What Type of Blank CD Do I Need to Record Music?

By Vladimir Khavkine

Updated February 10, 2017

A CD can hold any type of data.
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Recording your own music CDs can save you a lot of headaches, such as having your favorite music spread over multiple discs or having to be extra careful not to damage an original disc. Select only the tracks you like and create your own compilation, or simply back up original discs. Some considerations, however, should be kept in mind before you start burning CDs.


To record a CD, make sure your PC is fitted with a CD recorder drive. These drives are similar to regular CD drives but have a special laser inside that, besides reading the contents of a disc, can also record discs. You will also need CD recording software. Microsoft Windows has an integrated CD-burning utility that you can use, but consider using a dedicated application such as Nero or Roxio to have access to multiple recording options. Last, you’ll need a blank CD.

Blank CD Types

There are two types of blank discs: compact disc-recordable (CD-R) and compact disc-rewritable (CD-RW.) CD-Rs are permanent, and once recorded, the content cannot be modified in any way. CD-RWs can be erased and reused. CD-RWs have disadvantages, however, such as their higher price and lower recording speed. Both types of CD can be used to record music.


You can record a music CD in two ways: audio or MP3. An audio CD will play in most CD players but can only accommodate 80 minutes of music, or the equivalent of approximately 20 tracks. An MP3 disc, on the other hand, can contain several hundred tracks but requires an MP3-compatible CD player. Commercial CDs usually come in the audio format, but you can convert and burn them into the MP3 format.


Duplicating an original CD may be prohibited because of copyright infringement. Make sure you are legally permitted to copy a CD before doing so.