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Audio CDs — What Format Should I Use to Burn My Audio CDs?


When I download music and then burn it to a CD, it comes out just fine. But, I cannot play the CD in my car’s CD player. The music is almost always MP3. Is there a way I can convert the MP3 to play in my car? And what format are store-bought CDs?

The CDs that you play on your computer and those that you listen to in a standard CD player, such as the one in your car, are formatted quite differently. And while you can play store-bought audio CDs in your computer, the CDs that you burn on your computer will usually not work in your car stereo or other audio CD player.

Why? Simply put, your car stereo is not a computer.

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Let’s look at the two different formats first. Audio CDs are designed for one purpose: audio. They contain raw, uncompressed data, in a very fixed format: 44,000 samples per second, with each sample consisting of a 16-bit (2-byte) number for each of the right and left channels.

If you do the math, that’s 176,000 bytes per second, or 633,600,000 bytes for an entire hour of audio.

Audio CDs are designed for one purpose: audio. They contain raw, uncompressed data, in a very fixed format …

If you’ve ever seen blank, 70-minute CDs, these hold roughly 740 megabytes of data – enough for about 70 minutes of sound in audio CD format.

Data CDs, on the other hand, hold anything. They’re just another media on which you can store files from your computer. The format of a data CD is even similar to the format of your computer’s hard disk. It has a file system, directories, folders and files.

But your car stereo knows nothing about file systems, folders and the like. All it knows is how to stream that raw audio data off of an audio format CD. While your computer can do that it too, it’s also a general-purpose device that understands the format of a data CD.

But that’s not the only difference. Remember that I said that an audio CD is uncompressed. Every second takes up 176,000 bytes, regardless of whether that’s a second of a symphony, someone speaking, or just silence.

MP3 is a compressed format, like almost every other common audio format available for internet downloads and computer use. It uses compression technology to make the file much smaller. A second of silence, for example, is going to require less data than a second of complex sounds. When you play an MP3 file, the software you use decompresses the sound as it’s played. The problem is your car stereo probably doesn’t have a clue about compression or decompression.

So what do you do? If you want to create an audio CD that will work in regular CD players, you’ll need to use audio CD burning software. I happen to use Roxio’s Easy CD Creator. This automatically decompresses my MP3 files to the correct format for audio CDs. The trick is simply to select Roxio’s “Music Disc Creator” program and click the Audio CD option as the type of CD you want to create. Other CD burning software will have similar options.

The catch is that the audio CD is uncompressed. While you might have been able to put seven or eight hours of MP3s onto a single data CD before, you’re out of luck with an audio CD. These contain only about 70 minutes or so. It may take several audio CDs to hold what you might currently have on a single data CD.

The good news is that CD players are catching up. The ability to play MP3 files from data CDs has already appeared in car and home stereo CD players. And like a computer, these can play both audio and data CDs. Unfortunately, unless that functionality is built in, it’s not something that can be added later.

Personally, what I want is a “Line In” port on my car stereo so I can hook up my portable media player (any portable media player, not just the iPod) and listen to my music without ever having to burn a CD at all. Maybe some day.

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84 comments on “Audio CDs — What Format Should I Use to Burn My Audio CDs?”

  1. Note that, even if your car doesn’t have a “line in” port, there are adapters that can play through your car’s cassette player (if it has one), or have a tiny FM transmitter that your car radio can receive.

    Or, when you’re buying a car, see if they have an MP3-compatible CD player available. (Given that portable CD players with MP3 ability are only about 10 dollars more than ones without, I can’t imagine that the car manufacturers won’t start including that ability soon.)

  2. Actually, I use a cassette adapter, which works relatively well. I’ve been through about three FM transmitters and my experience was that they all pretty much suck. :-(

  3. I had the same problem. I dont know much about formats and I do not have Roxio. My solution was simple. I switched from the CD-W to a CD-R. Then the music i burned played on all my CD players, even the car

  4. I have burned CD-Rs that will play in my personal car’s cd player and computer but won’t play in an Acura’s Boise 1998 system. What format should I use to burn CD-Rs or what media should I use to burn audio disks for the Boise?

