Playing a CD into Audacity

On Windows 10 on HP Laptop using the latest Audacity ( .exe installer.). I can’t seem to get the programme to record a CD from the laptop player. The sound waves register but when played back it is almost unintelligible. The CD works to play with no problem otherwise. I have uninstalled and re-installed Audacity.

While you can probably force that to work, the music has to go through several interfaces and bit translations and possibly make you run the speakers at the wrong volume to get a good recording. Most people just use a CD ripper such as CDex. That will give you a bit-accurate digital copy of the music in native format.

44100, 16-bit, Stereo


Thanks Koz. Does that mean to rip the cd or the track before then transferring to audacity to enable editing?. Jas

Rip the CD to one or more WAV files then drag the WAV files into Audacity. CD-ex lets you rip all tracks on the CD to one file, if that is useful to you.

See: Tutorial - How to import CDs.


Music CD native format and Audacity native format are the same: 44100, 16-bit, Stereo. No translation.

That’s not to say you can drag music from a CD to Audacity. You can’t. Music on a CD is in special space-saving configuration and has to be converted for use in the outside world. But the quality is the same.


You can, in a way, on Mac OS X. The CD tracks are mounted as AIFF files in Finder, then you can drag the AIFF files into Audacity.


then you can drag the AIFF files

I was always a little uncomfortable when the OS gets in there with an ultra-convenient layer like that. I understand the metaphor. “What else would you want?” but still. It leads you to think the environment is doing something it’s not. Mac has gotten in trouble with that kind of thing before.