Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Burning CDs

Help me, oh friends list, you are my only hope...

I've been suffering some frustration over the last few days in attempts to burn CDs of the Doctor Who series "The Abominable Snowmen". Some time back I bought it in MP3 format, which of course I can't play in the car's CD player, which is a pity as the only time I really listen to CDs is when I am driving. I have successfully converted all the tracks to WMV format, using Winamp (though I guess I could have used the Windows Audio Converter).

The next problem was that when I tried burning them to rewritable CDs, the car's player wouldn't recognise them. WikiPedia informs me that rewritable CDs often cannot be played by audio players, so I went out and bought some CD-Rs.

Now, the fun begins:

  1. Right-click on files to copy, use the "Send to..." option to activate the Windows CD Writing wizard - but it refuses to recognise that there is a writable CD in the tray.

  2. Try Windows Media Player - says it refuses to burn the files because it cannot detect their length. Says it might possibly be able to burn them if I play through them first; but the whole point of this exercise is so that I don't hacve to play them through at the compuiter!

  3. Try RealPlayer - it refuses to burn any files which are less than ten seconds long, and half a dozen of the scenes in the Doctor Who story are indeed less than ten seconds long. I'm not going to risk missing out on important plot points.

  4. Try iTunes - seems to go well much better - all 68 tracks appear to be present on the CD, although the burning process finishes with a baffling error message. But (minor point) annoying brief pause between tracks and (much more major point) the disc stops playing after track 51 has been played, ie half way through episode 3. When I try again (this time with episodes 3 to 5) with another disk, the same thing happens but sooner, getting 21 tracks in, almost to the end of episode 3, before giving up.

So, what do you think?

  1. Is there some fantastic CD-burning software out there which will always work?
  2. Have I just been buying shoddy CD-R's, and should go upmarket a bit?
  3. Could the CD burner have been damaged? I did dislodge the tray once, but got it back in again without apparent ill-effects, and the fact that it has successfully burnt some tracks suggests that it must be able potentially to do them all.
  4. there's nothing illegal, is there, about my messing around with MP3 tracks that I have paid for to get them into a more suitable format for my own personal use?


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
When Brit was burning CD's for our wedding (We were going to give them as gifts) we found that the really cheap ones would not play/play in our home stereo but would jam and/or skip. Upgrading to more expensive cd-r's did the trick and, in fact, I still use the same CD-r for demoing my own music.
While we were in Belgium, Brit had her Dell and I my Mac Powerbook. We went to the Carrefour in Namur for CD-rs. The ones she burned using the Windows Media Player worked fine in the rental car's CD player; the ones I burned using Itunes did not work at all...just spit the disk out after spinning for a minute or so. So... for what ever that is worth...
Oct. 7th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
Minor point
You can fix the gap between tracks when burning via iTunes - there is an option that defaults to 2 secs. Edit-preferences-advanced-burning.
Oct. 7th, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)
OK, I'm assuming your CD burner isn't a fussy beast and wanted +Rs instead. I had a lot of problems with a Philips CD burner, which would on;y recognise 30% of the blank media I put in it. I tried running a CD cleaner through the drive, rebooting, etc. The on;y solution in the end was to replace the burner with another brand.
Oct. 7th, 2006 08:44 am (UTC)
I would always recommend buying branded media, though these days I buy a brand called Taiyo Yuden who make branded media for named brands. It's not very expensive, at least not compared to my time. Having said that, I do not

As far as I know there is no fantastic CD burning software. I use iTunes and/or Toast, depending on what I'm burning. I don't burn on the PC; CD burning was one of the tasks that used to drive me mad on the PC but which I find trivial on the Mac. If you're using iTunes, I'm not sure why you needed to convert the files before burning; iTunes will burn an audio CD from mp3s or other data files on the fly.

Given the number of tracks, and the fact that you want to listen to them in order, I would be inclined to join them into rather fewer longer tracks before burning, using Audacity or similar. MP3s are famous for not being entirely smooth about this -- see here for some discussion.

The very new version of iTunes finally delivers gapless playback, though I have seen no reports on whether it works for CD burning (I don't use homemade audio CDs much).