  5. Hi, I downloaded music on iTunes and want to burn a CD for the car. I have tryed CD-r, audio format 4 x speed with 3 sec between but can’t get the car to see it. I am using the default format of iTunes to download the music. My old computer had Roxio but this computers burn software doesn’t see the songs I downloaded. I am frustrated!!! What do I do. Thanks for ANY help. Joan

    • Download Audacity, it is free and burn your songs with the AIFF extension, onto CD-R discs and they will play anywhere. All commercial CDs have extension .aiff and they play on computers, in cars, anywhere.

      • This is simply not true. Especially older CD players will only play CDs that are created AS audio CDs. No file type or extension can make that happen, it’s a different type of recording.

  6. Hi My question is that i don’t know exactly that at which speed i should burn audio c.d for my car c.d changer i am using Nero C.d Burner software
    please help me out

    Hash: SHA1

    Any speed your burner is capable of should work just fine if
    you use reasonably good blank media.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  8. I’m a little let down after spending such time reading this whole page of information. As I was merely looking for what type of format to use while trying to burn an audio cd for my car, I think this went FAR into too much detail. As they say in the military: K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m sure all of the detailed information is helpful to someone, I on the other hand will continue my search for what info I was looking for

  9. Commercial audio CD’s are in .cda format. Uncompressed, and as noted above, takes up a whole lot more space on a disc, but with the highest quality reproduction. Older cd players like those in many cars or home stereo systems will only recognise this format.
    most downloads from the net are in .mp3 format. uses about 1/10th the disc space, but will also have lower reproduction quality. It’s the price you pay for saving space. Many new car and home systems now will play almost any format, whether it’s .cda .mp3 .wma .wav or other common ones. it will be a case of finding out what format your car player will handle. But it will most definitely take the .cda format.
    Burning speed? thats really all it is. the speed at which burner lays the data onto your disc. it wont affect how it is played back, only how fast you can burn the disc. So its usually best to use 1 setting below the maximum for either the burner, or the disc you are burning to (whichever is lowest).

  10. When using Frostwire or Limewire, how do I change the format so that my cds will play on a regular cd player. I use to have no problem. I do not know what I did wrong. Thanks.

  11. This was EXACTLY the type of information I was seeking — trying to learn more about the difference between the formats. Thanks!

  12. I see in the comments already posted that many, probably knowledgable, people talk about cd players being able to play music with a .cda extension. Well my understanding is that .cda is merely a shortcut and contains indexing information and no audio at all. You can easily prove that by hovering over the file and seeing that it tells you there are only a few bytes on it, typically 44.
    But what I’m finding is that even a cd burnt on Windows Media Player (which will also all have this .cda extension) will not play on an older cd machine or car cd player IF it has any mp3 tracks on it. I can’t currently prove my theory by changing the format from mp3 to wma because my expensive (

  13. Just a quick update on the post I made yesterday: I tried what others have said about only using CD-R discs and it worked for me too. So that disproved my theory about having mp3 tracks on material to be recorded/played back.
    CD-RW discs wouldn’t play in the player that was available for the fashion show my wife was in. So that got me out of a hole! Still got to sort out the Nero problem though. (I tried posting this yesterday but after having Nero running I couldn’t even load web pages. And I had to turn the power off, again, to do a reboot!)

  14. if my songs are in other formats like WMA, will the program automatically convert it into audio cd formats?

    my pc is installed with the nero…


  16. I’m a Linux enthusiast and have been dual-booting Windows/Linux since about 1995, so I am very familiar with the concept of the “file system.” FINALLY, I understand the difference between audio and data CDs. Thanks Leo!

  17. I have the opposite going on with CD’s that I record, I am recording cassettes and old 8 track tapes, I use audacity and media monkey for doing this, the problem I am having now is the CD WILL play on my computer and car stero but not on my home stero system, I am using a Sony CDP 235 Cd player for listening…any ideas on what may be the problem?

