How to Copy a Music CD to iTunes

Music ripped to iTunes is available on all your Apple devices

iTunes window with iTunes logo


The fastest way to start building your digital music library is to import your CD collection to iTunes. It's a great way to centrally manage your music collection and keep your original CDs in a safe place. After your CD collection has been converted into digital music files, you can 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 already installed iTunes for Mac or iTunes on PC, then the best place to get the latest version is to download it from Apple's website.

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How to Rip a CD to Digital Files

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 that is 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, click the CD button at the top of the iTunes window.
  3. Click Yes to import all the songs on the CD. Click 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, click iTunes > Preferences > General and select List view checkboxes.)
  4. Click Import CD.
  5. Select the import settings (ACC is the default) and click OK.
  6. When the songs are finished importing to your computer, click the Eject button at the top of the iTunes window.

In iTunes, select Music > Library to view the imported CD contents.

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How to Copy a CD Automatically

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

  1. Click iTunes > Preferences > General.
  2. Click the When a CD is inserted drop-down menu.
  3. Select Import CD: iTunes automatically imports the CD. If you have a lot of CDs to import, select the Import CD and Eject option.
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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 songs that are affected.

  1. Click iTunes > Preferences > General.
  2. Click Import Settings.
  3. Choose Use error correction when reading Audio CDs.
  4. Insert the CD into the optical drive and reimport the music to iTunes. 
  5. Delete the damaged music.

It takes longer to import a CD with error correction turned on.

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