Ripped from winsupersite.com: The relationship between Windows Media Player 8 and the MP3 audio format is widely misunderstood. Basically, WMP8 will be able to playback MP3 files, but encoding (or “ripping”) CD audio into MP3 format will require an MP3 plug-in. So during the Windows XP beta, Microsoft is supplying a sample MP3 plug-in for testing purposes, but it’s limited to 56 Kbps rips, which is pretty useless. Fortunately, there’s a way around this. Fire up the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft MediaPlayer Settings MP3Encoding Here, you’ll see sub-keys for LowRate and LowRateSample, which of course equates to the single 56 Kbps sample rate you see in WMP8. To get better sampling rates, try adding the following keys (Using New then DWORD value): “LowRate” = DWORD value of 0000dac0 “MediumRate” = DWORD value of 0000fa00 “MediumHighRate” = DWORD value of 0001f400 “HighRate” = DWORD value of 0002ee00 Now, when you launch WMP8 and go into Tools, then Options, then Copy Music, you will have four encoding choices for MP3: 56 Kbps, 64 Kbps, 128 Kbps, and 192 Kbps. Because this sample encoder will not be available in the final release of Windows XP, this tip will probably be applicable only during the beta.