A typical CD-ROM can hold 12 or 13 tracks of music, but will hold 650 MB or more of data; MP3 files for high sample rate audio files will be in the realm of 3 to 10 MB. If you're looking to maximize the amount of music you store per disk, an MP3 CD is an effective way to do it. Plus, you can assemble custom playlists and make your own music mix to share with your friends. Most CD players made in the last several years can play MP3s as well.
Using a Music Management Program
Launch your music management program, and assemble a playlist out of your MP3 files. Both Windows Media Player and iTunes can handle MP3 files, and will give you a running total of the size in megabytes of a specific playlist.
Put a blank CD-R into your CD burner. You are prompted to name the blank CD-R volume; give it a descriptive name. This is what will show up when the CD is loaded into a computer.
Select the playlist you made, and then go to "File" and select "Copy this Playlist." You're given a set of options; one will be the CD-R you just named. Select that option.
Click on the option that says "Burn."
Make multiple copies of the same playlist by repeating the previous three steps.
Using Manual File Copying
Collect your MP3s into a folder; you can create subfolders named by artist and album title to help organize the music.
Put a blank CD-R into your CD-burner. When prompted, give the CD-R a volume label.
Double-click on the icon for the CD to open the file folder.
Copy the directory with your music to the CD-ROM.
Select "File" from the folder menu, and choose "Burn to Disk." Your operating system will burn the files permanently to the CD-ROM.
Make multiple copies of the same music selection by repeating the previous five steps.
- Depending on the CD-burning software you have, and the use of CD-RWs, you may be able to burn the MP3s as a "Live File System," which allows you to delete MP3s from the CD-ROM later. You can also burn a "Mastered" CD, which permanently records the MP3s to the disk. Older CD players with MP3 capabilities had difficulty reading from the Live File System method.
- This set of instructions also works for copying MP3s to USB Flash Drives.
- CD-R blanks
- A CD-burner
- Music management software, such as Windows Media Player or iTunes (optional)
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images