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Burn a Free Copy of a Music CD
Relax, Listen and Enjoy Your Favorites

You already know how to get free mp3 music on your computer by ripping music tracks from an audio CD. Ripping music tracks means copying the tracks to your computer. See Part I for more about how to rip a music CD and save it on your computer. When you have a selection of favorite tracks stored on your computer hard drive, you are ready to burn a music CD. In summary, hereís what youíll do. The first step is to create a Playlist of music tracks. Next, turn on volume leveling. Then burn the Playlist to an audio CD, and check the results.

What Is Burning a Music CD?

The process of transferring data from the computer to a CD disc is called burning. The device used for burning data onto a disc uses an optical laser. It is called a writer or a burner. Most computer systems that have a CD drive can use it to play a music CD and burn a music CD. Youíll burn your music onto a blank disc. Use a CD-R, CD-Recordable, disc for burning. The CD-R disk is a writable CD on which files can be burned, but not erased or replaced. For burning, you can also use a CD-RW disk, CD-Rewritable. On a CD-RW disc, files can be burned, erased and replaced. Most CD-R discs allow you to burn up to 80 minutes of music, which is 700MB.

Is it illegal to Burn My Music and Make a Free CD?

It is not illegal to create free music CDs for your own use. However, if the music is copyrighted, it is illegal to copy a CD and sell or give that copy to someone else. It is also illegal to exchange your music files with other users on the Internet. The copyright protects the right of the artist to license and control the use of the material.

How to Create a Music Playlist on Your Computer

Most Media Players have a Playlist function. For convenience, we refer to the menus of Windows Vista Media Player. Open the Media Player and click the Library button. Youíll see the music files you saved on your computer. You can select them by Artist, Album or Song Title. The Library list contains shortcuts to your music files, no matter where they are stored on your computer. If you move your files to a new folder, you must add them again to the Library list.

Youíll be using the Playlist feature a lot, because a Playlist lets you can listen to music continuously on your computer. Click the Create Playlist button and then name your Playlist. The Playlist window opens on the side of the screen. Now you can click any music track and drag it to the Playlist. Thereís also a search box to help you locate a favorite track. You can also send tracks to the Playlist by pressing the Shift on the keyboard and double-clicking a track. The most convenient way to select many tracks for the Playlist is to hold the Control key on the keyboard while you click on tracks. Then right-click one of the selected tracks and from the pop-up menu choose the option Add to Playlist. You can also add an entire album to the Playlist when you right-click on the album.

To sort the Playlist, click on the arrow beside the name of the Playlist, and choose your sort preference, by title, artist, album, or file name. You can also rearrange your Playlist by dragging and dropping the tracks. You can also delete tracks from the Playlist. When you are ready to save it, click the Save Playlist button. It will be included with your Library list. Just double-click any Playlist to hear the music.

An Auto Playlist can be made automatically. Click the Library button and then Create Auto Playlist. Give the Auto Playlist a name and set up the search criteria. You can ask for tracks with a 3-star rating. You can ask for tracks by an artist, and so on. As soon as you click OK, the Playlist will be saved in the Library, ready for listening.

How to Burn a Free Music CD Using a Playlist

Open the Media Player software, and open your Music Library. Click on the Burn button in the menu. The empty Burn list will open up in a panel. Whatever you include in the Burn List will be burnt onto your music CD. Add any Playlist to the Burn List by clicking on it, and youíll see the individual tracks in the Burn List. You can reorder the tracks or delete some or add more tracks to the Burn list. If your Burn list has more than 80 minutes of music, the computer will have to burn two discs for the list. You can select tracks that are in either MP3, WMA or WAV file formats. They will all be burned on the disk in CDA format, CD Audio format.

While you have the Burn menu open, turn on volume leveling. Volume leveling levels the volume of the burn tracks, so that no song is louder or softer than the others. Volume leveling works only for MP3 and WMA files, because these formats include a special data key for volume. Here you can also choose the format to be used for the music CD. Most of the time youíll use CDA, the format for CD music, but WMA and MP3 are also available. As the CD is burnt, the tracks are converted to CDA format, or the format of your choice. If your computer ever freezes up during a burn process, you can use the Burn Options menu to lower the burning speed. Youíll want to name your music CD something better than Burn List, so click on the words Burn List and type the name of your choice. Then click the Start Burn button. You can watch the progress as the music tracks are copied to the blank audio CD.

Once the burning has started, donít open the CD drawer and donít click the Stop Burn button. If you do, the CD will be unusable. You cannot reuse a CD-R disc. The CD drawer pops open when burning is finished. Double-check the new CD by playing it. Just close the drawer and listen. Check it on your stereo system and in your car stereo, too. Some older CD players may not be compatible with CD-R and CD-RW discs.

How to Burn a Free Music CD Without Using a Playlist

You can also burn a CD without using a playlist. Open the Media Player software and your Music Library. Click on the Burn button, which gives you an empty Burn List. Turn on Volume Leveling, too. Choose any song track in your library, click on it and drag it to the Burn List. Add the tracks you want, and verify that the total time is under 80 minutes. Rename the Burn List as before.

Create a Free Copy of a Music CD

After you have ripped a music CD, the tracks are in your computer music library. Clear the Burn list if necessary by clicking the delete symbol. Locate the ripped music CD in your music library, right click on the CD image, and choose Add to Burn List from the pop-up menu. The Burn list is filled with track from the album. You can rearrange tracks, delete tracks or add more tracks if you wish. Again, check the playing time for the list and change the name of the Burn List. Then insert a blank CD-R disc in the drawer and click Start Burn.

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-----     Surfer Sam  

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