  18. Very clear and easy to follow explanation. Am now burning an “audio cd” on my WMP safe in the knowledge it will work this time. Have bookmarked your page. Thanks a lot :)

  19. On your advise I downloaded Roxio’s CD creator, to try and convert mp3/WAV music formats into an Audio disc. Unfortunately only my car and Bose CD player recognise the resultant CD, and my ordinary players (over 5 years old) do not ‘see’ anything on the CD.Any ideas what may be wrong?

  20. Reply to: “And yes, you do have to use CD-R.”

    Not neccesarily. My 2004 Nissan Maxima with a Bose system plays CDA audio flawlessly from a CD-RW. I listen to mostly podcasts and couldn’t justify spending money on CD-Rs for a one-time use. I use the cheap Staples brand CD-RW discs and burn them using Nero 9’s Audio CD option with default settings. Don’t assume you can’t use a CD-RW, give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Explaining how CDA files work is somewhat complicated. The URL below gives a good explanation on how they work.

  21. I am so bummed. It looks like from what I am reading that I am unable to burn CD’s for use in my car or CD player that are over80 m,inutes.

    I need to listen to teleconferec nes I havem issed and cannot sit at the Pc all the time to listen.

    I cannot find any CDR or CDRW that are over 80 minutes so I wouldn’t be able to do that.

    I have kinlde and tried to dwonload onto that but I cannot transfer over 16mb and they are 35mb and up.

    Please ehlp? what do you suggest. There has got to be a better way.

    Thanks for any support you can give me.
    Lorraine in NJ

    You are correct, in that audio CD format is only ~72 minutes maximum. You might try multiple CDs. Many newer cars and CD players also support data CDs with MP3 files on them, in which case you can easily put hours of audio onto a single CD, but only if the player supports it. Sounds like your Kindle is full – you might see if you need to make room on it. It shouldn’t crap out at 16Meg. Finally: get an MP3 player – I use my blackberry as an MP3 player, and have a cassette adapter that allows me to play it through my 10 year old car stereo.

    – Leo
  22. I was really hoping the guys original question as to car audio CD format was going to be answered with a file type that we are expected to select from a drop down menu in most recorders.
    Like AIFF, AAC, FLAC, and so forth.
    The results of choosing doesn’t give you, THIS is best for Standard CD Car Audio setting.

    That’s because a plain audio CD doesn’t really use any file formats. In a sense it’s a completely different way of writing the CD using raw data. The burning tool you use has to understand this, and can often convert from a variety of different formats.


  23. First I would like to thank you on this guide. I was able to make a cd for my Audi, however I am encountering one problem. Some songs that play have an odd electronic noise to them that isn’t supposed to be there, while some others don’t. I used Roxio Easy CD creator 5 to burn the disk. I also recorded songs with recording software. I noticed that some songs (no matter the bit rate) will still make that electronic sound. Any ideas on what could be wrong?

  24. hi leo, its nice to find someone with this kinda knowledge, my question is…y when i buy an audio CD, even if its not original, it has up to 27 tracks, and when i burn an audio CD, it gives me max 16 0r 17….does it depend on the original file size?do i have to decode the files b4 i burn them? what can give me more tracks..changing mp3s to audio?or changing wma to audio? do cars cd players read wma? why cant we burn with cda format?or the output of burning is cda?also original audio cds have many different formats…can u explain?…thx for listening

  25. I have a CD about 10 years old that originally played fine. Now we don’t seem to be able to get it to play on any cd player, my PC, etc.. Can’t figure out what I need to do to get it to work. CD condition is good. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!


  26. I found when I burned a cd for a car audio(5 years old and older)that I had to make sure that songs were wav files format before I burned them. And make sure you finalized the disc — and it has to be a CD -R.

  27. i did what you suggested and used nero to burn the cd changing the format to be audio cd but still does not work in my car cd which is kenwood dpx410 till now i do not know what is wrong it plays fine in my computer

  28. This was very helpful but I still need to know why my auto player(Infinity)in my Hyundai Sonata that has Mp3 written on it, will play certain Mp3 tracts, but not others that have been burned on my MacBook Pro. They all play in the computer.

