What's The Deal With .CDA Files?

One of the file formats which gives our legal staff some problems are audio files which are in .cda format.  This means that the file name has an extension of .cda after the filename.   This file extension is commonly used for creating music CDs.  

So what is a .cda file?

CDA is a file extension for a CD audio shortcut file format.  What this means is that the actual recording is not visible to the average user.  This format is used by Microsoft Windows to refer to audio tracks on a CD.  The .cda file doesn't contain the audio but is simply a shortcut to the tracks on an audio disc.  

The mistake that is commonly made by the legal staff is that they either drag and drop or copy the .cda file to another folder or their network drive.  Later when they attempt to listen to the audio, it will not play the recording.  

You only have two options.  You can either keep the original audio CD or you can "rip" the track from the disc to convert it to a commonly used format.  In order to convert the .cda file,  you must use the actual audio CD.  You can't just convert a .cda file.  The easiest way to do this is to use Windows Media Player to convert to .mp3 format.  

This is really simple to do.

#1 -Insert the audio CD into a disc drive.

#2 - Open Windows Media Player

#3 - Select the drive with the audio CD

#4 - Select "Rip CD"

#5 - You will see the files being converted.

#6 - If you want to find where the files have been ripped to or change the settings.  Click on "Rip Settings"

#7 - Select more options

1.     #8 - Click on RIP MUSIC tab, then look at the settings in “Rip music to this location”

You don't have to be a tech expert to convert the files.  Just remember that you can't copy the .cda file to another location.  


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