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Now let's take a look at how to burn your iTunes music to a CD. Now with the advent of iPods, broadband and network sharing, there is not as much of a call for burning CDs today as there was a few years ago. But there may still be times when you want to create a custom CD of your songs or videos. Maybe you car only has a CD player, or you want to mail some tunes to your friend overseas. Whatever the reason, it's a good idea to know how to burn a CD from iTunes and to be able to tell the difference between the types of CDs you can burn. In this movie we will look at the three types of disc formats you can burn in iTunes. To burn a disc you need a computer with a drive that's capable of burning CDs.
With very few exceptions, any computer manufactured in the last several years should have one. You will also need a blank CD or DVD. You can purchase those at any office supply store or online electronics retailer. And you will need to create a playlist of the songs you want to burn. Now that last step is an absolute requirement; you must create a playlist in order to burn your content to a disk. I have for example this playlist we created earlier called Dinner Music, and I will just use this for this example. Interestingly in iTunes 10, Apple eliminated the burn disc button that used to be in the lower right-hand corner of the window.
I guess they figured that not enough people are burning CDs anymore to take up that space for the button. So to burn a disk, first select your playlist and then choose File > Burn Playlist to Disc. Alternately you can right-click on the playlist, and choose Burn Playlist to Disc from here. And the method opens the Burn Settings window we see here and it's here where you can determine what type of disc you want to burn. We have audio CD, MP3 CD, and Data CD or DVD. Now there is a global menu here, Preferred Speed, which is just a menu to determine how fast you want your disc to be burned.
The default is Maximum Possible, but there are times when the blank disc you're using might be of lower quality and might fail to be completely burned in high-speed drives. If that's the case, you can try reducing the preferred speed and try again with another disk. But for the most part you can leave Maximum Possible selected. Now as far as disc formats go, choose audio CD if you want to create a disc that's formatted identically to the music CDs you can purchase in stores, and which will play in just about any standard CD player in your car or in a stereo. This is the format you choose when you want to create a CD that will play in all CD playing devices.
The limitation to this format is that you can only have 74 minutes of music on the disc. Now looking at the bottom of my iTunes window, I can see this playlist is just over 37 minutes long. So I am going to have a problem fitting this on an audio CD. Now when you burn your CD the songs will play one after another just like they do in your playlist. If you want to introduce a little more silence between the tracks, you can use the Gap Between Songs menu to select the amount of time you want. If you want no gaps, choose None, or if you want some space between the tracks, choose anywhere from 1-5 seconds. We also have the ability to apply the sound check affect to our audio CDs, which will make sure all the songs are played at relatively the same volume level.
So if you have a mix of songs that range from quiet to soft in terms of the ways they were recorded, you can even them out with this effect. I tend to prefer not to apply any effects to my CDs, so I will leave this off, but feel free to use it if you think you need it. We also have the option to include CD text, which is basically the information like the song title, artist and album from the files you are burning. Some car and home CD players can read and display this information, so you can check this option if you have one of those players and want to be able to see the song info while the CD is playing. Now once you have made your selections here, you are ready to burn so just click Burn.
So you are going to be prompted to insert a blank disc. If you are burning an audio CD, you want to make sure to insert a CD-R disc. You could try burning to a CD+R or another type of disc, but most regular CD players can only read CD-R discs. So stick with that format for audio CD. Now I am not actually going to burn a CD right now, so I am just going to click X button up here to cancel. Let's look at the other types of discs we can burn. The next option is MP3 CD. an MP3 CD is a CD that can be played in many recently manufactured CD players that have been designed to read the MP3 format.
Unlike the Audio CD format, which processes your files and is limited to 74 minutes of music, the MP3 CD format allows you to just burn MP3 files as is to a disc, which allows you to take advantage of the full capacity of the black CD-R, which is about 650 MBs and that amounts to about 12 hours worth of music. If your playlist happen to be longer than that iTunes will burn everything that fits on CD and then ask you to insert another disk to burn the remainders. Again, this is using the same CD-R type of disc an audio CD uses. Now if you are only planning on playing your MP3 CD on computers, you can use a CD-RW or rewritable disc.
Regular CD players can't play that format though, so only you CD-Rs if you intend to play your MP3 disc in a regular player. Now as its name implies, an MP3 CD can only contain MP3 formatted songs. If your playlist contains any songs in the AAC format or any other format, those songs won't be copied to the disc and iTunes will tell you as much when you try to burn the MP3 CD. So you have to convert your songs into MP3s before you can burn them to MP3 CD. The third format option here is Data CD or DVD, and this format is excellent for backing up or copying large numbers of files to disc.
This is a purely computer-based data format, meaning the disc is not meant to be played in any kind of music playing device, although you may find certain CD players or DVD players will be able to play it. But you are essentially using the disc of the storage device and the files in your playlist will be copied to the disc just as they are in whatever format they are in. Once the disc has been burned, you can insert it into any other computer and drag the files off of it. I say this option is good for copying large numbers of files, because you can use blank DVD-Rs as well as regular CD-Rs. DVD-Rs hold about four half gigabytes of data, so they're excellent for storing larger amounts of files.
So those are the three formats of CDs you can burn. Now if you are interested in backing up your iTunes library, the Data CD or DVD format is a good way to go, but that requires creating playlist of the files you want to backup. If you want to backup a lot of items or even your entire library to multiple discs, we cancel out of here, you should instead choose File > Library > Backup to Disc. This gives you the options to either back up the entire iTunes library and playlists, or back up only iTunes Store purchases. The option to only back up items that have changed since last backup is nice, so you're not constantly copying the same files over and over again to multiple discs.
So the first time I go to backup, I can say I want to backup of my entire library and playlists, but if I go to do this again, I would check Only backup of items added or changed since last backup and I will end up copying everything to multiple discs again. Only the stuff that I've purchased for changed since the last backup will be copied to disc. Now once you click Next, iTunes will prompt you to insert a disk. It will fill up the CD or DVD to capacity and then continue asking for more disks until all the files have been copied. If you have a large music library you're backing up, I highly suggest selecting the library and looking at the total file size at the bottom of the window.
In this case I have 2.74 GB, and in this way you might be able to figure out approximately how many CDs or DVDs you'll need. I would only need one DVD in this case, since our DVD can hold four-and-half GB. So those are your options for burning discs from iTunes 10.
- Using the playback controls
- Setting preferences
- Understanding audio and video file formats
- Importing from a CD
- Managing multiple libraries
- Building playlists and smart playlists
- Creating playlists automatically with Genius
- Shuffling and repeating songs
- Burning discs to share
- Shopping at the iTunes Store
- Managing an iPod