MP3 ripping support for Windows Media Player 8.0

I love ripping CDs. I really don’t actually even use CDs in the house any more – I play MP3s off of my hard drive with WinAmp (Windows) or XMMS (Linux). So far I’ve ripped the majority of my CD collection, and have roughly 5500 MP3s stored on my Linux server.

My tool of choice for ripping has always been MediaMatch, but for some reason I just cannot get it to run under Windows XP Professional. It simply crashes at startup. So, I needed a new tool to do the ripping for me.

I had read that Windows Media Player 8.0 finally supported ripping to formats other than WMA. Well, you can, but it’s not an option available by default (of course). After poking around the web for a few minutes, I found the answer. It requires making a change to the registry, so don’t attempt this unless you know what you’re doing.

Copy this block of text into a file named mp3.reg:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Settings\MP3Encoding]
"LowRate"=dword:0000dac0
"MediumRate"=dword:00017700
"HighRate"=dword:0002ee00
"MediumHighRate"=dword:0001f400

Now, in Windows Explorer, right click on mp3.reg and select merge. Reboot.

Start up Windows Media Player and select Tools->Options and click on the “Copy Music” tab. Look for “File Format” and select MP3.

If for some reason MP3 ripping does not work, you may need an MP3 codec. I’ll leave it up to you to search Google.

About Kevin

Kevin Jarnot is a technologist who lives just South of Boston, MA. He is currently employed as Chief Technology Officer at DebtX, a financial services technology company based in Boston.
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