want to include in the filename (such as the Ar- tist name and the Album name). · Changing the file format--The default format for the copied tracks is Windows Media Audio. If your computer supports other formats (such as MP3), you'll be able to use the File format list to select a different format. If you want to use MP3 but you can't select it in the list, click the MP3 Information button to get data from Microsoft on how to enable the MP3 format. · Changing the audio quality--The quality of the copied files is proportional to the acreage they consume on your hard disk. That is, the higher the quality, the fatter the file. Use the Copy music at this quality slider to choose which quality level you want. Each level is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps), where there are 8 bits in a byte and 1,024 bytes in a kilobyte (KB). To help you decide, here's a summary of each quality level for the WMA format and how much disk space it will usurp in kilobytes per minute and megabytes (MB; 1,025 kilobytes) per hour: Kbps 48 64 96 128 160 192 KB/Minute 360 480 720 960 1,200 1,440 MB/Hour 21 28 42 56 70 84 Click OK when you've made your choices. To do the actual copying, follow these steps: 1. 2. 3. Insert the audio CD from which you want to copy. Display the Copy from CD section. For each track that you want to copy, activate the check box to the left of the track number.