How to "burn" the perfect
Obvious as it may
sound, you'd be surprised how many folks burn data CD's instead
of audio CD's when they are trying to make a music CD!
To be fair, it can be confusing, because all CD burning software
allows you to burn a variety of different types of discs and you
are required to pick from a menu of a dozen or more CD formats...and
that's before you even start. If your CD writer also writes DVD's
then double the amount of options and you can begin to see where
it get's difficult for the newbie to get his/her head around it
The Correct Format
The good news is that there is only one format you need to concern
yourself with if you want to make a music CD which is capable
of being played on a normal domestic hi-fi CD player.
You MUST make
sure you burn your CD as an "Audio CD"
(see your CD writers help files for more details
if you're not sure what this is or how to select it)
So what happens
if you make a mistake and select, say, a data CD instead? Well,
to add to the confusion, data CD's can also play music! So,
if you burn a data CD by mistake, it WILL play on your PC, but
if you try to play it in a normal domestic CD player, the disc
won't be recognized.
So, remember when you're burning a music CD, you are making
an "Audio CD", not a CD-ROM(ISO), Mixed Mode
CD, CD Extra, Video CD, Super Video CD, CD-ROM (BOOT), CD-ROM
(Hybrid), CD-ROM (UDF), CD-ROM (UDF/ISO) or any other weird
and wonderful format that your CD writer allows you to select!
Have you ever had a CD
"skip" while it's playing or found that it just won't
play at all in some CD players but others play it just fine?
This is a common problem, but it can be prevented.
While CD "skipping" can often be caused by dirty fingermarks
or scratches on the surface of the disc, this isn't always the
case. Skipping is also caused by burning discs too quickly.
Nowadays, modern CD writers can burn discs at up to 52x. While
it may at first glance seem great that you can burn a full CD
in little more than a minute, burning at high speeds causes
the data to be less reliable...which causes skipping.
So, even if you've invested all your hard earned cash in a super-duper
lightning fast CD writer, if you want the best results (which
means good quality sound and no skipping), then NEVER burn an
audio CD at any more than 8x (4x is even better). It really
defeats the purpose if you've spent hours or even days recording
a great album only for listeners to switch it off after the
first song because they're tired of hearing all those glitches
CD writing software & Discs
I'm often asked what's the best CD writing software and discs
to use for making music CD's.
There's no easy answer to this because there are hundreds of CD
writing software programs out there and thousands of brands of
blank CD-R's. However, it's always a good idea to try using the
software that was supplied with your CD writer - after all, it
was written specially for the hardware so should work well with
it. If you didn't receive CD writing software bundled with your
CD writer when you bought it, then Nero (http://www.nero.com)
is as good as any you'll find.
When it comes to choosing which blank CD-R discs are best, the
field is wide open! Don't assume that because you pay a lot of
money for blank CD-R's that you'll get better results. Sometimes
cheaper CD-R's work better than expensive ones, and vice-versa.
The secret is to find a brand of disc that works well with your
computer - discs that work well in one computer might fail and
cause burn errors in another. Look on the bright side though -
you can always use your failed CD burns as drinks coasters!
Hopefully this short article will put you on the right road to
burning successful music discs. If you run in to any problems,
the first place you should always look is your CD writing softwares
help pages - most are pretty well written and cover all the aspects
and problems you're likely to come across.
So go and "Burn Baby Burn"....!
Article Written by Kenny Campbell
(This article cannot be reproduced without express
(all rights reserved)