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ATPM 5.12
December 1999


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Art Department

by Jamal Ghandour,

Burning Your Own Music CDs

mp3burnMusic is a form of art, and MP3 is the trend these days, so this month I decided to write a column focusing on how to burn (make) your own music CD compilations. However, before we start, let me state that ATPM does not help, endorse, encourage, or support illegal files, and that includes pirated MP3 music files. The following is for educational purposes only!

What is MP3?

MP3 is a music format where inaudible parts of music are left out, and the rest of the data are compressed. The results are quite impressive. A 64 MB song usually becomes 3-4 MB when converted to MP3 format. With quality losses so negligible, it is no wonder that MP3 has become the standard format for archiving music on the Internet. Think of MP3 as the JPEG of music.

The MP3 market is evolving so fast that new devices and software are released every day. However, as usual there is a catch. Although you can easily find music CDs, MP3 files are hard to get hold of. For this reason, music lovers around the world have set up FTP servers and HTTP sites hosting thousands of MP3s (caution: some files are posted illegally). Just surf around or check David’s list of related Web sites found in this issue to find the songs you like most, then simply download them.

How Can I Transfer MP3s on to Regular Music CDs?

First let’s check the equipment needed:

With that ready, you just need to follow the simple steps below:

  1. Convert the MP3 format to AIFF sound format.

    In SoundApp go to the File menu and choose the “Convert...” command. Enter the settings shown below.
    Once you have the entire file converted, you can proceed to the next step.

    Tip: You may notice that after conversion, each 3–4 MB MP3 file is about 64 MB as an AIFF file. So keep the MP3 files for archiving purposes, and delete the AIFF files once you have finished burning the CD.
  1. Collect all the AIFFs in one folder and call it anything you feel like (8 characters recommended)
  2. Open Adaptec Toast and choose “Audio CD” from under the Format menu.
  3. Drag the folder onto the Toast window. You should notice the window’s information changes to show the new tracks.

    Tip: At this stage you may click on the "Audio..." radio button to preview your CD. You can change the song order and listen to the songs.
  1. Finally, hit “Write CD...” and Insert your blank CD. Do not bother writing multiple sessions; although your Mac can support them, regular CD players will only see your first session, so in this case writing one-time discs is more sensible.

• • •

That’s about it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Also, do not hesitate to send any art inquires you may have to I will be more than glad to help. Have a good one. :-)

appleCopyright © 1999 Jamal Ghandour, Jamal Ghandour is currently the Executive Manager at SwiftAd international.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (181)

