How to Convert CDA Files to MP3

by Scott Shpak ; Updated September 22, 2017

The CDA format is somewhat misleading, as it isn't a file, but rather a shortcut that Microsoft uses to point to the songs encoded on an audio CD. In practice, Windows Media Player uses the CDA shortcuts and creates files in your choice of format when you copy songs to digital files, a process called ripping. While you can choose Windows Media Audio or WAV formats, MP3 files are compact and playable on a wide range of devices.

Open Windows Media Player with an audio CD loaded into your optical drive. If WMP is in Now Playing mode, click the boxes-and-arrows icon in the upper right to switch to Library mode.

Right-click "Rip" on the ribbon at the top of the Media Player window, then click "Format" and "MP3" to select your output format. You can also specify other options, such as the bit rate for your converted files or the destination for finished files through the other selections on the Rip menu.

Clear the check box for any song you don't want to convert. Left-Click "Rip" on the ribbon at the top of the Media Player window to begin the conversion process. By default the converted files are stored in the Music Library folder.


  • Sharing MP3 files made from commercial audio CDs without the copyright holder's consent may be illegal in your country. Do not share files with others without obtaining permission.

About the Author

As an operations and technical projects manager in the photofinishing industry, Scott Shpak is also an experienced audio engineer and musician, as well as Editor-in-chief, feature writer and photographer for Your Magazines Canada.

Photo Credits

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