Ripping music? Tips on how to save space on your computer

Listening to and storing music has become a popular way to use your computer. Just look at the variety of MP3 players people are using—all of them require a computer to store the music and put it on the player. We've noticed your interest in this topic based on the popularity of articles such as listen to the radio on your computer and compose and record your own tunes with your PC. One of the questions we've gotten in our feedback is how to save space on your computer when you store all that music. Ideally, you don't want to fill your hard drive with just music. Especially if you're like us and also have a lot of pictures to store.

In addition to deleting the music you no longer listen to or storing it on a CD, you can conserve disk space by ripping your music at a slightly lower quality. The songs will still sound great but won't take up as much space. After buying an MP3 player last month, I did both of these and it opened up a lot of space on my hard drive.

To set the level of recording quality

  1. In Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Rip Music tab, move the sliding control to where you'd like it—to the left to use the least amount of your hard disk, to the right for best audio reproduction.
  3. Click Apply. Click OK.

I recommend setting the quality so somewhere in the middle. It will still sound good, and will save a lot of space if you’re ripping your entire music collection onto your computer.

Image of how to change the audio quality

To view all media files and delete ones you don't want

  1. In Windows Media Player, click Media Library.
  2. Click All Music in the Media Library directory in the left column. From the directory you will be able to choose from all the audio recorded on your device.
  3. You'll see a list of audio recorded on your computer on the right side of the player. Double-click any file to play it. To delete any file, right-click it and click Delete.

Image of the Media Library in Windows Media Player

Once you start playing music on your computer, it's hard to stop. The sound is great, your music is portable, and you don't have to carry around a lot of CDs. Check out the Digital Music and Video how-to center for more tips.