How to burn a CD in iTunes

How to burn a CD in iTunes 1

iTunes is great for playing your tunes on the computer, and the iPod is the undisputed champion of playing personal on-the-go music.  However, none of us can fully escape the need for “old-fashioned” CDs every once and awhile—we use them to listen through other devices, share with friends, and backup our music collections.  iTunes can help.

Configuration:

To get started, you first need to select the type of CD you would like to burn.  Go to iTunes preferences and select the burning tab. 

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Choose your burning format according to your purpose as shown below:

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The following is further detail about the three burning options:

  1. Audio CD:  This is your standard CD.  Its main advantage is that audio data is written in a format that is readable by virtually any audio CD player.  As one can expect, however, you can only fit 74 minutes of audio using this option.
  2. MP3 CD:  This option burns a playlist to a CD, copying the files as MP3 files, rather than audio tracks.  If there are any AAC or Protected AAC files in the specified playlist, they will not be included on the CD.  This is advantageous for burning CDs for use in MP3-capable portable CD players or MP3-capable car stereo CD players, because these devices do not presently support AAC.
  3. Data CD or DVD:  In a data CD or DVD, *all* songs in a playlist, regardless of file type, are burned.  This option is the best to choose for a backup for two reasons.  First, all of your songs – including AAC and iTunes Music Store Protected AAC files – will be backed up.  Second, the “Data” option allows you to burn to a DVD-R disc, which holds approximately 5 times as much data per disc (DVD burner or Superdrive required).
    Once you have selected a format, click “OK” to return to the main iTunes window. 

    Process:

    iTunes creates CDs from playlists.  In previous iPod 101 segments, we learned to create both Manual and Smart playlists.  Either type will work for burning CDs. 

    For Audio CDs, you will most likely want to keep an eye on how large the playlist is in order to ensure that it will fit on one 74-minute CD-R disc.  If you wish to burn more than one CD-worth of songs (for example, for a full-library backup) you can still use a playlist larger than the CD-R or DVD-R’s capacity, as iTunes will ask you if you would like to automatically span your playlist across several discs.

    Begin by highlighting a playlist in the source column that you wish to burn.  A covered “Burn” button will appear in the top right corner of the iTunes window.

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    Press the burn button, and the “Safety Cover” opens as iTunes prompts you to insert a blank disc.  Your CD tray will open.

     

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    Insert a blank disc.  iTunes will check the disc that you have inserted, and prompt you to confirm your intent to burn by clicking the “Burn” button once more. iTunes will now begin the burn.

     

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    When the burn is complete, you will see a CD icon appear in your “Source” column with the same name as the playlist from which it was created.  Congratulations!  Your CD is complete.  Press the “Eject” button in the bottom-right corner of your screen to eject your CD.

     

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    Notes and Tips:

    1. Use smart playlists to facilitate a “rolling” backup of your library.  First burn your entire existing library.  For the future, create a smart playlist where “Date Added is after [The date of your backup].”  Each time you burn this incremental backup, change the date in the smart playlist to reflect the current date.  You can also add a criteria where “Date Modified is after [date of last backup]” as well, to ensure that audio files that have *changed* are also preserved.
    2. It is a good idea, even if you don’t feel like backing up all of your music, to back up your “Purchased Music” playlist regularly, as iTunes Music Store tracks cannot be re-downloaded if you were to lose them.  The “Purchased Music” playlist is just like any other, so you can easily select it and click the burn icon to burn a backup (use “Data” mode, of course).
    3. If you wish to reproduce an album that does not have gaps of silence in between tracks (i.e. Pink Floyd’s The Wall), iTunes can do so.  In the main burning preference window, select Audio CD, and change the “Gap between Songs” setting to “None.”
    4. Share your own in the comments below!
      Have fun burning CDs!! 

      Stay tuned for further iPod 101 iTunes Tutorials!

      Jerrod H. is a Forum Administrator and Contributing Editor for iLounge.

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  1. Whenever I try to burn a disc, it says that it can’t find a disc burner or software, even though I have an external disc drive hooked up. How do I get iTunes to find the external disc drive?

  2. Whenever I try to burn a disc, it says that it can’t find a disc burner or software, even though I have an external disc drive hooked up. How do I get iTunes to find the external disc drive?

  3. I am trying to burn a cd from itunes and I am actually having no luck what so ever. I have tried mp3 even and I just keep getting errors.
    I know its not the cd cause I even tried diffrent ones. its so frustrating casue I have not been able to burn any of my cd’s that I have in itunes when i try to do it by audio it only reads error (2131) I don’t know what this means nor am I able to fix it. Can anyone help me?

