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What is digital music? Digital music is music that has been converted to a string of ones and zeroes, so that the computer can understand it. The digital music on a music CD is a very large file. For a typical music CD you need about 600Mb of computer storage space.

What Is MP3 Music?

Music is written on the audio CD in CDA format and has excellent quality. MP3 is a widely used file type for music. A MP3 file is an audio file that has been compressed to reduce the file size, while retaining much of the sound quality. Certain frequencies are removed from the music, and once it is done, it cannot be reversed. MP3 is called a “lossy” compression method, because date is permanently lost. Music files exchanged and downloaded from the Internet are usually in MP3 format. You’ll recognize the type of file because the extension at the end of the file name is .mp3.

Computers also can use audio files in the WAV format. The operating system plays WAV files for the startup music riff and those short messages, like “You have mail.” WAV files are used only for short sound bites, so that their size is manageable. Perhaps you’ve heard of MIDI sound files, Musical Instrument Digital Interface. These sound files don’t sound very good, but they contain information that can be used to control a sound card. Microsoft has several proprietary sound file formats, too. WMA format is Windows Media Audio, an alternative to MP3 files. WMA creates a compressed file with good quality that, unlike MP3 files, can be copyright protected. ASF, for Advanced Streaming Format is a format for streaming audio and streaming video. These streaming files can begin playing on your computer even while the rest of the file is being downloaded.

Is it Illegal to Make Free MP3 Music?

It is not illegal to create free MP3 music files for your own use. However, if the material is copyrighted, it is illegal to exchange the free MP3 music files with other users on the Internet. It is also illegal to copy a CD and sell or give that copy to someone else. The copyright protects the right of the artist to license and control the use of the material.

Free MP3 Music Part 1 ~ How to Play an Audio CD

Your computer comes with software to play a CD. Just insert an audio CD disk from your own collection in the CD drive or the DVD drive of your computer. When you close the drawer, your Media Player or other software will spring to life and begin playing your music. Your Media Player will also play your free MP3 music files as well.

Media Players all have similar features and menus, but menu directions here refer to the Windows Vista Media Player. The Player Window shows you a volume button, that you click and drag to change the music volume. Each song on the CD is called a track. You can advance to the next track by clicking the right-pointing arrow, or return to the previous track with the left-pointing arrow. While the track is playing, you will notice a slider move from left to right. To fast-forward through a song, drag the slider to the right. The Player Window also shows the pause button, two vertical lines. When you click the pause button to stop the music, the pause button changes to a play button arrow, for you to restart the music. The Shuffle feature lets you listen to music tracks in random order. Turn the Shuffle button off to hear music tracks in the normal order. The other button on your music player is a repeat button. Turn it on if you want the CD to replay continuously.

New Media Players will automatically search for information about your CD on the Internet while your music is playing. If you have an open Internet connection, the player will show the titles of the tracks and the cover photo. Click on any track to play the song. There is a menu option to turn the Internet CD search on and off. In Vista Media Player menu, click on Library, More Options, Privacy, Update Music Files by Retrieving Media Info from the Internet.

The moving patterns you see in the Player window are visualizations that you can choose to enhance the music experience. In Windows Vista menu, click the Now Playing button and then click Visualizations. At this point in the menu you can choose to display the Album Art instead of the visualization, or turn off the visualization.

If your computer has more than one software program for playing CDs, you can set your favorite as the default media player. In Windows Vista, open the Control Panel, Click on Hardware and Sound, then on Audio CD, and then click on your preferred CD software.

How to Use the Graphic Equalizer

Just like any sound system, Media Players come with a graphic equalizer. Use the menu to display the graphic equalizer. Click Now Playing, then Enhancements, then Graphic Equalizer. Use it to adjust the way high, low and mid tones are played. The ten bands and ten sliders of the graphic equalizer control ten frequency ranges, from 31Hz for the low tones to 16KHz for high tones. Drag a slider to change the intensity of the music tones in the frequency band. Click the button if you want the sliders to work independently of each other, or click the button to keep all the sliders linked to the slider you drag. Click the reset button to use the default setting of the graphic equalizer. The menu also has many preset equalizer settings for all types of music, rock, rap, grunge, opera, swing, classical and speech. Experiment with the presets to enhance the music you are playing.

How to Rip a CD for your Free MP3 Music

To RIP a CD means to convert the tracks on an audio CD to a file on hard disk of your computer. The music files are saved in MP3 compressed format or WMA compressed format. If you want to rip every CD automatically when you insert it, set that option from the menu. Click on Library, then More Options, then Rip Music, then Rip CD when inserted.

In most Media Players, there is a menu tab for RIP. Insert a CD, Click Rip and choose the MP3 format for the new music files. Then set the bit rate for the audio quality desired. Choose the highest bit rate of 320 kbps for the best quality. When the MP3 music files are played through your low-quality computer speakers, you won’t hear any difference between 128kbps and 320kbps. But you’ll notice the recording quality on other music players. At the highest bit rate, the quality of the MP3 file is close to the quality of the original audio CD. Decide how you want to name the MP3 files you rip. You’ll probably want to include the artist name, the album, track number and song title in the file name. Click Rip, then click File Name Options. MP3 files will be sorted alphabetically by the artist name, unless you rearrange the order of the details by dragging and dropping them in the dialog box. You can set file naming options for all ripped files in the menu. Next checkmark the tracks you want to rip and click the Start Rip button. Don’t play the CD right now because ripping will start at the track that is playing.

The free MP3 music files you rip are stored in a folder called Music. Just click the computer Start button to find the Music folder. Music contains an Artist folder for each artist, and the Artist folder contains a CD folder for each CD by the artist. That’s where you’ll see the complete details of every track you ripped. Play any track by double clicking it, or click the Play All button. You can sort the list by dragging and dropping tracks. The free MP3 music files are ready to be downloaded to your portable MP3 player for your listening.

I hope life brings you much success. I wish you a very happy day.
-----     Surfer Sam  

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