Make high quality audio CD’s from an mp3 file

(The original version of this article was first published on the Mp3 Backing Trax website circa 2006 – 2012)

MP3 is a tightly compressed, high quality wav file so MP3 decoding software is used to convert MP3 back to its original WAV format.

When the MP3 has been converted back to WAV it then needs to be converted further again to CDA format which is the format that normal home audio CD players use.

If that sounds a little complicated, well, it is…But hang on, don’t worry.

If your computer has a CD writer, it will most probably do it all for you, conversion included, in a matter of minutes…and all with a few clicks of the mouse…

Using your existing CD writer and software
You can use the CD writer and CD writing software you already have built-in to your computer to make audio CD’s. All it takes is a little bit of time to learn how to do it – and once you’ve learned how to do it once, every CD after that will be a breeze.

The process of producing a CD using a computer, is known as “burning” a disc and involves having a CD writer and CD writing software installed on your computer. CD-writers and CD writing software are also known as CD burners and CD burning software because of the process involved in making the CD. The computer “burns” the data on to the blank CD using a laser.

There is another method of writing CD’s called “pressing” which is used by large factory CD production machines to “press” the data on to the CD’s. But large factory “presses” will only handle runs of 1,000 or more CD’s. If you only want to make a handful of CD’s, not thousands, you don’t really need to concern yourself with this right now.

So, 99.9% of people will use a CD writer/burner installed on their computer to make an audio CD.

The main hurdle you may face is that there are hundreds of makes and models of CD burners/writers on the market and thousands of software programs that that make them work, so, as you can imagine, it’s impossible for me to write thousands of articles to cover how to use each and every CD writer and software on the market.

However, don’t despair – both your CD writer and the software should have come with an instruction manual (sometimes the instruction manual is a booklet that comes with the software and other times it is actually a help file on the software program). Look through your instruction manual/help files and locate a section that tells you how to produce an “audio CD”.

All good CD writing software nowadays will convert the mp3 to CD audio format ready for burning for you, but still check your instruction manual/help files just to make sure.

Once you have produced (burned) your audio CD, make sure you’ve done it correctly. Test it on a domestic hi-fi CD player. Don’t test it on your computer because your computer can play a variety of different formats – if you’ve chosen the wrong format and done it wrong your computer will still play it.

Most domestic home hi-fi’s ONLY play audio CD’s, so this is the best test to check if you’ve produced your audio CD correctly.

And finally…
Don’t panic if you find that your hi-fi won’t play the CD right away (or at all). Some hi-fi’s and CD players cannot play or struggle to play CD’s produced by a computer.

So before you assume you’ve done something wrong and throw your newly produced CD away, try the CD in a couple of other, different CD players.

It’s also worth noting that in-car CD players are probably the worst culprits for not playing “computer made” CD’s. Very often they will only play “pressed” discs, so don’t be surprised if your car CD won’t even recognize your “burned” disc at all!