  4. I am trying to burn a cd from itunes and I am actually having no luck what so ever. I have tried mp3 even and I just keep getting errors.
    I know its not the cd cause I even tried diffrent ones. its so frustrating casue I have not been able to burn any of my cd’s that I have in itunes when i try to do it by audio it only reads error (2131) I don’t know what this means nor am I able to fix it. Can anyone help me?

  5. I set up my playlist, insert a blank disk and the burn cd button never appears in my itunes. Is it just something that is wrong with my computer or am i doing something wrong? I have already gone to the Edit>Advanced>Burning and adjusted it to how I want it so I am confused to this point. Can anyone help me?

  6. I set up my playlist, insert a blank disk and the burn cd button never appears in my itunes. Is it just something that is wrong with my computer or am i doing something wrong? I have already gone to the Edit>Advanced>Burning and adjusted it to how I want it so I am confused to this point. Can anyone help me?

  7. I have been using Itunes for several years with no issues but recently I cant get a good CD burn no matter what I try. I get randow spurts of buzzing ( not skipping ) which may appear several times throughout the CD. This occurs no matter which drive I use, what speed I select, even X1, or what brand of CDs I use. It also occurs with songs I have imported to Itunes and burn. I also disable my internet connect. I dont have this problem with Real Player or Media Player. I am about to dump Itunes all together. The bad thing is I have spent a lot of cash for songs in their AAC format.

  8. I have been using Itunes for several years with no issues but recently I cant get a good CD burn no matter what I try. I get randow spurts of buzzing ( not skipping ) which may appear several times throughout the CD. This occurs no matter which drive I use, what speed I select, even X1, or what brand of CDs I use. It also occurs with songs I have imported to Itunes and burn. I also disable my internet connect. I dont have this problem with Real Player or Media Player. I am about to dump Itunes all together. The bad thing is I have spent a lot of cash for songs in their AAC format.

  9. Whenever I burn a CD from iTunes the songs come up on other computers and devices with “Untitled” as their names, and there’s no info. Anyone know how I can burn the info along with the audio?

  10. Whenever I burn a CD from iTunes the songs come up on other computers and devices with “Untitled” as their names, and there’s no info. Anyone know how I can burn the info along with the audio?

  11. Hi y’all
    Just bought a car with an MP3 CD Player and the blurb tells me that I can burn a CD containing almost 400 tunes and 10 hours of music on just one CD. Although I can burn a normal CD okay from iTunes, I’ve had no luck with the MP3 format to enable me to do this. Can anyone help me please, bearing in mind I’m a senior and not ever so clever with technical terminology!
    Thanks folks.

  12. Hi y’all
    Just bought a car with an MP3 CD Player and the blurb tells me that I can burn a CD containing almost 400 tunes and 10 hours of music on just one CD. Although I can burn a normal CD okay from iTunes, I’ve had no luck with the MP3 format to enable me to do this. Can anyone help me please, bearing in mind I’m a senior and not ever so clever with technical terminology!
    Thanks folks.

  13. I have never had a problem burning an audio CD from itunes in the past. I get a new laptop, and download itunes version 8, and now I can’t burn a single CD?!?! I know it is not the disk drive, and itunes has no info about this problem. Does anyone know how to solve this issue, or maybe a way to convert the data files to a wav or mp3 format?

  14. I have never had a problem burning an audio CD from itunes in the past. I get a new laptop, and download itunes version 8, and now I can’t burn a single CD?!?! I know it is not the disk drive, and itunes has no info about this problem. Does anyone know how to solve this issue, or maybe a way to convert the data files to a wav or mp3 format?

  15. When i attempt to burn a cd, everything works exactly like it should. i put a blank cd in,hit burn and it goes through the motions and indicates that it has burned and the cd is done. The problem is that no cd player will read it! Can anyone help with this? it just started doing that, it was working fine. i loved burning cd’s on itunes because it was so easy and now it doesnt work at all! Any help or advice anyone would give would be appreciated. thanks!

  16. When i attempt to burn a cd, everything works exactly like it should. i put a blank cd in,hit burn and it goes through the motions and indicates that it has burned and the cd is done. The problem is that no cd player will read it! Can anyone help with this? it just started doing that, it was working fine. i loved burning cd’s on itunes because it was so easy and now it doesnt work at all! Any help or advice anyone would give would be appreciated. thanks!

  17. Help! I can easily make CDs from my iTunes library playlist – but have a problem with the name of the disk. When I put in a blank, I name it according to the new recording. But every time, when the recording is finished the name on the disk reverts to one I used ages ago, so all my CDs apparently have the same name. Very confusing. Can anyone tell me how to solve this problem?

