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Making audio CD discs


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#1 rp88

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 05:46 PM

I have some audio files which I made and which I would like to put on CD such that they can be played with a CD player.

The player in question is an old hitachi combined CD player/tape player/radio from about a decade ago, it has these marks on top though:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/CDDAlogo.svg

the second mark I can't find with a google image search, in words the mark in question is:

"the word MP3 in thck italicized lettering with a slanted ring around it (think Saturn's rings), the ring is dashed where it crosses infront and below the letters and invisible where it crosses behind them)"

I often burn things to CD-RW but for backups and transfer between computers, not for playing with CD players, I was wondering if there are any differences.

Will CD-RW discs work for this or must discs sold as simply "CD" discs be used?

Are there any special file names which the audio tracks must have, do they have to be called something like "Track001.mp3" and so on or are any names fine? Is there any special folder structure needed, I know that, for exmaple, all digital cameras store their pictures in a folder named "DCIM", is there any equivalent here for audio CD discs?

Will the CD player generally play the files on the disc in a particuar order, alphabetically based on names, or based on file size or on date modified or what? How should one name files on the disc if one wants them to play in a prticular order?

Are there any specific constraints on file format? Do the files have to all be mp3 files or what?

Does the mp3 format have anything like "codecs" which could cause problems, that is to say if I have a random mp3 file or convert a file from another format to mp3 are there different types of mp3 files only some of which the cd player will recognise, analagous to the way that videos have codecs?

Will a CD burnt by me and ready to be played by a CD player still be able to have other files written on to it if there is space left, or does burning on to it the intial number of mp3 files prevent anything else being put on even if there is space left?

What about the "speed" of the CD discs, the discs I have are all CD-RW discs with a 12x speed, will I need to get others with a different speed, or perhaps CD-R discs instead?

For burning CD-RW discs for backups and transferring files between computers windows (I use 8.1) burns the discs fine and they can be read by windows xp systems as well as more modern ones, can windows 8.1's built in cd burning tools burn discs that a CD player can play, or would other programs be needed?

Are there any other potential complications I should be aware of?
Thanks

Edited by rp88, 25 December 2015 - 06:04 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 08:42 PM

I wouldn't suggest using RW disks for audio, apart from the fact they aren't very reliable, they are harder to read, and some older CD players may not be able to read them at all or can have trouble reading them reliably.

For both CD-RW and CD-R disks, whether you can add further files/tracks after burning depends on whether the disk is finalized. An actual music CD needs to be finalized, so cannot have more added. A disk containing MP3 files is just storage media, so it will depend on the player whether it is happy with a disk that isn't finalized. The only way to know really is to try. I think a system that can play MP3s from a CD will probably not mind the disk not being finalized.

Also, the disks will be different depending on whether they are created as a music CD, or an MP3 CD. Burning software will usually let you easily choose which you are creating. Here again, what a player expects to find on an MP3 CD depends on the player itself, but I would expect any MP3 capable system will understand Albums being in named folders, and play the tracks in the order you put them in the burning software when you make the CD. So each folder will be "Album Title", each of the tracks will be "Song Title" and the burning software will usually also list them as Track 1, Track 2 and let you change the order if you wish when you are creating the CD. The player may display song information from the MP3 tag data rather than just the file name.

The different quality level of MP3s (bitrate) will govern how good they sound, and how many albums/tracks you can fit on a CD. 256kbps is hard to tell from full CD on average sound systems.

If you choose to create a music CD, which will play on CD players that can't play MP3s, you can only fit 74 or 80 minutes of tracks as a single album. With most burning software, if you choose to create a music CD, but select MP3 files, the program will convert the files to the format necessary for CD (44.1KHz 16 bit stereo PCM). A standard CD player may just display track numbers when playing the CD, or it might show the track title. Again, you won't know until you try the player in question.

Edited by Platypus, 25 December 2015 - 08:45 PM.

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#3 rp88

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 12:45 PM

Thanks for that, you keep mentioning burning software though, does that mean I need something other than the disc burning tools built into windows 8.1, or should those tools be able to make "music CDs" as well as they can make "backup CD-RW discs full of all sorts of files"?
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#4 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 03:57 PM

Generally speaking, the built in disc burning software is only for data discs and you will need an audio disc burning software. There are plenty out there so just Google it. Also, MP3 is the CODEC, so all MP3 files comply to the MP3 CODEC. Not all MP3 files are the same, they vary in quality as much as a newspaper photo varies from a high definition photo, but that is up to you how you want to create your files. I only use WAV files because every CD player on the planet Earth can read and play WAV files, most CD players can not read or play MP3 files. Yours seems to indicate that it can, so burn a disk and try it out. And if your CD player does burn MP3 files that does not mean that you can share that disk because most players can not read or play MP3 files. WAV has the benefit of being universal and MUCH, MUCH better sound quality.


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#5 britechguy

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 05:48 PM

I have not seen a CD (or DVD or Blu-Ray) player produced in more that a decade that cannot play MP3.  At one time most were marked (the boxes still are) but it's become so common it's not done on the devices anymore.

