How Many Songs Can Fit on One MP3 CD?

MP3 CDs aren't limited to MP3 format

Man on iPod
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An MP3 CD is a data CD that can hold hours of music in the MP3 format. A typical blank compact disc, either recordable or rewritable, has the capacity to store up to 700MB of data. An MP3 CD, which can only be read by car CD players, computer CD drives, or standalone peripherals, holds the equivalent of six times the music of a standard audio CD like you buy in a store. Compact discs have steadily declined in popularity since the 2000s, but they are still useful in cars with CD players and for backing up your music library.

If your car stereo system doesn't support modern features like USB ports for connecting portables or wireless technology such as Bluetooth, then using a compact disc can come in handy for listening to music during your commutes.

Creating a data disc that holds MP3 files enables you to place multiple albums on one disc—perfect for a long journey. This type of disc is also useful if you want to listen to audiobooks.

How Many Songs Can You Fit on a CD?

If you burn uncompressed songs like those on a normal audio CD, then you can store around 80 minutes of music on a CD. However, if you use an MP3 CD, you can fit many albums onto one MP3 data disc, which delivers hours of music.

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

How many songs you can put on a disc varies and depends on several factors. The main ones are:

  • Average Length of Songs.
  • Average Bitrate. Some songs in your music library may be encoded at a high bitrate. This makes the files larger, so they take up more room on the MP3 CD.
  • Audio Format. Format is the largest influence on how many songs you can fit on an MP3 disc. Songs encoded in a lossless format such as FLAC or ALAC take up much more storage space than ones that have been encoded in a lossy format like MP3, AAC, and WMA. Despite its name, an MP3 CD can contain music in other formats.

MP3 CDs Make a Good Backup Solution

MP3 CDs aren't just useful for playing music in your car or at home. They are a good solution for backing up your music library. You're not limited to any particular format, so you can store a mix of files—MP3, AAC, WMA, and other formats. Your only limit is the disc's capacity. As time passes, fewer computers are shipping with CD drives. You may need to acquire a peripheral drive to access the archived music at some point in the future.