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Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief the How-To Geek. He"s written about an innovation for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for 2 years. Chris has written because that The brand-new York Times, to be interviewed together a modern technology expert ~ above TV stations prefer Miami"s NBC 6, and had his work-related covered through news outlets like the BBC. Due to the fact that 2011, Chris has actually written over 2,000 articles that have been read virtually one billion times---and that"s just right here at How-To Geek. Check out more...

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Sep 6, 2017, 10:24 am EDT| 3 min read
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When burn a CD, you deserve to either burn it as a data disc or an audio CD. A data CD can hold up to 700 MB, while an audio CD can hold 80 minutes of sound. If you have actually 200 MB that MP3 papers that add up to three hours that music, you can still just burn 80 minute to the disc. Why is that?


What Happens when You Burn a Data CD

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At the time of burning, you choose to burn either a data CD or audio CD. Your disc burning program burns the disc in a various format relying on the alternative you choose.

Data CDs are an easy to understand. When you burn a data CD containing MP3s or any other form of file, your computer system creates a disc containing those files. The records on the disc room the exact same size as they are on your computer. So, if you have 200 MB that MP3s you desire to burn come a 700 MB disc, you have the right to place the MP3 files and up come 500 MB of various other data records on the disc.

Why burning an Audio CD is Different

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Burning an audio CD is different. Audio CDs room not the same thing together data CDs, and they perform not contain MP3 files.

An audio CD contains audio data in CDDA (Compact disc Digital Audio) format. This is uncompressed audio data, and it needs a lot more space 보다 MP3 files, AAC files, or any kind of other form of compressed audio file. A minute that CDDA audio constantly takes increase the exact same amount of an are on the disc, i beg your pardon is why you deserve to only burn a maximum number of minutes come a disc. Even if the song you’re burning are in MP3 format, they have to be converted to the bigger CDDA layout if you want the disc to occupational in a continual CD player.

RELATED: How to Rip Audio CDs to Your computer or Mac

It go the other direction, too. Audio CDs you buy in stores have the right to only have a preferably of around 80 minutes of sound, however if you rip an album to MP3 or AAC format, it will use less than 700 MB the storage room on her PC. In bespeak to transform CDDA come MP3, your computer uses a “lossy” compression process, wherein some data is thrown out. Otherwise, her ripped music arsenal would take it up an awful the majority of space!

Burning MP3s to Audio CDs Isn’t Ideal

If girlfriend burn an MP3 come an audio CD, the MP3s will expand to take it up the very same amount of room as the initial audio data. However, the resulting disc will have actually inferior audio high quality when compared to the original audio CD.

When girlfriend rip music from a CD to an MP3 file or AAC file, you’re not obtaining all the original audio data. Few of the data is discarded come ensure the MP3s have actually a small record size. The result MP3 documents won’t have to sound as an excellent as the original disc. How an excellent they’ll sound relies on the encoder friend use and also its bitrate settings. Her headphones and also speakers are additionally a factor: it will be simpler to call the distinction with higher-quality, an ext expensive headphones.

This is why audio geeks choose lossless styles like FLAC, which carry out some compression yet keep all the initial audio data. If girlfriend burn lossless documents like FLAC to a disc, you’ll have actually an audio CD through sound quality good together the original.

When you burn lossy documents like MP3s come an audio CD, the MP3s will be converted to CDDA audio, which takes up much more space on disc. However all the audio data the was discarded as soon as the MP3s were produced can’t it is in restored.

Of course, if you’re currently happily listening to the MP3 files, an audio CD you burn indigenous those papers won’t sound worse any worse 보다 the MP3s. But it won’t have to sound as good as the original audio disc, either.

Some key Players assistance MP3 CDs

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There’s a deteriorate available, too. Some CD players have the right to read both traditional audio CDs and “MP3 CDs”.


An MP3 CD is exactly what it sounds like. Fairly than converting the MP3 files to CDDA while burning an audio CD, girlfriend burn the MP3 papers to a data CD. The key player climate reads the CD, loads the MP3 files, and plays them as with a computer system would.

To discover out if your disc player support MP3 CDs, look because that an “MP3” logo on it. Friend can likewise read that instruction hand-operated or examine its specifications, and you must see MP3 support noted if it has actually it.

To produce an MP3 CD, you just burn a data disc and fill it through up to 700 MB the audio files. You might want come organize the MP3s right into folders for this reason they’re much easier to navigate v on her disc player. Part applications, like iTunes, have an “MP3 CD” option, however you can attain the same thing by burning the MP3 files to a data disc with any disc-burning tool.

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These CDs won’t job-related on any old CD player, so this isn’t the most compatible solution. But, if you use a CD player the supports MP3 CDs—maybe your vehicle stereo does, for example—you deserve to burn MP3 CDs rather of audio CDs to fit more music ~ above a disc.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr


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Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief that How-To Geek. He"s created about modern technology for end a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has actually written because that The brand-new York Times, been interviewed as a an innovation expert top top TV stations like Miami"s NBC 6, and had his job-related covered through news outlets choose the BBC. Because 2011, Chris has actually written over 2,000 articles that have been read almost one billion times---and that"s just right here at How-To Geek. Read complete Bio »