Import music from a CD

Import music from a CD
Mac Tip #157/14-July-2004

It gets a bit repetitive putting a CD into your Mac, listening to it, skipping over the inevitable track you don’t like, ejecting it and putting in another.

The power of the Mac is that you can “import” the music from hundreds or thousands of CDs onto your hard drive and listen to whichever tracks you like, any time you like.

When you import a CD it’s not going to be very useful if the tracks just end up called something like track one, track two, track three. It’s much more useful if they have real names, with the title of the song, the name of the album, and the name of the artist.

Getting track names from the Online CD Database.

Getting track names from the Online CD Database.

While you can type these in yourself (click on a track in the Library and choose File — Get Info) that’s kind of time consuming and boring and there’s an easier way to do it.

The trick is to first of all make sure you connect to the Internet before you put the CD in the drive. Now when you insert the CD iTunes will automatically go online and look up the relevant information.

How does iTunes know what the CD is and what all the tracks are called? iTunes contacts Gracenote’s Compact Disc DataBase and identifies the CD then receives back a list of track names and other information.

iTunes shows the CD and lists all the tracks.

iTunes shows the CD and lists all the tracks.

Insert a CD and make sure you have it selected in the Source list on the left of iTunes.

Then go to the top right hand corner of the window and click the Import button. Depending on how you have your Preferences set you’ll either hear all the tracks on the CD while they are imported or iTunes will rip through them at high speed and convert the whole CD to MP3 tracks.

Go ahead and check your email or write some letters or whatever — you don’t have to sit and watch iTunes while it imports the music. You can safely eject the CD once it’s been imported and store it in a cupboard somewhere. From now on you can use your computer to play the music.

And don’t worry — unless you have enough CDs to keep a radio station going you won’t fill up your hard drive.

My computer’s hard drive is 75 Gigabytes (Gb) and I have 50 Gb available. One track from a CD of songs is about 5 Megabytes (Mb) — depending on how long it is, of course. To fill up my free space I’d need to import about 10,000 songs. I already have over 900 tracks I’ve imported and that’s 3 full days of listening.

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