Lisa Scott-lee · September 2, 2000 - 01:01 EST #1
Use Quicktime 4.1 and MoviePlayer 2.5 for decoding the MP3s - you get slightly better quality. Also, SoundApp has a little bug which can cause the AIFFs to have strange skipping and artifacts.
anonymous · September 4, 2000 - 01:01 EST #2
Are there any web sites where you can get songs and put them on discs? Then copy the discs on to a blank CD?
anonymous · May 19, 2001 - 16:46 EST #3
I bought a Beatles music CD that has 26 full length albums on it. It can only be played on my PC. These were homemade and sold for $10. How were they able to put 26 albums on one CD and is there anyway I can make a copy?
Daniel Chvatik (ATPM Staff) · May 19, 2001 - 19:13 EST #4
They probably did that by copying the MP3 files directly onto the CD, rather than by the traditional process of having the burner software convert them Audio CD files on the fly. The advantage, as you have seen, is that you can fit more files onto the CD. The disadvantages are a slightly lower music quality and the inability to play the discs on a regular CD player. Note, btw, that some newer CD and DVD players are able to play these MP3 CDs. To make a copy, you'll need to use some CD burning software such as Toast or iTunes (you'll have to copy the files to your harddisk first and import them into iTunes).
Tracy · June 19, 2001 - 17:17 EST #5
Is there any way I can take a CD and make another CD copy of it without using my computer? Is that what Toast does?
Daniel Chvatik (ATPM Staff) · June 19, 2001 - 18:53 EST #6
Tracy, Toast is - among other things - used to make copies of other CDs, however you will still need a computer with a CD drive and a seperate CD burner to make the copy directly. If you only have a CD burner, you can first make a disk image of your original CD onto your hard disk and then use Toast to burn that image to a CD-R to create a CD copy. Toast also allows different kinds of copies, depending on what kind of CD burner you have. I hope this answered the question, but if I missed what you were looking for, try posting a more detailed question on exactly what you are trying to do.
anonymous · August 7, 2001 - 18:48 EST #7
If I want to make a CD of MP3s from a bunch of music CDs I've bought, how do I go about doing that?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 8, 2001 - 21:21 EST #8
In response to 'ekfrancis' question: Apple makes it very simple to do this. Just use iTunes. If iTunes isn't already on your computer, you can download and install it for free, if you have one of the more recent Macintosh configurations. iTunes will read audio CD tracks and let you convert them to MP3s. Then you simply burn them to a CD like you would any other data. I recommend using ISO (Joliet) format instead of HFS. That way, if you ever take your CD somewhere that only a Windows machine is available, you can still play your music.
Tina Hewitt · August 19, 2001 - 19:18 EST #9
Is there a web site where I can get the songs I want and then put them on my CD?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 19, 2001 - 19:43 EST #10
Tina, there are hoardes of web sites that offer MP3s, not to mention using a Gnutella client. I am not going to discuss the details of these methods since they are largely illegally distributing copyrighted music. However there are sites that have music available that the artists have specifically permitted MP3s to be freely distributed. start with
Tim · September 2, 2001 - 00:16 EST #11
I'm having trouble using music CDs that I've burned. They work fine in my computer and in my home system. When I try to listen to them on my car CD player, sometimes they play, sometimes not. Store bought CDs work just fine. Any ideas? Thanks, Tim
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 2, 2001 - 01:05 EST #12
Tim, I hope you check back on this page every so often because you didn't check the new comment notification, and you didn't provide an e-mail address for someone to reply. If you do come back -- is your car CD player an older model? Computer-burned audio CDs sometimes won't play on the older car systems. I think it has something to do with the anti skip technology. When it first came onto the scene, burning your own CDs was kind of a novelty, car CD player manufacturers weren't as familiar with it, and the anti-skip technology caused computer-burned CDs unplayable. I'm not positive on this, but I do know that the first car CD player I owned wouldn't play computer-burned CDs either.
Tim · September 2, 2001 - 01:22 EST #13
Lee, I'm not sure how old the CD player is. I beleive it's fairly new however. It was in the vehicle when I purchased it. It's an Alpine. I just tried recording another one and had the same results. I am tempted to try one in someone else's car CD player to help solve this mystery. Thanks, Tim
James W. · September 3, 2001 - 06:11 EST #14
Hi there, I've been having lots of problems trying to make MP3 CDs with iTunes and my Iomega CD-R drive. I have a JVC KDSH99 player in my car which plays MP3s on CD. Basically, I have over 200 songs in MP3 format (still only 600MB!!). I can catalogue them, and move them about OK within iTunes. I can even burn them to a CD which the JVC recognizes, by inserting a blank CDR into the drive, formatting it using the disk burner dialogue box, dragging my songs from iTunes into the folder it creates, and then trying to eject the CDR, at which point it asks me if I want to burn the CD. However, the tracks on the CD lose the track info and get converted into strict ISO titles, e.g. Beatles - Sergeant Pepper becomes BEATLESSERGEANTP.MP3. Also, my original track order is lost. When I try to burn from iTunes directly, it seems to want to convert to AIFF format, and thus can only convert the first 16 or so tracks from my playlist. Help!! What am I doing wrong? Do I need to use Toast to do this, or can i use iTunes? My player can recognizes ID3 tags as well as ISO 9660 version 2. Cheers! (frustrated) James
Katie · September 11, 2001 - 15:44 EST #15
Are there any web sites that I can go to so that I can burn my own CDs?
Skye · September 15, 2001 - 19:34 EST #16
Why is it that I can't find a website that will allow me to download music onto a CD for free? All I can find are MP3s. Where can I burn CDs for free?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 16, 2001 - 00:29 EST #17
Skye - the MP3s are what you need to make a CD. If you are using Roxio Toast, simply drag the MP3s into the audio CD window of Toast, arrange them how you want, and burn. You're sort of implying that you want to select songs and have someone else burn the CD and send it to you. If that's what you're saying, you're probably out of luck. I've never heard of such a thing. At least not for free. You already indicated you can download MP3s. Those will burn to CDs just fine, assuming you have a program like Toast and a CD burner of your own.
Wayne Appler · September 17, 2001 - 12:14 EST #18
Re: Burning CDs; I have accumulated nearly 100 7-inch reel-to-reel tapes of music over the last 30 years. There are nearly 500 albums of unreplaceable music. I purchased a 'Magicwriter' CD Burner and would like to convert all my disintegrating tapes to CDs. How can I convert my anolog recordings to digital? Obviously I'm going to need some way to use my reel to reel as a sound source and hard wire it into my computer; but I don't know where to start. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.
Natalia · September 26, 2001 - 17:17 EST #19
I have a CD burner in my computer, but I need a program to burn them (my other one has gone crazy). Do you know where I can get a free program? I dont feel like paying more money. Thanks.
Jeney · November 27, 2001 - 18:36 EST #20
Could you by any chance tell me where I can just find music to burn onto a CD on a CD burner? And I want nothing about MP3s. Thank you!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 27, 2001 - 19:28 EST #21
Jeney - I'm sorry I have to tell you that if you're simply not willing or able to work with MP3 files, you're not going to be able to download music to burn to a CD. There is an extremely remote possibility you'd find other formats such as WAV or AIFF, but these formats are uncompressed. You'd be looking at about 10 megabytes to download for every 1 minute of stereo, CD-quality audio. Having said that, there are a plethora of sites (both legal and illegal) where you can get MP3s. Start with
Eric Thompson · December 1, 2001 - 20:32 EST #22
I hope someone can help me. I am trying to figure out how to burn photos and .wav files to the same CD. I thought Adaptec Easy CD Creator would do it but, if so, I can't figure it out. Does anyone know of another program? Eric
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 1, 2001 - 21:28 EST #23
Eric, I'm taking for granted that you mean you're burning .wav files as regular audio tracks that will play in any audio CD player. What you want is to burn a hybrid CD. I"m not familiar enough with Easy CD Creator, but Roxio Toast Titanium will do this. I've done it before.
Laketa Chambers · December 30, 2001 - 16:28 EST #24
Hello. I would like to know how to download music from a CD onto your computer.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 30, 2001 - 19:08 EST #25
Laketa - simply place the CD in your CD-ROM drive, open up iTunes and selct the Convert to MP3 option in the Advanced menu. Then just save the MP3s wherever on your hard drive you want them.
Mardis O'Neal · January 3, 2002 - 15:51 EST #26
Is there a web site where I can download an entire CD from the internet? Please, I need to know. Thanks, Mardis
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 3, 2002 - 20:35 EST #27
Mardis - Of course, ATPM does not condone stealing music and you are unlikely to find anyone who has legitimately placed MP3s of their own (entire) album for download. There are ways of snagging entire albums, but they are from pirate sites and they will not be listed anywhere on the ATPM web site. Please respect the hard work and musical talents of the artists and purchase their albums.
Kat · January 13, 2002 - 19:14 EST #28
I feel like such a compu-blonde! I have accumulated a nice sized collection of what I believed to be MP3s, but they're all Quicktime and RealPlayer files, and are only recognized as data files when I save them. Is there any way to "translate" them and burn them to my CDs?
anonymous · January 17, 2002 - 11:31 EST #29
Can MIDI files be converted to regular audio CD?
James Blues · January 22, 2002 - 15:47 EST #30
I have a large collection of LPs (approximately 3,100) that I want to save to CD and be able to play on any CD player. Is there software and/or hardware I could purchase that would archive my collection? What would be the best software converter to use? Where do I purchase this software/hardware. What would be the cost and ease of installation?
Sonia · January 23, 2002 - 11:01 EST #31
How do I download a music CD to my hard drive and play it back without the CD? Can I copy the files from my hard drive onto a blank CD?
Sonia (ATPM Staff) · January 23, 2002 - 19:59 EST #32
Sonia - simply load up iTunes, use the menu option to extract CD audio to MP3, and let it rip. Then, you can burn the MP3s back to a new CD. Consult the iTunes help file for more details.
Darlene Cummins · January 25, 2002 - 13:05 EST #33
Is there any web site that will let you download for free?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 27, 2002 - 12:03 EST #34
Darlene - plenty. Try and Yahoo!'s Launch.
Arch · February 7, 2002 - 01:08 EST #35
Hello boys and girls. I want to make an MP3 CD for my MP3 player, but every time I try, the MP3 CD player in my car doesn't read the CD. Help!
M.A. · February 16, 2002 - 20:57 EST #36
In trying to burn a CD from MP3s (I've wasted 6 or 8 CDs so far), my burner keeps spitting out the CD showing an error. How do I recognize a corrupted MP3? What else could be doing this. I ran the MP3s through "test only" and it went through all 19 songs. When I tried to burn these songs, it was spat out after only two songs. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Benjamin Nicholas Stover · February 28, 2002 - 21:13 EST #37
Hi. I would like you to send a list of web sites to burn some music on a CD.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 2, 2002 - 14:54 EST #38
Benjamin - what, exactly, are you looking for? If you're after sites that offer MP3s for you to download and burn with your own CD-R, start with Or are you looking for a place to actually burn the disc for you? As common as CD-R drives are these days, your quickest (and cheapest) choice is to find a friend/colleague with a drive, buy yourself a couple of blank discs (they're so cheap these days) and ask your friend for a favor. Better yet, pick up a CD-R drive yourself, because their prices are quite affordable, too. But if you're really after a web service to do this, I just typed 'cd burning service' in the MSN search engine, and got plenty of hits.
Desprate · March 23, 2002 - 16:08 EST #39
How in the heck do you find songs to download and put onto audio CDs?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 23, 2002 - 22:50 EST #40
Desprate - as I indicated in my last post, above, is probably a good place to start. You can purchase and download full albums or individual tracks at very reasonable prices. You can even find some free music from great new artists trying to make their music known to us consumers. But since I imagine you want to know where you can get any music you want for free, all I can do is point to the very top of this page's article...the part that says ATPM neither assists with nor condones the free downloading of music that should be paid for.
Dennis · March 25, 2002 - 23:39 EST #41
I recently purchased an Electrohome 8181 DVD player that plays DVDs, Video CDs, Audio CDs, MP3 CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs. Here is the problem. I have a CD-R full of MP3s. They play on this machine. I also have a CD-RW that is full of MP3s. My DVD player fails to load it and play. Why is the CD-RW not being recognized when the DVD instructions say that it plays CD-RWs?

Joseph Curtis · April 17, 2002 - 15:24 EST #42
I would like to know how I can get songs and burn them to a blank CD. If you know how to do this or know any sites that explain it, please e-mail me as soon as possible. Peace out.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 17, 2002 - 15:42 EST #43
Joseph - getting MP3s is up to you. Start with or similar sites...or just rip the audio from your own audio CDs. Then, all you need is Apple's built-in iTunes or, even better, a copy of Toast. Both applications are VERY easy to use. Try our iTunes version 2 article for additional information.
Carl F De Luca MD · April 18, 2002 - 10:09 EST #44
Where would I find directions to convert MIDI files (songs) to audio CDs. Thank you.
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · April 20, 2002 - 18:17 EST #45
Carl: You can use a variety of sound converting utilities to convert a MIDI file to an AIFF file (audio CD format). I use SoundApp 2.7.3 by Norman Franke (available at many sites including SoundApp is free and gives you a lot of control over the MIDI to AIFF conversion process.

You can also use iTunes to convert MIDI files to AIFF. iTunes considers a MIDI file to be a QuickTime movie, but don't let that worry you, the conversion works fine. You use iTunes preferences settings to "import" with AIFF encoding. I recommend using a custom configuration. Set the bit rate to 44.1 kHz. Most MIDI files are mono. You can set bit rate to Auto. Bring your MIDI files into iTunes, select them all, then choose "Convert to AIFF..." from the Advanced menu.
Herman Hoek · May 1, 2002 - 14:42 EST #46
When I make compilations of music from different CDs, some songs are louder than others. Is there a way to equalize the sound when burning a CD?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 2, 2002 - 22:01 EST #47
Herman - the basic CD burning software from Roxio doesn't have the feature you're looking for--known as 'normalizing' the tracks.

