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Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He"s created about technology for over a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written because that The new York Times, been interviewed together a an innovation expert top top TV stations favor Miami"s NBC 6, and had his occupational covered by news outlets choose the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has actually written over 2,000 short articles that have actually been read virtually one billion times---and that"s just right here at How-To Geek. Review more...

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Sep 6, 2017, 10:24 am EDT| 3 min read
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When burning a CD, you deserve to either burn it together a data disc or one audio CD. A data CD have the right to hold approximately 700 MB, when an audio CD deserve to hold 80 minutes of sound. If you have 200 MB of MP3 papers that include up come three hours the music, you can 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 pick to burn one of two people a data CD or audio CD. Your disc burning routine burns the key in a different format depending on the alternative you choose.

Data CDs are simple to understand. As soon as you burn a data CD comprise MP3s or any other kind of file, your computer creates a disc containing those files. The files on the disc room the very same size as they are on her computer. So, if you have 200 MB that MP3s you desire to burn to a 700 MB disc, you can place the MP3 files and up come 500 MB of other data documents 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 as data CDs, and they carry out not save MP3 files.

An audio CD consists of audio data in CDDA (Compact bowl Digital Audio) format. This is uncompressed audio data, and it calls for a lot much more space than MP3 files, AAC files, or any type of other form of compressed audio file. A minute of CDDA audio always takes increase the same amount of room on the disc, which is why you have the right to only burn a maximum variety of minutes come a disc. Even if the songs you’re burning are in MP3 format, they need to be convert to the bigger CDDA format if you desire the disc to occupational in a continual CD player.

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It go the other direction, too. Audio CDs girlfriend buy in stores have the right to only have a maximum of around 80 minutes of sound, however if you rip one album to MP3 or AAC format, it will certainly use less than 700 MB of storage room on your PC. In bespeak to transform CDDA come MP3, your computer uses a “lossy” compression process, where 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 friend burn one MP3 to an audio CD, the MP3s will increase to take up the very same amount of space as the original audio data. However, the result disc will have actually inferior audio high quality when compared to the initial audio CD.

When you rip music indigenous a CD come an MP3 document or AAC file, you’re not getting all the original audio data. Few of the data is discarded come ensure the MP3s have a small file size. The result MP3 papers won’t necessarily sound as an excellent as the initial disc. How good they’ll sound counts on the encoder girlfriend use and also its bitrate settings. Her headphones and also speakers are also a factor: that will be simpler to tell the difference with higher-quality, much more expensive headphones.

This is why audio geeks choose lossless layouts like FLAC, which carry out some compression yet keep every the original audio data. If friend burn lossless records like FLAC to a disc, you’ll have an audio CD through sound quality good together the original.

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

Of course, if you’re already happily listening to the MP3 files, an audio CD girlfriend burn indigenous those files won’t sound worse any type of worse 보다 the MP3s. However it won’t necessarily sound as good as the initial audio disc, either.

Some disc Players assistance MP3 CDs

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


An MP3 CD is exactly what it sounds like. Quite than convert the MP3 records to CDDA while burning an audio CD, friend burn the MP3 files to a data CD. The disc player climate reads the CD, lots the MP3 files, and also plays them as with a computer would.

To uncover out if your disc player support MP3 CDs, look for an “MP3” logo on it. Friend can additionally read its instruction hands-on or inspect its specifications, and also you should see MP3 support provided if it has actually it.

To develop an MP3 CD, you merely burn a data disc and also fill it v up come 700 MB that audio files. You might want to organize the MP3s right into folders therefore they’re less complicated to navigate through on her disc player. Some applications, choose iTunes, have an “MP3 CD” option, yet you can accomplish the very same thing by burning the MP3 documents to a data disc with any type of disc-burning tool.

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These CDs won’t work-related on any kind of old CD player, therefore this isn’t the most compatible solution. But, if you usage a CD player the supports MP3 CDs—maybe your vehicle stereo does, for example—you have the right to burn MP3 CDs rather of audio CDs come fit more music on a disc.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr


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