The file type depends on what you set the program to rip as. If you're using WMP, I'm guessing it's probably converting them to .wma. I wouldn't suggest shrinking your files, because you will lose quality, but there is an option to do so in Tools>Options and under the "Rip Music" tab by moving the slider under Audio Quality.
Some other types, if you don't want .wma, are .mp3 or .mp4. With newer versions of WMP, like what you have, should be able to rip to mp3. Under the Rip menu, choose mp3 rather than .wma. You can also choose to rip to .mp3 through the Tools>Options> Rip Music tab. If you'd like to use something other than WMP, you can use Express Rip
software, which is FREE, to rip your CDs into .mp3 format and for your existing files if you'd like to convert them into .mp3 as well, you can use Switch
, which is a format converter, which is free as well.
If you want to burn your files to a CD as a data disc, it is a good idea, but you can't play it as a CD. If you put the CD back into your computer, you will be able to remove them and put them back on your computer.
Yes, music can be put into iTunes if you get an iPod. My suggestion is though, is to make sure ALL of your music is in ONE file. iTunes will ask you for a directory folder and it will import all your music, videos, etc. It'll be the same folder that if you download any music from iTunes, that is where it'll be stored.
I would suggest that if you're going to put the music you're ripping from your CDs onto your mp3 player, that I'd keep them on data discs (like you'd mentioned) OR maybe invest in an external hard drive as well. It'll free a lot of space from your computer and it'll also back up your music in case anything should happen to your mp3 player and/or your computer. This will be especially a good idea if your internal Hard Drive isn't that big, 80 GB or lower.
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I'd be glad to give you further assistance!
Edited by Noot, 16 January 2008 - 01:52 PM.