zurich wrote:1. i will burn onto a cd-r and absolutely not a cd-rw?
2. i will use software that supports gapless burning ie that supports disc at once?
For best compatibility, use CD-R not CD-RW.
Ensure that you burn the disk as an "audio CD" NOT a "data CD".
For a "gapless" CD, the software AND THE HARDWARE (the optical drive) must support "Disk At Once" ("DAO") mode.
zurich wrote:2a. can you recommend a software for this?
On Linux, most CD authoring applications can do gapless CDs. I currently use Brasero https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Brasero
I've previously used K3B (https://www.kde.org/applications/multimedia/k3b/
) which is probably the most feature rich CD burning application for Linux.
Many years ago I used Nero on Windows, which was very good at the time but in my opinion became extremely boated so I don't currently have any recommendations for Windows (or Mac) software.
zurich wrote:2c. if there might be demons, why is this and what are they likely to be?
Beware of adware / malware disguised as freeware.
Reliability can be a problem, particularly with older drives (the drive in my laptop lasted less than a year before becoming hopelessly unreliable for burning CDs. Cheap unbranded CD-Rs are a very mixed bag - some are terrific while others are rubbish. Burning at less than maximum speed is often more reliable than burning at max speed, but this is also variable depending on the drive and the CD-R. Writing to CD is on the whole less reliable than writing to almost any other media. Definitely worth buying just a few CDs to test, and if they work OK, buy some more of the same type from the same retailer and hope that they work just as well.
zurich wrote:can most cd players (in cars, in computers) play burned cd-rs?
As long as you make "audio CDs" (not "data CDs"), and the disk has been successfully written to, they should work in most CD players. I have encountered a few players that refuse to play anything except commercial "pressed" CDs, but in my experience this is rare.
zurich wrote:also is it the case that the cd players that do succesfully play my burned cdr might actually play it with gaps, despite me recording it gapless?
I've not come across that. All CD players that I've encountered will, if they play the CD at all, play gapless CDs without gaps.
zurich wrote: do most cd players play 'disc at once'?
"Disk at once" refers to the writing process, not the reading process. As far as a player is concerned there should be no difference between playing a "gapless" CD with many "tracks" and a CD with just one long track, except that the former allows skipping from one track to the next.