Roxio does, however, have another piece of software known as Jam which will normalize all the tracks you're planning to burn, as well as many other neat tricks.
anonymous · May 14, 2002 - 20:56 EST #48
I am doing a research paper on music piracy and I want to know if you have pictures of the different kinds of blank CDs. If you do, can you please e-mail me back ASAP? Thank you.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 14, 2002 - 23:25 EST #49
sugafree14 - there are far too many brands (including plenty of different sources that provide them generically with no manufacturer label) for anyone to have pictures of them all, let alone make it feasible to put them all in a report. Your report would turn into just a listing of them!

You're best off just picking several of the popular ones and borrowing PR photos from the respective web sites, i.e. Memorex, TDK, Sony, Verbatim, Fuji, Kodak, ... ad infinitum.
John · May 25, 2002 - 19:03 EST #50
I recently purchased an Alpine car CD player that plays MP3 CDs. My family has always used PCs, but now I want to buy the new iMac. Do MP3 CDs created with Macs work on the new car CD players with MP3 capabilities? Thank you.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 27, 2002 - 23:06 EST #51
John - yes, Macs are perfectly capable of burning an MP3 CD. I do the same thing with my JVC receiver.

Just make sure to burn using the ISO 9660 format and not the Mac HFS or the Hybrid formats. As far as I know, any Mac CD burning software will let you select ISO 9660. You'll probably want to use the Joliet version so that you can preserve your long filenames.

Roxio's Toast is the most common CD burning software for Mac. In addition to ISO 9660, it also has a setting for an MP3 disc. Honestly, I have no clue what the difference is between those two settings. They're probably identical, and "MP3 Disc" is labeled as such just to make it easy to find. I'd love for someone to pipe in as to what the difference is, if there is one.

In the mean time, I just keep using the regular Joliet/ISO 9660 format. I know it works.
Lorraine Welch · May 28, 2002 - 15:16 EST #52
It seems like whenever I make my own music CD, when playing it in the car on a somewhat bumpy road, it skips. Is there any way to prevent this. Does a newly burned CD not burn as deep as the ones you buy in the store?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 29, 2002 - 01:04 EST #53
Lorraine - well, when you consider than commercial CDs are pressed, not burned, the answer is yes. I'm not sure if that's what makes the difference, but whatever the problem might be, it's a pretty good fact that some car CD players (especially ones that are a few years old) don't play CD-Rs as reliably as commercial CDs.
Mark · June 4, 2002 - 10:35 EST #54
I have been using Roxio CD maker to burn my CDs. The problem I have is that after listening to the CD a couple of times, some of the songs begin to skip or develop poor sound. I download MP3 songs, but do not convert them prior to burning my CDs. I assumed that Roxio software would convert them. Please give me any advice.
Brian · June 12, 2002 - 06:06 EST #55
I want to copy my old 33 records to CDs. What software do I need?

How do I transfer the records to the computer? Any assistance you can give will be greatly appreciated.

anonymous · June 13, 2002 - 00:43 EST #56
Brian - anyone wanting to burn CDs with a Mac should seriously plan to buy a copy of Toast Titanium. Toast comes with a utility called CD Spin Doctor which will let you record analog audio from your turntables into your computer...provided your Mac has a useable audio input jack. If not, you'll have to explore options to add one. And note that a mic input jack isn't necessarily what you need.

Once you've digitized the music, then Toast can burn audio or MP3 CDs for you.
Noah · June 16, 2002 - 13:21 EST #57
You need to list places where you can burn CDs on the internet.
anonymous · June 20, 2002 - 08:30 EST #58
Hi. I have bought a number of music CDs and would like to copy my favorite ones to my hard drive and burn them all onto one CD. The problem is that whenever I try to copy one song from a CD to my hard drive, it still relies on the CD to play. I have tried to remove the read-only attribute, but it won't allow me to do so. Does anyone know how I can overcome the problem of read-only attributes?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 22, 2002 - 21:23 EST #59
Noah - exactly what type of service are you looking for? If you're after large-quantity replication, all you have to do use a search engine to look for "CD duplication service." If you just want to burn a couple CDs for yourself, I suspect you won't find such service. The small quantity isn't worth anyone's hassle, nevermind the potential legal issues. Either find a friend to do it for you, or invest in a CD-R drive of your own. They're very cheap these days.

Anonymous - I don't believe this "read-only attribute" you speak of has anything to do with it. The first thing that would help is to know how you copied the music to your hard drive. It sounds like you may have just dragged the files (i.e. "Track 01, Track 02, etc.) from the CD to your computer. That's not the proper way to extract CD audio. You must use a utility that will convert the CD audio to a digital file such as AIFF, WAV, or MP3 (the first two being uncompressed formats, requiring about 10 megabytes per minute of stereo audio). Applications such as Roxio's Toast Titanium or the free iTunes software that comes with Apple Macintosh computers will do the job.
Megan Vincent · July 3, 2002 - 08:57 EST #60
Can MP3 songs that you download onto a blank CD be used on your home CD player, or are there MP3 songs only for computers and MP3 players?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 3, 2002 - 14:01 EST #61
Megan - if you burn the MP3s to an audio CD (where you get about 70-80 minutes worth of music), it should play on most home CD players. But if you burn a computer data CD with the MP3 files on it, then standard audio CD players are not going to be able to do anything with it—unless your home CD player is one of the newer ones that do recognize MP3 discs. I have a car CD/Stereo receiver (the JVC KD-SX980) which will play MP3 discs.
Brad · July 11, 2002 - 14:14 EST #62
Where can I download music for free?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 11, 2002 - 14:18 EST #63
Brad - try and Yahoo's Launch. There are many other sites, including places that make copyrighted music illegally available for download. Those sites will not be mentioned here.
Hagar Elgendy · August 15, 2002 - 15:57 EST #64
How can I download music of my choice to a CD without paying so much money?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 16, 2002 - 01:23 EST #65
Hagar - read my comment immediately preceding yours.

If that's still too much money for you, then quit your job at Doodleburger, learn a trade, and work at a place that pays more than a buck or two over minimum wage.

Katrina Bryant · August 24, 2002 - 14:39 EST #66
I need some help in trying to find music to download so I can burn some CDs. I don't know where to look for some music. I already have a burner built on to my computer with the CD-ROM, so if some one could help with that, I would be grateful. Thanks.

Katrina Bryant
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 24, 2002 - 23:48 EST #67
Katrina - first of all, go back and read the very first paragraph of the article on this page. Don't worry, I'll wait.

All done? Good. I wasn't pointing fingers...just making sure you saw that.

Now then, with that knowledge taken care of, I'll answer by saying that is a good place to start for purchasing downloadable music. is another. Yahoo!'s Launch is yet another.
Rob · September 19, 2002 - 15:04 EST #68

I know how to burn CDs on the Mac so they can be played on both Macs and PCs (hybrid format), but does anyone know how to burn CDs on the *PC* so they can be played on the Mac, too?

I have been looking for a disc "hybrid" or "HFS/ISO" option on friends' PC burning software (different ones) but none seem to have it, so none of my PC friends can give me files.

Thanks in advance.

