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Justin, Software Engineer
Category: Computer
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Experience:  Software Engineer
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I would like to copy music CDs to an external USB hard drive

Resolved Question:

I would like to copy music CDs to an external USB hard drive so I can get rid of the actual CDs and save storage on my bookshelf. (I live in very cramped surroundings.) I have a laptop running Windows XP Professional and I can play CDs on my laptop just fine but I want to store my CDs on the external drive and be able to connect the external drive to someone else's computer and play the CDs from there. My question is: How do I store the CDs on the external hard drive? I have a Seagate FreeAgent NTFS 250 GB and a SimpleDrivePS NTFS 100 GB. I don't have the software disks that came with those drives. Many thanks for your answer!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Simit replied 8 years ago.
Quick question:
Are you OK with storing those CD's as MP3's? There will be a slight loss in quality(99% people would not be able to notice the difference).

MP3's would probably be your best choice since it is playable on just about everything, and they will not take up much room on that hard drive. You should be able to fit about 1500 CD's onto that one hard drive that way.

Let me know if that's what you want, or if you had something else in mind.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Simit: Yes, I am fine with storing those CD's as MP3's.

But you have not anwered my question. I want to store CD's on the external drive. How do I do that? You tell me that I should store them on the external drives as MP3's. OK, that's fine with me, but HOW DO I DO THAT??? HOW DO I STORE MY CD's ON THE EXTERNAL DRIVES AS MP3's???

This is the first time I have used JustAnswer. Am I looking at the right page to get your answer?
Expert:  Simit replied 8 years ago.
Click this link

and click "Self extracting installer: BonkEnc-1.0.11.exe"

That will start the download. Save the file and then run it, and install it with all the default options.

Then put the CD in, and start the BookEnc Program. Close the 'tips' window, and click no when it asks you to update.

Then click the Browse button at the bottom, and browse to the folder you want to put the MP3's in. You will want to point this to a folder on that hard drive.

Then select the tracks you want to encode, and click 'Encode -> start encoding'.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Then select the tracks you want to encode, and click 'Encode -> start encoding'.

I am losing patience with you. I downloaded the app you recommended, paid for it, and it does not work! I followed your directions, but when I try to select tracks from the CD I have put in my CD drive, nothing comes up. When I try to select a folder from the CD I have put in my CD drive, I get the message "One or more files cannot be opened." So, have I paid for an app that does not work. It's fine for you to tell me to select the tracks I want to encode, but the app does cannot select any tracks, what do I do????
Expert:  Simit replied 8 years ago.
The software I pointed you to is free software, there should have been no need to pay for it. I'm not sure if you click on their donate button, but that wasn't necessary.

And I'm not sure what you mean when you say that you tried to select a folder from the CD you put in the drive. If this is an audio CD, then there shouldn't be any folders in there. Are you sure that the CD isn't already an MP3 CD? If it is, then you should just be able to drag and drop the files from the CD drive directly to the USB hard drive.

Let me know if you still have any questions about this.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The software I downloaded is BonkEnc 1.0.11. It is "AVS Audio Converter 5.1" I created a folder on my external drive. I selected "Open Folder" near the bottom of the app's window to put the MP3 files in. I selected "Add files" near the top of the app's window. I selected my CD drive (Audio CD (D)) but no file name appears, so there is no files for me to add. So I back tracked and selected "Add folder". I select my CD drive, as before, but I get message "One of more files can not be opened." So, what do I do????
Expert:  Simit replied 8 years ago.
I'm not familiar with the AVS software. I will opt-out and see if there is someone else that can help you out.

Expert:  Justin replied 8 years ago.
Sir I am very sorry the other expert had not provided a direct link to the file. I will provide a much easier solution you can use in the future. Every windows operating system has windows media player built in and it can be used to "rip" your cd's to the hard drive.

Two questions I will need to know in order to provide you specific instructions.
1. What version of windows media player are you using? (this can be found by opening windows media player, clicking help -> About)
2. Are the external hard drives connected and accessible or would you like help setting those up too?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
To answer your first question (what version of windows media player): I don't know. My Windows Media Player does not have have help button. I will describe the screen to you. At the top it says "Windows Media Player". In the next row, from left to right, are: a left arrow, a right arrow, "Now Playing", "Library", "Rip", "Burn", "Sync", and "Media Guide". The right pane is the playlist pane.

