Home » Computer Guides » Windows Guides » How To Make An MP3 CD

How To Make An MP3 CD

Want an audio music CD that can play up to 100 tracks. Make an MP3 audio CD.

Music in the MP3 format uses much less space than music stored in the standard CD audio format, so you could add up to 100 tracks to a single CD. This is because MP3 tracks can be around 10 times smaller than the same track recorded as standard CD Audio.

The one caveat is that not all standalone CD players can play MP3, but it’s worth a go, just to find out.

Long-playing music CD’s are perfect for long car journeys and lazy afternoons.

How To Make An MP3 Audio CD.

All standalone CD players (stereo player, car CD player etc), play music recorded as CDDA (Compact Disc Digital Audio), which is the standard audio CD format. But some can play MP3 audio as well.

Because MP3 files are so much smaller than standard audio files, MP3 CDs hold more songs. They play for longer, reducing the number of CD changes on long car journeys or if you’re just relaxing at home.

You can check the instruction manual for your CD player, or just dive in, create an MP3 CD and see if it plays. You may be pleasantly surprised.

To make an MP3 CD, load a blank CD into the CD tray.

Close or ignore any autoplay options that pop up.

Start Windows Media Player. Then click the MUSIC button in the left-hand pane to bring up all your music tracks.

And then click the BURN tab in the right-hand pane.

How to make an MP3 audio CD.
Open WMP and then select the Music section and then click the Burn tab.

Windows Media Player (Legacy).

If you’ve never used Windows Media Player before, this guide might be helpful to get you started How To Use Windows Media Player

[adinserter block=”4″]

Add Your MP3 Tracks To Be Burned Onto The CD.

Drag and drop the music tracks from the centre pane onto the right-hand pane. The right-hand pane is called the Burn List, and any tracks (songs) in this list will be put onto the CD.

Obviously, you can add tracks one at a time to the Burn List. Or you can select multiple tracks and then drag the whole lot over.

To select multiple tracks at the same time, hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard, then left-click once on each of the tracks you want to select. Keep the CTRL key depressed as you click.

When you’ve finished selecting tracks, release the CTRL-key.

Now move your pointer onto one of the selected tracks, anyone will do, hold down the left mouse button, then drag onto the Burn List.

Burn list indicated by an arrow pointing at it.
Add tracks to your burn list.

Selecting Multiple Files.

Making multiple selections is easy to do once you get the hang of it. If you’d like to find out more, then take a look here How To Select Multiple Files In Windows

[adinserter block=”4″]

Change Windows Media Player Settings To Burn MP3.

There’s a couple of settings you’ll need to check and possibly change in Windows Media Player.

First, WMP will most likely be set to burn music to CDs in the CD-DA format. Which is the standard CD audio format. Which isn’t what you want. You need to write the tracks to the CD in MP3 format.

Secondly, Windows Media Player will try to organise the tracks into folders, which again, isn’t what you want. So we’ll fix that as well.

At the top of the right-hand pane, you’ll see that WMP is set to burn an Audio CD.

And that now the CD is getting pretty full.

You’ll need to tell Windows Media Player to burn an MP3 CD instead of a standard audio CD.

"Audio CD" is marked in Windows Media Player burn settings.
You can see that WMP is set to burn a standard audio CD.

Click the BURN OPTIONS button, in the top right-hand corner.

Then click DATA CD OR DVD.

Now Windows Media Player knows that you want it to create an MP3 CD, rather than a standard audio CD.

Burn Options marked. Data CD or DVD option selected.
Click the drop down arrowhead to reveal the Burn Options menu. Select Data CD or DVD.

There is just one more setting that we need to change.

Click the BURN OPTIONS button again, and on the menu, click MORE BURN OPTIONS.

"More burn options" indicated in Windows Media Player.
Click the Burn Options menu again and then click “More burn options”.

A popup up window will open.

Untick the box where it says, “Use media information to arrange files in folders on the disc”.

To be clear, we don’t want a tick in this box.

When that’s done, click OK.

"Use media information to arrange files in folders on the disc" deselected.
De-select “Use media information to arrange files in folders on the disc”.

Standalone CD players & Folders.

If you don’t untick this box, then your music will be organised into folders on the CD. Folders work great on your computer, but sometimes stand-alone CD players become very confused. For you’re first try burning an MP3 CD, don’t use folders. If all goes well, you can always re-enable this option later.

[adinserter block=”5″]

So Much More Space On The CD.

Now take a look at the top of the Burn List.

Notice how much space is available on the CD.

You still have the same songs and the same amount of songs, but because they’re going to be burned as MP3 files, they take up much less space on the disc. So you can get even more songs onto the CD.

Lots more.

WMP is set to burn a Data CD. Free space available on the disc is indicated.
Wow, lots more space for tracks.

Keep adding tracks until either you’ve nearly filled the CD, or you have all the tracks that you want. Then when your ready, click the START BURN button, and WMP will burn your MP3s to the CD.

When the disc is finished, try it out in your car’s CD player, your HiFi system, boom box or whatever. A lot of modern equipment can play MP3 CDs without any problems. You certainly won’t hurt anything by trying.

Sign Up For Our News Email

Keeping up to date.

If you haven’t already, then consider subscribing to the At Home Computer newsletter.

You don’t need to create any sort of account, so you won’t be asked for passwords etc.

If Your MP3 CD Doesn’t Play.

If you find that some of your equipment won’t play your newly created MP3 CDs, then there are two main reasons.

First is the most obvious, and that is the CD player your using simply can’t play MP3 music.

Try playing the CD on other CD players that you have. If it works in other players, then there’s nothing wrong with the MP3 CD, it’s just that particular player can’t manage MP3s. At the end of the day, there’s not much you can do if your CD player doesn’t support MP3 CDs.

The second reason could be that the music is not actually in the MP3 format. Music on a computer can be in many different formats.

Outside the computer, MP3 is the most widely supported format, but if your music is actually in WMA or AAC or some other format, then it’s doubtful that a standalone CD player will work.

[adinserter block=”4″]

Check That Your Audio Files Are MP3.

It’s worth checking to see which file format the music on your computer actually is.

Go to your Music folder, or wherever you have your music stored and then right-click on one of the songs that you want to put onto your new CD.

On the menu that appears, left-click PROPERTIES.

Take a look at the TYPE OF FILE section.

If it says MP3, your good to go, but if it says anything else, you’ll need to convert to MP3 or re-record as an MP3. How To Convert WMA Files To MP3

In the File Properties dialogue box, the file is shown as being an MP3.
You can see that this one is an MP3, which means you should be good to go.
In the File Properties dialogue box, the file is shown as being an WMA.
But this one is a WMA file. It probably won’t work in anything other than a computer.

MP3 Audio CD – Summary.

When you burn your music tracks to a CD in the MP3 format, you’ll find that you can create a CD that’ll play for hours and hours. All you need is a CD player that can deal with MP3 files. Which most modern players will.

Scroll to Top