How to Copy a Music CD to Back Up Your Music

Using CDBurnerXP to Make a Backup CD of Your Music

Music Collection
Klawitter Productions/Getty Images

If you have a collection of original music CDs that you'd like to protect from damage, then creating backup copies is a good solution. You could, of course, use CD ripping software to create digital music files in MP3 or  WMA format, but if you just want to listen to an audio CD in your car or on your stereo while keeping the original CD in pristine condition, duplicating the CD is the best option, rather than re-burning lossy digital music files.

This tutorial uses CDBurnerXP to demonstrate how to copy a CD. However, there are many other CD/DVD software programs you can use for the same task.

Note that it is illegal to distribute copyrighted material without the copyright holders permission. You should only copy a CD that you legitimately own for your own personal use. See the Dos and Don't of copying a CD for more information.

How to Copy a Music CD Using CDBurnerXP

  1. If you don't already have a software program installed on your computer capable of copying a CD, then download CDBurnerXP, which is available free at the Impressum website.

  2. On the main screen of CDBurnerXP, click on the Copy Disc menu item followed by the Copy Audio button.

  3. A pop-up menu appears showing you the source and destination CD/DVD drive(s). You're likely only going to need to use one drive to copy a disc, so accept the default settings. If you have more than one device, it's possible to employ two CD/DVD drives using the drop-down menus to duplicate a disc. 

  1. Insert your original music CD in the CD/DVD drive of your computer or into a peripheral CD drive and click the OK button to start copying the audio tracks.

  2. When the music CD has been temporarily copied onto your computer, eject the CD and insert a blank CD-R or rewritable disc if you want to practice the first time. On the burning options screen, select a burn speed—the slower the better—using the drop-down menu. For the burn method, you can choose to accept the default 2-second pause between each track, a longer period of time or no pause between tracks. To start the copying process, click the Burn Disc button.

    Place the original CD in a safe place where it won't be scratched or damaged in any way, and use your copied CD for regular listening. If something happens to that CD, you can make another backup from your original.

    Was this page helpful?