 

I find third party tools somewhat easier to use when creating audio CDs than Windows tools (though I love Windows Media Player for ripping CDs to my MP3 library).

 

If you don't like dealing with the Windows utilities take a look at CD Burner XP, ImgBurn, or InfraRecorder.

 

I've not had trouble with CD-RW versus CD-R, but my supply of CD-RW ran out long ago.  It seems to vary from player to player (including the drives on computers) which will be cranky.  I've got stuff that will play fine on three computers but not on the DVD/CD player and combinations of will/won't play.  That's one of the reasons I stopped using optical media and have been doing MP3 via devices like my smartphone for a few years now.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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#6 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 05:31 AM

Yes, Brian is correct, about 90% of the current CD players do play MP3 files, but unfortunately none of the CD players made before about 2005 play MP3 files, so that is an excellent reason to try to use WAV files if you can. Also, the sound quality of WAV files is so much better than the sound quality of MP3 that there is a noticeable difference. I have about 85,000 songs stored on my system and exactly zero of them are MP3 because the sound of MP3 is really poor. But of course if your song file is already MP3 then there is no reason to change it to WAV. Like Brian said, most of the current players can play MP3 so you are pretty safe with most of the current players. And if you are using an older version of Windows, then it should have Windows Media Player installed. I do not think that there is an equivalent to WMP in Windows 10 but you could try the free app that ships with Windows 10.


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#7 britechguy

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 10:40 AM

Windows Media Player is still included with Windows 10.  Try a Windows Search on "media" and it's the first thing in the search results.

 

For me the issue with WAV files is size.  A high bit rate MP3 (which is all I rip) sounds for all the world like the CD itself is playing in the environments (mostly car) that I play them in.  I disagree that one can characterize them as sounding "really poor."  

 

I also post-process all of my MP3 files with MP3Gain so as to avoid endless volume knob twiddling.  I'm entirely happy with the result.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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#8 rp88

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 02:16 PM

I am on windows 8.1, there is some form of windows media player included (the version of windows media player which famously cannot play DVD discs so I have VLC installed as well).

Post#4:"Also, MP3 is the CODEC, so all MP3 files comply to the MP3 CODEC" That's good to know, so I assume therefore that as a rule any player of any kind, and any media playing software, that will play a particular mp3 files will alos be able to play all other mp3 files. It's not like the avi video format where, for exmaple, some .avi videos have codecs which VLC can cope with but windows media player can only play the audio track and can't handle the video. Is conversion from mp3 to wav easy? is it worthwhile? My files are in mp3.
Thanks

Post#5: You say you prefer third party tools to windows tools for doing this, but by saying that you imply windows tools do exist. If possible I would prefer not to install extra software IF what I want to accomplish can be done fairly easily with things I already have, so if I may ask, those windows tools you mention, are they just the usual disc burning utilities or are there other built in things that I might not have come across yet more geared to burning CD discs for audio (where what I use for burning backups to CD-RW is, I guess, geared towards discs of data)? Also could you give some more details about those programs you linked to, extra details and useful tips from someone who has been using them.
Thanks

Post#7: That "mp3 gain" thing sounds useful, I don't suppose similar things can be done with VLC or any of windows 8.1's built-in tools?
Thanks

Edited by rp88, 28 December 2015 - 02:17 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#9 britechguy

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 02:57 PM

rp88,

 

           It's been so long since I even tried to use any native Windows method for burning anything that I am going to decline comment.  As far as I'm concerned Windows has never been good about having a nice interface for creating optical media, particularly if you're looking to do something along the lines of a mix CD, so I haven't used them in ages.  Hence the reason I encouraged you to take a look at the third-party tools I mentioned.  All are very well documented and you should be able to get a good sense of whether one of these would be better suited to your purposes just by looking through the screen shots on their websites as a starting point.

 

           I know of nothing else like MP3Gain and it makes the task so easy that I have no reason to look for alternatives.  This is one of those programs that's the very antithesis of the "Swiss Army Knife" approach.  It does one thing very simply and very well and its results are entirely reversible should one so choose.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#10 rp88

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:32 AM

Thanks for your advice.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#11 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 03:05 PM

I hope it all works out for you. I usually just make mix USB sticks nowadays, but I still make mix CDs for the few folks that are not USB capable in their cars.


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#12 minimuffin3

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 11:06 PM

Something that I found out is that if you are on a Windows OS, the Windows Media Player will make data and audio cds. The cd rw is generally for new(er) cd players (I think about 2005 and newer). The Windows Media Player has a built in cd burning software that will write audio and data discs. There is a trick, however. When you add your burn playlist to the player, insert your blank disc, then click "burn"  at the top (right) where it shows the "play" "burn" "sync" tabs... (here is where the trick is) there is an option to "save list" just underneath those tabs... just to the right  of the "save list" there is another option that is a white square with a √ mark in it and a drop down tab. In the drop down make sure the "audio cd" option is selected AND THEN click on "other burn options" at the bottom (by default) it will have "WPL" selected... CHANGE THAT FORMAT TO "M3U" then "apply" and "ok" it. With it burning to M3U it should play your audio in just about any type of cd player.


Edited by minimuffin3, 23 June 2016 - 11:08 PM.





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