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iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer

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Ripping CDs into MusicMatch

If you don’t have any music files to move onto that brand-new iPod, it’s easy to whip some up with MusicMatch. Just grab those albums and start up the program. Then proceed as follows.

Phase 1: Choose an Audio File Format

When you slide a CD into your drive, Windows XP, if that’s what you’re running, asks you how it might assist you with the disc you’ve just inserted. In the dialog box that appears, choose MusicMatch Jukebox Plus to play the CD. (Earlier versions of Windows are not quite as forthcoming as Windows XP. If you’ve used MusicMatch Jukebox to play CDs before, the program should open right up. But if Windows presents you with a list of programs to consider for the task, choose MusicMatch Jukebox Plus.)

MusicMatch Jukebox Plus starts out set to produce MP3 files recorded at 128 kilobits per second (see Chapter 3), but you can adjust this rate (to produce smaller music files, for example). To do so, press Shift+Ctrl+S or choose OptionsSettings, and then click the Recorder tab. Use the Recording Quality controls, as shown in Figure 5-4.

The Recorder Settings window lets you adjust the bit rates of your MP3 files. You can choose a preset one—“CD Quality (128 kpbs),” for example—or use the slider to raise or lower the bit rate. The Settings box is also where you can choose to encode songs in other audio formats like WAV. Although MusicMatch Jukebox can play and rip files into different digital audio formats, not all of them are compatible with the iPod. The MP3 and WAV formats are the iPod-friendly ones.

Figure 5-4. The Recorder Settings window lets you adjust the bit rates of your MP3 files. You can choose a preset one—“CD Quality (128 kpbs),” for example—or use the slider to raise or lower the bit rate. The Settings box is also where you can choose to encode songs in other audio formats like WAV. Although MusicMatch ...

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