  29. thanks man..this really helped..i couldnt burn a cd because all my music’s format is mp3 and it didnt work on most cars and on my stereo….i used roxio wich was on my computer and i had never used it before and it worked

  30. If you use Roxy or another program, and it still doesn’t work you need to convert to .WAV format; this will most likely happen for older units (car and home). I used Tunebite, and it works great, on some songs you will hear a click every now and then, but it is because of the compressed (MP3/AAC/MP4, etc) to uncompressed conversion.

  31. Reply to: “In my Hyundai Sonata that has Mp3 written on it, will play certain Mp3 tracks, but not others that have been burned on my MacBook Pro. They all play in the computer.”

    It could be a DRM issue.

  32. I’m trying unzip a file to save on a CD to put into my blue-ray DVD player to update the software (my blue-rays won’t play). When I try to save the unzipped file, I get an error message “disk is incorrect format”. What does this mean? What size should I be using? Thank you.

  33. Hi!I read the article and it did help me understand somewhat, but I have some of my husband’s music he played on an SD card saved in .wav format. I burned it to cd and it plays on my computer, but it will not play in an older “boombox” cd player, which plays store bought cds. How can I make it play on there? We want to take them along when we go camping, etc.. and I am still learning this stuff. Please help!!

  34. I am producing a demo audio disc for a musician friend, it has to be able to play on the greatest number of devices, I am using a jvc camcorder and saving the audio only, output is WAV, is this the best ?

  35. Thanks for your article, converted my mp3 to wma audio cds and not data cds; now these work on my friends old aiwa system. This really helped me.

  36. Great article Leo. A good source for other audio converters is CNET’s A couple years ago I bought a car stereo/CD player with a Line In port like you mentioned at Walmart. It was for my boat, and the Line In worked great at playing smoothly while underway, and with the less than $100 price I didn’t worry as much about salt air exposure or theft shortening its life. I mounted it in the cabin to reduce exposure.

  37. How did my friend make a audio music cd holding way over 100 songs?

    Either they were very short songs totaling less than 70 minutes, it wasn’t an audio CD but a data CD that held MP3 files, or it was a DVD of some sort.


  38. My car cd player says it can play mps cds. I burn as a data cd and finalize it. However when trying to play in my cd player it will read the track info and count along as if tracking and playing but I never get audio. Plays fine in computer. I use cd-r. Am I missing a step? I also use Iso/Joliet setting in burner software. Have tried Nero and couple others all same result. WAZZUP?? Thanks!

  39. *.wma. if you have *.mp3 then you can convert to the *.wma. Converter you can find in a google. Just enter: free converter mp3 wma and download converter what do you like.

    Better decission is a buy a new CD player and better with flash.

  40. Cyberguys has a interface that plugs into your cigarette lighter socket that has a line in, SD card, and flash drive port. It turns them into radio waves that your car radio and tune into. Works on all radios that pick up FM.

  41. I added a “Line In” to my car stereo, now I can use what ever I want to play music in my car. :)

  42. Dose Nero have a similar program pick, I tried it and it did not decompress my CD. It would not work in my 1999 Jeep factory player. Down loads for Roxio’s easy CD creator are $42.00.

  43. My burning program nicely converts mp3 into cda format, but still my car radio gives an error (where it does play commercial audio cds).
    Might there be a problem with the long file names of the mp3 files? Commercial cds often have a file name like track01.cda, the converted cds often have the song name as file name.

  44. In that whole statement he makes about car stereo’s aren’t computers not once does he answer the flipping question.. It’s really simple.. What Format.. We know standard audio isnt MP3

  45. My car stereo instructions say it will play DVD Audio…………..I am unable to find any burner that will burn anything other than CD audio. Is there such a program or a way to “trick” a program into writing to a 4.7 GB DVD?

