Playback issues

I am having a small problem with some of my cd’s I record with audacity. They do not play on every cd player. It seems that the older the cd player it is the less of a chance it will play. Does it have to be a .cda file or will a .wav be ok?

Its probably the type of cd you are using and what you are playing it on. Most old cd players dont read burnt cds, some of the new cd will read recordable cds (CDR) but not re-writable cds (CDRW). Some cd players are designed to read all types. (for example i have a tiny 40$ cd player that plays everything but the cd player in my car will only read CDR). I would suggest only recording on CDR for your audacity recordings. Some cd players these days have written on them what type of cd they will play so if it doesnt say it reads CDRW then only use CDR.

i always record CDs as wav files. they always work, so as long as your cd player works properly you should have no problem


Thanks for the information.

Just to be Obsessive/Compulsive, a good recordable CD is a CD-R, not CDR. And just to be clear, we’re talking about a music CD, not a data CD. There should be a software package–a music CD authoring package–between your WAV file and the music CD that comes out of the computer. I use iTunes, Easy CD Creator, Veritas, and Nero Burning ROM depending on the machine. You can’t just drag a sound file over to the CD and create a music CD. There are very specific format considerations handled by the authoring/burning package. I understand you can do it in Windows Media 11 and possibly 10 as well. Any Mac can handle this in iTunes Playlist Management.

There are also blank disk considerations. Drop by Staples and pick up a short stack of Sony CD-R disks. Sony makes an amazingly stable, high quality blank disk and you should use them until you get the problem resolved–just to remove bad blanks from the list of possibilities. We have had some brand name blank disks that were so bad I wouldn’t use them for target practice.


Just to add to Koz’ reply about discs: I have found TDK CD-R80 very stable too, I have been using them for several months now with no problem discs in the stack.


I use cheap unbranded CD’s from SVP and have had virtually no coasters over the last couple of years - I think the quality and reliability of CD-R’s and CD Writers has generally improved over the last few years. (Unfortunately not yet the case with DVD’s).

Man I did not expect so much help. I am recording live speakers from mic. I was reading that I need to record these speaker recordings at a Sample rate of 44100 Hz and a sample format of 16-bits. Is this very important, or could this have anything to do with some of my recorded cds not playing in some older cd players?

<<<44100 Hz and a sample format of 16-bits. >>>

That’s something else the music CD authoring program handles. All our live recordings are 48/16 to get the higher quality and direct compatibility with our video systems. It could be argued that we should be higher yet, but we’ve never found a reason to go further, especially since filesize goes way up with increased bitrate.

<<<I think the quality and reliability of CD-R’s and CD Writers has generally improved over the last few years. >>>

Nowhere is it written that the poster is using a modern system.


You can always find batches and specific runs of blanks which work well, but may fail over the long haul. We push thousands of disks through on a production basis and found too may failures in other manufacturers. Some of the failures were weird, too. We found one maker that made pretty nice disks but whose packaging sucked so bad that the disks would arrive physically damaged before we even opened the package.

You can do whatever you want after we figure out what your problem is.

You need to keep track of where they won’t play, too. I killed off a number of home-burned disks before I figured out my car CD player was headed for the toilet and my portable player needed to be replaced because of laser alignment problems. They both started to refuse to play commercial disks.