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Janice CookFlag for United States of America

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Why can't I open audio files(.cda) copied from a CD to my computer?

I copied an audio cd to my computer, a windows 10. The files are in .cda format. When I try to open them with Windows media player from the copied files on the desktop, they won't open. However, when I click on the e: drive containing the actual CD, windows media player opens them and I can listen.

Why is this happening? Why don't the copied files play after being copied to my computer? Can you help with this? I want the audio files on my desktop so I can listen without inserting the CD.
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Hello There

.CDA is CD Audio Track Shortcut and this file does not contain actual audio data.
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Bill Prew

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Thank you for the instructions, etc. What is the best format to convert to, in terms of quality of audio playback? Is WMA better than mp3?
MP3 is more universal format you can play almost on every device so I would choose MP3.
There are different levels of quality in MP3, go with the highest setting if you want better quality.  MP3 is the more "universal" format currently, so those files can easily be played on a wide range of systems and devices.  While MP3 is a "compressed" form of the full digital original, current rippers tend to do a good job at preserving the fidelity of the original.  Unless you are playing on a high end audio system (rather than a Windows computer with desktop speakers, or a car, or a cell phone) you won't notice much difference.

If you truly want no loss in quality (typically not required for playing on a computer or phone or car) then FLAC is the standard there, it's "lossless" but will create MUCH larger files as the output of the ripping process.

I'd start with high quality MP3 and see if it meets your need.

Thanks Bill. I appreciate your input.
If you have an early XP or win2k system, you used to be able to drag the audio files as .WAV files and they would play from any player.  Windows now hides them with those. CDA shortcuts so that you need to rip the audio files.  The CDs have not changed, but the interface to them has changed to require a tool to extract the file.

Windows Media Player can rip the audio from the cd