    I’ve not heard of such a thing – at least not for consumer use. Could it be simply that they mean DVD data discs with mp3s?


    • The car stereos that say they will accept DVD audio..You can put in a dvd and it will simply play the audio of the dvd and not the video.

  46. You didn’t answer the question. You just plugged Roxio’s software and ipods, what format does the software output the data in?

    On the contrary: the article clearly states that audio CDs are not the same as data CDs. “File format” doesn’t apply, since on audio CDs there are no “files”. It’s raw data: uncompressed 16 bit stereo at 44khz sampling rate. That’s not a file format. In order to read or write that raw data to or from a properly formatted audio CD, you need software that knows how do that.


  47. My simple car radio also did not have a line-in for MP3 players and other auxiliary. That is: I thought so. In reality the radio happened to have a line-in at the back of the device. This was not revealed by the Users Manual. I discovered the existence of the line-in after downloading the Installation Manual. After buying two special metal strips I was able to take out the radio and connect a cable to the mini-jack entrance at the back. Now I connect not only an MP3 player to it, but also a small Shortwave World Receiver. Why are we users not allowed to know these possibilities?

  48. For the simple unanswered question. Car and store bought cd players are always and only compatible with WAV (.wav / WAVE) format unless otherwise specified.

    That’s incorrect. You can’t just copy a .wav file to a CD and expect it to work.


  49. I think the confusion is that your answer is not quite complete.

    There are files on a CD (easily seen by exploring it in the computer).
    The files are basically WAV files.

    There is additional information that is not saved as files your computer can see that are specified by the standards for CDs. The standard states that a CD player must recognize this information and play the data files per the information in it.

    After MP3s and other music formats came out, some CD player makers decided to give them the intelligence to recognize data CDs and play the files. This is in addition to their ability to play CDs that were made to the music CD standards.

  50. I enjoyed the article and the comments, they were very informative as far as pointing me in the right direction for further investigation.

    I think it would be helpful if you could update your response to this question with more information:

    1. You provide a good description of the type of raw, uncompressed music data on commercial CDs. When you open a commercial music CD, it lists track numbers as .cda files of 1 KB size (hovering over a file shows there’s only 44 bytes per .cda file). You could explain that these .cda files are merely indexing that provides access to the music tracks; the .cda file is not the actual music.

    2. Some commenters have suggested that tracks on commercial music CDs are in .wav format; as you have explained in the comments, this is not the case. All of the “formats” are for using digital audio files on a computer-type device, and none of these are used on commercial music CDs.

    3. What formats can be interconverted, what speed of burning can be used, which type of disk you can burn to (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD +-R, DVD+-R-DL, DVD-RW, etc.), and whether or not you can burn your files in Audio CD data so that it can be played on even old CD players, is determined by your audio file conversion and burning software, what function features are available with your disk burner hardware (i.e. what speeds it can burn or play and what types of disk media it can read/write to). The hardware, software and disk media have to be compatible before you can burn a CD that will play on any CD player.

    4. The different audio formats might be discussed as well, including the pros and cons of the different “lossless” formats where there is little or no loss of music data in the ripping from music CD but you end up with very large music files, to the various compressed formats that may lose some of the music data (with a small but corresponding loss of music quality that depends on the Bit Rate selected), but ends up about 1/10 the file size of a lossless format or as audio CD data.

    5. How much music you can put on a disk depends on whether or not the the music files are compressed, and the selection of a disk media that is compatible with your hardware/software. For example, you might be able to find commercial music CDs with around 20 songs (70-80 minutes of play) recorded as digital Audio CD data with associated .cda indexing files. With the proper harware and software, you can burn about the same amount of music in a lossless computer audio format. If you burn a compressed audio format file (i.e. MP3 at 192 Bit Rate which is high quality but not as good as lossless, where average song size is 5 MB) with a standard CD-R (700 MB), you can burn up to 140 songs. Burning the same MP3 files to DVD+-R DL disk media, you can theoretically record up to 1580 songs on a single disk.

