Types of MP3?

I have a subscription to a podcast that I download as MP3. They play great on my MacBookPro and my Nano, but when I burn them to CD, they play in a 2007 Camry, but not in a ten-year-old Honda Accord. Honda player plays some mp3, just not all). I don’t want to buy a new player for a car that will be traded in in a year or two.

Can Audacity help with that? Is there a way to convert my itunes mp3 to a version that all/most CD players will play? What should I try?


One of the problems with changing the encoding of an MP3 (or any other editing or processing of MP3 files in Audacity) is that when the MP3 is re-encoded there will be some loss of sound quality (this is in addition to the loss of sound quality due to the original MP3 encoding).
To minimise the quality loss, a high bit-rate should be used, but this will increase the file size so that you will not be able to fit as many MP3s on a disk.

Check that the “MP3” files that do not play really are “MP3” and not some other compressed format such as AC3 (I think that QuickTime should be able to tell you that).

Another issue:
The problem may not be the MP3 format. The problem may just be that one MP3 disk player is more fussy about the disks than the other.

The first thing that I would suggest is that you burn a CD using a good quality branded CDR disk (branded disks tend to be more “compatible” than unbranded, though not always the case). Make the disk using some MP3s that you know work on the Honda player and some that you know do not. Make a note of which “should” work and which did not previously work. Don’t put all the “should work” ones at the beginning or all at the end - put some at the beginning, some at the end and some in the middle - in other words, ensure that there is a mixture across the CD.

If you find that all of the tracks play, then you know that the problem was with the CD and not with the files.

If none, or few of the tracks play, then the problem is probably with the CD rather than the MP3s.

If all of the “should work” ones play and all of the “did not previously work” ones do not play, then the problem is most likely the MP3 encoding.

It is also possible that you have not burned an “audio CD” but instead a “data CD” containing the MP3 files. I could be that the CD player in the newer car recognizes the MP3 data CD and plays the songs. The CD player in the older car does not.

– Bill

This is where the English gets a little slippery. The poster claims some MP3s work in the older car. If only some songs work on one disk, then yes, it could be a burn or quality of disk problem, but if only some disks work, that’s the Audio CD versus Data CD split. My older truck has no idea what to do with an MP3 Data CD, but plays Music CDs all day long.


When I download on my Mac, it only says “Save as MP3” no other options.
It’s the same way with Audacity, as Audacity only says “Export as MP3” among it’s many choices.
Audacity lists MP2, but I suppose MP2 wouldn’t work, either?


Use iTunes to burn an audio CD.

– Bill


We’ve come full circIe. I download the playlists as MP3, then use itunes to save to CD, put them in the Honda and they won’t play.
I guess, short of getting a new player, it can’t be done.

Regards, JAN

Use iTunes to burn an audio CD.


I see what you mean now and I’m trying it.
Does it make any difference what speed I burn the Audio CD at? (i.e 24 or 48?)

PS: I’m using a Verbatim CD-R disc; 700 MB; 52X; 80min

Thanks, JAN

48x should complete quicker than 24x.
It shouldn’t make any difference to the CD, but lower speed burning is sometimes more reliable.