If you have a cassette recorder in your car (you probably don't) then iPod plus cassette adapter is much less trouble than burning CDs for the car.
Oct. 7th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC)
I have no idea what's gone wrong, but if worst comes to worst I can always try and burn them here and send you a CD!
Oct. 7th, 2006 10:02 am (UTC)
ii. Quite possible.
iii. Possible, but I would have thought less likely.
iv. Maybe. In a "common-sense" view there would be nothing illegal about it, but new media licences are often draconian (and almost certainly unenforceable).

- You could try reducing the recording speed, this will help if your PC is struggling with the data transfer rate.

- Also, turn off anything like screen savers when burning CDs - ideally, let the machine do its work and don't ask it to do anything else while it's burning.

- You may need to "finalize" the disc before playing it in a standard CD player.
Oct. 7th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
You may need to "finalize" the disc before playing it in a standard CD player

I'm a long way from taht right now, but what does that mean?
Oct. 7th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
It means writing the file information in a way that other (i.e. non PC) devices can read it. Maybe Windows does it automatically for CDs, I'm not sure. For a DVD, it means setting the disc format to DVD-V. When I record to DVD I have to "finalize" the disc before I can play it on anything other than my DVD-R.
Oct. 7th, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)
Nero Express has always worked fine for me. I think it's possible to buy the OEM version of Nero 5 for like three quid nowadays (although as far as I know Nero 5 won't do DVDs).

I've heard good thing about Taiyo Yuden brand CD-Rs, they're the best recommended brand on CD-R forums. No idea where you'd buy them.
Oct. 7th, 2006 10:57 am (UTC)
The last two times I have bought blank media it has been from http://www.jetmedia.co.uk -- I just found them on a websearch.
Oct. 7th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
This has nothing to do with this posting, but I heard the Atomic Kitten's "Eternal Flame" yesterday and it is *clear* that the Bangles' version is superior. :)
Oct. 7th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
i. Try Nero. It converts mp3 straight to audio-CD, and I never had any trouble with it.
Oct. 7th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
I have fantastic Cd burning software that never fails for me. It's called Nero Express. There's a couple of versions of the programme and I'm pretty sure you can dl it off some site. ^-^
Oct. 7th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
+ Also the laser could have burnt out in your cd burner. I own a Liteon Cd burner, after years of lasers going kaputt due to crap makes. Constant playing of cds on your Cd burner can also make it die quicker. If Nero doesn't work for you, I'd see about getting a Liteon. Plus CD-rs are VERY tempremental.. I have BASF Cd-rs that I used on my old burner, that wouldn't work on my new burner.

you should first try nero, try a different kind of CD-r [I recommend Jungle.com's monkey media CD-Rs [They always work for me].. then you should look into getting a new burner.
Oct. 7th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
Try Windows Media Player - says it refuses to burn the files because it cannot detect their length.

That's a bit odd.

But just a thought. Did you try writing them to CD, using the burn audio thingy (in Win Media Player or whatever) from the original MP3s, rather than WMA?

(And agreement on using Nero from me as well ;O))
Oct. 8th, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
i. Nah. Nothing works always. But most things work, most of the time. Some of them are even free, like this one for example: http://www.cdburnerxp.se/features.php
or this one: http://nch.com.au/burn/index.html
ii. there is a better chance with more expensive CDs, or, more probably, you just need to find the right brand that your car CD player finds edible. It depends on many things (among others, old, really old players were picky about the shade of the lower plastic layer - those with a laser beam around the "blue" wavelenght favored blue shades of plastic). I would try to lower the CD writing speed to 8x, 4x, 1x - just to experiment. The slower the writing the better the chances, especially with less expensive CDs.
iii. computer hardware is mostly dualistic about this - it either works or it does not. So, if you are still able to burn anything readable on that burner - it works.
iv. Um. My point would be that you bought the stuff - now you are free to use it in any way you want. I guess there are people out there who would argue with me on the mp3s, but in real life it all comes down to numbers - if you are a great pirate and download and share mp3s by the ton, sooner or later you will be noticed. And if you just use the format to store your collection and play it in your car - can't see no Gates' missionaries crash-landing in your windows any time soon!
Oct. 8th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
PPS: Windows CD writing wizard sucks dead gophers. When it comes to CD burning, so do: Windows Media Player, Real Player of any kind, and iTunes :-)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

June 2019


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by yoksel