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Musicmatch Jukebox 10 will rip/convert CD's to MP3's. And the basic version is freeware. The copy/convert function is built into the Recorder option. But it will nag you to upgrade to the premium version everytime you use it to rip music.
Windows Media Player 10 also will do it, but you have to change from the default settings which will be Windows Media format. It's in Tools, Options, under the Rip Music tab. Also set the Audio Quality to best, Microsoft defaults to the worst when ripping MP3's. Then just load your disk and click the Rip button on the player.
I've used a ripper called Exact Audio Copy(EAC) and then the RazorLame encoder to convert to MP3's. It's a two step process but allows more control over the final output quality. Nice thing about EAC is it reads the same Internet Music database that all the other programs use for track/artist info. Both are free on the web.
Whatever program you use, if you click the Normalize function on, all the music you rip will be recorded at the same output level. Which is nice for a portable player.
Go to the Windows Update web site and download Media Player version 10. It rips audio really fast and it keeps all the title and artist information so you can see what you're playing on your portable music box. This is all assuming that you use windows.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
You're not lost if you don't care where you are - Jim Cooper
You find the best stuff when you're not looking for it - Eduardo Taran