Recommended file type for CD

I am taking music from cassette tapes to eventually burn on a CD. I have used the recommended WAV format only to find it produces a huge file. With that format I won’t be putting many songs on a CD.

I would like recommendations from ones who have tried doing what I am for formats they have found acceptable for good playback on a CD player. Most songs I have downloaded from the Internet seem to be mp3. Is that the best format for what I am planning? Thanks in advance for your input.

The best format for an audio CD is 16 bit 44100 Hz sample rate PCM WAV format (as you have been using).
Standard audio CDs always use 16 bit 44100 Hz sample rate PCM (stereo), so if you attempt to use some other format for creating a standard audio CD, it will need to be converted by the CD burning software to the correct format. Thus you won’t get any extra on the CD by using MP3s, you will just get lower sound quality.

If you create a “data CD” with MP3s on it, then “some” CD players may still be able to play it. You will be able to fit a lot more music onto a CD. You will be able to play the files from the disk on your computer, but it will not be a standard “audio CD” and many CD players will be unable to play it.

Because Audio CD used a fixed, high quality format, they also have a fixed playing time – usually about 78 minutes. You never get the 80 minutes it says on the disk. My truck/lorry will not play a data CD with MP3s on it, but my sister’s new car will.


First let me say this, Both Steve and Koz are correct, anything but a standard Audio file will not play on ALL cd players. What i am about to tell you is not for ALL players.

I use a WMA format. I can get over 500 songs on a regular CD. Now my truck has an old CD player in it and will not play anything except standard audio files. My wifes car is a 2005 and has the standard CD player in it that will play MP3 files, it will play 250 of the WMA files, seems to be a limit to the number of files. Now the newer CD players that play MP3 files will play all 536 songs.

Now with that said i will also say that even tho i have designed sound systems for a lot of places, I have a Radio/telephony Licence i really do not have an EAR for music, meaning that to me a song is a song. If you are a conisour of music and sound then you would not want to use these file formats. But you are also taking the songs off of cassetts so you won’t have the greates sounds anyway.

Steve, Koz, and Gale and probaby all of the moderators of the forum are sound experts. they know more about real sound then most. just wanted to let you know about the WMA format also.

Hope this helps and don’t confuse