By: Nick Willever
As I receive emails from many different musicians on my radio station, I tend to get about 35%-45% that do not know, or do not have their music in a digital format. This is a major problem!
You might think having a CD and sending it out to the stations is the best way, but it really isn't. First off your wasting waaay to much money for postage, the CD, and any other costs involved in that process. If you have your music on your computer, you have many advantages. Not only can you send your music faster, but you also keep it in great condition. Meaning a computer file will not get damaged or scratched, however your CD you can lose, scratch, or damage.
Now having CDs is a good thing to sell to people, or give them as promotional material, but you should also have them in digital format. The way to do this is to RIP the CD onto your computer. There are many different programs to use to do this, the easiest one for everyone to use is Windows Media Player.
This will probably be already installed onto your computer if you have Windows, which I figure 85%-90% of you do. If you don't have it download it. Its free so don't worry about it.
Once you have installed it, you want to insert your CD, and then go to the RIP tab, which will show your CDs information. Now it won't have your information, so change it right there before you RIP the CD. All you need to do is click once and it should go into EDIT Mode. The text will be highlighted and you just change the information.
TIP: Go to Tools, Options, and Rip Music tab. You should rip your music to at least 128kps bitrate (lower quality) or what I recommend is 320kps bitrate. The higher the bitrate the better the quality, so you might as well go to 320kps and use MP3 format, however burning WMA files wouldn't hurt as well.
After putting the correct information in you will click RIP MUSIC button, at the upper right hand corner, below the Music Tab. It will take about 10-20 minutes depending on how many tracks and what quality you want to RIP at.
TIP: Go to Tools, Options, and Rip Music tab. Above the bitrate and audio file format, you'll see RIP Music Folder. This is where once the CD Ripping is complete will go, so make note so you can find your music.
That is pretty much it! Just rename your music files to Artists Name - Song title.(mp3, wma, or wav), doing so will result in a better and more professional looking song file!
Now, that all sounds like a lot of work - and it definitely is, so there must be a better way, right? Totally! There is an awesome service now that you can actually send them your CD collection and they can do the CD to MP3 conversion for you, preserving the titles and everything, check out DMP3 Digital's CD to MP3 Conversion Service for more details. We've used their service before to convert thousands of CDs and were were blown away how easy the whole process is!
Hope this helps many unsigned musicians, if you need more information or help please reply in this thread. And I will try to help you.