I've decided to burn a music CD, and was supposed to print out a paper, but the printer was empty on black ink. So I tried the obvious, to just drag 'n drop the .docx file over to the music CD. As I thought, the CD didn't work as a CD, but more like a DVD, as it didn't work in my CD player, only on the computer.

Is it possible to somehow sneak the file onto the CD, and still be able to actually listen to the CD?

Running Windows 7.

2 Answers 2


What you want is a so called mixed mode CD. It will contain a data track (for your files) and one or more audio tracks (for all the songs a CD player should read). The CD player will silently skip the data track and just play the songs.*

To burn such a CD, you can use the free CDBurnerXP, which supports creation of mixed-mode discs.

To create a mixed mode disc, start a new audio compilation and burn your audio tracks to disc. If you are asked how to burn the disc, choose Let me choose advanced settings. In the burn settings dialog, make sure that Finalize disc is unchecked and Track at Once / Pause between tracks is selected. Then start the burning process.

After that, start a new data compilation. Add all the data you need to the layout, and open the burn settings dialog (press the burn button in any of the toolbars). Again, if you are asked for the type of disc, choose Advanced settings. In the burn settings dialog, make sure that Finalize disc is checked, and Session at Once selected. Start the burning process.

* It might not work with all CD players. Especially if you burn the disc yourself, the player might not be able to read the disc at all. This was at least the case for older CD players last time I checked (more than 5 years ago).

  • 1
    Note the difference between mixed mode CD (data before audio) and CD Extra aka CD Plus (data after audio). In my experience, the latter -- data after audio -- is much more reliable. Jan 2, 2012 at 12:41

Mixed mode is only half the solution/problem. You really need to know what kind of session you burned - data or music/video (which are pretty much the only choices).

Your CD/DVD burning app also needs to be able to support "multi-session" which almost all of them can do. You then need to be able to tell if there are still more "sessions" available on your disk which most burner apps can detect. In other words, if you haven't "closed" your CD/DVD disk with regard to sessions then you should be able to squeeze a bit more data on it assuming there's room - and possibly assuming you're able to burn mixed mode CD/DVD's too (which we still don't know is even an option). You also need to be sure that whatever reads your CD/DVD can actually read a multi-session as well. Most can but some can't!

Multi session limitations is usually not a big deal with re-writeable disks. After all, you can totally erase a re-writeable CD/DVD and start all over should you happen to make a mistake or something. That's the beauty (and expense) of re-writeble disks. But once you close a regular CD/DVD then that's it. You're done. Period. No more data can be written no matter what. (It's a lot like punching out the write tabs on a cassette tape - assuming you know what that is.)

Therefore, I would advise getting a thumb drive since it's almost too simple to use. Or possibly upload your file to somewhere like Filedropper, Easyshare, Badongo, or even good old Drop Box so you can then download it whenever you get to the machine you intend to print from - and assuming that machine has Internet access. Either that or just buy another 50-cent CD/DVD and be sure to leave the sessions open for any future files to be burned.

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