How to Copy a Music CD to iTunes

Music ripped to iTunes is available on all your Apple devices

What to Know

  • Rip CD: Insert CD into PC > select Yes > Import CD, then import settings > select OK.
  • To copy CD automatically, go to iTunes > Preferences > General > When a CD is inserted > Import CD.
  • Error correction: iTunes > Preferences > General > Import Settings > Use error correction when reading Audio CDs.

This article explains how to copy a music CD to iTunes using a computer with an optical drive or an external drive. Additional information covers how to instruct iTunes to copy CDs automatically and how to set up error correction.

How to Rip a CD to Digital Files

The fastest way to build your digital music library is to import your CD collection to iTunes. After converting your CD collection into digital music files, synchronize them with your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or another compatible portable music player. You need a computer that has an optical drive or an external drive.

If you haven't installed iTunes for Mac or iTunes on PC, the best place to get the latest version is to download it from the Apple website.

It takes about 30 minutes to rip an entire CD of music to your iTunes music library.

  1. Insert an audio CD into the computer's CD or DVD drive or an external drive connected to your computer.

  2. Wait for a few seconds until you see a list of tracks. You need an internet connection to pull in all the song titles and album art for the CD. If you don't see the information for the CD, select the CD icon at the top of the iTunes window.

    The CD button in iTunes.
  3. Select Yes to import all the songs on the CD. Select No to copy only some of the music on the CD and remove the check mark next to the songs you don't want to copy. (If you don't see any check boxes, choose iTunes > Preferences > General and select List view checkboxes.)

    Selecting to import music to iTunes.
  4. Select Import CD.

    The Import CD button in iTunes.
  5. Select the import settings (ACC is the default) and then select OK.

    Setting import settings in iTunes.
  6. When the songs finish importing to your computer, select Eject at the top of the iTunes window.

    The Eject button in iTunes.
  7. In iTunes, select Music > Library to view the imported CD contents.

How to Copy a CD Automatically

There are options you can choose for when you insert an audio CD into your computer.

  1. Select iTunes > Preferences > General.

    The General tab in iTunes Preferences.
  2. Select the When a CD is inserted drop-down menu.

    Dropdown for CD insertion options in iTunes.
  3. Select Import CD. iTunes automatically imports the CD. If you have several CDs to import, select the Import CD and Eject option.

    Options for CD insertion in iTunes.

Error Correction for Audio Problems

If you discover the music you copied to your computer has popping or clicking noises when you play it, turn on error correction and reimport the affected songs. It takes longer to import a CD with error correction turned on.

  1. Go to iTunes > Preferences > General.

    The General tab in iTunes Preferences.
  2. Choose Import Settings.

    The Import Settings button in iTunes.
  3. Choose Use error correction when reading Audio CDs.

    Error correction setting in iTunes.
  4. Insert the CD into the optical drive and reimport the music to iTunes.

  5. Delete the damaged music.

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