Burning Files to CDs
+ Converting Vinyl Records & Cassette Tapes to MP3


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    "Burning" Files to a CD

    Although I stopped using compact discs years ago when external hard drives and flash memory devices made it faster and easier to back up files, I still hear from many readers who ask how to "burn a CD." Well, Windows XP has always come with built-in CD-burning software. You simply drag and drop files onto your CD drive's icon, which is inside your "My Computer" folder.

    If you don't see "My Computer" on your Desktop, click on Start>My Computer. This will display an icon for your C-drive (your PC's main hard drive) and your CD drive's icon (probably D or E) along with icons for any other storage devices you may have installed.

    After dragging the target files onto your CD drive icon, the following message will appear: "You have files waiting to be written to the CD. To see the files now, click this button." Then you will then be asked if you want to perform the action now. Click YES, and follow the prompts.

    All this is contingent, of course on having a CD drive that "burns" as well as "plays" CDs. If in doubt, check your PC manual or original sales receipt. Folks who have other CD-burning software, such as Roxio or Nero, should check their manuals for instructions.

    Blank CDs are available in CD-R and CD-RW formats. The former allows you to burn files to the CD, but will NOT let you erase and rewrite them. CD-RW discs can be "rewritten," but with severe limitations. They can not be continuously rewritten, as can hard drives or old fashioned floppy disks — all the more reason to use an external hard drive or flash memory device.

    Converting Vinyl Records to CDs and/or MP3s

    I recently asked to hear from anyone who has been using external systems for copying vinyl records to CDs and/or to a computerís hard drive. Jim Arslanian called from Carlsbad to tell me about a system heís been using for several years to copy 45 RPMs and 33.3 RPMs to his computer. He uses a Teac P-A688 turntable with built in equalizer & amplifier cconnected to his PCís sound card, along with Roxio 7.5 Sound Editor to convert his old records to MP3s. (Jim also said he has Roxio 9.0, but prefers 7.5.)

    Jim went on to say he uses a special cassette deck purchased from PlusDeck.com for converting music tapes to MP3s or WAVs. He also said using PlusDeck is very easy and that it comes with software to do the conversions.

    Teac P-A688 Automatic Turntable
    Details on Teac Turntables can be found here.

    Details on PlusDeck can be found here. PlusDeck-2

    Jim Arslanian even has a site from which he sells his original vinyl records and cassette tapes to anyone who might want them: Jungle Jim Records. Also, Jim and a friend operate a streaming radio site at: www.DestinationDoowop.com. Check it out.

    More on Converting Vinyl to CDs and/or MP3s

    Sonny Stires wrote to say he has copied hundreds of songs from his old LP collection and put them on his computer using a program called Avrack. He then uses Nero to make the conversion from analog music to digital files on CDs.

    Why Don't CDs with MP3s Work on My Home Stereo?

    Speaking of digital music files (MP3, WMA, WAV, MID, etc.) on CDs, Iíve heard from many readers who ask why the discs wonít play on their boomboxes or home or car stereos. Well, older CD players were designed to play commercial music CDs only. However, some newer devices can play both. Read the fine print before buying.

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