how to record 200 minutes of simple reading of text to cd

I’m an English as a Second Language Teacher and want to record my reading and translating some simple short stories, each story no longer than about 10 minutes. There are about 17 stories. Ideally, each reading will by a separate selection on the cd and all 17 will fit on one cd, though its ok if the recordings are on more than one cd. The cd should be easy to use in any common playing device like a car cd player or computer cd drive. The stories should each be a separate selection

I know nothing about how to use audacity, and found some of the tutorials on recording helpful but not really providing a step by step guide to how to make the recordings so that I get the above described results.

In short, just need to find some step by step guidance to record the stories as described in the first paragraph. Thanks, cliff

ps can also send reply to if easier

Are you aware that the maximum recording time available on a CD is 80 minutes, or 74 minutes depending on the CD?

For guidance on your recording project, consult the Audacity tutorials and Wiki (and even the manual). You can find these at:


<<<…200 minutes…>>>

What he said.

That’s if your goal is to produce a standard Audio Compact Disk that will play anywhere in the world.

If you change your goal a little, there are certainly other ways to go. If the goal is to produce a Data Compact Disk to play on any machine with an MP3 player, then yes, certainly, you can get your whole lecture on there. The first time you hit somebody’s older car that won’t play MP3s or a portable “jogging” CD player, you’re dead. Your show turns into so much shiny plastic.

You can get an enormous amount of good quality sound on a disk that will only play on a Mac with QuickTime 7 or above. You get the idea. Digital technology made it essential to know who the audience is.


For what it’s worth, here is my experience at recording text material:

I have recorded complete books for the visually impaired on CDs using Audacity and then exporting to MP3 compression with LAME and have had excellent results. After all, if MP3 is good enough for IPod, it’s good enough for voice. This approach will give you more than 10 HOURS on a single CD. If your students all have PCs with CD drives, MP3 files will play on them through Windows Media Player, assuming of course, that the PCs are equipped for sound. My DVD player also plays CDs recorded in MP3, so it is a very common format.

You would have to download LAME from the internet just as you probably did with Audacity. The first time you attempt to export a file to MP3, you will be prompted by Audacity to define the path to LAME. After that, Audacity will know on its own where LAME is located.

Once the files (e.g., one file for each story or chapter), you’ll have to burn a data (not audio) CD, using your CD writer and appropriate software. I use something called “Deep Burner Pro”.

I also record books for another organization, but my output is a series of .WAV monaural files using a 20.5 kHz sample rate and 16-bit depth, instead of the standard stereo, 41 kHz and 32-bit parameters. This makes for adequate voice and (I think) 4 plus hours per CD.

So there’s more than one way to skin the cat. It depends a lot on what hardware your students have. The simplest for them would be multiple CD’s in the standard audio format.


<<<This approach will give you more than 10 HOURS on a single CD.>>>

We should be very careful about our English. …on a single Data CD, not standard Audio CD. You can produce an excellent product that way, but it will not play in my truck or the CD player in the kitchen.

See, Padgett above, there are all sorts of tricks to make spoken word compress for greater efficiency but you need to place these performances on a Data CD. Five minutes of spoken dialog will always take up exactly the same space on an Audio CD because Audio CDs will not accept digital compression.