How to Burn an MP3 CD in Windows Media Player 12

Store Several Albums on One MP3 CD for Hours of Non-stop Digital Music

CD rom on computer
Erik Tham/Getty Images

As you may well know, an MP3 CD is simply a normal data disc that has a collection of digital audio files stored on it - typically MP3s of course!

If you have a home or car stereo system that can play MP3 music files stored on CD, then it makes sense to utilize this option, especially if your stereo isn't blessed with other alternative facilities such as USB ports (for things like flash drives and MP3 players), memory card slots, etc.

To start burning MP3 CDs using Windows Media Player 12, run the program and follow the simple steps below.

Note: If you're using WMP 11, follow the steps here for creating an MP3 in Windows Media Player 11. Also, remember that burning this type of CD makes it less likely that common CD players can play the music from it. That's because most CD players can only read audio discs, not data discs.

Set Up WMP to Burn a Data Disc for Your MP3s

  1. Make sure Windows Media Player is in Library view mode.

    To switch to this display using the menus, find View > Library. To use your keyboard, it's CTRL+1.
  2. On the right-hand side of the screen, near the top, select the Burn tab.
  3. Make sure the burn mode is set as Data disc. If it says Audio CD, then it's not quite ready for how we want it.

    To change the burn mode, click the small Burn options drop-down menu (in the top right-hand corner) and choose the Data CD or DVD option from the list. The mode should change to Data disc.

    Add MP3s to the Burn List

    1. Find the folder of MP3 files that you want to have on your custom-made MP3 CD. Look in the left pane of Windows Media Player for the folders.
    2. You can now drag and drop single files, complete albums, playlists, or blocks of songs into the Burn list area on the right side of WMP.

      Tip: To choose multiple tracks that aren't necessarily right next to each other, hold down the CTRL key while clicking on them.

      Create the MP3 CD

      1. Insert a blank CD-R or rewritable disc (CD-RW) into your optical drive.

        If you're using a CD-RW, which can be rewritten to, and you want to erase the data that's already on it, you can do so using Windows Media Player. Just right-click the drive letter (in the left pane) associated with your optical disc and choose the Erase disc option. A warning message will pop up advising you that all information on the disc will be erased. Click the Yes button if you're sure you want to wipe it clean.
      2. To create the MP3 CD, click the Start burn button in the right pane and wait for the burning process to complete.