Pin Me

Downloading Music to Your Windows Media Player

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 1/24/2009

Are you confused by the terms rip or download? Does your 12-year-old know how to operate your Windows Media Player better than you? Well, learn a thing or two about downloading and adding songs to your Windows Media Player that will earn you respect from others, including your kids!

  • slide 1 of 3

    Ripping Songs

    If you have the Windows platform, then you probably have Windows Media Player. It comes standard with all computers that have Windows, or you can download it for free at But, just because you have it, doesn't mean you know how to download songs to your Windows Media Player.

    There are two ways to add songs to your player, you can either rip them from CDs or download them from music stores.

    To rip songs from CDs that you own, it's fairly simple. Just follow the below steps.

    1. Insert your CD into your computer's floppy disk drive.

    2. From here, you will probably get a pop-up menu. If among the list of options there's a tab for Rip CD, then do this. If not, click Take No Action.

    3. Open your player.

    4. You should have tab for Rip. Click on this tab.

    5. Select the entire CD or the songs that you would like to copy.

    6. Click Rip CD.

    This will add the songs that you selected or the entire CD to your Windows Media Player Library. This is where you can find all your downloaded and ripped songs. You can categorize them by type, name of artist, name of song or any way that you wish. This way, you can easily find the song for which you are looking.

    If you have a collection of CDs, ripping them will not only allow you to play them on your computer, but it will also save them in case something happens to your CD. For you can always burn a copy of your CD once all the songs are saved onto your computer.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Downloading Music

    But, what if you're looking for a song or CD that you don't have? This is where downloading music comes into play. The newer versions of Windows Media Player actually have music stores integrated with the player. In this case, basically you just have to click on the tab with the store, search for the music that you want to download, and the Media Player will download the music and add it to your play list.

    But, if you want to download music from a different source, such as, you'll need to go to that site itself. Many of these stores require that you install their software to your computer before you start you start downloading music. And, to add these plug-ins, you need to be logged in as Administrator. If not, you probably won't be able to download music from this particular store.

    In these stores, you can search for either the artist or the song for which you are looking. On most of these sites, you click on the song or artist that you want, and then click download song. But, you may want to see what the specific directions are for the site on which you are searching.

    It often takes a while to finish downloading a song depending on your modem speed. Once, however, this process is done, find the song that you downloaded, and right-click the song. A pop-up window will appear; select Add to Windows Media Player list. This will add the song to your Library.

    Once music is added to your Library, you can transfer this music either to a burned CD or to your mobile device, including your MP3 player or cell phone.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Fair Warning

    When downloading music, you may want to shop around. Some online stores have better prices than others. To download music, it's usually around $0.99 per song or $10.00 per CD. But, this is not always the case. Be sure you know how much the download is before you agree to buy it.

    Also, something to think about as you download music is whether or not the music is copyright protected. If so, you're going to have to find out what is allowed under that copyright. Sometimes this means that you won't be able to burn the music onto a CD or that only a certain number of songs can be burned to a CD. It's best to find out this information beforehand.