Use iTunes to Copy CDs to Your iPhone or iPod

Transferring CDs to iPod

What to Know

  • Mac: Preferences > When a CD is inserted > Ask to Import CD or Import CD > Import Settings > OK > OK > insert CD > Yes.
  • Windows: Edit > Preferences > When a CD is inserted > Ask to Import CD or Import CD > Import Settings > OK > OK > insert CD > Yes.
  • To view recently added music, go to View menu > View Options > Recently Added > scroll to the top to view music.

This article explains how to copy CDs to your iPhone or iPod using iTunes. Instructions apply to iTunes version 12 or higher.

How to Copy CD to iPod or iPhone Using iTunes

To begin the process, you'll want to make sure that you're importing the songs from the CD in the format you prefer. The two most common music formats for use with iOS devices are MP3 and AAC.

  1. To choose your preferred format, launch iTunes. Next, open the Preferences window (on a Mac iTunes menu > Preferences; on a Windows computer, Edit > Preferences).

    Preferences in iTunes Edit menu.
  2. On the first tab, towards the bottom is a section labeled When a CD is inserted. In the drop-down menu, there are several options, but you'll likely want to choose either Ask to Import CD or Import CD, which will automatically begin copying the CD to your library.

  3. Select the Import Settings button next to that drop-down menu. In the window that pops up, select your preferred type of file and your preferred quality. The higher the quality, the better the song will sound, though also the larger the resulting file. I'd recommend 256 kbps for a good balance of sound quality and file size.

    iTunes Import Settings.
  4. Select OK in the pop-up. Choose OK in the Preferences window to save this change.

    Import settings > OK

    If you're looking for how to make a duplicate of a CD, rather than copying its contents to your hard drive, check out this article on how to burn a CD using iTunes.

  5. Insert the CD you want to copy into your computer's CD/DVD drive.

    CD in iTunes.
  6. Select Yes to import the CD. Wait for all songs to import. When all songs have been imported, your computer will play a chime sound and all songs have the green checkmark next to them.

    Confirming import

    How long it will take to copy a CD depends on a number of factors, including the speed of your CD drive, your import settings, the length of the songs, and the number of songs. In most cases, though, ripping a CD should only take a few minutes.

With this done, you'll want to confirm that the songs have imported properly. Browse through your iTunes library in your preferred way to where the files should be. If they appear, you're all set.

If not, sort your iTunes library by Recently Added. Go to View menu > View Options > Recently Added. Select the Recently Added column and scroll to the top. The new files should be there.

If you need to edit the song or artist's information, read this article on editing ID3 tags.

Once everything is set with the import, eject the CD by clicking on the eject button next to the CD icon in the drop-down menu or the left-hand tray. Then you're ready to sync the songs to your iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

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