How Many Songs Can Fit on One MP3 CD?

How much music can be burned on a single disc?

Man on iPod
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The compact disc (CD) has steadily declined in popularity since the 2000s, so why would you want to bother with this aging media format at all?

If your car stereo system for example doesn't support modern features like USB ports for connecting portables or wireless technology such as Bluetooth, then using a specially burned compact disc can come in very handy. An MP3 CD compared to a standard audio disc can hold hours of music.

A typical blank compact disc (either a recordable or re-writable CD) has the capacity to store up to 700 Mb of data.

Creating a data disc that holds MP3 files enables you to have multiple albums on one disc -- perfect for a long journey. This type of disc is also useful if you want to listen to non-music, like audiobooks.

How Many Songs Can You Fit on a CD?

Obviously if you burn uncompressed songs (i.e. a normal audio CD) then you will only be able to store around 80 minutes of music. However, if an MP3 CD is created then you will be able to fit many albums onto one disc resulting in hours of music.

Assuming you have an average lossy  digital music library that contains songs with a typical playing time of 3 to 5 minutes, you can expect to store between 100 - 150 songs per CD.

How many songs you actually get on a disc can vary and depends on a few variable factors. The main ones being:

  • Average Length of Songs. A set of 1 hour remixes for instance will obviously impact on the final total.
  • Average Bitrate You might find in your library that some songs have been encoded at a much higher bitrate. This will make the files larger and therefore take up more room on the MP3 CD.
  • Audio Format This is perhaps the largest influence on how many songs you will be able to fit on a disc. Songs encoded in a lossless format such as FLAC or ALAC will take up much more storage space than ones that have been encoded in a lossy format like MP3, AAC, WMA, etc.

    MP3 CDs Can Make a Good Backup Solution

    MP3 CDs aren't just useful for playing music in your car or at home either. They can be a good solution for backing up your music library. Although these days you would probably want to store your files on Blu-ray or DVD which have much higher capacities.You're not limited to any particular format either so you could store a mix of files (MP3, AAC, WMA, etc.) -- your only limit is the disc's capacity.