    6. The advantages of compressed music files seem to outweigh their disadvantages, and recommend upgrading your home and car audio systems to play CDs/DVDs with these files (i.e. MP3), or secure adapters for portable MP3 players to your various home and auto audio systems.

  51. All this technical stuff gives me a headache. All I need to know is which audio file format will play on a cd player and a car player.
    The audio files formats that are currently on my hard drive are:- MP3, Windows media audio file (presumably WMA), MPEG-4 Movie, and WMA.
    What’s the go? Which audio file formats should I have on the CDs after burning the hard disk files.
    I note your comments about letting the burning software do the job. I use Nero.

  52. I produced audio CDs for my car as above but still NoGo. Used Nero7premium, set for audio, created “.cda” files. Does CD-R, CD+R play any role? Is maybe ROXIO going to make a difference?

  53. All comments avoided the specific question which was “What format (not what conversion program) should I use to burn my Audio CDs?” I know at least one format that you could select and that is “.cda”. How about “.flac” or perhaps there are other formats that will play???

  54. Closing comments on this article because people continue to clearly miss the point that there is no format in the sense that people keep on asking. Audio CDs are not like Data CDs, and don’t have files. It’s a raw datastream of 16 bit uncompressed 44kz stereo. Things like “cda” format are Windows simply making it look like there are files, when there are not. To record an audio CD you must use use software that knows how, and it will convert from the formats that it understands to the raw format used on audio CDs.

  55. My interest was converting vinyl to cd.
    I used an ION turntable and a free conversion program from ION which converts
    automatically to .wav format and places the converted files on your hard drive. The wav format would not play on the home cd player or the car cd player. I then used a converter that converted, almost instantly, the .wav to .cda format. It was also free and called, WavePad Sound Editor Masters Edition from NCH software (non commercial use only).
    This worked although I needed to increase the volume level in the car CD player. So simple even I can do it. The confusion is thinking/understanding format not files.
    Thanks Leo………

  56. When converting vinyl to .wav then converting .wav to .cda, why is the original sequence of songs/music never kept?

  57. Seriously people?
    1) Read and understand the article.
    2) Follow all the steps exactly the way Leo told you to.
    3) Listen to the CD in a standard CD player.
    It’s not that hard. If you can’t follow instructions, then don’t even try. If you don’t know English, or don’t understand technology, then find a friend that can read and understand both. Thanks Leo for the information. Buddy.

  58. Help ! I have a TEAC CD-RW890 CD Recorder, I’ve been using Maxell CDR blank CD’s, not good ! CD’s playback fine on my Teac recorder/player, some tracks will not play on my other home CD Player/Pioneer (My problem is, My two new car Kenwood Echelon CD/DVD players can not read my Maxell recorded CD’s, TEAC does recommend using SONY or Verbatim CD’s, I just ordered qty, 5 Verbatim 52 x, will my Kenwood read audio ? or should I use CD/DVD blank CD’s.) Please email me with suggestions.
    Thank You Very Much !

  59. As an audio Engineer Im gonna answer the simple question with a simple answer. I don’t feel that the question was ever answered.
    Use your favorite burning software, if your car stereo accepts MP3 you can burn an MP3/data disc and fit a ton of music on it to play in the car. Keep in mind the MP3 file format is compressed and is very small and if you decide to go this route you will get a poor quality audio sound.
    If you want to listen to your favorite music the way was intended with a Killer quality sound, do what I do. When I’m not in the studio and want to burn a CD at home, I simply use Windows Media Player to burn a WAV. Format disc. I adjust the burner settings to burn highest bit possible for wav disc and I adjust it to burn as slow as possible. This will give you the best possible sound quality..the Way the engineer and producer intended the album to sound.
    WAV. Vs. MP3? The correct answer is WAV. most stereos will play a disc burnt in the WMA format(windows media audio) but that is a WAV format also.

