Whether you've downloaded your MP3s from the Net or you've ripped them from CDs, chances are you're going to want to listen to them when you're not sitting at your computer. Unless you've got a portable MP3 player, the best option is probably going to be to burn standard audio CDs that can be played in a car or home stereo CD player. Of course, to do this you'll need a CD recorder and some blank CDs!
The first step to creating an audio CD is to start a new audio CD project in your recording software. Fig 1 shows how this is done in Nero Burning ROM 5. Standard audio CDs contain uncompressed audio, so your MP3 files will need to be decoded before they can be recorded to audio CDs. Fortunately, many CD recording applications will perform this task for you -- often in real-time. Fig 2 shows how an audio track can be added to a CD by simply dragging and dropping an MP3 file.
If you are using CD recording software that requires you to use uncompressed WAV files, you'll need to convert your MP3s first. If you have Winamp, you can configure it to output your MP3s to disk instead of the sound card. To do this, go to Winamp's preferences (
Once you've filled your CD to the brim, it's time to burn (Fig 7). There are a couple of things to bear in mind when burning audio, as opposed to regular data. First, its best to burn at a slower speed than you usually would, preferably no higher than 4x. This will ensure that your CDs are compatible with most CD players. Second, burn using "disk-at-once" if you have the option and be sure to close the disk (Fig 8). Closing a disk simply means that you cannot write any further data to it. If you leave a disk open, or if you use multiple recording sessions, then you run the risk of your CDs being incompatible with many CD players.
If you've been following our Digital Music guides, then you should be familiar with using EAC to extract audio from CDs. Not only is EAC a fantastic CD ripper, it also has a built-in CD recording function. So, if you don't already have a CD recording program that allows you to create audio CDs, you might want to give EAC a try. It can be freely downloaded from http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/. Using
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