How to Create Audio CDs That Play Anywhere

by Maya Austen

It is a common experience: You record or copy an audio CD, play it back on one CD player system and it works fine. You play it back on another CD player, and the disc is unreadable. The issue you're having could be with the type of disc or burning process you employed to create your CD.

Creating Audio CDs with a CD Recorder

Purchase a blank CD-R, making certain the disc is not a CD-RW, CD-R/RW, CD-ROM, DVD, or other type of disc.

Place your blank CD-R disc in the CD tray of the recorder. Select the proper recording source input. The source is the device you're recording from, while the input specifies how you have the device connected to your CD recorder---either through the analog, digital, or optical jack in the back of your CD recorder.

Press "Record" and "Pause" on the CD recorder then play audio from the source to test your recording levels. Turn the joggle knob on your CD recorder to adjust your recording levels as needed. Be careful not to "clip" your audio by recording at a level too far into the red (above zero decibels). Clipping your audio causes distortion, and on a digital medium like a CD, this distortion will make some or all of your recorded audio unintelligible during playback.

Press "Record" and "Play" on your CD recorder, then start your source audio again to perform your recording. Press "Stop" when you're done.

Finalize your CD-R disc after making all of your recordings. This is an important step because unfinalized discs will only play back on your CD recorder unit and will not be readable on other CD players.

Recording Audio CDs with a Computer

Purchase a blank CD-R disc, making certain it is not a CD-RW, CD-R/RW, CD-ROM, DVD, or any other type of disc.

Choose the audio recording software program with the editing capacity desired (see Resource link below for software options) to make your recording. Record the CD using the standard CD sampling rate of 16-bit, 44.1 kHz. Save your recording.

Use your CD audio converter software, or CDA (see the Resource link below), to convert your audio files to a CDA file type.

Burn the CDA files onto your blank CD-R.

Finalize your CD-R. Unfinalized discs will not play back on other CD players.

Copying Audio CDs with a Computer

Purchase a blank CD-R, making certain the disc is not a CD-RW, CD-R/RW, CD-ROM, DVD, or any other type of disc.

Use your media player software to copy, or rip, audio files from the source CD to your computer or download the audio files you want to burn on CD.

Use your CDA software (see the Resource link) to convert your audio files to a CD audio track file type, if necessary.

Burn the audio files onto your blank CD-R.

Finalize your CD-R.

Items you will need

About the Author

Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.