  60. I agree with Kerry’s comment, Leo never answered the question. It was a simple question, “What format should I burn my audio cd’s?” If you don’t have an ear for sound qauality and you want to just pile as much poopy sounding audio/music as humanly possible go ahead and burn an MP3/data disc. On the other hand, if you are someone who wants to burn your favorite album with the same quality as you would get “hot off the press” or off the shelf, burn a WAV. Disc. It’s the only real way to burn a high quality cd for use in the Car or any cd player for that matter.

    • Or .flac. It stands for free lossless audio compression. The name says it it all. Not as small as .mp3, but full .wav quality. It may or may not work on your player.

  61. The correct format he needs to record in is called WAV. Rovio Creator will convert MP3s to WAV format that will play in old cd recorders that will not play mp3s

    • This is incorrect. As stated in the article old pure-audio CDs don’t have files. They uncompressed raw audio. There is no “file format” you can save as that will create a disk like that – you need to run special software to do it.

      If your CD player can play WAV files, then it can play files, and it can likely play MP3 files.

      Older, pure-audio players that know nothing about computer file formats will not play WAV files – or any other.

  62. i just used windows media player to burn music onto my cd-r. all i had to do was select my music i wansted to burn and put it on an audio disc and not a dvd disc

  63. ***MY SOLUTION!***

    I got music to play on my Audi Concert stereo, what I did was reformat all my music files (.mp3 .mp4 etc) TO .wav and then burned the CD-R as Audio CD! NOT Audio-DVD or MP3-CD. I used a free burning program called BURN.

    It works like a charm sincerely Nara (9/15/2016)

  64. OK you all are going to laugh at me!!! The only Burning I have done was ripping a CD from the library—– don’t laugh— then I burned from laptop onto blank CD I bought at WalMart. First purchased Memorex and they still sound good (that was 5yrs ago) but then “got money conscious” and thought cheaper ones would do as well. NOT!!!!! This is one product where it pays to buy better quality. Right?? So I am asking please for some general info. I have no other knowledge on how to do this. Thank you for your help. I can wait until you have quit laughing!!!

  65. I too have struggled with all of the above and what has worked for me is: 1. Use an Analog to Digital program (I use Sound Forge Audio Studio). 2. Conect your analog source (Reel/Reel-Cassette-TurnTable*) to your PC Sound Card (Line In). 3. On Audio Studio, select your desired digital format (WAV, FLAC, MP3, etc). 4. Start your program’s “Record” function BEFORE you start your analog source (Do a few trial runs to get used to the process). 5. Save your new digital files to a target folder. When you have enough files for a CD, use a CD burning program to capture your files to a CD (I use Windows Music Player) but, HERE IS THE RUB: Burning a CD with WAV files you have to select the Music CD Option, and you’ll only be able to fit a few songs (12 to 16 for me). But if you have MP3 files, you can fit hundreds of songs using the Data CD burning option (my record so far is 167 MP3 songs on a single CD). Some people say WAV is better than MP3, but I recommend you stay true to yourself, and your ears. Also, I believe in the past not all cars could play music using the options I’ve descrived, but I think today all cars have CD players that can handle them. My car is a 2012 model and it does just fine with my MP3 selections.
    * Analog TurnTables CANNOT be connected directly to a PC digital sound card. Seek elsewhere for info if that is your case.

    • If you’ve converted a tape or a vinyl to digital format, I wouldn’t expect any noticeable quality advantage in converting to .wav format over a low loss .mp3.

  66. I am trying to rip and burn audio CDs for shut-ins. I’ve tried using MP3 format and I’ve tried .wav format. Neither one seems to work consistently for these elderly ladies who are using old cd players.

    • Please read the article you’re commenting on. It has the answer: you need to use special software that can write audio CDs, not data CDs. (If you’re just using regular burning tools to write MP3 files, you’re creating data CDs which don’t work in old audio CD players.)

    • Actually, that’s not correct, a .wav file is uncompressed and may be similar in size to CD audio format, but simply burning a .wav file wouldn’t work on all CD players. Some might if they were specifically designed to play .wav files. The format is CD music format which, as Leo said, it a continuous audio stream on the CD.

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