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Create MP3 files

Create MP3 files for free from your audio CD's with this tutorial from PhonPhun!

0. Tools of the trade
There is a fair amount of free tools to convert audio CD tracks into MP3 files; for this tutorial we will use CDex, since it is open source. To download it, please refer to the audio resource page.

1. Install and run CDex
CDex installation is straightforward; once completed, use the icon added on the desktop to launch the program.
When you run the program for the first time, you can configure some general settings, which are mainly related to audio encoding and name format for the MP3 files created by CDex.
To view the configuration window, press F4 or use the Options -> Settings menu.
In the Encoder tab, you can set the parameters as shown in the picture below; with these settings you will have medium/high quality MP3 files. If you prefer smaller files, you can perform some tests with the Bitrate Min value (for example, a 128 kbps value often gives good results), or you can enable the VBR Method.

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In the Filenames tab you can use the settings shown below: you may get longer files names, but they will be more meaningful; of course, feel free to experiment until you find a configuration which you find suitable. Finally, you can choose the folder where the MP3 files will be created using the Recorded Tracks field.

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When you have done, press OK to close the window.

2. Insert the CD
Once you have loaded your CD in the drive, if you are connected to the Internet CDex should automatically download from database some info about the album: artist, title, track titles, etc.

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If nothing happens instead, try to use the CDDB -> Read Remote CDDB menu; if you get an error dialog like this one:

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then re-open the configuration window and in the Remote CDDB tab add a fake email address (for example, in the Your E-mail address field, and try again to read from the remote CDDB.

If you are not connected to the Internet, you can type CD info and track titles manually (just select every single track and press F2 to rename it), or you can rename MP3 files after they've been created. If you don't fill in the Artist, Album, etc. fields, the resulting MP3 files will not have such info in their ID3 tags (ID3 tags are used by many MP3 players to display information on the files being played).

3. Encode
If you want to convert all CD tracks, make sure they are all selected (if this is not the case, press CTRL + A), then press F9 or use the Convert -> Extract CD track(s) to a Compressed Audio File menu, and just wait for the processing to finish (this may take several minutes!).
If you want to convert only a part of the tracks, select them and press F9 to start the encoding process; to select more than a track, click on each one while holding down the CTRL key.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.
This work can be redistributed and modified for non-commercial purposes only, and with proper attribution to the original source (; please follow the link above for further information and the complete license.