How to Burn a Movie on a CD-R

by Rochelle Connery

Most full-length home movies are intended for burning onto a DVD-R or DVD-RW. However, if you simply want to transport the data file itself and not make the movie playable on a DVD player, you can burn a small movie onto a CD-R with no trouble at all.

How to Burn a Movie Onto a CD-R

Step 1

Check the size of your movie file to make sure it is less than 700 megabytes. A CD-R will not hold more than this, so if the file is larger, you will have to use a DVD-R.

Step 2

Open the CD burning software and select the command to make a data CD. Some software might have the capability to make a video CD, so you could select this option as an alternative. Do not try to make an audio CD, which is the default of most burning software, because this will likely result in a ruined disc.

Step 3

Open the movie file in the software burning pane and give your disc a name so you can find it easily when you have completed the burn process.

Step 4

Insert the blank disc into the drive, and select the "burn" command on the software. Make sure you have closed out of any other applications or projects, because any running program could hinder the burn process.

Re-insert the disc after the burn process and double-check to make sure the file burned properly. Label your disc on the outside with a permanent marker, if desired.


  • If you only want to transport the data for a temporary use, you can use a CD-RW so you can erase it and use the disc again.
  • You could also choose MPEG-1, WMV or similar files to burn onto your disc as opposed to an AVI file, which happens to be one of the largest. However, these do not always maintain a high-quality rating once they're burned as an AVI does, so consider these options before burning your disc.


  • Mightycoach.com says that while some DVD players might play a CD-R, you won't get a good quality picture or high speed with this process. Thus, it's best to burn your CD as a data disc and watch it on a computer's media player, because this will play as a data file and not as a video burned onto a disc. The resolution will maintain most of its original fidelity this way, unlike a video CD.

Items you will need

  • Blank CD-R or CD-RW
  • Movie file, preferably in AVI format
  • CD burning software
  • Computer or laptop with CD burning capability
  • Thin permanent marker

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