  18. I have been buying and burning music from Itunes for several years, but in the last few weeks (possibly since Itunes 8) I have been been unsuccessful burning mp3 music and the itunes format. I have updated everything and still can’t burn a CD and Itunes has nothing on the subject. Can you help?

  19. Help! I can easily make CDs from my iTunes library playlist – but have a problem with the name of the disk. When I put in a blank, I name it according to the new recording. But every time, when the recording is finished the name on the disk reverts to one I used ages ago, so all my CDs apparently have the same name. Very confusing. Can anyone tell me how to solve this problem?

  20. I have been buying and burning music from Itunes for several years, but in the last few weeks (possibly since Itunes 8) I have been been unsuccessful burning mp3 music and the itunes format. I have updated everything and still can’t burn a CD and Itunes has nothing on the subject. Can you help?

  21. Every time I try and burn a cd in itunes it looks as though its going to work then I get a cancel message of 4450. Please help!

  22. Still can’t figure out how to burn a Cd from a CD that I put in the MAc and play. I’ll stick with vinyl, which sounds superior anyway.

  23. Still can’t figure out how to burn a Cd from a CD that I put in the MAc and play. I’ll stick with vinyl, which sounds superior anyway.

  24. just a question. my itunes was working fine untill a few weeks ago, it said it couldn’t import or burn cds anymore. I tried to repair the problem by reinstalling it but that didn’t work. Now I want to back up my library to completely take it off the computer but itunes won’t let me burn the cd. It keeps saying disc recording not found… Can anyone help me??

  25. just a question. my itunes was working fine untill a few weeks ago, it said it couldn’t import or burn cds anymore. I tried to repair the problem by reinstalling it but that didn’t work. Now I want to back up my library to completely take it off the computer but itunes won’t let me burn the cd. It keeps saying disc recording not found… Can anyone help me??

  26. i put in a memorex cd-r and created a new playlist but everytime i hit burn disc at the bottom of the page the music it says that there is no disc recording not found what does that mean? Do i need a type of software?? Please help?

  27. i put in a memorex cd-r and created a new playlist but everytime i hit burn disc at the bottom of the page the music it says that there is no disc recording not found what does that mean? Do i need a type of software?? Please help?

  28. I have been unsuccessful at burning a CD from my I tunes playlist. Each time I try, I get an error 2131. Please advise…

  29. Is there a way to equalize the volume levels of all the songs on a mix CD. I hate that some songs are very quiet and others blast you out! I know it’s because the different sources are at different levels. The volume setting only affect the playback on the computer, and doesn’t seem to affect the burn volume or the IPOD playback volume.

  30. Is there a way to equalize the volume levels of all the songs on a mix CD. I hate that some songs are very quiet and others blast you out! I know it’s because the different sources are at different levels. The volume setting only affect the playback on the computer, and doesn’t seem to affect the burn volume or the IPOD playback volume.

  31. omg! wen i download da songs from itunes my cd didnt come out! my computer ate it! wen all da songs were completed and written da source thing never showed up. did i do somthing wrong? if i did, what should i do?

  32. omg! wen i download da songs from itunes my cd didnt come out! my computer ate it! wen all da songs were completed and written da source thing never showed up. did i do somthing wrong? if i did, what should i do?

  33. I recently updated my Macbook & got itunes 8. When I burned a playlist, the burning process went fine, but when I tried to play the cd, it didn’t play. I’ve been using itunes for years, and have had no problems burning playlists on this very same laptop. Has anyone else had this issue?? Is apple once again c**k blocking???

  34. I recently updated my Macbook & got itunes 8. When I burned a playlist, the burning process went fine, but when I tried to play the cd, it didn’t play. I’ve been using itunes for years, and have had no problems burning playlists on this very same laptop. Has anyone else had this issue?? Is apple once again c**k blocking???

  35. whenever I try to playback a CD that I burned on itunes, the last few songs skip. any ideas why this happens? i don’t think it’s the disk because my roomy has the same ones and has had no problems.

  36. whenever I try to playback a CD that I burned on itunes, the last few songs skip. any ideas why this happens? i don’t think it’s the disk because my roomy has the same ones and has had no problems.

  37. hey everybody my problem, is how does one get the first line of a song only onto a cd??? my teacher wants us to make a burned cd of one liners for english. any advice, tips or directions would be appreciated especially since it’s due tomm. at 2:40. thanx from a fellow itunes user.

  38. hey everybody my problem, is how does one get the first line of a song only onto a cd??? my teacher wants us to make a burned cd of one liners for english. any advice, tips or directions would be appreciated especially since it’s due tomm. at 2:40. thanx from a fellow itunes user.

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