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Windows – Make your own Audio CD from MP3′s using ‘Burnaware Free’

Windows – Make your own Audio CD from MP3′s using ‘Burnaware Free’

I just finished an article on how to burn an Audio CD for MacOS X users, and there is already a request for a Windows version of this article – so here it is!

Audio CD’s are still used. Either to protect the original CD you bought when it’s laying in the car, to compile a CD with your own favorites, or to make a CD from MP’3 you bought legit at or the AppStore.

For this article I’ll use “Burnaware Free” – a free version of the commercial Burnaware, yet very capable of creating Audio CD’s (and others) with just a few clicks.

Before we begin …

You’ll need a bunch of MP3 files to compile a disc, and decide what kind of media you’d like to use.
It’s common and recommendable to use CDR (CD Recordable) media.


Keep in mind that the GIGO rule (“Garbage In, Garbage Out”) applies.
So if you have really poor quality MP3′s, then the Audio CD version of those MP3′s will sound crappy as well!


For more information about CD’s I can highly recommend reading this article in which I tell you something about the different media types, how a CD works, how to label, etc.

Download and Install Burnaware Free

You will have to get the latest version of Burnaware from their website.

Installation is straight forward:
Double click the executable you just downloaded and follow the step provided by the setup – your typically “Yes” and “OK” clicking process.

Sponsored Offer ..? 

Burnaware by default (in version 6.4 anyway) would like to install a sponsored tool (AVG Toolbar) – Personally I’m not crazy about these “options” so I always uncheck the “Sponsored Offer” option.

Preparing your Audio CD

Next step is to start Burnaware.

The following window will open – click the “Audio CD” icon.

Burnaware - Start Screen

Burnaware – Start Screen

A new window opens and a brief message might fly by (it’s detecting you CD/DVD burner and media capabilities).

Burnaware - Ready to compile a CD?

Burnaware – Ready to compile a CD?

In the lower left corner, as indicated in the image above, you will see a CD-icon with a blue  printed on top of it (yeah, it’s tiny). This button will open a window with details of the media you inserted in your burner. Close the window if you’re done staring at it … 

Burnaware - Media details

Burnaware – Media details

Drag and Drop MP3’s …

Now that we’re ready for building our compilation; start dragging your MP3’s onto the left side of the Burnaware window.
Alternatively, use the right side of the window to navigate to your MP3’s and drag them over to the left from there.

If you do not like the order of the songs:
On the left side you can drag and drop songs up and down within the list to change the order.

Drag and Drop MP3's to the LEFT side

Drag and Drop MP3’s to the LEFT side

Space available?

As you might have noticed: In the lower left corner you will see a disc:

  • blue colored if you haven’t done anything yet,
  • green colored if you added at least one MP3,
  • or red when you’ve added too any MP3’s and are exceeding the amount your CD can hold.


The image below illustrates this.
The top part: you have still 6 minutes of space left.
The bottom part: woops! You overdid it by 8 minutes.

Burnaware - Available disc space?

Burnaware – Available disc space?

CD-Text anyone (optional)?

I personally recommend using CD-Text – a method to add information to an Audio CD that can be read by capable players. This information typically includes Album Title, Song Titles, etc. (more details here).

Burnaware supports this, but it’s a little less intuitive than I’d hoped – but it’s most certainly there.

Step 1: Enable CD-TEXT

First we need to make sure CD-Text is enabled (it should be by default).
Click the icon for the burner details (see image below) or press “F10” on your keyboard.

Open the burner options

Open the burner options

A new window opens, make sure “Write CD-Text” is checked and that other settings match as well:

Make sure CD-Text is enabled

Make sure CD-Text (Write CD-Text) is enabled

Click “OK” when you’re done, so this window closes again.

Step 2: Set CD Title and Song Titles

I found this to be easiest done by selecting the song you want to edit (start with the first one?) and pressing the “F2” key on your keyboard.

A windows with both Track and CD details will appear.

The first tab “Track” is specific for the track you selected (you will have to do this exercise for each track) and allows you to enter information. The first one, Name (filename), cannot be changed and serves merely as a reference for yourself so you know what MP3 you’re writing about. The most significant fields are Artist and Title.

CD-Text - Track details

CD-Text – Track details

The second tab “Disc” will show details concerning the entire CD – you’ll have to do these settings only once of course.

Burnaware - CD details

Burnaware – CD details

Click “OK” when done – repeat for the other tracks if you’d like.

Burning you Audio CD

After you completed your compilation the time has come to burn your disc.

Before you start, make sure the “Write method” is set to “Disc-At-Once” (default setting).
You can verify this by clicking the menu “File” – “Options” (or press “F10“).

When you think you’re ready, click the big red burn button.



Burnaware burning an Audio CD

Burnaware burning an Audio CD

Burnaware - Burning Completed!

Burnaware – Burning Completed!

Note the green line stating “Burn process completed successfully” – you’re disc is done. 

Click the green arrow to go back to your compilation window.

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