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 20, 2002 - 00:34 EST #69
Rob - the Mac will read the CDs burned on the PC just fine. Just have your PC friends use the typical ISO (with or without Joliet) format. Easy CD Creator has an option, if i recall correctly, that lets you choose "most widely compatible." Use this. Probably not a good idea to use Easy CD Creator's option mount the blank CD like a drive that you can just drag files to. The Mac may can read this, but I'm not sure.
Diana · September 30, 2002 - 00:38 EST #70
I am considering buying an iMac because it makes it so easy both to import CDs and convert them to MP3s, as well as to burn MP3s back to CDs. However, I want to be able to create audio CDs and am wondering if Apple has software that will convert MP3s to AIFF so that they can be burned in audio format and played on my home system. Or, will I be stuck using the iMac as my home system?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 30, 2002 - 00:54 EST #71
Diana - you can easily burn an audio CD from an iMac. If you plan to use Roxio's Toast Titanium, there is a specific option for burning an audio CD. If you just want to use the iTunes software that will come with your new iMac, first make sure you're up to the latest version (which is version 3 and should already be on currently shipping iMacs, I would hope), go into the iTunes preferences, click "Burning" and set the Disc Format to Audio CD. Then just set up a new library with the songs you want...up to the capacity of the CD (72 minutes or 80 minutes), then burn the CD. iTunes will create the audio CD regardless whether your original songs are AIFF or MP3 or any other supported format. If you want to duplicate an audio CD and want to preserve the highest quality, click the "Importing" button in the preferences and set the Import Using: selection to AIFF encoder. Don't forget that this will eat up approximately 10 megabytes per 1 minute of stereo sound you import. Honestly, I think you'd have to have very expensive audiofile equipment to hear any degredation if you simply use the MP3 encoder and set Configuration to 192 kbps. Then, not only could you burn audio CDs from you MP3s, but you'd also have the MP3s for your computer as well...or for a future iPod purchase! ;-)
Flint · October 4, 2002 - 10:55 EST #72
I want to transfer my audio tapes into my computer and later burn them to a CD. Is there any software available for this?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 4, 2002 - 22:22 EST #73
Flint - assuming you've already taken care of the hardware to input the line output from your tape player into your computer, I'd recommend getting a copy of Roxio Toast Titanium 5. It comes with a utility called CD Spin Doctor which should do the job just fine.
popularchick · October 25, 2002 - 21:15 EST #74
How do I download music when I go to listen to it and the song won't let you download?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 25, 2002 - 21:52 EST #75
popularchick - there are a good many sites that stream music to your computer so you can listen, but does not permit you to save it. To download music that you can listen to offline, you must use a web service that offers the ability to download music files. Once in a while, you'll find some free music you can download but, in most cases, there is naturally going to be a small price for each song. This is nice if you only like a few songs on a particular album and doesn't require you to pay for the entire CD...just the songs you like.
Julian Henkin · November 5, 2002 - 17:53 EST #76
I have "successfully" recorded MP3s onto a CD. My DVD player (Panasonic RV31K) decodes MP3 formatted files on CD. So I play the CD and it makes a good effort, but skips a lot and has audio problems. The disc plays fine on my PC. So, it seems I've got a problem with the player and the specifics of the recording. But I don't know what variables I can change. Does physical media (brand of disc) make a difference? I've tried the two available recording speeds. I've also noticed that MP3s can be formatted at various compressions. Does anyone have the magic dust?
Jaws · November 9, 2002 - 08:49 EST #77
Going back to an earlier question, I also bought a CD with 26 Beatles albums. It also has a cool interface that shows all the album covers which can be clicked to play that album. It also displays the tracks on the album and clicking a track displays the lyrics. Does anybody know how or what software was used to produce this? I would like to emulate this myself for my CD collection.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 9, 2002 - 10:56 EST #78
Jaws - it's difficult to say for certain without having the CD to load up and try out. Most stuff like that is either done with Macromedia Director/Shockwave or Flash. Macromedia's various products are listed on their products page. There's often a 'credits' type of screen somewhere as you navigate the software, or scan over the CD jewel case packaging or the little booklet that usually come tucked in the CD case. You generally will find a little logo of the software use to create it.

But no matter what was used on your CD, I'd recommend Director/Shockwave anyway. True, it's not cheap and not a snap to learn, but it's arguably the best choice.
Ken · November 21, 2002 - 08:23 EST #79
I have been able to download some music files (with 'wav' file extensions) from various web sites which I have saved and played back on my computer, but I have subsequently found that I cannot be burn them onto a CD. Is this because there is a form of protection built into the file that allows the file to be downloaded and played but not burned onto a CD?

Thank you.
Chuck Jones · December 2, 2002 - 09:22 EST #80
I'd like to find a way to download music straight to my playlist and then to a CD without having to go to one playlist and then save those songs to the playlist I'm burning from. I have to go through too many changes when I'm downloading. Are there any remedies?
Barry · December 6, 2002 - 13:49 EST #81
Does anyone make a freestanding CD-copier/burner for audiophiles that doesn't require a separate computer? I would like to be able to copy music CDs, but I don't have a computer and don't want one.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 6, 2002 - 14:12 EST #82
Barry - I found such a device by going to Circuit City's web site, hovering over "home audio" and clicking "digital recording" in the popup window.

I'm sure Circuit City isn't the only place that has them. That was just the first place I checked.

Bear in mind, the CDs you duplicate or create are for your own use. It's illegal to copy a commercial CD and give it to someone else. Not to mention that these standalone duplicators may very well not allow duplication in certain scenarios.
Barry · December 17, 2002 - 19:26 EST #83
Thanks, Lee. I checked that out, found what they had listed for "CD Recorders," and then tried that terminology in my search engine (I had been using "CD Burner" and "CD Duplicator") and turned up quite a few CD duplicators made for home audio systems. I settled on a JVC with a minimum of bells and whistles listing for $400 and available for $250 by looking around. Just what I was looking for!
anonymous · December 20, 2002 - 13:37 EST #84
Isn't there any way I could burn a CD without paying any monthly or weekly or any fees whatsoever?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 20, 2002 - 17:44 EST #85
Plenty of sites, such as and offer plenty of free music that you can download then burn to a CD. But since we all know that you're not interested in the legally "free" music, but rather the popular songs you hear on Top 40 stations—the songs that artists actually earn a living singing for you—then the answer is, yes there are ways, but they are technically illegal and will not be described here since does not endorse/condone sharing copyrighted material.

Admittedly, the pricing scheme for music ought to be seriously overhauled, but the fact still remains that downloading an artist's entire album from the internet without paying for it isn't much different from walking into Goody's and pocketing an album off the shelf.
anonymous · December 28, 2002 - 12:04 EST #86
Is there any way that I can burn a CD without having a CD burner and without buying anything? I just want to make one CD.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 28, 2002 - 13:53 EST #87
Are you serious? Oh okay, let's pretend you are.

There are services that you can send data to and they'll burn a CD for you, but they'll charge you quite a bit more than the cost of a blank disc, and they won't burn material they believe is copyrighted (including music).

Your best option is to ask a friend who has a CD burner to make the disc for you.
Nicoli · January 23, 2003 - 16:06 EST #88
I want to convert my LPs to CDs using iTunes. Is that possible? Do I HAVE to have Toast to do this?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 23, 2003 - 16:11 EST #89
Nicoli - iTunes has no manner by which you can record music from an analog source. You can use it to make MP3s out of audio that you've digitally recorded as uncompressed AIFF files, however.

But, you do not HAVE to have Toast. In fact, Toast itself cannot record the music from your LPs either. Toast Titanium happens to come with another piece of software called CD Spin Doctor which helps you record analog audio.

So, you can use any utility you can get your hands on that will record sound from a Mac's audio input port. Such a utility will probably save the audio as large (approx. 1mb per minute of CD-quality stereo sound) WAV or AIFF files. Then, you can use iTunes to convert those files to MP3s, or burn a standard audio CD.
Wendy · February 3, 2003 - 16:21 EST #90
Like so many others, I have LPs (which are not available on CD, or I'd buy them and save myself the trouble) that I want to convert to MP3s.

I have an iMac and I have a turntable. Do I connect the turntable directly to the computer? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · February 4, 2003 - 00:12 EST #91
Wendy - if your iMac has the 3.5mm stereo audio input port, then yes, you just use a stereo 3.5mm to twin RCA phono cable. This assumes the turntable has twin RCA stereo output jacks.
Vicki Schmeling · February 28, 2003 - 18:47 EST #92
I am wondering how many songs you should be able to burn onto a CD, approximately. I am burning them onto a regular CD, 80 min/700 MB. The first time I did this, I could only burn 4-5, but someone I know had 20! Thank you!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · February 28, 2003 - 20:19 EST #93
Vicki - It depends on if you are burning a regular audio CD that you can play in standard CD players, or if you're burning a CD-ROM full of MP3 files.

You pretty much answered your own question. If you're burning audio CDs (as I suspect you are), your discs will hold about 80 minutes worth of music (actually a little is needed for overhead). The number of songs you can put in that 80 minutes depends on how long the songs are. Considering the typical length of three to four minutes for a song, sure, you can get 20 songs on a CD.

