Make a music CD from MP3 files

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A lot of people have a big collection of MP3 (music) files on their computer. Many people have hundreds of these files that have been downloaded through iTunes or elsewhere – you might even have thousands of them. These files can be played on your computer, or on your iPod or other MP3 device. But what if you want to play them on a regular CD player, such as in your car?

To do that, you need to do two things: convert them to CD format, and then burn them to a CD. Fortunately, you can do this in one easy procedure using software that you already have on your computer.

If you already know how to do this with a program such as Nero or Roxio, then there is no reason to change and do it a different way. The procedure that I will describe here uses Windows Media Player, only because virtually every Windows based computer already has it installed. You can open Media Player by going to Start – All programs – Accessories – Entertainment – Windows Media Player. Of course, you will also need a CD burner drive and some blank CD-R discs.

First, put a blank CD-R in the burner. Wait for the computer to recognize it, then close the window that automatically opens. Now, open Windows Media Player. You should see a tab somewhere called “Burn” – click that.

Now, open the folder where your music files are stored in MP3 format (just about any music file that you download will be an MP3). What you want to see are two windows open on the desktop – the folder that contains your music files, and the Media Player window. One at a time, drap the MP3 files to the “burn list” portion of the Media Player window.

When moving files over, remember that most CD-R discs can hold up to about 80 minutes of music (you should see a running total at the bottom of the window so you can tell when you are getting close to the maximum).

When you have the files moved over, you are ready to convert and burn. Click the link at the top of Media Player that says “Start Burn”. I recommend that you not have any other windows or programs running during the burn process – if anything messes it up, you have wasted that CD-R and you have to start over again with a new one. You will see Media Player go through and analyze each file, convert it to CD format, and then burn it to the CD. When it is done, the CD drive should open, so you can just pick up the newly recorded CD and go try it in your CD player.

Happy listening!

Video clip – well, sort of a video. There is a group based in New York City called Improv Everywhere. Their motto is “causing scenes of chaos and joy in public places”. What they do is create some great studies in human psychology. You can spend a lot of time on their site reading about what they have done. For today, here is the story of how one of them got lost at Yankee Stadium during a baseball game.

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