I have a question:

If I have a album in MP3 format, is it better to burn in CDBurnerXP as MP3 files or as a music disc? The car CD player plays both formats so.

Obviously having them in FLAC would be better and then burning those as a music disc but lets suppose this scenario.

closed as primarily opinion-based by DavidPostill, Tetsujin, fixer1234, Scott, BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 Aug 14 '15 at 12:37

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I don't think converting it to something else is a good idea as lossy to lossy always make quality worst. – riahc3 Aug 7 '15 at 8:51
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Burning a music disk means turn the mp3 into a cd with 44khz. burning the mp3 means burn data onto the cd. so ideally if you don't have got a lossless format you would better choose a data disk with mp3s on it, because the quality is ideally the same and you don't leave out free space which would be normally filled up with the cd data.

reason for that is, that if you burn an audio cd, you burn a specific range of audio "packages" to the cd. if they're empty they're empty. you loose space

if you burn a data cd, you only burn what is needed because player, who could read mp3, could also read file ends and so on.... that's also the reason why CDs mostly can store either 90 minutes audio or 600mb data (I'm not sure about both values)


If your car can play the MP3 files directly from a data disk then this will probably be your best bet.

However, if you created a "music disk" the MP3s would be converted to WAV to conform with standard audio CDs that you would purchase from a shop.

You should not notice any difference in audio quality because the conversion to WAV would be the same sample rate but a much higher bit rate than the MP3 - which, overall, would mean you would still have the same quality as the MP3 originals as you can't increase quality if the original is lower quality - the audio would just take up more "empty" data than what would be necessary.

Either way, the audio quality should be unnoticeable between disks; the only differences between the two are number of tracks on one disk, whether any track data is available (title, artist etc. - with CDBurnerXP it is capable) and being able to have multiple albums per physical disk.

  • I know limitations of MP3 radios. The question is not related to that. – riahc3 Aug 7 '15 at 8:59
  • I was just giving the answer some context - for future readers. Also, my answer clearly answers your question, regarding what type of disk you can write for it to work :) Your car stereo manual should explain exactly what data disk formats are accepted - it should tell you the bit and sample rates, maximum number of folders/folder depth etc. – Kinnectus Aug 7 '15 at 9:05
  • No. It does not answer the question. The question states to write the MP3 files as a MP3 data disk or as a music disc. The additional information is great but it has nothing to do with that. – riahc3 Aug 7 '15 at 10:35
  • The very first sentence says that creating a data disk with the MP3s should work. And I've written that by creating a "music" disk will work as any CD would. Is that not answering your question? – Kinnectus Aug 7 '15 at 12:14
  • Burning them as MP3 files like I mention is burning as data files because MP3 files are data. Sorry but no... – riahc3 Aug 7 '15 at 12:44

MP3 and Redbook audio (CD audio) are both data, they only differ in the ordering and composition of the data. There are also hybrid discs which are redbook, but track one is the data. This is how many games used to be distributed (see Interstate 76, Mechwarrior 2 etc), and if uyou put them into a cd player and played track one it would be either skipped or loud modem-like noise.

A CD holds approx 700MB.

If you are burning the Redbook audio from mp3 sources, You are upsampling and decompressing (and replacing lost data) which gives you nothing and therefore it comes down to capacity.

So the capacity you really care about is the music itself. In human terms without data rates etc., a redbook audio CD holds about 1 album's worth of music. (about 70 minutes)

A "normal data disk" with MP3 files in a folder structure can hold more than that. It varies by encoding and song length of course, but you can expect to be able to burn approx. 5-7 albums to it.

So which do you prefer? One album per disc or five?

Note that some embedded audio systems (like in cars) do not have perfect mp3 decoder support, so if many songs in your library have an encoding that the car chokes on, then the Redbook audio would be a better choice.