CD-ROMs full of MP3s, however, let you put many more songs on the disc, and you can now buy home CD audio systems that will play these MP3 discs. MP3s generally weigh in at about a megabyte per minute. So, again subtracting the bit of overhead any CD will require, an MP3 CD should be able to hold just under 800 minutes of music!
Chad Gordon · March 6, 2003 - 10:38 EST #94
I have access to a laptop with a CD-R Drive. I would like to take most of my CDs and make an exact copy of them. In some cases, I will just take the songs I prefer on different CDs and make a single CD. However, my current audio setup at home and in the car will not support MP3 CDs. Can anyone walk me through this? I'm a newbie!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 7, 2003 - 01:57 EST #95
Chad - the specific steps will vary a bit, depending on what software is being used to burn the CD, but the answer to your question is to simply burn an audio CD instead of an MP3 CD. Granted, the audio CD will only hold a bit under an hour and a half of music whereas the MP3 disc will hold hundreds of minutes (650-700 megabytes worth of MP3s), but the audio CD should play in nearly any standard home or car CD player.

When your set up the computer's software to burn the CD, there should be some sort of mode selection to let you choose an audio CD.
Jessica VonBehren · March 24, 2003 - 07:08 EST #96
Is there a program that will allow me to choose to burn only parts of a song to a CD instead of the whole song? (Like, if I want to edit out bad language or make a CD for someone but only record relevant parts of the song.) I think there are such programs, but I can't seem to find them. Thank you for any help you can give me on this issue.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 30, 2003 - 09:07 EST #97
Jessica - we're not aware of a standard CD burning program that will do this. You have to have a separate audio editing application, save your edit music as new audio files, and burn those files.
anonymous · June 8, 2003 - 04:11 EST #98
Hi. I burn my CDs and then label them with my own labeler. They play in all players except the most recent one I bought. Then, the CD skips because I guess it is slipping on the spinner. Are there any labels out there that will prevent this type of thing? I will watch your site for an answer. Thanks!
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · June 9, 2003 - 12:38 EST #99
Some CD players cannot handle the weight of a CD with an adherent paper label. For example, my car CD skips when I hit a bump while playing a homemade CD with a paper label. It does not skip with a commercial CD (with the printing directly on the CD).

There are three possible solutions:

  1. Find lighter labels (which will be difficult).

  2. Buy CDs that accept direct printing and use a printer that can print on CDs.

  3. Find a more robust CD player. (Test your CDs on a store model first, if possible).

anonymous · June 23, 2003 - 18:20 EST #100
Is there any way to put MP3 files on a blank CD without a burner and be able to play them on an MP3/CD player? I was told you can, but with a program. Can you tell me which one?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 23, 2003 - 20:09 EST #101
Mr. Anonymous - think about that question. How on earth could you possibly put things on a CD if you don't have a CD burner? Does the person who told you it can be done just look at a blank CD and telepathically add data to it?
Nicole · July 11, 2003 - 19:30 EST #102
I need to know what AIFF stands for.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 11, 2003 - 22:43 EST #103
Nicole - AIFF is the acronym for Audio Interchange File Format.
Earl Lambright · July 14, 2003 - 13:44 EST #104
What audio format is needed to record music files with photo files on a CD? The photo files are JPEG. When I add MP3 files, only the photo files record and the music files don't. I'm using software called "ProShow Gold" which is suppose to record music and photos together. I've tried contacting ProShow, but did not get any response.

P.S. - I'm a photographer, not a music buff. All this MIDI, AIFF, and MP3 is greek to me.


Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 26, 2003 - 14:12 EST #105
Earl - there are two different answers depending on what type of playback you're intending for the audio files. If you just want to store MP3s to be played back on a computer without having to take up space on a hard drive, then you simply burn a standard CD-ROM and place all your files in the queue to be burned. If desired, you can make two folders in the root of the CD—one for photos and one for music.

The pitfall of this is that the music will not play on a standard audio CD player unless the player has MP3 capability. If you want the music to work in standard audio players, then you need a program that can burn a mixed CD. I've never heard of ProShow, so I can't tell you whether it'll work, but Roxio's Toast Titanium will do the job. It has options to allow you to burn a combination audio CD and computer CD-ROM on separate partitions of the same disc.
Mer · August 7, 2003 - 07:32 EST #106
I'm a newbie at burning music CDs. My iTunes 4 prefs give me several encoding options for importing tracks: AAC, AIFF, MP3, and WAV. Which is the best? I have been using the preset MP3 so far, but have heard that AAC gives a much better sound. Also, should I up the stereo bit rate setting to 320 kpbs or leave it at 192 kbps? I'd like to be able to import the music to iTunes 4 at the best quality possible and then burn my own playlist to an audio CD. I know the MP3 setting works so that I can play back the CD on my car or home stereo. Will it work just as well with the AAC? Is that my best option? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 10, 2003 - 23:29 EST #107
Mer - the methods you use are totally up to personal preference. So, I'll just try to give you some facts about your options.

First, you need to understand those import options. AIFF and WAV are going to be essentially the same. Both are uncompressed formats that usually weigh in around 10 megabytes per minute of CD-quality stereo sound. These days, it makes little difference which of the two is used, though you'll find that AIFF is more frequently used on the Mac platform and WAV is more frequent on Windows. Again, though, it probably makes little difference.

The other two, however, have some pretty big differences. Both are compressed forms of saving audio. The well-known MP3 format at 192 kbps weighs in something around 1 megabyte per minute. Personally, I think it's a bit of a mistake to say that AAC or MP3 sounds better or worse than the other. My understanding is that AAC is more about being a more efficient codec than a better-sounding codec. Supposedly, a 192 kbps AAC sounds about as good as a 320 kbps MP3, but is roughly the same file size as a 192 kbps MP3.

It's important to state, "your mileage may vary."

If you choose to stick with MP3s, you can certainly try using higher than 192 kbps encoding, but I believe you'd have to be approaching audiophile ears to hear the improvement.

You can burn audio CDs from any of those formats. Makes no difference.

Note that the music you buy from the iTunes Music Store is encoded with AAC. As long as you only plan on listening to your music from iTunes, from an iPod, or by burning an audio CD, using the more current AAC is probably the way to go. That's the case for me.

The only time I'll encode MP3s any more is if I wanted to send compressed audio files to a device other than the iPod that does not recognize AAC files or if I wanted to burn an MP3 CD that can be played in an MP3-compatible CD player. I've not (yet) seen an AAC-compatible CD player.

Lastly, note that while (I'm reasonably sure) you can convert AACs to MP3s for such purposes if you encoded the AAC yourself, I do know that you cannot directly convert an AAC to MP3 that came from the Music Store. Apple's process for this is to make an audio CD from the protected AACs and then import them to MP3. It doesn't take much web searching to learn the way, using Roxio's Toast Titanium, to accomplish this without actually having to burn a CD.

The short of all this is, I am personally very satisfied with the default 192 kbps AAC files. I play these files through my computer speakers, my car sound system, and a pair of Bose noice-reducing headphones (which would probably be most telling of the three to hear problems in encoding). I'm certainly not an audiophile, but I can somewhat discern good- and bad-sounding audio. The 192 kbps AACs sound as good as my original CDs to my ears.
Paul · August 11, 2003 - 20:41 EST #108
If anyone could explain why, when I put in any kind of CD into the Combo Drive in my laptop, it spits it out the first time then accepts it the next time, I would be greatly appreciative.
Stephanie · September 7, 2003 - 14:28 EST #109
I originally did a search on music for burning CDs and I found a link to this address. I don't know where to get the music used to burn onto CDs. HELP!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 7, 2003 - 14:47 EST #110
Stephanie - before you continue reading my comment, go back to the top of this page and read the first paragraph.

Okay? Good. Now then, to answer your question, you either encode music from your own CD albums, or purchase songs from various proper sites or from Apple's own iTunes Music Store. Any other source is likely to be illegal.
Peter · September 22, 2003 - 13:17 EST #111
As a long-standing music nut, I cannot believe the lengths to which computer fans will go to try and make music CDs. In my experience, making MP3 CDs is a waste of time and energy. I find there are just so many pitfalls, finding the music you want, downloading it without a problem, getting it onto a CD without something going wrong, and then, when you try to play them, they sound like crap, spitting noises, distortion, gaps, inability to be programmed, only able to play from start to finish, etc. I have been searching the net to find that everyone encounters at least some of these problems.

