Ripping music? Tips on how to save space on your computer

Listening to and storing music has become a popular way to use your computer. Just look at the variety of MP3 players people are using—all of them require a computer to store the music and put it on the player. We've noticed your interest in this topic based on the popularity of articles such as listen to the radio on your computer and compose and record your own tunes with your PC. One of the questions we've gotten in our feedback is how to save space on your computer when you store all that music. Ideally, you don't want to fill your hard drive with just music. Especially if you're like us and also have a lot of pictures to store.

In addition to deleting the music you no longer listen to or storing it on a CD, you can conserve disk space by ripping your music at a slightly lower quality. The songs will still sound great but won't take up as much space. After buying an MP3 player last month, I did both of these and it opened up a lot of space on my hard drive.

To set the level of recording quality

  1. In Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Rip Music tab, move the sliding control to where you'd like it—to the left to use the least amount of your hard disk, to the right for best audio reproduction.
  3. Click Apply. Click OK.

I recommend setting the quality so somewhere in the middle. It will still sound good, and will save a lot of space if you’re ripping your entire music collection onto your computer.

Image of how to change the audio quality

To view all media files and delete ones you don't want

  1. In Windows Media Player, click Media Library.
  2. Click All Music in the Media Library directory in the left column. From the directory you will be able to choose from all the audio recorded on your device.
  3. You'll see a list of audio recorded on your computer on the right side of the player. Double-click any file to play it. To delete any file, right-click it and click Delete.
Image of the Media Library in Windows Media Player

Once you start playing music on your computer, it's hard to stop. The sound is great, your music is portable, and you don't have to carry around a lot of CDs. Check out the Digital Music and Video how-to center for more tips.

Comments (7)
  1. tzagotta says:

    Ripping a CD collection is a lot of work, including not just the ripping process, but also fixing up any issues with the tags and organizing the files and folders how you like them.

    In my opinion, since you won’t want to re-rip all your CDs again later, it makes more sense to by a larger hard drive which are cheap now, and save the files with a higher quality setting.

  2. Chris says:

    I would not recommend to save space, because it degrade the music sound quality.

    I recommend to encode to a CD near format, like WAV or MP3/320 or something else.

    Space on today´s PC´s is not an issue.

    Go get a 500GB Drive if you have space problems.


  3. Anthony Maw says:

    Yeah I agree that it is not a good idea to compromise on sound quality. It is incredibly time consuming to rip CD’s and hard disk storage is relatively cheap, especially external hard drives. I’ve had to re-rip a large part of my collection after ripping them in Windows Media Player at 64 kbps only to find that they sounded horrible when played back through my home stereo system. Even listening through earbuds I can hear the distortion and missing high frequencies. 128 kbps MP3 or WMA is the absolute minimum bit rate and even then careful listening on a home stereo system reveals audible but acceptable distortion. Probably the best compromise is 192 kbps at Variable Bit Rate to get audibly high-fidelity digital sound.

  4. Music says:

    Hard thing to make the best compromise !

    128 is a minimum i think

  5. Ben Kingsley says:

    Inquiry, really, jusy how do I get my mp3 files into w/media library?As I am not very computer savvy, I need to know in detail, simple words, no jargon , please

Comments are closed.

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