How to Combine Multiple CDA Tracks Into One MP3
By Candace Benson
Due to the track or size limitations of some discs or the desire to create a single track when burning a CD, you may need to combine multiple CDA tracks into one MP3. CDA tracks are visible when viewing the contents of a CD in Windows Explorer. These files contain information about the audio tracks but are not the actual music tracks. To merge audio tracks into one MP3, you must first rip or extract the music from disc to hard drive, then you must use audio software to merge the files. Prior to beginning this process, check your hard disk to ensure that you have enough space for storing and combining your MP3s.
Rip the CDA Tracks
Insert the audio CD. Close the Auto Play window if applicable.
Open Windows Media Player.
Click on the drop-down arrow under the "Rip" button in the navigation menu.
Select "MP3" for your format. Select "256 Kbps" or "320 Kbps" as the bit rate.
Click on the "Rip" button. Click on boxes next to any songs you do not wish to include in the MP3 merge to uncheck them.
Repeat for each disc that contains music you wish to use. Continue to the next section. Choose one of the three programs presented to combine your tracks into a single MP3.
Merge the Tracks
Download and install Audacity. Download the LAME MP3 encoder if you do not currently have the open-source MP3 encoder on your computer (see the Resource links to download Audacity and the LAME encoder). Open each track you wish to merge. Copy and paste the tracks into a single file. Use the filters to alter the tracks or to add special effects. Export the merged file into one MP3. Audacity is a free, open-source software compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac computers; or:
Download and install Direct MP3 Joiner (see the link in the Resource section). Add the music tracks, select them all, then click on "Join." MP3 Joiner and Cutter is a commercial program, although it offers a 30-day free trial; or:
Download and install the Merge MP3 software (see the link in the Reference section) to add your music tracks and merge them into a single MP3 file. Choose Merge MP3 if you do not need advanced filters or mixing options and desire a simple program. Merge MP3 is free.
Candace Benson has nearly five years of experience as a volunteer coordinator and has worked for non-profits and state agencies. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Benson wrote for a number of video game websites and blogs and worked as a technical support agent. Benson currently writes for eHow.