Solutions? Find a good, cheap, independent record shop--Fives, Fops, Kanes--buy CDs at the prices you want to pay, or buy secondhand. Buy a CD recorder--Marantz units are great--and make your own compilations. Note the perfect audiophile quality, and you can record your lovely old vinyl, too! Then, throw your computer under a bus and, as you youngsters are so fond of saying, get a life!
Saxon · November 9, 2003 - 04:29 EST #112
I'm very interested in any input about the Alpine Car CD that will not play copied CDs. I inherited an Alpine CD unit and, though it plays factory CDs just fine, my copies skip at times while playing. The unit is only a couple of years old and the repair shop says it is in excellent shape and tested out fine on all bench tests. The same CDs play just fine in my factory Ford CD player and my Sony Discman unit that I used with a cassette adapter. Only the Alpine has the problem and only with my copies. The funny thing is, if I use gold CD-Rs, the problem does not occur. Any input?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 24, 2003 - 23:24 EST #113
Saxon - input? Yeah. Keep using gold CD-Rs! :-)
Dan · January 22, 2004 - 13:29 EST #114
Is there a way I can input my music from my vinyl records to my Mac G4 and either make MP3s or AIFF files so I can listen with iTunes or burn CDs?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 22, 2004 - 14:28 EST #115
Dan - You can most certainly transfer and digitize your music. For starters, I'd recommend reading the articles (and comments) of our Got Vinyl series published last year. You'll find links to all three parts to the series on the Under the Hood archive page. If you additional/specific questions after reading those pages, feel free to post a comment there for someone to answer.
Tutu · February 3, 2004 - 17:04 EST #116
What if I don't have an MP3 player?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · February 4, 2004 - 00:40 EST #117
Tutu - uhh, okay, what if you don't have an MP3 player? What's your question? You can still play the MP3s on your computer and/or burn them as regular audio CDs.
anonymous · February 19, 2004 - 14:19 EST #118
i know that when it come to buying cds that there is no differences of data cd and music cd besides price. they both burn the same for music and or data and that is just fine. but what is the difference between the dvd cds and the date or music cd. i want to copy a home movie on a cd but dont want to pay $50.00 for 10 blank dvds when the data cds will do just fine at 1/8th the price for 10times more
Tony McKinney · March 26, 2004 - 15:26 EST #119
I purchased a music cd a couple of days ago and it is 96 minutes long. how can I burn this cd to a
80 minute/ 700mb cd-r.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 27, 2004 - 11:18 EST #120
Tony - after some dialog among our staff, we're sort of scratching our heads as to how it's even possible that a CD would have that much music on it. One person theorized perhaps it is recorded in mono instead of stereo and that some hack was used to squeeze more on the disc, but that this probably wouldn't exactly be official redbook specs and you might just be lucky that the disc works on your player. If you told us which CD you purchased, we may be able to research this further. For the moment, however, we're stumped.
Leslie Knighten · March 30, 2004 - 22:35 EST #121
I would like to know what kind of cds should i use to burn cds?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 31, 2004 - 00:05 EST #122
Leslie - for most people, really makes absolutely no difference, but most people will also tell you that your mileage may vary. The best advice is to try small quantities of a few brands and see which seem to do fine for you.

For what it's worth, I like Memorex CD-R media, generally because it's the least-expensive non-generic brand that I usually find. On the other hand, a supposed "expert" I saw on TechTV who was talking about the life expectancy of CD-R media said that TDK was his favorite.
Oscar B. Isaacs · May 14, 2004 - 08:42 EST #123
i would like to know where i can get equipment used to burn CDs on a large scale e.g. for mass production of musician's music for sale on stores. pliz gimme a website i can go to.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 14, 2004 - 11:22 EST #124
Oscar - Primera is rather popular.
Beth Tompkins · October 29, 2004 - 15:34 EST #125
I have a few music cd's that I loaned out that got scratched and now skip, as well as some that were made for me that skip. I ran out of disc repair fluid that I bought, is there any products I have around the house that I can use to repair them? I want to make my husband a cd of our favorite songs- and the cds that skip are the ones I need-HELP!
Danny Seaton · January 14, 2005 - 21:53 EST #126
I'm a musician and have some cassette recordings of music that me and my family made. My question is, I want to know how to convert these cassette's on to a CD to preserve this music. What program do you need and where can you get it? Also can you plug it in to your computer and convert it to MP3 and then burn it to cd. Thank you.
ATPM Staff · January 16, 2005 - 02:26 EST #127
Hi Danny. Caught you not glancing at prior comments before posting your own. Busted! :-)

Just scroll up a bit and find the response about our Got Vinyl series in ATPM. Those articles should have all you need to know.
Beth Winslow · January 31, 2005 - 11:54 EST #128
I was wondering if you knew of a site that you can pick your songs and they would send you the cd? I'm more than willing to pay for it, I just can't find anything?
ATPM Staff · January 31, 2005 - 12:40 EST #129
Beth - seems like I once heard of a service like that, but in today's age of easily being able to burn your own, and cheaply, and the unfeasibility of maintaining a legal collection of music that you can purchase, I'd be quite surprised if anyone found a service that can do this legally.

Seriously, CD burners (even external ones you can attach to your current PC) are extremely cheap now, and blank discs are just pennies each.
mike · February 2, 2005 - 15:07 EST #130
what's going on with my alpine car stereo it plays some burned cd's and some not, what's that?
Charles · February 16, 2005 - 04:09 EST #131
Got an odd one. Computer won't play music that has been burned as audio discs on CDR. Any suggestions? I put it in the drive and it just sits there and flashes. Drive will play commerical audio CD's and read data files on CDR, and the CDR's with music will play in regular CD players, but the CDR into the CD-rom drive doesn't work.
sally anne mchugh · February 26, 2005 - 11:58 EST #132
this is a very usfull page thanx for your help
ACT III · March 13, 2005 - 20:33 EST #133
i have itunes on my desktop and have saved about 105 songs in my library; what i want to do is convert my personal cd music to burn mp3 style instead of putting 21 songs on alot of different cds when i could just have one; i've tried many ways to convert them and none of them have worked can i please get the directions step by step on how to download and convert my cds to mp3. i just started to learn how to burn cds.

ATPM Staff · March 13, 2005 - 21:44 EST #134
ACT III - you're probably going to kick yourself when you realize how simple it is to do what you want.

Step 1 - open iTunes preferences and click the Importing icon in the top row to confirm that the Import Using item is set for MP3 and the quality setting is whatever you desire.

Step 2 - now click the Burning icon, also in the Preferences window, and click the button to change burning style to MP3 CD, then click the Preference window's OK button.

Step 3 - insert your CDs into the computer and perform the ripping process which will make MP3s as you just set in step 1. (Note: I cannot confirm this, but iTunes might transcode AACs you may have already ripped to MP3s when burning an MP3 disc. I could only find a note on Apple's support site that said purchased/protected AACs cannot be burned to an MP3 CD. It says absolutely nothing about AACs you've ripped yourself.)

Step 4 - make a brand new playlist in iTunes and drag each song into the playlist that you want to have on the disc. Watch the status line at the bottom while the playlist is selected and you can watch how much space the songs will take, and you can get as close to the capacity of the CD as possible (640 or 700 megabytes, depending on the type of disc).

Step 5 - with the playlist selected, click the Burn Disc widget in the upper right corner of iTunes and follow the instructions to complete your MP3 CD.
walter lee · March 17, 2005 - 08:54 EST #135
can you tell me what speed i should use to burn audio cd's , i heard the lower the speed the better the quality. I use a dvd burner to burn cd's and dvd's with and also i've recorded and played over 20 audio cd's that i play in my car with no problem but i fine that some skip now that didn't skip before and i thought oh well it's sctratched but when i play them on my pc they play perfectly can my cd player in my car could be failing or needs cleaning?
ATPM Staff · March 17, 2005 - 10:52 EST #136
Walter - it's a distinct possibility that the car player is failing if it worked before and is not working now for the exact same CDs, and you've confirmed there are no significant scratches on the CDs.

