How to Burn Music to an Audio CD

Burning music to an audio CD is very useful if you want to collect all your favorite songs in one place instead of having to switch between many different albums. A homemade audio CD is just as functional and functional as store-bought CDs, so you can listen to it on any sound system, CD player or computer. Note that audio CDs are different from data CDs (or MP3s) because data CDs cannot be played on regular stereos. If you have access to a CD-RW/DVD-RW player, music files, a blank CD, and a media player, you can proceed with burning the CD.

Use Windows Media Player

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Insert the CD into the player on your computer. You need to make sure this is a CD-RW or DVD-RW player. The letter 'W' represents the word 'writeable' and this type of drive is capable of writing data to disc.

Information is usually printed on the front of the disc player, but you can also see it at Control Panel > Device Manager > Disk Drives .

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Open Windows Media Player (WMP) at Start > All Apps (or All Programs on Windows 7 and earlier) > Windows Media Player . This is Windows' backup media player.

The following steps in the tutorial are based on WMP 12. Other versions of the software are also applicable, but the location of the action buttons may be different.

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Click the Burn button on the right. A frame will open on the right for you to create a list to record.

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Drag the audio file into this list. Files must be in formats supported by WMP (.mp3, .mp4, .wav, .aac are the most common types). When burning to CD, the software will convert the files into lossless format.

Audio CDs have a playing time limit of 80 minutes. This industry standard is set by the manufacturer. This means that the number of songs you can burn onto a CD will depend on the length of the track.

The disc packaging may mention a capacity of 700MB, but this number is applied in creating data CDs. Data CDs work similarly to storage devices and can only be read by a computer.

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Click the menu in the Burn pane. A menu will open with different recording options. Select 'Audio CD'.

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Click the 'Start Burn' button. The CD burning process will begin. Once completed, the disc will automatically be ejected from the computer and ready for use.

If the recording process is canceled or interrupted, you will have to use a new CD and start again.

Use iTunes

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Open iTunes. You can go to Applications > iTunes or open the application dock. On Windows, you can launch iTunes at Start > All Apps (or All Programs on Windows 7 and earlier) > iTunes . This is OSX's fallback media player, but is also very popular on most platforms thanks to the popularity of Apple mobile devices.

The next steps in the guide are based on iTunes 12. Other versions of the software are also available, but the location of the action button may be different.

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Create playlists. Go to File > New > Playlist , enter a name for the playlist, and drag the songs you want to listen to here.

You need to make sure that the check box to the left of each song has a check mark. Only the songs you mark in the list will be burned to disc.

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You need to make sure that all the songs in the playlist are authorized for this computer. Songs you've purchased on the iTunes store will be linked to your iTunes account. Double-click each song to make sure it plays. If there is an unauthorized song, a window will pop up asking to enter the username/password of the iTunes account you used to purchase the song. Once the information is entered, the song will play as usual and be ready to burn to CD.

iTunes limits a song to only being licensed to 5 different computers.

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Insert a blank CD into the player. The computer will automatically recognize the blank disc.

You can check your drive's compatibility in the 'Burn Settings' menu. If you see the drive listed at the top under the 'Disc Burner' heading it means it's compatible.

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Open the 'File' menu and select 'Burn Playlist to Disc'. The 'Burn Settings' menu will open.

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Select 'Audio CD' from the format list. This ensures that the CD will play on any regular CD player.

If you select 'Data' format, the CD will be used as file storage and can only be played on a computer.

With the 'MP3 CD' option, you will need to use a CD player capable of reading that format. You should not be confused because although MP3 is a popular file, Audio CD is the standard format supported on CD players in general.

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Click the 'Burn' button. The CD burning process will begin. Once recording is complete, the disc will automatically be ejected and ready to play.

If the recording process is canceled or interrupted, you will have to use a new CD and start again.

Use other free audio CD burning software

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Choose the software that's right for you. If you don't want to use iTunes or WMP, there are tons of third-party software out there for this. Maybe you only use open source software or prefer a certain media player's feature set, or maybe you don't even listen to music on your computer so you don't need a media player.

When downloading any software, you should visit the developer's main website. This will ensure that the installation program has not been tampered with or loaded with additional/malicious software. If the developer doesn't provide downloads on their site, there are plenty of reliable mirror sites available instead.

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Try another media player. VLC Media Player and Foobar2000 are two popular media players thanks to their speed, wide codec (file type) support, and customization. In essence, these programs are still multimedia players, so the process of burning an audio CD is similar to using WMP or iTunes.

Foobar2000 is exclusively for Windows.

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Try a dedicated burning program. InfraRecorder and IMGBurn are two free dedicated burning programs for those who don't need playback support. These programs are known for their comprehensive range of burning options, such as a hybrid mode that allows users to create hybrid audio CDs (also called hybrid CDs) or data discs.

Since the above programs support more complex burning features, this option is only recommended for advanced users or those who do not want the media player to take up too much of their storage space.

Both InfraRecorder and IMGBurn are specific to Windows. 'Burn' is a simple and powerful option for Mac users.

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