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Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief that How-To Geek. He"s created about an innovation for over a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for 2 years. Chris has written because that The new York Times, to be interviewed as a modern technology expert top top TV stations prefer Miami"s NBC 6, and also had his occupational covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has actually written end 2,000 posts that have actually been read virtually one billion times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read more...

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


What Happens once You Burn a Data CD

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At the time of burning, you choose to burn one of two people a data CD or audio CD. Your disc burning regimen burns the key in a different format relying on the alternative you choose.

Data CDs are straightforward to understand. When you burn a data CD include MP3s or any other form of file, your computer creates a disc comprise those files. The documents on the disc room the very same size as they room on her computer. So, if you have 200 MB of MP3s you want to burn come a 700 MB disc, you deserve to place the MP3 files and up to 500 MB of various other data documents on the disc.

Why burn an Audio CD is Different

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Burning one audio CD is different. Audio CDs space not the exact same thing together data CDs, and also they execute not save on computer MP3 files.

An audio CD has audio data in CDDA (Compact disc Digital Audio) format. This is uncompressed audio data, and also it requires a lot much more space 보다 MP3 files, AAC files, or any type of other form of compressed audio file. A minute that CDDA audio always takes increase the exact same amount of room on the disc, which is why you can only burn a maximum number of minutes come a disc. Even if the song you’re burning are in MP3 format, they need to be convert to the larger CDDA style if you desire the bowl to job-related in a continual CD player.

RELATED: How come Rip Audio CDs come Your pc or Mac

It goes the other direction, too. Audio CDs you buy in stores can only have a best of around 80 minute of sound, but if you rip an album come MP3 or AAC format, it will certainly use much less than 700 MB the storage room on your PC. In order to convert CDDA come MP3, your computer uses a “lossy” compression process, where some data is thrown out. Otherwise, her ripped music collection would take up an awful lot of space!

Burning MP3s to Audio CDs Isn’t Ideal

If you burn an MP3 come an audio CD, the MP3s will expand to take up the same amount of room as the original audio data. However, the result disc will have inferior audio high quality when compared to the original audio CD.

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

This is why audio geeks favor lossless formats like FLAC, which administer some compression yet keep every the original audio data. If girlfriend burn lossless records like FLAC come a disc, you’ll have an audio CD through sound quality good together the original.

When friend burn lossy papers like MP3s to an audio CD, the MP3s will certainly be convert to CDDA audio, i m sorry takes up much more space ~ above disc. However all the audio data the was discarded once the MP3s were developed can’t it is in restored.

Of course, if you’re currently happily listening come the MP3 files, one audio CD you burn native those files won’t sound worse any kind of worse than the MP3s. However it won’t have to sound as good 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 conventional audio CDs and also “MP3 CDs”.


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

To uncover out if her disc player support MP3 CDs, look because that an “MP3” logo design on it. Girlfriend can additionally read that instruction manual or check its specifications, and also you should see MP3 support detailed if it has it.

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

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These CDs won’t occupational on any old CD player, therefore this isn’t the most compatible solution. But, if you usage a CD player the supports MP3 CDs—maybe your automobile stereo does, for example—you deserve to burn MP3 CDs instead of audio CDs to fit more music top top a disc.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr


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Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief the How-To Geek. He"s created about an innovation for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for 2 years. Chris has written for The brand-new York Times, been interviewed together a technology expert on TV stations favor Miami"s NBC 6, and also had his job-related covered through news outlets prefer the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has actually written end 2,000 write-ups that have actually been read virtually one exchange rate times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read full Bio »