Odd noises in WMP ripped music

I’m new to the forum, so “Hi All!”

I recently started ripping my CD collections to my computer, and have been using WMP v11, settings: mp3, 320 kbps.

I’ve now started listening to the tracks and some of them (not all) have weird clicking / popping / pinging noises in them. These certainly aren’t part of the original music!

The pop noise is brief, but regular (when it’s there). This almost sounds as if WMP had read the wav data off the CD in small 2 second chunks, and transcoded them individually. Then, when concatenating the processed chunks together, it’s created this blip noise at each ‘join’. I find this hard to believe though.

Many years ago, when I once tried ripping a CD with some free mp3 ripping software, I encountered exactly the same problem. That was a totally different computer (Windows ME), different software, and different CDs, so I put it down to my aged machine. But this new laptop I have (Toshiba Tecra A9, XP Pro SP3) shouldn’t be too ‘inferior’ to handle CD ripping, surely!?

Has anyone come across this weird issue before? I like the WMP taskbar minimised interface so don’t want to switch to another program if I can help it.

Many thanks in advance for your expert advice!


It’s hard to tell from here, but first I’d recommend against using WMP to do the ripping OR compressing, and I’m not sure about WMP 11
but WMP9 and 10 make inconsistant tags.

On average about 10% of the files I tagged with WMP had partial or non exsistant gags and all attempts to correct any errors seem to be actively resisted by wmp.

WMP does not use the best algorythm to do it’s compression.

Also WMP seems VERY sensitive to ANY fragmentation of the files
(Do I need to explain “file fragmentation”?)

You are actually doing two things at once, “extraction” then “compression” and I find it best to seperate these two operations even thought it is more labor intensive to do so.

when WMP does this and writes the file to the HDD it’ll first fill in any empty spaces on the HDD, rather than look for a contiguous empty space the proper size, on playback you’ll get momentary pauses as WMP “searches” for the rest of the file…

While I like WMP for playback because of it’s many ways of organizing the music files playback is the ONLY job I let it do.

I do my Extraction with Exact Audio Copy, (a Free downloadable file) Compression with “Switch Sound” by NCH, the free "trial version"
and I tag the files with TagScanner (another free download)

I actually do my extraction to a 20gb HDD that I use as a “scratch pad” drive, and I make my compressed files on that drive as well.

After I have both the extracted wav files and the mp3’s (I also make only 320k files) and have the id3 tags edited, I then copy to my dedicated “playback drive” a 60gb drive that ONLY has mp3 files for playback on my computer and to my various backup drives (some removable) as well as copies to DVD+R discs.

a HDD that isn’t spinning and isn’t connected, and is stored in a padded case in a foam filled pistol case and stored in a fireproof,
RF shielded file cabinet is proof against anything short of a nuclear strike and even then they’d better have damned good aim.

And BTW that muti layered backup scheme is for music I have the original CD’s for.

Music “pirated” off of friends CD’s or (legally) downloaded from various web sellers OR off of CD’s that were in any way damaged making extraction “difficult” are archived atleast twice more
and as WAV files as well.

Backups even at the cost of one use media is less aggrevating than being forced to do it all over again.

It’s methodical, but now I don’t lose ANYTHING even if a HDD fails
and HDD failure is as certain as gravity, they ALL fail… eventually.


Thanks for the very informative reply AD.

I do understand file fragmentation, but hadn’t realised that it could be a reason for playback blips. Clearly the original music CD has no fragmentation as the files are contiguous on the disc surface, but are you saying that the resultant mp3 file is fragmented, therefore WMP has trouble playing it back cleanly?

I’m keeping my mp3s on an external HD, and Drive Tools tells me the drive is less than 2% fragmented. Would a different less-sensitive-to-fragmentation-than-WMP audio player play the mp3s cleanly? I tried mplayer.exe, but that was no better. Does this indicate the mp3 itself is faulty?

I appreciate your suggestions for alternative ripping/tagging softwares, but before I download any of these, I have to ask if they’re as easy to use as WMP? I mean, WMP will search its online database and return the album cover image as a thumbnail and all the track titles for me. Will TagScanner do this too?

If the mp3 files are fragmented on your HDD then WMP probably won’t play them back without annoying skips and pauses.

Or atleast that’s been my experience with WMP.

Like I said I have one HDD (my F drive) which starting from a clean
drive was stocked with my mp3 files directory by directory
giving that drive no chance whatsoever to be even slightly fragmented.

I also get annoyed with how long it takes to find the next mp3
when the next mp3 isn’t in the same subdirectory
(a real possibility of you don’t establish a heirarchy)

to that end…

Each of the sub-directories immediatly above the mp3 files is the album title

For Example, my Directory/subdirectory scheme is
F:\mp3 Library 320k\Disturbed\02 Believe\011 Devour.mp3

the “02” represents the second album by Disturbed
this places the album in chronological order if I burn
the entire album as mp3 to a CD-R for playback in
my car with another Disturbed album, RATHER than
alphabetical order by album title.

The “011” is the track number on the album.

I do it in the file name because not all players recognise the track
number ordering in the id3 tags, so album number and track number
"Brute forces" past that particular playback glitch.

The same file is also found in the same path different only
by drive letter on G, I & J and they aren’t simply different
letters but different physical drives.

I HATE rediculously long file names, as would be created by artist-album-track.mp3 file naming schemes create.

I tend to listen to a lot of albums rather than songs
and I hate busting up the continuity, on a long road trip
(and I tend to make several per year), I’ll often listen to several albums in order and really hate it when my CD-player wants to play Rush’s “Counterparts” album first because it’s album title places that subdirectory/folder FIRST alphabetically, rather than LAST where it should be chronologically.

BTW, if you do use WMP to edit data on a particular song understand that if you do so while that song is playing you
can enter the edit mode, edit the information and “save” it, but because you are actively playing it there is a hidden “file sharing violation” which prevents it from actually writing the information to the specific file… that will explain the flawed tags if you’ve ever used WMP to burn a disc…

BTW, if you intend to rip/extract audio from a CD, then create compressed (mp3) files and then delete the extracted wav files do not do so on the same HDD on which the files will be stored for playback, this alone will create the undesired fragmentation.

additionally writing id3 tags to mp3 files by definition adds data to each file. sometimes this doesn’t cause the file to exceed the last
not completely filled cluster, but when there isn’t enough unused space on that last cluster when your tagging program wants to save the id3 information that alone will cause fragmentation…

This is why I do my extraction, compression and tagging on a drive
that I wipe clean after each and every session.

My constant writing, editing deleting and defragging of that drive is admittedly hard on the drive, but WHEN it fails I’ll unceremoniously move it 14" towards me 6" inches to the right and let gravity move it
downwards into the trashcan that is 36" below the drive’s current location.

And my “playback drive” only gets it’s mp3 files in a “Clean” write to it’s utterly unfragmented platters.

I’m not saying my methods and procedures are “necissary” or the only way of doing it, but I will say it works, in a very brute force and redundant kind of way.

Using a sledge hammer to drive carpet tacks and having the motto
"anything worth hitting is worth hitting twice" tattooed on your arm.

It’s all about protecting the time spent organizing that data.

The way I have my files organized ANY program can access
them for copy or playback and WILL play them in the proper order because of that “brute force” approach to organization.