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How To Burn An Audio CD

Burning your very own audio CDs is both easy to do and incredibly satisfying. You can choose & organise the tracks into any playing order you want. Essentially, your making your own greatest hits CD.

Back in the day, when cassette tapes were still popular, we used to make greatest hits tapes. Recording just our favourite music tracks. Absolutely no fillers.

With writable CDs, you can still do that. Only it’s even better and easier to do. When you make your own music CD the sound quality is perfect, you don’t get any hiss like you had with those old tapes.

You don’t need any special software, just some music on your computer, a CD/DVD writer and some blank CDs.

Making An Audio CD.

We’re going to create an audio CD that will play in virtually any standalone CD player.

Place a blank CD-R into the CD tray of your computer and close the tray.

Close or ignore any auto play windows that open.

Start Windows Media Player, by clicking the START button and then typing

Media Player

Once Media Player has started up, click the Burn tab, on the right-hand side.

Copying music (or any other files for that matter) onto a CD or DVD is often called Burning.

The correct term is writing, but most software will refer to it as burning.


Audio (Music) Formats.

Music on a standard CD will be in the format CD-DA (Compact Disc Digital Audio). However, it’s most likely that the music tracks you’ve got on your PC will be in the MP3 format, or maybe something else.

Windows Media Player can convert MP3 to CD-DA as it burns your CD.

But it’s worth checking, before we start, that Media Player is set to do that.

Click the BURN OPTIONS button.

On the Burn Options menu, make sure that Audio CD is selected.

If it’s not, left-click it to select it.


Adding Tracks To Burn.

Once you’ve clicked the Burn tab, Media Player will normally show your music.

If it doesn’t, click the MUSIC button in the left-hand pane.

All the music tracks that you have in your Music folder will be displayed in the centre pane.

In the centre pane, find the first track (song) that you want to add to your new CD.

Put your pointer onto it and then hold down the left-hand mouse button.

Now move your pointer to the right-hand pane and release the button.

You’ll see that the track moves with your pointer. When you release the button it will appear in the right-hand pane.

The right-hand pane is called the Burn List. Any music tracks listed here will be burned onto your CD.

The Burn List.

This is, for me, the best part. Choosing the music that’ll go onto my CD and then arranging it into the order that I want it to play.

The tracks on the Burn List will be written to the CD-R in the order that they’re in. Which means that they’ll play in that order.

The track at the top will play first, the second track will play second and so on.

You can change the order that the songs are in.

Move your mouse pointer onto any track, hold down the left mouse button, then drag the track up or down the list.

When it’s at the position you want it to be, release the mouse button.

If you change your mind about a particular song and decide you want to remove it from your CD, you can.

Right-click on the track to be removed, then on the menu that opens, left-click REMOVE FROM LIST.


See When The CD Is Full.

As you add more tracks, keep an eye on the progress bar on the right-hand side.

This shows you how much space is left on the CD.

Generally, it’s a good idea not to fill the CD completely. Leave a few minutes spare.

Most blank CD’s will hold around 80 minutes worth of music, so fill the CD to somewhere between 75 and 78 minutes. Leaving about 2 to 5 minutes free.

Start Burning Your Audio CD

Once you have got all the tracks that you want or will fit, it’s time to create the CD.

Click the BURN button.

As your CD is created, you can see it’s progress by watching the progress bar.

Generally, I think it’s far better to leave the PC to do its job. Don’t use your computer, don’t check your E-Mails, surf the web or anything else.

Just leave the computer alone to get on with the job of creating your new CD. Once the CD is burned, try it in a CD player. Enjoy all your favourite songs.

Which CD? CD-R Or CD-RW ?

There are two types of blank CD available, CD-R and CD-RW.

CD-R CD’s can only be used (burned) once. You can play them in your CD player as often as you wish, but you can’t change the tracks that are on there.

CD-RW’s, by contrast, can be erased and re-used. So you can keep changing what songs appear on the disc.

However, most standalone CD players will have problems with CD-RW discs.

So if you’re making these CDs to play in your stereo system, portable CD player or in your car etc, only use the CD-R type discs.


Burning Audio CDs.

Burning an audio CD with all your favourite music is terrifically satisfying. Unlike shop bought greatest hits compilations, the ones you create won’t have any “fillers” at all. Just great music.

And although streaming services offer something very similar, they do have their downsides. Firstly, you’ll obviously need an Internet connection, and secondly. you’ll either have to pay a regular subscription or suffer the endless ads.

The shear simplicity of having a CD that you can simply pop into a player and off it goes is, as yet, unsurpassed by the Internet.

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