Question for CD Music Buffs

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magpens

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On any CD, you like some recorded songs but may not like the others.

I don't know what file format the songs have on the original CD.
I have ripped some CDs onto my computer, and those ripped individual song files seem to be in mp3 format.
They play fine on the computer, but I wonder if they would work if burned to a CD.

I want to take a number of ripped songs that I like from several CDs, and then combine those by burning all onto a single CD .

I want the resulting CD to be playable on a home CD player or in the car.

I don't know what file format is required for such a music CD ( will mp3 work ? )

Also, I don't know how to group all the files and burn them in one operation onto the target CD.

Please, can someone point me to a tutorial for doing this ? Thanks a lot ! !

I hope that I am making myself clear.

P.S. Maybe it is a very simple process such as:
1) Creating a playlist in Windows Media Player (WMP), and then
2) Clicking on "Burn" in WMP
Has anyone had success going through such a simple process ?
 
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bsshog40

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Most vehicle cd players will recognize mp3 files. I've burned many a song to cds and never had a problem playing them. I've also used recordable music cds, but they usually convert songs to Wav. files. You can't put as many songs on it. But if your vehicle recognizes mp3 files, you'll be able to get more songs on the cd as mp3 files are compressed.
 

egnald

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Microsoft has a free audio converter that can input various music file formats (.mp3, .wav, etc.) and burn them to an audio CD. Other features let you convert audio file formats and rip audio CDs as well. Here is the link. - Dave
 

PatrickR

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the original file would be an .aif file. it has been converted when it was ripped. You probably can change that within the program. To most people a mp3 sounds fine and is much smaller. What ever you do, do not convert the mp3 files back to another type, they will be degraded in a conversion to a larger file.
unless your car is fairly old it should play mps. Just add a number to the song title before you burn the disc and that will be the order they play.
 

monophoto

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There are those who say that today, the CD is obsolete technology.

I have a 6 disc CD changer player in my car that I use on road trips when we are out of range of my favorite FM radio station. Because I'm cautious, careful, and pretty ignorant of the technology involved, I don't want to keep original CDs in the car where they would be exposed to crazy temperature swings,. So the CDs that I keep in the car are all copies of commercial CDs.

I also sometimes copy CDs to my phone. And I have been known to snag video files off the internet, strip off the video channel to leave only the audio, and save those to my phone.

I don't know what the various file formats are, but it seems to work, and that's all that matters.
 

penicillin

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Converting Sound into Digital Data
Sound is analog. Back in 1980, Sony and Phillips developed a standard way to convert sound into a digital format. The "Red Book" is the official audio CD standard, and it describes how audio sound is converted to digital data with very high fidelity, using pulse code modulation (PCM). You can safely ignore these technical details.

CDs Store Digital Copies of Your Songs - A Lot of Data
CDs hold up to 700 Megabytes of data, which was a LOT of data back in 1980. When your CD player is playing the CDs, it is reading that digital PCM data at a fast rate, to yield that high fidelity CD quality sound.

Song Data with the Best Quality
For the best audio quality of a given song, you want to make an exact copy of that song's PCM digital data from the original CD and put the same PCM data on your newly made CD. The song will be an exact copy of the one on the original CD and sound exactly the same.

Microsoft uses WAV (.wav) and and Apple uses AIFF (.aiff, .aif) to store the PCM data from CDs in files on your computer. The WAV and AIFF are two different formats for storing the same PCM data in a computer file. The data is exactly the same as the original CD data, regardless of whether the file is WAV or AIFF.

The drawback of the WAV and AIFF formats is that they are just as large as the files on your CDs. (There are "lossless" ways to compress your WAV and AIFF files, but that is a topic for another day.)

MP3 and AAC "Lossy Compression" Lowers Audio Quality
Because PCM (WAV and AIFF) files are so huge, people found ways to compress them. MP3 and AAC (Apple) formats were invented to compress digital audio files. They use special algorithms to remove background sound data that you are not likely to hear anyway. It would be like removing a quiet flute when the heavy metal guitarists are rockin' out - you won't hear that the flute is missing.

MP3 and AAC compressions are amazing. MP3 and AAC music sounds almost as good as the uncompressed original CD, and the files are much smaller. Because of their powerful compression MP3 and AAC formats enable you to carry an entire collection of CDs on a small storage device/player.

