how to format to WAV

Help please! Be patient as I am not computer saavy. I downloaded a bunch of music CDs to my computer (Windows 7) via media player (I believe). It looks like I need to convert the music to WAV? Can someone please tell me how to do this? I want to mix songs from a handful of CDs and burn onto a new CD to use as party music. Thank you.

Either of these help?

You may be working too hard.


I downloaded a bunch of music CDs to my computer (Windows 7) via media player (I believe). It looks like I need to convert the music to WAV?

What format did you get from Media Player? I use a different application for “ripping” CDs, but Windows Media Player should have given you a choice of formats, including WAV.

Windows Media Player can also burn (write-to) CD, but I use a different-specialized application for that too so I can’t tell you how to do it.

Audacity isn’t going to help you with this unless you want to edit the songs or crossfade between songs, etc. Or if some songs are louder than others, you may want to use Audacity to adjust the volumes or you may want to boost the bass, etc.

It looks like I need to convert the music to WAV?

If you want to burn audio CDs, WAV is ideal. WAV uses the same underlying format as audio CD (uncompressed PCM) so the WAV can contain digitally-identical audio data in a WAV format/wrapper and the CD you make can be identical to the original.


But, if you want to play files on your computer (with Windows Media Player, etc.) WAV is not the best format. Tags are not well-supported (artist, album, title, album artwork, etc.) for WAV, so Windows Media Player, or iTunes, etc., may not show this information.

FLAC and (ALAC for Apple) is lossless compression and tags are well-supported,and the files are about half the size of uncompressed WAVs. But, it may take a 3rd-party CODEC to to use it. (I don’t think Windows Media Player plays FLAC “out of the box”). Some people keep a FLAC master archive even if they are listening to MP3s.

MP3 is the most popular computer-audio format. It’s lossy compression and you can get good quality with files about 1/5th the size of uncompressed WAVs, or you can make smaller files if you’re willing to sacrifice audio quality. And, of course tags are well-supported. And, you can play MP3s on any computer, phone, iPod, etc. AAC is similar to MP3 and just about as widely supported. (If you buy a song from iTunes it’s AAC.)

A good quality MP3 can often sound identical to the uncompressed original, but if you are making an audio CD it’s “bad practice” to use a lossy format.


to use as party music.

If you save the digital files on your hard drive you can make a [u]playlist[/u] and you won’t need the CDs. Or, you can simply select the genre (read from the tags) and you can play all of your “Christmas” or “disco” music, etc.

Thank you everyone. I re-ripped my CDs this time using the WAV format. Yes, I wanted to use Audacity to crossfade wanted songs and burn to new CDs…one CD for early party/pre-dance music, one or more CDs for mid-party/dance music, and one CD for late party music. All DISCO baby! Will be back if I run into any problems.

Yes, I wanted to use Audacity to crossfade wanted songs and burn to new CDs…

The trick is to make one big WAV file. If you haven’t figured that out yet, see [u]Creating A Crossfade[/u]. (And, I assume you already know that audio CDs are limited to about 80 minutes.)

Note that a “DJ Style” crossfade usually isn’t a true-crossfade. It’s simply an overlap where the 2nd songs starts while the 1st song fades-out naturally-normally. And of course, that’s easier to do. There’s one thing to be careful with… Mixing is done by summing and if the combined-mix during the overlap is too loud, you’ll get clipping/distortion. In that case, you’ll have to adjust the timing or add a little additional fade-out/fade-in.

Then use a [u]Cue Sheet[/u] along with a burning application that supports cue sheets to set the CD track-markers between songs. I’ve made a few crossfaded-mix CDs, and I made lots of “live” CDs without gaps between songs by using the same process. (I don’t know if Windows Media Player can burn a CD from a cue sheet.)

You can create a cue sheet with Windows Notepad. It’s usually easiest if you copy an existing cue sheet (off the Internet if you don’t have any) and then modify it to specify your files and your track-times, etc. (Save it as .CUE or re-name it as .CUE after saving.)

I use [u]ImgBurn[/u]. With ImgBurn, you choose the “Write Image To Disc” option and select the Cue sheet file. Then ImgBurn uses the supplied cue sheet to find the audio file(s).

All DISCO baby!

:smiley: :smiley: Winamp tells me I have 214 songs tagged as disco! (I would have guessed that I have more and quite a few are duplicates, but maybe some of my disco-era disco-appropriate songs are tagged “rock”.)

BTW - Winamp has a crossfade option, as does Windows Media Player and iTunes, but they are “dumb” crossfaders. There’s a optional “smart crossfade” plug-in for Winamp that starts the crossfade when the volume of the 1st song drops to a preset threshold, but I can’t get it to work without glitching. There are also a few DJ programs with automatic smart crossfading but I haven’t tried them.

Ok, thanks again for everyone’s help. I understand how to use the time shift function to create a simple crossfade. Now, once I have enough tracks lined up to burn a full CD, is there a way to burn the CD through Audacity? If so, how? If not, I believe I need to EXPORT the music mix back to my PC, but what do I choose as a FILE TYPE? Do I select WAV like I did with the original rip?

Now I understand I may need a cue sheet (ImgBurn?) to create track markers. Is this correct? Or can I just burn without the track markers from Media Player?

There’s an article here about the process and options for creating crossfades:
That article concentrates of the mechanics of the operation, and how to do it manually.

Audacity also includes a couple of effects that make the processes quicker and easier.
For precise crossfades, there is the effect “Crossfade Tracks”:

An even quicker and easier (but less precise) method is “Crossfade Clips”:

No, Audacity does not write CDs. There are many CD burning programs available.
See this article:

Note that in order to make a “gapless” CD (no gap between tracks, but still has separate tracks so that you can skip forward / back by track), the CD burning drive (the hardware device) must support DAO mode (Disk At Once). Not all optical drives do that. If it’s not available, most good CD burning programs will grey out that option.