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HOW TO: Free MP3 Ripping in WMP

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Apr 5, 2003, 11:59:49 PM4/5/03
How to rip MP3's for free in Windows Media Player 8 or 9, W9x thru XP

WMP 8 can only rip mp3's at low bit rates; WMP 9 won't do it at all.
MS wants you to use their WMA format, which they think is better.
If you want to do mp3's MS advises you to purchase a plug-in from one
of their "partners", a $20 download.

If you dig into the MSDN knowledgebase you'll find this little fact:

You do not need to buy a MP3 plugin, you can do it for free. All you
need is a compatable mp3 codec and a few registry entries.

Here's what you need:

1) The Radium Codec. This codec is a warez crack of the original Fhg
Professional codec, a file named l3codecp.acm. An installer is available
on the web in several places, do a google search for: Radium Codec.
[Note: don't search for l3codecp; while there are copies of that out
the Radium version of it is better, with higher bit rate capability and an
easy to use "control panel" installed in the start menu.]

here's a link that worked as of April 2003:

Note: XP [and WMP] comes with an Fhg codec, called l3codeca.acm This
is the "Advanced" codec; it's more modern than the "Pro", but it's not
as good [so say several experts]. It also will not let you encode at
high bit rates, and it's SLOW SLOW SLOW! When you install WMP 9 it
will REMOVE the Pro codec if it finds it installed on your system!
Just reinstall it! The two _CAN_ coexist.

To check the install, look for its name in: control panel | sounds
| hardware | audio codecs | properties | properties tab. The standard
codec (l3codeca) will say "Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec (Advanced)",
and the new radium one will just say "Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec".
Select this line and click properties (again!); be sure "use this codec"
choosen. Also, you'll see a "settings" button; this brings up the same
dialog box as the radium control panel [installed in the start menu by
the above installer package]. BTW, the default settings are best.

Install Note: On my machine the "cool-looking" installer tool was a
It seemed to not read mouse coordinates properly, so clicking the
button was very hard! [Plus the music it plays is annoying!] To click
the button you need to hover your mouse to the right and below an inch
or so of where the button really is. Move slowly in this region, when you
hit the right spot the button changes color - click the mouse then!
Do this again to click "Finish".

Also, XP will warn about it not being signed - go ahead and install it
anyway, it's ok. [Your system MAY be set up to disallow unsigned drivers,
rather than just warn. To turn that off go to the System Properties |
Hardware | Driver Signing dialog, and select "warn".]

Good Luck.

2) Once the codec is installed you need to make the following registry

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;; these will enable wmp 9 to use the radium codec





"PreferredCodecName"="Radium MP3 Codec"

;; these are the 7 rates that the radium control panel displays;
;; choose 4 of these hex values to map into the above "rate" entries
;; 96 kbps = 17700
;; 112 = 1b580
;; 128 = 1f400
;; 160 = 27100
;; 192 = 2ee00
;; 224 = 36b00
;; 256 = 3e800
;; 320 = 4e200
;; [the sampleRates are all set at 44.1K above, the rate of a std audio CD]
;; [I don't think they're really necessary tho, so they are commented out]

;; in WMP 9 the above key does not exist, so to undo just delete it:
;; [-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Settings\MP3Encoding]

Cut and paste all lines between the equal-signs [exclusive] into a text
file [with notepad], and save it to some name with a .reg extension, like

[be careful that notepad doesn't name it xxxx.reg.txt, it likes to
add .txt to everything!].

Note: for Win9x or NT, replace the very first line with this line:

Then in explorer, right click the .reg file and choose MERGE.
Read the warning, click Ok twice and you're done.
This will mod the registry to add these lines.

[If you know how, you should probably backup/export this key first with
regedit. In WMP 9 the key doesn't exist, in WMP8 it does have some
low-bit-rate entries.].

3) Finally, go into WMP and choose Tools | Options. On the Copy Music
tab you should now be able to select "Radium MP3 Codec" from the drop
down list. Choose a bit rate with the slider [128 is "normal"], and
click ok.

Then try ripping a track. You should get a good rip into mp3. On my
machine the radium rip was almost as fast as the wma rip.

Be sure to turn on "use error correction" [tools|options|devices|cddrive
|properties] to ensure the cleanest rip.

Good Luck!!!


Note: I've tried to use the LAME codec, both 3.92 and 3.93.1, for
the above hack. They do not work right. For some reason WMP allocates
TONS of memory until you blow up the virtual memory pool and it crashes.
[A memory leak? Sounds like it, but the lame programmers are pretty good,
I would not expect that sort of sloppy error from them.] The same LAME
codec works fine in othe apps (EAC for one), but not in WMP. Perhaps
WMP just uses it in a funky way that crashes it.

