How to burn CDs
- On this page, remove the detailed steps Audio CDs 1 - 4.
- Also on this page point legacy users to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq_i18n?s=files&i=burn-cd (tweaked to give the Audacity version variations).
- Remove the legacy status from this page
- Also on that SF page point current users here for steps.
- Peter UPDATE 1Apr13: I mostly agree with this part of the plan but with some slight changes. Note that now, all the relevant 2.0.4+ information now resides on the Manual page Burning music files to a CD with much material having been copied from here.
- The steps 1-4 (possibly modified ) to be removed from here - but placed on http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq_i18n?s=files&i=burn-cd as legacy information for 1.2.x and 1.3.2 and earlier users. This requires action from Gale or someone else with SF editing privileges.
- Agreed - but only once the above two steps have been completed - then we can make this change.
- No - as Step #1 above removes the steps from here and places them on the SF page. Rather on the SF page point users to the Manual for the current modus operandi. This requires action from Gale or someone else with SF editing privileges.
- After 2.0.4 is released we can then trim the content of this page so that becomes a landing page, pointing 1.2& 1.3.2- legacy users to the SF page and pointing 1.3.3+ and 2.x users to the Manual page.
- Note that his revised plan concurs with the plan that we set last year on the Talk page for post 2.0.1, but did not implement at that time.
- Gale 21Jul13: Peter trimmed http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Burning_music_files_to_a_CD to just a couple of pithy sentences on "overburning and data discs" with links to here for the detail. In an e-mail on 02Apr13 he wrote:
"This has the benefit of removing the duplication and retains the raison d'être for the Wiki page (which could later be expanded as Gale suggests). Doing this has enabled me to modify the formatting by encasing the material on "cue sheets" in an ednote to separate it out as an "advanced" technique (which it is imo).
And you know what - I think I actually prefer this version: a) it's shorter b) I like not over-promoting "overburning" and the use of "data discs" c) I reall like the "advanced"cue-sheets separated off in the note div d) we don't need to send 1.3.x users to the 2.0.x manual."
- Gale 21Jul13: Done, and made the audacity.SF.net changes. However I cannot help feeling that we want something more like the below (short) Gapless burning of continuous material section in the Manual, and the corresponding more detailed section from the Manual here.
|Audacity does not burn CDs directly but can easily produce compliant audio files for burning to Audio CD in Windows Media Player, iTunes or similar programs.
Different types of disc
There are two main types of CD that you can create with CD burning software - an "audio CD" and a "data CD".
- An audio CD (officially "Compact Disc Digital Audio", CDDA, or Red Book standard) will play on any standalone CD player, as well as as in your computer and in DVD players.
- A data CD (sometimes called an MP3 CD where the data it contains are MP3 files) will not normally play on standalone CD players. It will play on computers, most DVD players and in MP3 CD players.
So if you want to play your CD on a standalone player, or give it to others and be sure they'll be able to play it, you'll need to burn an audio CD.
When buying blank CDs for recording/burning, it is strongly recommended that you purchase CD-Rs and not the rewritable CD-RWs.
Audio CDs always contain high quality uncompressed PCM stereo data at 44100 Hz sample rate, 16-bit resolution. So to burn an audio CD, you should always export the file you want to burn as a 44100 Hz 16-bit stereo WAV or AIFF file. To configure Audacity to do this, please see Burning music files to a CD in the current Manual.
- For legacy 1.2 and 1.3 versions of Audacity, please see this older Frequently Asked Question on the main Audacity site "How do I save my recording on an audio CD?".
Because audio CDs must always contain uncompressed 44100 Hz 16-bit stereo audio, they are necessarily limited on a 650 MB ("Red Book Standard") or 700 MB audio CD to 74 - 80 minutes playing time respectively.
If you need more playing time (for example, to try and accommodate a C90 cassette or two LPs onto one CD), then if both the CD burner and the CD burning software support it, you can "overburn" into the blank CD space so as to extend the playing time by a further few minutes. This gives you the possibility of up to 80 minutes' playing time on a 650 MB disc or up to 86 minutes on a 700 MB disc. Overburning is always done using Disc at Once (DAO) mode in which the tracks are burnt continuously without turning the laser off.
It is also theoretically possible to overburn using "90 minute" (790 MB) or "99 minute" (870 MB) CD-R discs. However there is no guarantee whatsoever that your CD burner will accept such CD-R discs, or that your CD player will play anything other than a Red Book Standard 650 MB disc burned with 74 minutes of audio.
On Windows, Deep Burner (free version available) is reported to be amongst the best programs for successful overburning.
Data CDs/data DVDs
For burning really long files to optical media, you must burn either a "data CD" or a "data DVD". For example, burning MP3 files to a 700 MB "data CD" (sometimes called an "MP3 CD"), and using Audacity's default 128 kbps MP3 export bit rate gives over 11.5 hours' playing time.
If you were to choose a 64 kbps MP3 bit rate, about 23 hours of music would fit on the CD. To change the MP3 export bit rate, select "MP3 Files" in the File Export Dialog then click the button (in 1.3.2 or earlier versions of Audacity, open the then choose "MP3 Export Setup").
Note that the penalty of reducing the bit rate is lower sound quality (especially so for music, less so for speech).
A single layer 4.7 GB data DVD can accommodate nearly 80 hours of 128 kbps MP3 audio, though some older DVD players won't play DVD data discs, or only those containing certain audio or video formats.
Most computers already come with media player software that can burn CDs. For example you can use Windows Media Player (built into Windows computers) or iTunes (built into Mac computers but also available for Windows) . In either Windows Media Player or iTunes, drag the files you want to burn from the location you exported them to into a "playlist".
- Also, neither Windows Media Player 11 or 12 can burn AIFF files, so you must export from Audacity as WAV.
Real Player requires files to be added to "My Library" with its and for help burning to CD on Real Player go here.command before burning. If you have not yet created a Real Player library, see
You can also use a standalone Windows burning program like CDBurnerXP, Deep Burner or Nero (or Burn or Toast for Mac OS X) to burn your exported files. Most Linux distributions include Brasero or K3B for CD burning. When using standalone burning programs, open the files from within that software, do not drag and drop them from your file manager.
|Before burning, don't forget to choose the correct type of audio CD or data CD to burn, as explained above. Look at the help for your version of Windows Media Player, iTunes or CD burning program for how to choose the type of CD to burn.|
Splitting long recordings into multiple audio files for the CD
Instructions for current Audacity on how to split a long recording into multiple tracks then export as multiple audio files for the CD burn can be found at this page in the Manual.
- For legacy 1.2 and 1.3 versions of Audacity, please see this older Frequently Asked Question on the main Audacity site "How can I split a long recording into multiple files or CD tracks?".
Gapless burning of continuous material
By default, most CD burners add an appropriate two-second gap between CD tracks. However sometimes you may have a continuous mix or live concert where you want to play the CD without gaps but still want the ability to skip from one CD track to the next using the player controls.
To achieve this you can try turning off the setting in the burning software to add a gap, and/or set the burning software to Disc-At-Once (DAO) mode (if the CD burner and burning software support this). Be sure to use lossless WAV or AIFF files because most lossy formats like MP3 add silence padding. However even this may still result in a very short audible gap between tracks on some CD players.
The more reliable solution is to export a single file for the entire recording, then burn the CD with DAO using a cue sheet. The cue sheet can be generated from exported Audacity labels and specifies the start times of each CD track. This should provide smooth playback across tracks on any CD player that has reasonable support for gapless playback. For instructions, see Cue sheets.