As for burning speed, it shouldn't matter too much if you have a relatively new CD player, but the ones that are from, perhaps, mid 90s era and before may do better if the CDs are burned at slower speeds—maybe 24x or so.
rex machan · March 31, 2005 - 00:35 EST #137
I bought a new cd and ripped it to my library now when I try to burn a back up cd it appears to be working, says its closing cd then says its done. It then spits out a blank cd. I tried burning older cds and it works fine is this some new copy protection? I only want to copy it so I dont reck the original in and out of the car. Can I get past this somehow?
Jennifer Brewster · April 1, 2005 - 12:44 EST #138
I was interested in finding some easy steps for converting records into cd format. I need to know what additional equipment I will need on my computer (have a cd burner and additional cd drive and several burning programs). Is there any one out there who can give me some really clear, simple tips? Thanks, Jennifer
ATPM Staff · April 1, 2005 - 17:33 EST #139
Jennifer - try skimming through past comments and you can often find your answer. Look up above and you'll find a link to our Under the Hood archive page. From there, you'll find a 3-part Got Vinyl? series that should help you out.
Lee Boatwright · April 24, 2005 - 17:01 EST #140
Can not find your response to Dennis about tapes to digital cd. I have tapes that I copied different songs from varous sources. Copied them to Creative Mediasource and made a CD but it was analog and have tried to use Media program on my computer but still can't get it to digatal for car or other digital players. The CD plays on Media but will not burn a digital disc. Can you help? You provide a great. service
Lisa · May 1, 2005 - 05:19 EST #141
Hi, I've just got an iPod Shuffle for my birthday. I have no probs downloading music from the net onto it, but cannot import tunes from CD. Followed the instructions but it always says that the tracks aren't suitable for export. Any Advice?
ATPM Staff · May 1, 2005 - 10:54 EST #142
Lisa - the iPod shuffle supports the following formats:

MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Music Store, M4A, M4B, M4P), Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4) and WAV.

Any other format, including all forms of Windows Media files are not supported.
Robert Carroll · May 3, 2005 - 16:55 EST #143
Hi folks, this is a terrific site and my thanks to everyone involved for putting it out there for all those who love music and art. Would anyone happen to know of a similar site that deals with SHN and FLAC files for Mac? Regards, Robert
Shahid Latif · June 2, 2005 - 12:11 EST #144
Hi, Can someone guide me to 'free' software which can convert regular anolog audio cassettes to mp3? Thank you, Shahid
ATPM Staff · June 2, 2005 - 15:50 EST #145
Shahid - you won't get many features for free, but programs like Audio In should do what you want. You'll also need a way to input the sound from a cassette player into your computer. Something like an iMic is well suited. If you do purchase an iMic, you can use Griffin's Final Vinyl software instead of Audio In. Final Vinyl is free to iMic owners.
Caroline · June 16, 2005 - 05:36 EST #146
That was a nice article. The comment about telepathically adding data to a CD cracked me up. I have a question to ask though and it's about .ogg files. I have come across some and I don't really know what they're about.
ATPM Staff · June 16, 2005 - 21:33 EST #147
Caroline - you can read about the OGG format straight from the horse's mouth.
tkend12 · June 23, 2005 - 01:01 EST #148
Shahid - On the now defunct Tech TV, on a show called "The Screen Savers" they demoed a internal cassette player for your computer. It was imported from somewhere in Eastern Asia. This was over a year ago. Try searching for that on the net.
ATPM Staff · June 23, 2005 - 09:52 EST #149
Tkend - Shahid was looking for software--not a device, though the device may be of help to him, perhaps.

The Screen Savers show notes for that episode (I finally found it) only mentions the product and doesn't include a link.

The device is called the PlusDeck, but is currently not Mac-compatible. However, according to their product notes:

Currently, PlusDeck was designed for Microsoft Windows
Operating System. You can just connect to the operating system of Mac and Linux but can't use the function of converting to MP3 from tape (due to software unavailability for Mac or Linux).

However, We have a plan for developing a program for Linux and Mac. We hope to see the outcome of program development of Linux and Mac within year.

When program is available, we will put program in download section on our web site.

Even if they do develop Mac software, don't forget this is an internal drive, and the current G5 towers don't have an opening to access such devices, not to mention that it would be useless for any other model Mac. One would hope that the developers would also create an external version of the device that plugs into the USB or FireWire port.
Dan Blahink · June 26, 2005 - 12:01 EST #150
I recently bured some cds on an older computor that I had at the time . I recently upgraded my computor. now the Discs that I had bured on the other computor skip when Played on the new computor . I also Recently bought a CD RCA Player for my stereo . the CDs skip on it also. I took them to my buddys house and Played them on his NAD cd Player and they Play fine. Any Ideas whats going on ????????
Joe Schulz · July 26, 2005 - 22:48 EST #151
I want to put like a few hundred songs on a single CD in MP3 format. What do I need to do this? Is a special software to burn needed? Can the songs be burned on a standard CD or is there a special MP3 disk? What device is capable of playing these tunes once burned.
ATPM Staff · July 27, 2005 - 00:34 EST #152
Joe - nothing special. You can either burn a data CD from with the Mac OS Finder or from a utility such as Roxio Toast Titanium. Follow the user instructions for burning a Data CD and select your batch of MP3 files that you wish to burn.

Alternatively, you can burn the data files to a CD from within iTunes. Look at the CD Burning preferences to tell it that you want to burn a data CD.

Standard recordable CD media is fine. There is no special disc for MP3s. Do not, however, use discs that are specifically branded for music. Those labels are very misleading. Those discs are designed for home component CD audio recorders. For burning on a computer, standard recordable or rewritable CD media is what you want—even if it's music you're burning to them.

As for compatible devices, any computer should be able to read and play the MP3s. Some home and (more often) car audio units can recognize MP3 CDs. If it does, an MP3 logo should appear on the front of it. If you still have a factory car radio, chances are it does not support it. Stop by your favorite car audio store to shop for head units that can recognize MP3 CDs and what it takes to have your factory radio replaced with the aftermarket head unit.
Gregg · August 3, 2005 - 01:26 EST #153
I want to know if I can burn a playlist from itunes onto a DVD-R and play it in my car stereo. I tried today and found that I could only burn 700 mb of music, 21 songs in this case, to a CD R. What can I do to get more songs on 1 disc?
Gregg · August 3, 2005 - 01:43 EST #154
continued from before... if I set my preference for burning to data cd or dvd, a box pops up that reads "data dvds are only usable with computers that have a dvd drive. burning a dvd may take as long as an hour. If I do this, will my car's cd player play it?
ATPM Staff · August 3, 2005 - 20:21 EST #155
Gregg - if you're only fitting 21 songs, you're burning an audio CD. If you're certain your car stereo supports MP3 CDs, you must burn a data CD instead to burn 700 megabytes worth of MP3s—enough for quite the road trip!

It is extremely unlikely your car stereo will recognize the DVD-R. I've never heard of one that does. You can burn a data DVD from iTunes, but it's only going to be readable from your computer. The upside is that the DVD will hold more than five times the information a CD will, but it won't play in your car strereo.

Also keep in mind that burning a data CD puts the tracks on the disc in their original format. If you encoded with iTunes' AAC format, that's what will end up on the CD, and your stereo may not recognize those files.

You can select MP3 CD instead which, if I understand properly, will convert all the files you burn to MP3 if they aren't already, but this will not work for protected AACs purchased from the iTunes Music Store.
Brent Stevens · August 29, 2005 - 01:42 EST #156
Does anyone know how to make a cd where each song only plays for a minute? I need it for a game where every time a minute is up we drink. I've been looking for a program to do this with, but I'm having no luck.
ATPM Staff · August 29, 2005 - 01:53 EST #157
Brent - with iTunes, you can create a playlist of songs, then select each song and open the Information window, selecting the Options tab. In there, you can define the start and stop time for that song. At a minute a piece, you'll be able to have an audio CD with about 80 songs on it. After you've set your time for all the songs you want to trim down to a minute, you can then burn that playlist to an audio CD.
Travis Carlson · October 31, 2005 - 12:52 EST #158
I am burning audio CD-Rs to play in my car. I have burnt the 650MB disks in the past, and they work just fine. Now I am burning 800MB (80Min) CD-Rs, and they sometimes take a long time to play in my stereo...Again, the older/smaller disks play right away like any normal CD, but these bigger ones take a while to load or whatever.....Is it possibly because of the size of the disc, a different brand of CD-R or what? Also, all other variables seem to not have changed, they are both burnt with Easy CD creator, on the same machine.......
ATPM Staff · October 31, 2005 - 13:04 EST #159
Travis - I think you mean 700MB (80min) discs.

It may be advisable to try a different brand, but there shouldn't be much difference. The extra 50 megabytes is insignificant. If your car CD player is an older model, it could be that it simply has trouble with the larger capacity discs. You should take your 80-minute discs to someone else's car CD player that's a newer model and see if there is any problem. Perhaps it's time to look at an upgraded head unit.
Tiffany · November 21, 2005 - 00:50 EST #160
I need to burn a portion of a song, not the entire thing. the part i need is only two minutes from the middle of a 4:14 song. any suggestions?
ATPM Staff · November 21, 2005 - 01:32 EST #161
Tiffany - you didn't specify, but I'm assuming you mean you want to burn an audio CD.

