No, this is not a report on Amazon’s free music (again), where I downloaded another 17 pieces of music recently (a dozen albums, one EP, and four singles).  This is about getting your own music onto your own MP3 player.

You will need (1) a CD that you own, (2) the CDEX ripper program, and (3) disk space.  You’re on your own for the cookie parts of the Oreo, but the creamy filling is available here.  I’m running the 1.70 beta with no problems.  And it’s been out since 2007 – maybe the author is working for Google.

So you install your software, you drop in your CD, and you start your software.  First, you set up some options.  Click on the Options label, then Settings.  Under the Filenames tab, you can set how you want your extracted files to be named (I use %1\%2\%7-%4 which comes out to storing them as Artist directory, then an Album directory, then a leading-zero track number, and finally the song name).  Pick directories for where you want the recorded music to go (something like My Documents\My Music\Ripped).  On the CD Drive tab, I have all the check-boxes picked except for “swap left and right channels”.  Finally, on the Remote CDDB tab, pick freedb and enter a valid email address.  You will probably run across albums they don’t have – this lets you submit the names so others can share your knowledge.

Drop in a CD.  This one is Wes King’s Common Creed.

CDEX 1

You can’t tell, because we haven’t talked to CDDB yet (the Compact Disc DataBase).  Let’s hit CDDB, then Read Remote freedb.  Bing bang, magic happens!

CDEX 2

Now choose the second button on the side, and it will extract the whole CD to MP3 files.  It isn’t a quick process, and depends on the speed of your CD player.  But it works.

And it works well.  Congratulations!  You are now among the 38 million people who use CDEX.

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