CDA files are CD-only song files and they can’t be played directly on your computer. To make it easier and more convenient to play the CDA file, people would like to convert CDA to MP3, which is one of the most popular file formats. MiniTool noticed this and provided several practical ways to help users convert CDA file to MP3.
Is CDA to MP3 Necessary
What Is CDA
CDA represents the file extension for a CD Audio shortcut file format: .cda. It’s used by Microsoft Windows to refer to the audio tracks saved on a CD. What is a CDA file exactly? In fact, a CDA file is not an audio file. In contrast, it only refers to the way that Windows uses to let people access an Audio CD index.
The CDA files are actually the CD-only song files but they don’t contain the actual PCM sound wave data. Instead, the CDA files tell exactly where on the disc each track starts and stops. So it’s not surprising that people said they can’t play a CDA file directly on Windows.
It seems that some audio editing and CD creation tools can load .cda files as though they are actual audio data files according to users’ feedback. However, that’s not the fact. You need to convert CDA to another file format in order to play the audio tracks. I find .cda to MP3 is widely talked about since MP3 is one of the most popular file formats that can be supported by almost all systems and programs.
Can you convert a CDA file to MP3 so as to play the song tracks on a computer without a CD? Yes, CDA to MP3 is possible. But converting CDA file to MP3 is not as easy as MP4 to MP3.
How to Convert CDA to MP3
If you want to use a media player to play the audio tracks by copying the CDA files from CD and then pasting them to your computer, you’ll be disappointed. Nothing will happen except that you’ll find the .cda files become useless after copy & paste.
Well, how can you convert CDA to MP3? There are basically 4 methods.
- Use Windows Media Player.
- Convert with iTunes.
- Turn to third-party media files converter.
- Convert CDA to MP3 online.
If you want to play DVD with Windows Media Player but failed, please read this page to know how to fix it:
The Windows Media Player won't play DVD issue has troubled many users, so we’d like to offer some useful tips on how to fix it properly.
Method 1: Convert CDA to MP3 with Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player (WMP) is the official and default media player in Windows operating systems. It’s no doubt that Windows Media Player is a wonderful and easy-to-use tool. But what you may not know is that the WMP can be used to convert .cda to MP3 easily. You should first go to check whether the WMP works properly on your computer or not. Then use it as the CDA to MP3 converter for converting .cda files to .mp3 files.
How to Convert CDA to MP3 in WMP
This method is only available for Windows users since Windows Media Player is exclusive to Windows computers.
- Insert the target audio CD that contains the CDA files you want to convert and make sure it’s detected on your computer.
- Open Windows Media Player the way you like. Here’s the most direct way to open it: press Windows + S -> type WMP into the search box -> click Windows Media Player from the search results or press Enter.
- Select Tools from the WMP menu bar which is located at the top of the window.
- Select Options from the submenu you see.
- Shift to the Rip Music tab (from the Player tab).
- Select a storage path for converted MP3 files: move to the Rip music to this location section -> click on the Change button -> specify a proper location with enough free space -> click on the OK button in the Browse For Folder window to confirm.
- Select MP3 as the output format: move to the Rip settings section -> click on the downward arrow under Format -> choose MP3 from the drop-down menu.
- Check Rip CD automatically/Eject CD after ripping according to actual needs.
- Drag the slider below to specify the Audio quality.
- Click on the Apply button and then the OK button at the bottom.
- Now, take a look at the left sidebar of WMP.
- Right click on your CD drive from the list and then select Rip CD to library from the context menu.
- Wait for the ripping process to complete. Then, you can go to check the rip music location you selected in step 6 to check the MP3 files converted from CDA.
Once the .cda to MP3 conversion is done, you should close WMP completely and eject CD from your PC.
- Close any apps that may use this CD drive.
- Open File Explorer (formerly known as Windows Explorer).
- Right click on your CD drive from the drives list.
- Choose Eject from the context menu.
Method 2: Convert CDA Files to MP3 with iTunes
Step 1: Insert CD and Open iTunes
- Insert the target audio CD and make sure it’s showing up.
- Open iTunes. You may skip this step if iTunes is on the startup programs list.
Step 2: Enable MP3 Encoder
- Click Edit from the top menu bar if you’re using iTunes on a Windows computer. Or click iTunes at the top left if you’re running iTunes on Mac.
- Choose Preferences from the bottom of the drop-down menu.
- Look for the Import Settings button under the General tab and click on it.
- Click on the down arrow after Import Using to see the drop-down encoder list.
- Choose MP3 Encoder and click OK to close the Import Settings window.
- Click OK again to close the preferences window.
Step 3: Convert CDA File to MP3
- Click on the CD icon (round, disc-shaped icon) located below the top menu bar. It’s on the left side of the Library.
- Then, your CD will be imported into iTunes automatically.
- Select the target CDA file from the songs list (you can also select all songs to convert).
- Click the File menu in the upper left corner.
- Navigate to the Convert option in the drop-down menu.