Apple's iTunes can do what you need. Once a song is in the library, highlight it then open the Get Info window. From there, click the Options tab and you can define a specific start and stop time. It may take a little trial and error, but you can sample your settings by playing the track from the library. The times can be adjusted in very minute amounts—even thousandths of a second. Once you get it the way you like, set iTunes preferences to use Audio CD as the burning format, then make a new playlist containing this track as well any others if you want more than one song on the CD. Then, just click the burn button in the upper right corner. Voila.
Joe · December 17, 2005 - 02:02 EST #162
I recently purchases a new car stereo that can read MP3 CDs. So I spent some time the other night and finally figured out how to convert my WMA songs from Windows Media Player to MP3 format using Plus! Audio Converter. I then figured out how to burn them to a CD. I fit 9 Blue Oyster Cult Albums onto 1 CD and it plays perfectly in my car stereo.

My problem is that none of the songs are in the order that I burned them in. They don't seem to be in alphabetical order, and it's not playing them according to their number on the CD either. In otherwords, the first 9 songs are not the first song on each of the 9 albums. It just seems to be playing them TOTALLY randomly. Is there a reason for this? And is there a way to prevent it?

I'm totally new at this and would appreciate any assistance on how to preserve the track order.


Damien · December 17, 2005 - 16:15 EST #163
Is there a program or a website that will allow me to delete the songs off of CD-RW? And be able to reburn on that cd?
ATPM Staff · December 17, 2005 - 16:24 EST #164
Joe - Make sure that 1) your car stereo isn't set to randomize and 2) perhaps most importantly, look at the info tags in your music editor (that would be Command I in Mac iTunes and Control I in Windows iTunes) and confirm that the track numbers are in sequence. You'll have to look at the one at a time. While your at it, make sure that the second field is filled in for how many total tracks are on that album. And finally, be sure the album name field is identical for every track. Your WMA to MP3 conversion may have stripped some EXIF info.

Damien - OS X's Disk Utility application can erase a CD-RW. If, however, you're using Toast Titanium, you can erase a disc faster with it, but in doing so, you must use Toast to burn it again.
Larry · December 31, 2005 - 13:06 EST #165
My car CD player has the ability to display IDv tag information (album name, name of song, etc.). I have one CD a friend burned which displays this information but I have been unable to accomplish this task. The CD he made is not an MP3 format CD and when viewed on a computer, shows file to be in 'CD audio' format. I have added tag information to my MP3 files using a tag editor but when I burn the cd, the tags are lost. Any ideas?

ATPM Staff · December 31, 2005 - 17:19 EST #166
Larry - MP3 tags are generally always lost when you burn an audio CD. You have two options.

If your car player supports MP3 discs, you need to go into your preferences (we assume you're using iTunes) and change the burning preference from Audio CD to MP3 CD. Then, your car player will see the MP3's tags.

If you really want a standard Audio CD with track names, you cannot do it with iTunes. You need a separate CD burning application such as Roxio Toast Titanium where you can enable the CD TEXT mode for Audio CDs. Check the user manual for the application to find instructions on how to do this.
Mandy · February 7, 2006 - 14:45 EST #167
Hi there,
I was reading through the comments and see a lot of entries about cds that have been burned and aren't able to be played on car stereos.....this is happening with me right now, i have a fairly new stereo. a friend of mine has a brand new car and can't play the cds that i burn on her car stereo, but it plays on other cd players just's a pain because i have a 10 hour trip coming up very soon and would like to listen to some of the music that i have on my computer! am i doing something wrong while burning the music? Thanks!
Paula J Harvell · February 19, 2006 - 11:26 EST #168
I think that there needs to be another way to pay for your music other then using your credit card because iam not using mine!!!!!!!!!111
ATPM Staff · February 19, 2006 - 13:32 EST #169
Paula - there aren't too many other ways of paying for things online. Most of us at ATPM feel quite safe in using credit cards for purchases online since virtually all card companies offer fraud protection. But if it's a matter of you not wanting to charge anything against your card, you can set up a PayPal account and have it get funds from your bank account, instead. The iTunes Music Store accepts PayPal.
Sarah · March 2, 2006 - 23:56 EST #170
once you have burned a cd is there ANY way of removing those songs from the cd?
ATPM Staff · March 3, 2006 - 02:12 EST #171
Sarah - if it's a rewritable CD-RW disc, you can erase the entire disc and start over. If it's a burn-once CD-R disc, the answer is generally no. I'm aware of some tools that can hide the song so that no player sees it, but the data is still physically there and cannot be erased/removed. Moreover, hacks like this increase the likelihood of the CD being incompatible in more CD players.

In other words, think of a CD-R as a write-once media. I personally don't even like burning additional sessions to a previously burned CD, though many people frequently do so with no problems.

CD-RW discs can be erased and reburned if you have the source material (which you could, of course, copy off of the CD-RW to your hard drive before erasing the disc), but fewer audio CD players can play rewritable discs.
Catalina · May 17, 2006 - 20:54 EST #172
If I burned only a couple of songs on a CD, is it possible to come back and add more to the same disk at a different session? Thank you very much:)
ATPM Staff · May 17, 2006 - 21:56 EST #173
Catalina - neither the built-in CD burning capability of Mac OS, nor iTunes sets up CDs so that they can be added to at a later time. Most other third-party software can do it, so check the documentation of the software you are using to burn CDs. Since I can just about bet that you're using a Windows-based machine and not a Macintosh, I'll remind you that ATPM is a Mac forum and we have no support/suggestions available for Windows software.
Lisa K. · July 7, 2006 - 21:23 EST #174
I'm trying to find a free computer program that allows songs that have been burned to repair sound quality. My cousin made a CD by recording herself and the sound quality is horrible, song is nice, but to many back ground noises and other sounds. Would like to find a program that can reduce or remove the unwanted sounds. Pls assist. Thanks for your help
Joanie · October 11, 2006 - 09:51 EST #175
I used Memorex CD-R's to burn 80 minutes worth of songs from ITunes, however, even though it says they downloaded only three songs play at a time. I tried this three times with different CD's and songs.
ATPM Staff · October 11, 2006 - 10:36 EST #176
Joanie - having a little trouble understanding your problem, and wondering if you can explain with a little more detail. What do you mean by "only three songs play at a time?" What type of CD are you burning (audio or data)? What type of CD players are you using (car, home stereo, computer)?
Joanie · October 11, 2006 - 10:47 EST #177
The cd just says CD-R recordable. I am using ITunes on the computer. The program says the songs have downloaded and they are listed, when I try to play them back on the computer and in the car, only the first three sons will play.
ATPM Staff · October 11, 2006 - 11:06 EST #178
Joanie - when I asked what type of CD, I included (audio or data). That's a setting in the iTunes preferences.

ATPM isn't uniquely qualified to assist in this matter, and we only have some general suggestions. Normally, we'd be quick to say that older car CD players may have trouble with recordable CDs. I, too, have encountered instances where the first few tracks will play, but the rest the CD laser head moves outward on the disc, it becomes increasingly unreadable.

But you said it isn't playing on the computer either—assuming you've even tried playing it on the same computer on which you burned the disc. Have you successfully burned other CDs with other programs on that computer? Is it possible the CD drive is faulty?
Joanie · October 11, 2006 - 11:51 EST #179
Sorry, I'll have to check the setting in ITunes when I get home. Yes, My son has made CD's successfully on the same computer in the past, and the car is new. Perhaps I should try a different type of CD? I understand if you cannot help resvole the problem. I appreciate your input and comments thus far.
ATPM Staff · October 11, 2006 - 12:38 EST #180
A different brand of CD could be the case...or maybe you just got a defective batch. That's happened to me once before.

In iTunes preferences, check the Advanced section under the Burning tab and you'll find the settings for what type of CD you want to burn. Make sure it's set for Audio CD. To be safe, leave the Gap Between Songs at 2 seconds, and uncheck the Sound Check and CD Text options. You may also try lowering the preferred speed from Maximum Possible to 24X. Doing a slower burn has often solved people's trouble.
George Lauderdale · June 20, 2007 - 13:18 EST #181
this is awsome

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