iTunes: How to Burn a High-Quality Audio CD
Learn how to set up iTunes to burn a high-quality audio CD.
Music on an audio CD is not compressed. Compressing music from an audio CD may reduce the sound quality depending on your the bit rate. The MP3 and AAC formats are forms of compression. Encoding music using the AIFF or Apple Lossless encoder will preserve the high-quality sound found on the CD. If you intend to use iTunes to make a custom audio CD from your audio CD collection, you should always use the Apple Lossless or AIFF encoder for best results.
Follow these steps to burn a high-quality audio CD using iTunes:
- From the Edit menu (Windows) or the iTunes menu (Mac OS X), choose Preferences.
- Select Advanced > Importing.
- Choose AIFF Encoder or Apple Lossless Encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.
- Select Advanced > Burning.
- Choose Audio CD from the Disc Format selections.
- Click the OK button. Tip: Importing CDs with Apple Lossless Encoder uses less hard drive space with the same quality as AIFF.
- Insert an audio CD.
- Make sure the checkbox next to the names of the songs (tracks) that you want to include on your disc is checked and click Import. Repeat this step until you've imported all the songs you want to save on the disc.1
- From the File menu, choose New Playlist.
- Type a name for the playlist and press Return.
- Click the Library icon in the Source list.
- Drag the songs you want to include on the audio CD to the new playlist.
- In the playlist, drag the songs so they are ordered according to how you want to hear them when they're played back. The approximate total time of the songs in the list is displayed at the bottom of the window. (It does not include the Preference setting for the amount of silence between songs.) Most discs can hold a maximum of 74 minutes of music.
- Click Burn CD.
- Insert a blank CD-R disc.
- Click Burn CD again.
It takes several minutes to save, or "burn" the songs to the disc.
If you also want the songs to be available in iTunes for playback you may want to delete the AIFF versions from the Library to free up hard disk space and import them again using the MP3 Encoder.
You can follow the steps in technical document 93123 "iTunes: How to convert a song to a different file format" to create MP3 files from the AIFF files.
AIFF encoding requires much more hard disk space than MP3 encoding because AIFF is not compressed. You should make sure you have enough free hard disk space before importing many songs. All the songs from a typical audio CD take up about 650 MB.