FWIW, the Radium codec does a good job, it's pretty fast, and
the file sizes are very close to LAME's. I'd prefer to use LAME if
possible, but it just doesn't seem to work.

05 APR 03 -= PSH =-

zachd [ms]

Apr 6, 2003, 4:45:05 AM4/6/03

Note that Radium breaks MP3 cross-fading for starters. I also had to deal
with a report last week that it's breaking video games that do multiple
audio eventing. Generally lameness.

It takes a really noble person to instruct others how to steal other
people's work. If you don't want to pay people for their for-pay work, at
least have the integrity to stick with LAME. :P

-Zach (who, in the interest of disclosure, had minor code in the FhG codec
at last check)
(speaking for myself and doing this in my free time)
See for some helpful WMP info.
Following up to your post with the resolution is good netiquette.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
All e-mail to this account will bounce or be deleted - *use the newsgroups*.
<> wrote in message

Gerry Hickman

Apr 6, 2003, 11:19:20 AM4/6/03
zachd [ms] wrote:

> It takes a really noble person to instruct others how to steal other
> people's work.

Steal? Maybe we should go arrest Sony, Plextor and Roxio for making
products that allow DAE then? Microsoft are happy to trumpet "MP3" on
their web site when it comes to promotions. It seems to me that it's
more a case of Microsoft wanting to "control" the stealing, as opposed
to being against it per se? It's more like "You can rip, but only on our
terms". Basically, the open standards for motion picutres and sound are
far superior to anything Microsoft has, but instead of just embracing
the standards, Microsoft has decided to nobble it's software so it's own
proprietary formats appear to work better. This is back to the Java
argument. It's basically "let's deliberately break anything that we
didn't invent or can't control". But wait, we can alter all their MP3s
after they install our player, put some byte code in there and track them.

OK, so Microsoft are there to make money, so I guess this kind of thing
is understandable. No doubt there's also a few deals with record
companies on the go as well.

Gerry Hickman (London UK)

zachd [ms]

Apr 6, 2003, 5:05:45 PM4/6/03

I've got $100 right here. Either provide some factual basis for this claim:

It's basically "let's deliberately break anything that we
didn't invent or can't control". But wait, we can alter all their MP3s
after they install our player, put some byte code in there and track them.
or be quiet. You're slandering the hard work of others. Anybody who did
that kind of slimy thing at Microsoft (inserting tracking code in MP3s)
without user consent (which would never come) would be fired instantly.
It's such a stupid idea - anybody proposing it would be laughed out of
Redmond. You can't change the fact that Microsoft is just a bunch of decent
people working hard to make a decent product. Go meet and hang out with
people from Microsoft - you have a semi-inhuman view of the company, and
it'd benefit you to understand that it's just average Joes and Janes working

Back on topic: To quote from the original poster:

The Radium Codec. This codec is a warez crack of the original Fhg
Professional codec,

Do you understand? The poster is being upfront about the fact that he's
asking you to install a stolen copy of the FhG codec. This is not a free
codec. The FhG Pro codec is For Pay, retail software.

Is this warez / pirated / stolen software? Yes, that's admitted as the
first stupid point of the discussion.
Does the stolen software have ANYthing to do with Microsoft? No - it's
stolen from FhG.
Who controls most all MP3 IP? Hint: Not Microsoft.
Why can't you find free MP3 codecs other than LAME? Hint: LAME addresses
this very issue on their web pages.

As such, my comment-

> > It takes a really noble person to instruct others how to steal other
> > people's work.

is utterly without regard to ANYthing to do with Microsoft.

Please - I beg of you - go do your homework and research. Rumours aren't
valid points - start throwing out data and references when you want to
besmirch Windows Media.

I expect better of you. Data and references not only do you proud, they
allow your issues to be addressed.


Gerry Hickman

Apr 7, 2003, 4:29:26 PM4/7/03
zachd [ms] wrote:

> asking you to install a stolen copy of the FhG codec.

Hehe, looks like a misunderstanding. When you made your comment about
encouraging stealing, I thought you were saying "MP3 ripping was
encouraging stealing" - I didn't even consider the ownership of the codec.


May 25, 2003, 2:32:10 AM5/25/03
What a crock! Bill Gates and Microsoft are the devil incarnate.

"zachd [ms]" <> wrote in message

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