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Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He"s composed about modern technology for over a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written because that The brand-new York Times, been interviewed together a technology expert top top TV stations prefer Miami"s NBC 6, and also had his work-related covered by news outlets like the BBC. Because 2011, Chris has actually written end 2,000 articles that have actually been read almost one billion times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read more...

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Sep 6, 2017, 10:24 to be EDT| 3 min read
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When burn a CD, you deserve to either burn it together a data disc or one audio CD. A data CD deserve to hold as much as 700 MB, when an audio CD deserve to hold 80 minutes of sound. If you have 200 MB the MP3 files that include up to three hours of music, you have the right to still only burn 80 minutes to the disc. Why is that?


What Happens once You Burn a Data CD

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At the moment of burning, you select to burn either a data CD or audio CD. Her disc burning regimen burns the disc in a different format depending on the option you choose.

Data CDs are an easy to understand. As soon as you burn a data CD containing MP3s or any other type of file, your computer creates a disc include those files. The papers on the disc are the exact same size together they room on your computer. So, if you have actually 200 MB that MP3s you want to burn to a 700 MB disc, you can place the MP3 files and also up come 500 MB of other data files on the disc.

Why burning an Audio CD is Different

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Burning an audio CD is different. Audio CDs space not the very same thing together data CDs, and they execute not save MP3 files.

An audio CD includes audio data in CDDA (Compact key Digital Audio) format. This is uncompressed audio data, and it calls for a lot much more space 보다 MP3 files, AAC files, or any type of other type of compressed audio file. A minute that CDDA audio constantly takes increase the exact same amount of space on the disc, i beg your pardon is why you can only burn a maximum number of minutes to a disc. Even if the songs you’re burning space in MP3 format, they have to be convert to the bigger CDDA layout if you desire the key to work in a continuous CD player.

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

Burning MP3s come Audio CDs Isn’t Ideal

If you burn one MP3 come an audio CD, the MP3s will broaden to take it up the same amount of an are as the original audio data. However, the resulting disc will have actually inferior audio quality when compared to the initial audio CD.

When girlfriend rip music from a CD to an MP3 file or AAC file, you’re not gaining all the initial audio data. Several of the data is discarded to ensure the MP3s have a small document size. The resulting MP3 documents won’t have to sound as an excellent as the original disc. How great they’ll sound relies on the encoder girlfriend use and also its bitrate settings. Her headphones and speakers are additionally a factor: that will be much easier to phone call the difference with higher-quality, more expensive headphones.

This is why audio geeks favor lossless formats like FLAC, which provide some compression but keep every the initial audio data. If friend burn lossless documents like FLAC come a disc, you’ll have an audio CD with sound quality good as the original.

When friend burn lossy files like MP3s to an audio CD, the MP3s will certainly be converted to CDDA audio, i beg your pardon takes up an ext space ~ above disc. However all the audio data that was discarded when the MP3s were created can’t be restored.

Of course, if you’re currently happily listening come the MP3 files, an audio CD friend burn from those files won’t sound worse any worse 보다 the MP3s. However it won’t have to sound as an excellent as the original audio disc, either.

Some bowl 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 also “MP3 CDs”.


An MP3 CD is specifically what it sounds like. Rather than convert the MP3 records to CDDA while burn an audio CD, you burn the MP3 records to a data CD. The disc player then reads the CD, lots the MP3 files, and also plays them similar to a computer would.

To uncover out if her disc player support MP3 CDs, look for an “MP3” logo on it. You can also read its instruction hands-on or inspect its specifications, and also you have to see MP3 support listed if it has it.

To develop an MP3 CD, you just burn a data disc and fill it with up to 700 MB of audio files. You might want come organize the MP3s into folders therefore they’re much easier to navigate v on her disc player. Some applications, favor iTunes, have actually an “MP3 CD” option, yet you can attain the same thing by burning the MP3 papers to a data key with any type of disc-burning tool.

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These CDs won’t occupational on any type of old CD player, therefore this isn’t the many compatible solution. But, if you use a CD player that supports MP3 CDs—maybe your automobile stereo does, for example—you deserve to burn MP3 CDs rather of audio CDs to fit an ext music on a disc.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr


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Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief that How-To Geek. He"s written about modern technology for over a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has actually written because that The brand-new York Times, been interviewed together a modern technology expert on TV stations like Miami"s NBC 6, and had his work-related covered by news outlets choose the BBC. Due to the fact that 2011, Chris has actually written over 2,000 write-ups that have been read practically one exchange rate times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read complete Bio »