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.
|Audacity can easily produce compliant audio files for burning to Audio CD in Windows Media Player, iTunes or similar programs.
|THIS PAGE CONTAINS LEGACY INFORMATION FOR 1.2.x and 1.3.x VERSIONS OF AUDACITY ONLY.|
Audacity does not burn CDs directly; this page describes how to export audio files from Audacity 1.2.x and 1.3.x versions suitable for burning to different types of CD using third-party burning software.
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" or 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 if you want 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:
- At the bottom left of the Audacity window, set the Project Rate to 44100 Hz.
- Go to the of , and in the "Uncompressed Export Format" dropdown, choose WAV (Microsoft 16-bit PCM) or AIFF (Apple/SGI 16-bit PCM) (in 1.3.3 onwards, choose this at the export step 4, rather than in Preferences)
- If your Project does not already contain a stereo track, click ( in 1.3.2 onwards). It does not matter that this track is empty, its purpose is just to make Audacity export your recording as a stereo file. This step is not needed if you are burning to CD with iTunes.
- Click or (or choose this at in 1.3.3 or later).
- When you burn the CD, be sure to tell the burning software to burn an "audio CD" or "music CD" (not a "data CD" or "MP3 CD").
- Always use a high quality CD-R disc. Some standalone CD players may refuse to play CD-RW discs properly.
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), some CD burners will let you "overburn" into the blank CD space so as to extend the playing time by a further few minutes, so giving 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 (if your burning software and burner supports it) 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.
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. But if 64 kbps MP3 bit rate was chosen (in "MP3 Export Setup" in the File Formats tab of Preferences, or "Options" at time of export in 1.3.3 and later), about 23 hours of audio would fit on the CD. Note the penalty of reducing the bit rate would be reduced 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 or iTunes built into Macs. In either of these applications, drag the files you want to burn from the location you exported them to into a "playlist".
Real Player is different and 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 burning program like CDBurnerXP, Nero or Toast to burn your exported files. In this case, 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 CD to burn, as explained above. Look at the help for your version of Windows Media Player or iTunes for how to choose the type of CD to burn.
Splitting long recordings into multiple audio files for the CD
Instructions for splitting a long recording into multiple tracks then exporting as multiple audio files for the CD burn can be found on the main Audacity site's legacy FAQ page.