From the Kenosha News on 7-8-07

Make a compilation music CD using Windows Media Player

      Ever wish you had a CD with your favorite tunes on it?  You can make one with the Windows Media Player that is built-in to Windows XP.  First, launch Media Player, by clicking on Start, Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Windows Media Player.  (Your copy may be in a different location, such as Start, Programs, Windows Media player.)  When you open it, it may prompt you to download the newest version.  I upgraded to version 11; there is no cost for this, but it does take a little while and verifies that your copy of Windows is genuine.

      To get ready to create your compilation CD, you need to capture your favorite songs from existing CDs.  This is called “ripping” the tracks.  Insert your audio CD into your CD drive, then click the Rip link in Media Player.  Select the tracks you want to include on your compilation CD by clicking in the box to the left of each.  The process should begin right away; click the Stop Rip button to the lower right if it starts before you’re ready.  A green progress bar after each song will show you what it’s doing.  When finished with that CD, eject it by pressing the button on the CD drive; then insert the next CD and repeat the process.

      Once you have captured (ripped) all the tracks you want for your new CD, insert a blank CD into your CD drive.  Then click the Burn tab in Media player. The easiest way to see the songs you’ve just added is to click on the Recently Added link under Library on the left.  Drag the songs you want on your compilation CD into the window at the far right.  You will see the progress bar fill up as you move items.  If you fill up a CD, it will automatically begin a second one.  If you want to remove a song from the list, right-click on it and select “Remove from list.”  You can drag items up and down on the list to change their order.  Once you have created your list, click the Start Burn button at the bottom of the right-hand panel.  To see the progress in detail, click the “Drive busy (D:)” item at the bottom of the left column.  Be prepared to wait several minutes or more.  The CD will eject when the process is complete.

      To facilitate listening to music in Windows Media Player and burning songs to CD, you can create Playlists very similar to those in iTunes.  To do this, click the Create Playlist link under Playlists on the left.  Name your playlist.  Then click the item under Library that contains the song(s) you want to add to the playlist.  Drag each song to the named playlist.  Double-click on the playlist to open it and play the songs.  To make a CD using a playlist, just drag the playlist to the burn list on the right.

      Remember that some audio CD players, like the one in my car, are picky about playing home-made CDs.  They should, however, play very well in the computer that created them.

by Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 7-8-07