How to Convert a Raw File to an MP3 File

By Larry Amon

Compact discs became popular as a format for storing music back in the 1980s. A bit more than a decade later, highly portable digital MP3 files arrived on the scene as the standard way for taking raw music off CDs. In the beginning MP3s were largely used to pirate music, and though piracy is till a huge problem, it's very convenient to take your CDs and put the music in MP3 format to play on your computer and lots of other places.

Step 1

Get a CD ripping program. There are many audio programs that have been created to take raw audio files and make a digital copy in MP3 or other formats. The process is commonly refereed to as "ripping." ITunes has a good built-in ripping program.

Step 2

Insert the compact disc in the disc drive on your computer. Make sure your computer recognizes the CD. Windows Media Player should be able to play the raw files.

Step 3

Run the ripping program. The program will find all of the files on the computer. A good ripping program will use the Internet to locate the related information about the song, such as the title and artist, and encode this information into the MP3.

Step 4

Change the settings on the ripping program. You can choose which file format you want. Make sure you select MP3 and the quality of the MP3 file you want. You can also choose where you want the files saved as well as several other options.

Step 5

Rip the raw audio files. Once the settings have all been chosen and the audio CD is in place, just click the "Rip" or "Record" button and let the process begin. It should take only a few minutes on most computers.