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If you have a massive collection of CDs and DVDs like many movie and music collectors and are considering buying a PS5, you’ll no doubt wonder if Sony’s flagship console can read older media. This could determine whether you prefer the more expensive disc drive version or the slimmer digital-only model.
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The standard PS5 is a little beefier than its digital-only brother. It holds a strong appeal not only to those who like to buy physical game releases but also to those hoping to make it the center of their home entertainment system. Your mileage may vary depending on what disc format you are trying to play.
The PS5 can play DVDs and BluRay discs but cannot play audio CDs or DVDs. There are other ways to listen to music, but like the PS4 before, the PS5 is incompatible with certain types of media, even if they fit into the drive.
Many different physical storage types mimic the form factor of the CD. In fact, DVDs became popular partially because users could use their DVD players to listen to their CD collections, often on superior surround sound systems that precluded the need to buy a dedicated stereo system for music.
These days, CDs are not as popular as they once were. In fact, vinyls outsold CDs for the first time in decades in 2021 – partly due to the rising popularity and wide availability of streaming services.
Streaming music isn’t the only way to play audio through your PS5. It is compatible with a few digital formats. This is handy for those albums in your collection that you cannot find on Spotify or other streaming services.
If you have anyone in your household that grew up in the late 90s or early 2000s, you can probably enlist their help if you don’t know how to convert a CD to digital audio. If not, we’ve got you covered.
Follow these steps to play your favorite albums through your PS5:
- Insert the CD you want to copy to digital format into your computer disc drive.
- Open Windows Media Player – search for it in the Start menu if you cannot find it.
- Click on Audio CD in the left pane.
- Click on the Rip CD button.
- Select your desired format and bitrate – higher is better.
- Click Save.
Once the files have been copied over, Windows Media Player will notify you that the CD has successfully been ripped. For the uninitiated, this doesn’t mean your CD has been destroyed – it’s just a specific term used for copying music from physical media. You can now copy the files to your USB storage device and play them through your PS5.
The PS5’s ability to play digital audio files is something of a legacy function since most people use apps like Spotify and YouTube to get their music fix. As such, it doesn’t support a wide variety of different audio formats. Be sure to choose one that will work.
The PS5 only supports the following digital audio file types:
- AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) – Relatively compact and offers decent audio quality.
- FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) – Takes up more space but is the highest quality portable audio format.
- MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) – Still common but inferior to more modern formats.
If you are a Mac user and want to rip your CDs to FLAC, don’t confuse the format with Apple’s ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec). Since you won’t have access to Windows Media Player, you’ll need an alternative – we recommend XLD.
If converting your CDs to digital audio so you can listen to them on your PS5 sounds daunting and time-consuming, you might want to consider subscribing to a streaming service. You have 2 options on PS5 – Apple Music and Spotify.
You can stream high-quality, lossless audio from Apple Music and Spotify. These services have vast libraries of music that are constantly updated, and you can also take your music on the go by downloading the relevant app on your phone.
This could help you decide between buying a standard PS5 or the Digital Edition. Of course, if you already have a Spotify or Apple Music subscription, you can simply download the app and start streaming.
If you are a cinephile, the standard PS5 will allow you to retire that old DVD player that your friends comment on each time they visit. Unfortunately, CDs are a no-go, though – unless you go through the trouble of converting them to digital format, you won’t be using them anyway.
CDs and DVDs aren’t as popular as they once were, thanks to the age of video and audio streaming, but many people still collect music and movies on these digital disc formats. Unfortunately, PS5 only supports one of these once-dominant formats.