Wont copy on media center

I have a computer at church with windows XP, and am using Audacity 2.0.3. I record a sermon and save it as a wav file and put it in a folder, no problem. When I try to burn a CD with windows media player, I get an error saying it doesn’t know the length of the file, recommends I play the file and then try to record. This works but seems there should be a better way. I don’t know if the issue is with Audacity or the media player?

NOTE - I’ve never burned a CD with WMP. (I’ve been using ImgBurn for the last few years, and different CD burning software before that.)

I dunno… That must be a quirk in Windows Media Player. The WAV file header doesn’t include the playing time, but it has all of the information to calculate it (sample rate, bit-depth, number of channels).

Do you close Audacity before loading the file into WMP (so that Audacity is not holding the WAV file “open”)?

What format are you using for the WAV file? Try 44.1kHz, 16-bit, stereo (the CD format) if you are not using that already.

I have a computer at church with windows XP, and am using Audacity 2.0.3. I record a sermon…

Computers are unreliable! I get paranoid when people use a computer to record a live event where there’s no possibility of “take 2”. Sooner or later, you are going to have some sort of “computer problem”.

If it’s important to capture every sermon, I suggest you set-up something to record in parallel as a back-up. It could be another computer, a digital recorder, a VHS recorder, etc.

The issue is with Media Player, and it’s noted in the Tutorial for burning CD’s in the Manual: Audacity Manual .

I think later versions of Windows Media Player shipped with Windows 7 and later do not have this issue, but I rarely use Windows Media Player so I could be wrong.


I use windows XP and have never been able to burn a CD from Audacity or other sources using WMP so use Nero that came free with a dvd drive I bought. This works totally seamlessly from any audio file on my PC.

It is quite possible to burn music to a CD using the Windows “File Explorer” directly.

How To Burn Music to a CD Using Windows

Yes not many people know that, but there are no options provided other than to burn a data CD
(which Windows calls “USB flash drive”) or a music CD.


Just to emphasise the point that Gale has made, the resulting CD will be a “data CD” not an “audio CD”. To create an audio CD that is compatible with most CD players you need to specify “audio CD” as the format, but to do that on Windows requires using a CD burning program. WMP is supposed to be able to burn an “audio CD” but we hear a lot of reports from users that have difficulty getting that to work. In my experience. software that is specially designed for the job of writing CDs tends to be easier, more convenient, and more reliable.

Here is from Burn a CD or DVD in Windows Media Player:

Audio CD
Choose this option if you want to make custom music CDs that you can play in your car, on your stereo, or on your PC.
Use this for: music only
Capacity: up to 80 minutes
You can play an audio CD on: almost any CD player, including home stereos, car stereos, and PC.
Data CD
This is a great option if you have lots of music and a CD player that can play Windows Media Audio (WMA) files. It’s also handy for backing up your media.
•Use this for: music, pictures, and videos
•Capacity: about 700 megabytes (MB), or roughly 8 hours of music
•You can play a data CD on: PCs and some CD and DVD players. The device must support the file types that you add to the disc, such as WMA, MP3, JPEG, or Windows Media Video (WMV).

Also here is from Infra Recorder:

InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration. InfraRecorder is released under GPL version 3.

On Windows 8.1 which I am using at the moment (without a separate CD burning program installed) although it asks the first time you send to the drive if you want to burn “like a music CD or a USB flash drive”, if I choose the music CD option it burns a data CD anyway. After that it doesn’t ask and just burns a data CD. It could be that Windows is confused by the drive being DVD-RW and not CD-RW, I don’t know.

On Windows 8.1 there is no CD writing wizard in Explorer as mentioned in http://windows.about.com/od/multimediaentertainment/ht/burn_music.htm . I suspect that is a Windows XP feature.

So I really would not recommend “Send to” as a general solution for audio CD’s. Windows Media Player on Windows 7 and Windows 8 shouldn’t need to play a WAV to figure out its length, and does have an option to “Burn CD without gaps” (Tools > Options: “Burn” tab), but more advanced users will probably want to use a specialist CD burning program.