- Select Create MP3 Version from the bottom of the pop-out window.
- Wait for the converting from .cda to .mp3 to complete.
- Now, you can view the MP3 files by clicking Recently Added under Library in the left sidebar.
- If you want to view the MP3 files on a local drive, please do these things: select the MP3 file -> choose File from menu bar -> click Show in Windows Explorer.
- The folder that holds the converted MP3 files will open.
Method 3: Use CDA to MP3 Converter
Noticing people’s demands for converting CDA to MP3, the software manufacturers developed and released lots of tools to work with the conversion from .cda to MP3. These tools are called CDA to MP3 converter and we’ll show you how to convert CDA files to MP3 by using two of them.
Format Factory is an ad-supported freeware multimedia converter that can help you convert various kinds of audio, video, and picture files. What’s more, it’s capable of ripping CDs and DVDs to other file formats, including MP3. So it's a good choice for you to convert CDA to MP3 format.
- Download Format Factory and then install it properly on your computer.
- Insert your CD containing the CDA file and launch FormatFactory the way you like.
- Click ROM Device\DVD\CD\ISO in the left sidebar.
- Select Music CD to Audio File and then you’ll see a prompt window.
- Select your CD under CD Driver by clicking on the down arrow.
- Make sure MP3 is selected for Output Setting.
- Click on the High quality button on the right side of MP3 to choose another quality level. This step is optional.
- Click on the Convert button at the top right.
- Wait for the conversion to finish completely.
- Then, you can go to check the converted file on the computer.
VLC Media Player
The VLC Media Player (also called VLC) is a free and open-source, portable, cross-platform media player tool developed by the VideoLAN project. Besides, it's also a streaming media server to help you stream media over the networks and to transcode the multimedia files. VLC supports all common audio and video file formats, including DVD-Video, video/audio CD. You can also use this tool to convert CDA to MP3.
- Download VLC Media Player and then install it on your PC.
- Insert your CD into the computer and run VLC.
- Select the Media menu in the upper left corner.
- Choose Open Disc from the drop-down menu.
- Select Audio CD under Disc Selection.
- Click on the Browse button to select and open the target CD.
- Click on the down arrow at the bottom to replace Play with Convert.
- In the Convert window, please choose Audio - MP3 for Profile.
- Then, click on the Browse button at the bottom right to choose a destination.
- Now, click on the Start button and wait until the conversion is finished.
Bonus Tip: Anything to MP3
MiniTool Video Converter is an all-in-one free video converter. It can help you convert to audio, video, and even device in 3 easy steps. Though it doesn’t support CDA currently, it is a good choice when you want to convert audios/videos of many other formats (over 1000+ popular output formats).
Besides, if there’re huge needs for converting CDA to MP3, the software developer will be working on adding the CDA to its supported formats.
3 Steps to Convert an Audio/Video to MP3
First of all, you need to download, install and launch MiniTool Video Converter.
Step 1: add one or more audios/videos you want to convert to the software.
- Click on the Add Files button in the upper left corner under Video Convert -> browse and select the target files from your device -> click Open to import them into the software.
- You can also click on the big add icon (+) in the middle to import files.
- Dragging and dropping the files into the dotted box in the middle is also allowed unless it’s the first time you use this software.
Step 2: configure output settings.
- Look at the Output section at the bottom left and click on the down arrow after it.
- Select Browse from the pop-up menu.
- Navigate to the folder that you want to keep the converted MP3 files and click Select Folder.
- Move to the Convert all files to section and click on the down arrow.
- Shift to Audio, select MP3 in the left pane, and select a quality level.
Step 3: batch convert audios or videos.
- Click on the blue Convert All button in the lower right corner.
- Wait for the conversion process to complete. The progress bar will be replaced by a Success notification when it’s ended.
- Shift to the Converted tab and click on the Show in folder button to check the converted MP3 files.
Method 4: Convert CDA to MP3 Online
There are also some free websites allowing users to convert CDA to MP3 online. We’ll list only one of them to explain the conversion process briefly.
- Pay a visit to the official website to avoid any potential risk.
- Click Choose Files or click on the search folder icon (Dropbox, Google Drive, or direct URL icon). Also, it allows you to drag and drop the target file here.
- Navigate to the CDA file you want to convert. Select it and click Open.
- Click on the down arrow between the file name and the green READY message.
- Select Audio in the left pane and choose MP3 in the right pane.
- Click on the red Convert button.
- Wait for the uploading and converting process.
Please note: the maximum file size couldn’t exceed 100MB.
The steps to use other local/online CDA to MP3 converters are similar.
Though CDs are not as popular as they used to be, there are still huge needs for using them. CDA is the file extension of CD audios, so it's no wonder that some people are asking about the conversion from CDA to MP3. By doing so, they can store music files on the computer, play the audio tracks in ordinary players, and reduce file size.
Please don’t worry if you don’t know how to convert CDA to MP3. This article demonstrates 4 methods (including convert CDA to MP3 online) to help people finish the conversion from .cda to MP3.