Burning files to audio cd

Hi all!

I have just started using Audacity and has recorded some of my old vinyl LP’s on to Audacity hoping to be able to burn the songs to an audio cd. I have recorded the songs from the LP’S, exported them as wav files, dragged them to Windows Media Player, and burned them onto an audio cd. But it won’t play on the cd player on my stereo. It plays fine on my computer but when I checked the format of the files on the cd they are cda files. I have never even heard of cda files. Why did this happen? How can I make a cd that will play on a regular cd player or car stereo?

Please see this page in the Audacity Manual: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/burning_music_files_to_a_cd.html


:frowning: CDA is correct. If you look at a CD that you bought you’ll see the same thing. But some CD players have trouble with “burned” discs, especially older players. :frowning:

Most newer DVD & Blu-Ray players can “play anything” including a disc with WAV or MP3 (but not all of them). I assume you have a DVD player, so try it.

Of course, that won’t help if you are talking about a car stereo. Modern car stereos use Bluetooth and you play music from your phone. For some older cars, there are aftermarket Bluetooth adapters that work with the factory stereo.

There aren’t really "CDA files" (CD audio?) or any regular “computer files” on a CD audio disc. That’s why you can’t drag or copy them to your hard drive without using a ripping application to extract the audio and create a regular computer files such as WAV or MP3.

But some CD players have trouble with “burned” discs, especially older players.

There’s another variation on this. Don’t let the burner go as fast as it can. I found early on that a slower burn speed made the turn-of- the-century CD player in my truck much happier.

I used to make CDs for my sister’s older car. I have a very old portable CD player that is very particular about the health of a disk. I used that as Quality Control before I put the disk in the mail.

And yes, make sure you’re burning an AUDIO CD and not a DATA CD. Many computers will burn a DATA CD without thinking about it very much. It’s just a flat, shiny hard drive. You can put spreadsheets and pictures on there. AUDIO CDs have to be authored usually with an audio program with burning option.

Audio CDs do not carry song titles. If you play a CD in your older system with no internet access, your songs will turn into TRACK-1, TRACK-2, TRACK-3. That was pretty annoying, so a modified format was designed to actually carry song titles, but it produces a sub-standard Audio CD. Again, older players may have problems.


Do Not label a CD close to the center of the disk. CDs start playing from the inside out, not the outside in like a vinyl record. If you absolutely need to, gently label the disk close to the outside edge.

The music layer on a disk is right under the label. It’s super easy to scratch the label side and destroy the disk. The shiny side is a protective optical layer. You can gently clean the optical layer and bring a dirty disk back to life.

There’s a whole thing about cleaning disks, but do it from the middle out, not round-and-round. A disk will handle an occasional radial scratch, but a scratch that goes the same direction as the music will just kill you.

Don’t put your fingerprints on the optical layer of a CD or DVD.


Speaking of quality control…

There is a program called Nero DiscSpeed which doesn’t seem to be available from Nero anymore but you can get it free from [u]Major Geeks[/u].

I use it almost every time I burn a CD or DVD.

It makes a graph of disc reading speed. With a good disc you’ll see a smooth or relatively-smooth graph and if it gets an error it will re-try and that makes a glitch in the graph. Try a known-good disc first so you’ll know what it should look like on your drive. There are two graphs. One is rotational speed (related to RPM) and that’s usually a straight line. There is also a linear speed graph (or “surface speed”) which usually slopes-up as the laser moves from the inside toward the outside.

Of course, a good result doesn’t mean that your CD player can play it. It just means that there are no actual defects and your computer can read it perfectly.

Different drives will give different results and some small glitches are sometimes normal, especially if you check a DVD. A dual-layer DVD reads from the inside-out and then back the other direction so the graph slopes-up and then slopes-down.