CDs are versatile music and data holders that can be played in CD players or on computers. Playing CDs on computers is easy. You can add the music from the CD to your computer's music library. You can even create your own mix CDs by creating playlists of songs from several different CDs and burning the list to a new CD. However, you must have a CD drive equipped on your computer in order to play or record music CDs.
Gently remove the CD from its case. Take care not to get fingerprints on or scratch the shiny surface of the CD. Smudges and scratches will affect a CD's performance. Handle the CD with your fingertips by the outer edges or insert one finger into the hole in the middle and use your other fingers to lightly grip the edges of the CD.
Open your computer's CD drive. You can either push the button on the disc drive to open it, or you can make it open itself by clicking the appropriate icons on your computer. On a PC open your disc drive by clicking "My Computer." Next, right-click on the name of the disc drive and hit Eject. On a Mac, simply hit the F12 button and the drive will open.
Insert the CD into the drive. Make sure the CD is laying flat so it will not break when you close the drive door. Either push on the drive door lightly to close it or hit the button on or near it to make it close itself.
Some CDs will automatically play when they are inserted into the drive. Other times a box will appear on your screen and ask what you want to do with the CD. If this happens, select the software in the box that you would like to play the CD from. Music CDs can play in a number of programs such as iTunes, Windows Media Center, Zune and Real Player. After you select a program the CD will begin to play.
Use the arrows in the music playing software to skip to the next song or previous song. Most music software will allow you to shuffle the music on the CD so you can play the songs out of order. From the music player you can rip the CD to your computer or burn a copy of the disc.