Burning CDs

Help me, oh friends list, you are my only hope…

I’ve been suffering some frustration over the last few days in attempts to burn CDs of the Doctor Who series “The Abominable Snowmen”. Some time back I bought it in MP3 format, which of course I can’t play in the car’s CD player, which is a pity as the only time I really listen to CDs is when I am driving. I have successfully converted all the tracks to WMV format, using Winamp (though I guess I could have used the Windows Audio Converter).

The next problem was that when I tried burning them to rewritable CDs, the car’s player wouldn’t recognise them. WikiPedia informs me that rewritable CDs often cannot be played by audio players, so I went out and bought some CD-Rs.

Now, the fun begins:

  1. Right-click on files to copy, use the “Send to…” option to activate the Windows CD Writing wizard – but it refuses to recognise that there is a writable CD in the tray.
  2. Try Windows Media Player – says it refuses to burn the files because it cannot detect their length. Says it might possibly be able to burn them if I play through them first; but the whole point of this exercise is so that I don’t hacve to play them through at the compuiter!
  3. Try RealPlayer – it refuses to burn any files which are less than ten seconds long, and half a dozen of the scenes in the Doctor Who story are indeed less than ten seconds long. I’m not going to risk missing out on important plot points.
  4. Try iTunes – seems to go well much better – all 68 tracks appear to be present on the CD, although the burning process finishes with a baffling error message. But (minor point) annoying brief pause between tracks and (much more major point) the disc stops playing after track 51 has been played, ie half way through episode 3. When I try again (this time with episodes 3 to 5) with another disk, the same thing happens but sooner, getting 21 tracks in, almost to the end of episode 3, before giving up.

So, what do you think?

  1. Is there some fantastic CD-burning software out there which will always work?
  2. Have I just been buying shoddy CD-R’s, and should go upmarket a bit?
  3. Could the CD burner have been damaged? I did dislodge the tray once, but got it back in again without apparent ill-effects, and the fact that it has successfully burnt some tracks suggests that it must be able potentially to do them all.
  4. there’s nothing illegal, is there, about my messing around with MP3 tracks that I have paid for to get them into a more suitable format for my own personal use?

One thought on “Burning CDs

  1. Epic fantasy just doesn’t work for me at all. I’m really only a Science Fiction fan – though I will read fantasy from SF authors I’ve read before: Jack L. Chalker and Alan Dean Foster come to mind. Epic Fantasy is unreadable to me, perhaps a hold over from growing up in the days when SF novels were pretty slim, or perhaps I just prefer a fictional setting where there are established rules made clear to the reader early in the story (Usually). Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been able to get through Jack Vance’s later Fantasy series…

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