How to Burn MP3 Music Files to CD Using Windows Media Player

February 25, 2009

in applications,computer hardware,digital media,Windows

by David Hakala

To make a data or Audio CD, a laser beam literally burns tiny dimples into the surface of a disc. That is why making a CD is calling “burning.” Windows Media Player supports burning of CDs in both data (ISO) format and CD-Audio (CDA) format.

CDA is the format in which commercial audio CDs are burned at the factory. A CDA disc can hold 70 to 80 minutes’ worth of music, regardless of the size of the original music files. CDA is a lossless format, so CDA files are faithful to the quality of the original file. CDA is needed if one plans to play the CD on an older CD player that does not support other file formats.

Burning a MP3 CD is just copying MP3 data files to CD; there is no format conversion as there is in CDA burning. The amount of music you can burn to a MP3 disc depends on the average size of all the files you are burning. An MP3 disc will play in many modern CD players, on a computer, or you can transfer files from the disc to a personal music player such as an iPod.

Click on the Burn tab in Windows Media Player.

Select Audio to burn a CDA disc, or Data to burn an MP3 (or other data format) disc

“Eject CD after burning” is a good idea. So is “Apply volume leveling…” when burning a CDA disc.

Under “More Options” you will find “Burn speed.” It is tempting to set this to the maximum speed, but don’t. Writing errors are common when the speed limit is pushed, and you will probably waste time and CDs. Select “medium” or even “low” if you get write errors.

Select the music files you want to burn and drag them into the burn list on the right-hand side of the screen. Right-click on a file to move it up or down in the list so you get the songs in the order you wish.

Insert a blank CD in the drive and click the “Start Burn” button at the bottom of the burn list.

Burn CD with Windows Media Player

Burn CD with Windows Media Player

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at


mistrn 04.02.09 at 10:03 pm

very clear explanation and is so simple but each one seeks the complex way to do things like burn a cda or mp3 disc trying to use a lot of unnecessary programs. thanks

abs 04.27.09 at 7:05 am

CDA is a shortcut to the actual sound file (see ).

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