To answer your second quesiton: I can connect the external drives with no problems. They are USB drives. They work just like another drive. I used them to store pictures, to copy files periodically as a kind of backup. To copy a file to the external drive, I just drag it from the internal disk C to the external drive.

I wish you would answer my original question: I want to copy music CDs onto the external drive. HOW DO I DO THAT???? Surely that is a question that a tech expert should be able to answer???
Expert:  Justin replied 8 years ago.
Of course it is. However, different versions of media player have different menus and I wanted to provide the most accurate answer possible. Ok lets do one cd as a demonstration and after that you should be able to do the rest. If you are confused by any step I have linked pictures of the steps lower down in the post.

1. Insert the cd into the drive
2. After a few seconds you should be prompted with an AutoPlay dialog. This will list various actions you can do with the audio cd. Select "Rip music from CD using Windows Media Player"
Note: If this is not your first cd select keep my current format settings and skip to step 5
3. Click change my format settings
4. In the rip music to this location area click change and select your external hard drive. For format, select mp3. For audio quality, select 196kbps. Then click ok.
5. Select the tracks you would like to copy and then click the rip music button in the upper right.

Picture of the steps:
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
> 1. Insert the cd into the drive

I did.

> 2. After a few seconds you should be prompted with an AutoPlay dialog. This will list various actions you can do with the audio cd. Select "Rip music from CD using Windows Media Player"

I did.

Windows Media Player automatically ripped the tracks to Windows Media Player. I let it finished doing so. Then I clicked Rip and selected More Options from the drop down menu. In "Rip music to this location" I selected a folder I had created on the external drive. Then I selected the tracks and clicked "Start Rip" at the lower bottom right. After the rip was finished I checked the folder in the external drive and the files were there! Then I tried to play one of the files and got the message "iTunes cannot run because some of its required files are missing. Pl.ease reinstall iTunes"

What the heck is going on??? I still have not successfully copied a CD onto an external disk. Does this mean that before I store a CD on an external disk, I have to have iTunes? I don't want iTunes!!! All I am trying to do is to copy music CDs onto an external drive. I had no idea it would be so much trouble getting directions from JustAnswers. I have wasted too much time tonight. I will check my email again tomorrow and if I don't get a satisfactory answer I will give up using JustAnswer. There must be better tech help out on the web somewhere!

Expert:  Justin replied 8 years ago.
Did you make sure to change the format to mp3 as instructed to do in step 4?

The files have been successfully ripped to your external hard drive as you requested. If you are having trouble playing the files I will be happy to work you through that but I think it is unfair to blame my answer for you having additional and unrelated problems.

mp3 files are playable by many applications including itunes and windows media player. If the files are opening in itunes it is most likely because you have a corrupted copy of itunes installed on your computer. If you want to re-install itunes that is your choice if not I can provide instructions for how to configure your computer to open files with windows media player instead but I would also recommend uninstalling the damaged copy of itunes.
Justin, Software Engineer
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 65
Experience: Software Engineer
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The files have been successfully ripped to my external drive, following your instructions. There is one step more you should have told me to do when I told you that those files wouldn't play because I got a iTunes message. Here's what I figured out I had to do:

1, Right click each MP3 track on the external drive.
2. Select Properties.
3. In the "Open with" line, click Change.
4. Select something other than iTunes. I selected Windows Media Player. Now the track will play fine on my laptop. (Selecting Real player also works.)

I wish you could have told me to do these additonal steps. I am not a techie and I tried JustAnswer so I wouldn't have to figure out these steps myself.

My overall opinion of the help I have received from JustAnswer on this topic is: Not satisfied with the previous tech helper (I think the name was Simmit), and Somewhat Satisfied with Justin.

I wll now click the Accept the buttons. Though I think the help I received could have been much quicker and to the point, I want to pay the 9 dollars because Justin did put some effort into this.

Expert:  Justin replied 8 years ago.
While I thank you for the accept sir, in my defense the itunes file associations was a seperate issue and one I could not have known about based on the information you provided. I did offer you the instructions you just posted above if that was the route you wanted to take - all you had to do was ask.

Regardless i'm happy to hear your issue is resolved and would be happy to assist you if you have any further questions in the future.