MP3 and AAC compressed formats lose audio quality compared with audio quality of a CD. Some people can't hear the difference, while others find it seriously objectionable. At our ages, I doubt that neither Mal nor I can hear the difference between CD quality and MP3 quality. I suspect that MP3 is good enough for most people - if they can hear a difference, it doesn't matter enough for them to care.

-> The point of this discussion is that if you convert your CD to MP3 (or AAC) format and use those MP3 or AAC files to create a new CD, then the CD will play with lower quality music. There is no way to recover the original CD quality sound that existed before the music was converted to MP3 or AAC format. The data was lost when the MP3 or AAC compression took place.

Some CD Players Play Only Audio CDs. Other Players Can Play MP3 (and AAC) on "Data CDs"
Some CD players can play only ordinary audio CDs. That's it. They know nothing about MP3 or AAC or other audio formats. More modern players can recognize data CDs with MP3, AAC, and other audio file types and play them like audio CDs.

CHOICES:
  • Make Ordinary Audio CDs
    1. Use software to copy the songs from your CDs to your computer in WAV, AIFF, or another "lossless" audio format.
    2. Use the same or different software to organize the songs into "CD size" groupings (can't exceed 700 Mbytes).
    3. Burn each group onto its own CD.
    • Pros:
      • Best audio quality, exactly the same as on the original CDs.
      • Plays on any CD player, even the oldest ones.
      • You get the songs you want in the order you want them. You can make your own mixes.
    • Cons: Each CD holds about an hour's worth of music, same as commercial CDs.

  • Make MP3 (or AAC?) Data CDs or USB Flash Drives
    1. Confirm that your player can accept compressed music file format (e.g., MP3).
    2. Use software to copy the songs from your CDs to your computer in MP3 (or AAC?) format. Recommended: MP3 is more commonly used.
    3. Use the same or different software to organize the songs. Because they are compressed, you can fit many MP3 songs on a single CD or flash drive. Be sure that your player is compatible with the file format (and directory structure) you choose.
    4. Burn the files onto a CD or copy them onto a USB flash drive.
    • Pros:
      • You can fit many songs on a single CD or flash drive. Perhaps your entire collection of music.
      • You get the songs you want, organized how you like them.
    • Cons:
      • May not work on your older player.
      • Audio quality is lower. Whether you can hear the difference is debatable, especially for old farts like Mal and me.
Which Software Do You Recommend?
Great question. I wish I could help more here. I use a Mac with iTunes. (I also have a special program for burning all kinds of CDs and DVDs. I wish I could recommend it, but no longer. In case anyone cares, it is Roxio's Toast Titanium - NOT recommended any longer.)

There must be many programs for Windows - both free and commercial. Some capabilities are built-in to Windows as well. Other than the Windows version of iTunes (free), I do not know what to recommend. If you use iTunes on Windows, be sure you use popular Windows formats like MP3, not Apple formats like AAC.

I can't recommend anything specific for Linux. I use Linux, but not for audio stuff like this.

Search for "Ripping CDs" and "Make Audio CDs" as a start.
 

Painfullyslow

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The short version is that unless your car is over 12 years old, it should recognize MP3 files. Unless you are an extreme audiophile, MP3 format should provide more than enough dynamic range to enjoy, especially in a car where you have road and ambient noise competing against your music.
 

magpens

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The short version is that unless your car is over 12 years old, it should recognize MP3 files. Unless you are an extreme audiophile, MP3 format should provide more than enough dynamic range to enjoy, especially in a car where you have road and ambient noise competing against your music.

I am more concerned that MP3 can be played back on an older in-home player of the "boom-box" variety. If not, should I convert the MP3s to another format, and how ?

I am also concerned about the process of "burning" a collection of songs ripped from various CDs . . . is it just a matter of assembling them into a playlist and hitting "burn" ?
 

bsshog40

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Usually a home stereo or boombox will list the playing formats on it somewhere. You should be able to just drag and burn depending on the program on your pc.
 

magpens

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Thanks to all who contributed. You all helped with my understanding and progress.
I have had success in doing some of the basics, which is all that I wanted to achieve at this stage.
I was able to burn a CD from a "burn list" of MP3 files and to modify the song content better to my liking than the original was.
It was simpler than I thought and the resulting CD works fine in my home system.
 

RunnerVince

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Thanks to all who contributed. You all helped with my understanding and progress.
I have had success in doing some of the basics, which is all that I wanted to achieve at this stage.
I was able to burn a CD from a "burn list" of MP3 files and to modify the song content better to my liking than the original was.
It was simpler than I thought and the resulting CD works fine in my home system.
Out of curiosity, did you end up burning an MP3 CD or an audio CD? (If you could fit more than ~20 songs, it was an MP3 CD.)
 

magpens

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Out of curiosity, did you end up burning an MP3 CD or an audio CD? (If you could fit more than ~20 songs, it was an MP3 CD.)

