Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief that How-To Geek. He"s composed about modern technology for end a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written because that The brand-new York Times, been interviewed as a modern technology expert top top TV stations prefer Miami"s NBC 6, and had his work-related covered through news outlets choose the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has actually written end 2,000 articles that have actually been read nearly one billion times---and that"s just right here at How-To Geek. Read more...

You are watching: How much music fits on a cd

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Sep 6, 2017, 10:24 am EDT| 3 min read

When burning a CD, you have the right to either burn it as a data disc or one audio CD. A data CD deserve to hold approximately 700 MB, while an audio CD have the right to hold 80 minutes of sound. If you have actually 200 MB the MP3 records that include up come three hours the music, you can still only burn 80 minutes to the disc. Why is that?

What Happens when You Burn a Data CD


At the moment of burning, you choose to burn one of two people a data CD or audio CD. Her disc burning regime burns the bowl in a different format depending upon the option you choose.

Data CDs are simple to understand. When you burn a data CD containing MP3s or any kind of other form of file, your computer creates a disc containing those files. The files on the disc are the very same size together they space on your computer. So, if you have actually 200 MB that MP3s you want to burn come a 700 MB disc, you deserve to place the MP3 files and also up to 500 MB of other data documents on the disc.

Why burn an Audio CD is Different


Burning an audio CD is different. Audio CDs room not the same thing as data CDs, and also they perform not contain MP3 files.

An audio CD consists of audio data in CDDA (Compact disc Digital Audio) format. This is uncompressed audio data, and it calls for a lot much more space than MP3 files, AAC files, or any type of other kind of compressed audio file. A minute the CDDA audio constantly takes increase the same amount of space on the disc, which is why you have the right to only burn a maximum number of minutes to a disc. Also if the song you’re burning space in MP3 format, they have to be converted to the bigger CDDA style if you desire the disc to occupational in a consistent CD player.

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It walk the other direction, too. Audio CDs friend buy in stores have the right to only have actually a preferably of about 80 minute of sound, yet if girlfriend rip one album come MP3 or AAC format, it will certainly use much less than 700 MB that storage space on your PC. In stimulate to transform CDDA to MP3, your computer uses a “lossy” compression process, whereby some data is thrown out. Otherwise, your ripped music repertoire would take it up an awful lot of space!

Burning MP3s come Audio CDs Isn’t Ideal

If you burn an MP3 to an audio CD, the MP3s will broaden to take it up the exact same amount of space as the original audio data. However, the resulting disc will have actually inferior audio high quality when compared to the initial audio CD.

When you rip music native a CD to an MP3 file or AAC file, you’re not getting all the initial audio data. Few of the data is discarded come ensure the MP3s have a small paper size. The resulting MP3 documents won’t have to sound as an excellent as the original disc. How great they’ll sound depends on the encoder friend use and also its bitrate settings. Your headphones and also speakers are additionally a factor: that will be simpler to tell the difference with higher-quality, an ext expensive headphones.

This is why audio geeks choose lossless formats like FLAC, which carry out some compression however keep every the initial audio data. If girlfriend burn lossless records like FLAC to a disc, you’ll have an audio CD with sound quality good as the original.

When girlfriend burn lossy papers like MP3s to an audio CD, the MP3s will certainly be convert to CDDA audio, which takes up much more space on disc. But all the audio data the was discarded once the MP3s were produced can’t be restored.

Of course, if you’re already happily listening come the MP3 files, an audio CD friend burn native those papers won’t sound worse any kind of worse than the MP3s. However it won’t have to sound as great as the original audio disc, either.

Some key Players support MP3 CDs


There’s a weaken available, too. Some CD players have the right to read both conventional audio CDs and also “MP3 CDs”.

An MP3 CD is specifically what it sounds like. Quite than converting the MP3 papers to CDDA while burning an audio CD, friend burn the MP3 papers to a data CD. The key player then reads the CD, tons the MP3 files, and also plays them similar to a computer system would.

To discover out if your disc player support MP3 CDs, look because that an “MP3” logo design on it. Friend can additionally read the instruction hand-operated or check its specifications, and you need to see MP3 support listed if it has it.

To create an MP3 CD, you simply burn a data disc and also fill it with up to 700 MB of audio files. You may want come organize the MP3s into folders therefore they’re easier to navigate through on her disc player. Part applications, like iTunes, have an “MP3 CD” option, yet you can accomplish the same thing by burn the MP3 files to a data disc with any kind of disc-burning tool.

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These CDs won’t work-related on any kind of old CD player, for this reason this isn’t the most compatible solution. But, if you use a CD player the supports MP3 CDs—maybe your auto stereo does, for example—you deserve to burn MP3 CDs rather of audio CDs to fit more music top top a disc.

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Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief that How-To Geek. He"s composed about modern technology for end a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for 2 years. Chris has written because that The new York Times, been interviewed together a technology expert on TV stations prefer Miami"s NBC 6, and also had his job-related covered through news outlets favor the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has actually written end 2,000 articles that have actually been read virtually one billion times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read full Bio »