General Question

marinelife's avatar

I want to burn a CD that I can play music from. How do I do it?

Asked by marinelife (62455points) August 16th, 2012

What software do I need? Is it available for free?

How do I get the songs on the CD?

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13 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Do you have windows? if so what version, as it is a little different on each version.

There is software that will do this for you, but you don’t really always need it.

Also, do you want to burn it as audio? or as digital information? (e.g. mp3)

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keobooks's avatar

I don’t have an answer, but wanted to say that many of the CD players that you buy don’t play the music if you burn it as digital information. I made a birthday party CD for my daughter and it wouldn’t play on my machine. SO if you want it to play on regular old music players, make sure you are recording as audio and not digital.

I’m just mentioning this because a few months ago, if I had asked this same question and @poisonedantidote asked me his questions, I wouldn’t have known how to answer about how I wanted to burn it.

Burn for digital – play on other computers and maybe CD players that specifically mention that they can play digital information.

Burn for audio – stuff that wasn’t made to play digital info – As far as I know that’s most CD players you bought a few years back or cheaply at Target or whatever.


Anecdotal story: Twice while I watched a season or two of Toddlers and tiaras I saw parents flipping out because their daughter’s music didn’t play for their dance number because they saved the tapes as digital info and the CD player at the pageant didn’t play digital.

CWOTUS's avatar

Check out Gold Wave, which has a long-term “evaluation” capability and may have the features that you need. (It has been a while since I’ve used Gold Wave myself; it might require other free software to actually make the audio file, but whatever that might be I learned long ago – and subsequently forgot – while using Gold Wave.)

Other than that, although I don’t use the capability in my versions of the programs I’ve bought from them, Applian might also have something that works for you.

My understanding is that you want to either convert MP3 or equivalent files to “CD Audio” (so that the music will play on a normal “CD player”, that is, a non-computer player), or copy from one CD to another.

marinelife's avatar

@poisonedantidote I want to have audio. Also, how do I tell which version of Windows I have installed?

haygar's avatar

I have used this MP3 burner for years, it is the simplest and most reliable I have found. It auto converts and burns without a hitch. Go here: http://www.acoustica.com/mp3-cd-burner/
I have serviced and sold computers for 20+ years and this is the simplest and best choice for what you are looking for.

marinelife's avatar

@haygar But then wouldn’t I need an mp3 player to play it? I don’t have one.

Brian1946's avatar

@marinelife

Also, how do I tell which version of Windows I have installed?

Try this: start > My Computer > View system information

If that access path is available to you, then you should be able to click on the General tab of the System Properties window, to see on what Windows version your computer is running.

Brian1946's avatar

Are you asking about copying MP3 files from your computer, onto a blank CD inserted into one of your computer drives (probably the D drive)?

Jeruba's avatar

I’m nearly as clueless as you, @marinelife, although I have had this stuff explained to me so many times by my sons that I feel ridiculous asking again. I think the key concept is “it’s just data.”

I wanted to take some of my chosen music along on my recent road trip with one son. He said, “Don’t bring CDs. Don’t you have a flash drive?”

I stuck the original music CDs into the computer one by one. Some program or other opened up automatically and asked me what I wanted to do. I picked copying the files to a folder on my computer. After I’d done about a dozen CDs, I put in the flash drive and copied the whole folder to it.

On the road, my son plugged the flash drive into his car. His music system played the music off my flash drive. This little thing smaller than a nickel pack of chewing gum contained all those albums in their entirety.

This is nothing short of magic if you ask me.

marinelife's avatar

@Brian1946 I don’t have MP3 files. I have a bunch of songs bookmarked on Youtube.

@poisonedantidote and @Brian1946 I have Windows Home Vista Premium 2007.

AshlynM's avatar

@marinelife If you want to download songs from Youtube, there are many sites that will let you do it for free. I have used savetube a few times. It’s very easy to use, costs nothing and you can either save them as an MP3 or video. You just need to copy the url of the Youtube video and paste it onto savetube site. You’ll need to know where the music is being downloaded to onto your computer in order to find it later.
Then, if you want to burn them onto a disc, it may depend which music player you have on your computer. Some have that built in function that will allow you to do this. If you have iTunes, you can easily do this.

To burn a disc in iTunes:
Click on “new playlist” in the File menu. You can name it whatever want. You’ll see the new playlist on the bottom of left hand pane.
Then go to the folder where you downloaded your music to and drag and drop the files into the new playlist. To save time and drag them all, highlight the entire list and drop all of them into your new playlist. You can add as many as you want, however you may not be able to burn your entire playlist to one single disc. You’ll probably need multiple discs, depending on how many songs you have.
Right click on the new playlist and click “burn playlist to disc. Make sure you’re burning to a CD-R, not DVD-R. Concerning the preferred speed to burning the disc, I’m not quite sure which one to choose. You may just have to play around until you get your desired result. I’d also choose “audio cd” and not “mp3 cd.”

Windows Media Player , which should be free to download, will also let you burn cd’s but I think iTunes is easier to use.

Or….you can also copy your songs onto a USB flash drive. If you have a car, and your car doesn’t have a USB port, that might not be an option.

CWOTUS's avatar

Just to clarify for those who seem confused about the topic: “CD Audio”, the kinds of files that are produced on music CDs from music producers is a completely different format from “MP3” files, which can also be burned onto CDs by computer users and will (also) play on CD ROM drives – in computers. I don’t know of any standard “CD players” (the only ones I’m familiar with are my clock radio and my car’s CD player, and a defunct CD player from the late 1980s that I just haven’t thrown out yet) that will also play MP3 files, but I don’t doubt that some are made. I don’t think those are very common, but I could be wrong about that, too.

I just don’t use CD players any more, at all. I do buy music CDs and I “rip” (copy and convert) the audio tracks into named MP3 files that I can play through my computer and also copy to my iPod, which I can also plug into the car radio and play there. (And when I do that I don’t have to worry about bumpy roads making the CD player skip, as well has having a hell of a lot more music stored on the iPod than I can ever hope to burn onto a CD.)

The CD ROM drive in your computer is built to recognize “CD Audio” and play it as if it were a “regular CD player”, and obviously your computer can also recognize and play MP3 files wherever it finds them.

I think that CD Audio formatting is different because:
1. It preceded MP3 file technology (because we’ve had CD players since before most of us had computers) and
2. Perhaps an audiophile can tell us for sure, but I think that the CD Audio format allows for a wider range of sound than the MP3 format / players can duplicate. But maybe that’s just an urban legend or some false factoid that I’ve heard. I can’t tell the difference, anyway.

You may notice if you “open” the directory for a CD Audio disk that you put into your computer’s CD ROM drive (or DVD drive) that the files do not have “song name”, “size”, “length” or any of the other details that will be stored when you rip the disk to create MP3 files. The files simply are not formatted to be read “by the computer”, but the audio portion of the drive can recognize and play them. The ripping process simply involves the computer intercepting the data stream of 1s and 0s that would be sent to the speakers as music (as well as the meta-information about the song title, the artist, the length of the piece and other attributes) and recording that as the MP3 (or WAV or other equivalent) “computer” file that your Operating System and whatever audio software you use can recognize and play back the track in the alternate format.

Very simply, then, “CD Audio” is not a computer-recognizable format. But like inputs from all kinds of peripherals, the data stream to the peripherals (your computer speakers) can be intercepted and turned into files that the computer can recognize, duplicate and edit (with the proper software) like nearly any other computer-recognizable file.

Your ears may not recognize the difference, but the computer has to.

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