Music FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Music FAQs


Read below for answers to some of your frequently asked questions about your music files.

What's the difference between ripping and burning?

Ripping (or digital audio extraction) refers to copying digital audio tracks from a CD to a computer hard drive or a digital media card. Burning is the act of archiving music or other data files on to a CD or DVD.

What is compressed audio?

Compressed audio is a standard sound file that has been condensed into a format that has a smaller file size. While a typical music CD might take up to 700MB of hard drive space, compressed audio takes up a small fraction of that. When CDs are ripped to your PC's hard drive, they are usually compressed. Audio quality is reduced during compression, but the difference is usually not audible. The most popular compressed audio format is MP3.

What do I need to enjoy digital music?

You'll need a PC to store the music, plus digital music software to organize and play it. If you'd like to take your music on the go, you'll need a digital music player.

I don't want to break the law. How can I legally download music?

There are several legitimate services available online that let you download a wide selection of music easily and at reasonable prices, including AOL Music, iTunes and Rhapsody.

How do I transfer music from a record or audiocassette to a digital format?

Digitizing music on records or audiocassettes is easy if you have the right tools. Here's what you'll need:

  • An RCA-to-mini (headphone) cable
  • Audio importing software (third-party software such as Media Digitalizer or RealPlayer Premium)
  • A computer with 10MB of available disk space for every minute of audio you want to record
  • A turntable and/or a tape deck
  • A stereo receiver