Honestly, I don't really know for sure. . I used Windows Media Player (WMP) to both "rip" the original CD and to "burn" the new CD.

I assume that I burned an MP3 CD because the songs had been previously ripped and they appear on my computer having .mp3 as the extension.

The new burned CD does play just fine on my "boom-box", as does the original commercial CD from which I ripped and selected the songs that I wanted.

I assume that the original CD was not MP3. . . That would mean that my boom-box is capable of playing more than one format (eg. audio and MP3).

I stand to be corrected on any of this . . . I am completely "new" to digital audio formats and all that entails.
 
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Scott

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I enjoyed reading this thread! I used to rip and burn CDs a lot! Now I just stream my music.

A couple of months ago I read an article about how the venerable old iPod is finding a new audience. People are updating old iPods by replacing the old mechanical hard drive with modern flash memory, and installing new higher capacity batteries. So I looked around until I found a used 5.5 Gen iPod Classic 30gb, supposedly the preferred model to update because of the digital-to-analog chip used. I haven’t done any modifications yet as that’s another investment for memory, boards and battery. But as it is, right now I have a functioning 30gb iPod. Somewhere I have all my old backup rips on a hard drive, and I’ll have to find it and get some music loaded. This should be an interesting project!

Scott.
 

monophoto

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Honestly, I don't really know for sure. . I used Windows Media Player (WMP) to both "rip" the original CD and to "burn" the new CD.
Mal's experience is similar to mine.

I burn CDs occasionally, but certainly not very frequently. As a result, each time I do it, I'm essentially having to relearn HOW to do it while dealing with the fact that the software has almost always been updated so that the process is not the same as the last time I did it. And what that means is that whatever works is good enough - the fact that I was able to hack my way through an undocumented process to produce a CD that can be read makes me ecstatic, so I really don't care about details like what is the file format.
 

WriteON

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I have 6 "burned" compilation CD's in my 2002 Mustang. Have been listening to them since 2002. They are now stuck in there as the player crapped put. BOO!!. The Unit died but lived a great life.

DO NOT use a press on label. They can come off the CD and stay in the changer.
 

RunnerVince

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Honestly, I don't really know for sure. . I used Windows Media Player (WMP) to both "rip" the original CD and to "burn" the new CD.

I assume that I burned an MP3 CD because the songs had been previously ripped and they appear on my computer having .mp3 as the extension.

The new burned CD does play just fine on my "boom-box", as does the original commercial CD from which I ripped and selected the songs that I wanted.

I assume that the original CD was not MP3. . . That would mean that my boom-box is capable of playing more than one format (eg. audio and MP3).

I stand to be corrected on any of this . . . I am completely "new" to digital audio formats and all that entails.
Most burning programs I've used provide an option at some point to choose whether you want an "audio" CD or data/"MP3" CD.

If you choose the audio CD, the program will convert the MP3s back to the standard CD format. This is why people have suggested using the originals when available--because MP3 is a "lossy" format, you'll never get the same audio quality from an MP3 as from the original CD. I typically can't tell a difference between anything over 192 Kbps encoding and the original--others say they can tell no matter how high you encode the MP3, and others can't tell a difference with all but the worst encoding.

The advantage to this is that anything that can play normal, storebought audio CDs can play a burned audio CD. The disadvantage is that you're limited to 72 or 80 minutes of audio--the same limitation as a store-bought CD.

If you choose the data or "MP3" option, the burning program simply copies the compressed MP3 files, as is, onto the CD. The advantage here is that you can fit many more songs onto the disc (if you say an average of 5MB per file, divided into 700MB, that's 140 songs, or approximately 12 albums worth of music). The disadvantage is that you'll only be able to play the disc in MP3 capable players. Those are typically marked with one of these logos (or something similar) somewhere on the face of the device:

download.png
download (1).png


That's way more info than you probably wanted, but it boils down to this: A typical album has somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 and 20 tracks, depending on track length. That's simply the limitation of the audio CD format. If you were able to get more than that, you likely burned an MP3 CD unless you burned 80 minutes of 1-minute punk songs. If you found the software told you you couldn't fit that 21st song, then you probably burned an audio CD.
 
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