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How to Compile Your Own CDs

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How to Compile Your Own CDs

If you are like 90% of the CD buying public, you are sure to have some CDs that you half-like. There are some songs that you love and some songs that you skip every time you listen to the CD. If only there was a way to get rid of those unwanted tracks permanently – and perhaps fill the spot with other songs that you prefer.

Well, if you have a CD burner in your computer, this is not only possible, it’s easy and fast to do. You can transfer any CD to your computer, rearrange the songs, add new songs, vary the volume, add reverb and burn the resulting mix back to a CD that you can play on any regular CD player.

The first thing you need is a program to “rip” songs from the CD and store them on the computer’s hard drive. Don’t worry – ripping is not as destructive as it sounds. It simply means to transfer the music from the CD to your computer.

If you are only familiar with recording CDs to cassette, you’re going to be amazed how fast ripping is. Ripping is a data transfer process, so it takes much less time than the actual length of the song. A whole CD can be ripped in about a minute or two.

There are hundreds of ripping programs available – both commercial and freeware. If you want to save a bit of money, search the internet for “ripping freeware” and take your pick from the thousands of hits that show up.

When saving the audio to your hard drive, most ripping programs will give you the option of encoding it to MP3 or keeping it in uncompressed WAV format. If you are going to re-burn the songs to another CD, you should keep the songs in WAV format. If you just want to store the music on your computer, however, MP3 will save a lot of space.

Once you have the audio on your computer, you can use a CD burner program like Nero to burn your CD. Make sure you are burning an audio CD as opposed to a data CD – data CD’s can’t be read by most audio CD players.

In the CD burner program you can arrange the songs any way you like and add songs from any location on your hard drive. This allows you to make truly customized CDs that contain all your favourite music. Some CD burner programs even allow you to process the audio before burning. You can normalize the songs so they are all the same volume, or add special effects like reverb.

A word of caution – some older CD players cannot read CDR disks. It’s a good idea to check on your player’s capabilities before burning your custom CDs.

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