pro tools

Burning Audio and Data CDs

Before burning a CD, think carefully about whether you want to burn an audio or a data CD.

Burn an audio CD when you want a CD that can be played in any standard audio CD player, such as the one in your home or car stereo system, or in a "boombox."

Burn a data CD when you want to store or transfer audio files that can be opened on a computer, moved to another computer, or worked on in an audio-editing application.

These instructions pertain to burning CDs with tools that are built into Mac OS X. Windows or Linux users will need to obtain separate audio and data CD burning software.

To Burn an Audio CD

To create an audio CD that can be played in any standard audio CD player:

1) Export your tracks from ProTools as AIFF or WAV files (i.e. "Bounce to disk"). Save them to a folder in a known location, such as the Desktop.

2) Launch iTunes from the Dock (if not on the Dock, you'll find it in the Applications folder on your hard drive).

3) Click the "+" icon on the lower left side of iTunes to create a new playlist. Name the playlist whatever you like.

4) Drag your AIFF or WAV files into the playlist. Drag files up or down in the playlist to change their order. If necessary, adjust track volume or start and stop times by selecting a track and hitting Cmd-I (for Get Info), then selecting the Options tab.

5) Insert a blank CD

6) Make sure the playlist is selected -- not a track or tracks -- and click the Burn icon in the top right corner of iTunes. Burning will begin.

To Burn a Data CD

To create a data CD that can be read on either Macs or PCs:

1) Insert a blank CD. After a few moments, it will appear on the desktop.

2) If you like, rename the blank to something like "Audio Backup" (to rename a file or folder on the Mac, click its name and then wait a moment -- the name will become editable). When the recipient of the CD inserts it into their computer, this is the name with which the disc will appear in their Finder or Explorer.

3) Drag your files or folders onto the blank CD icon.

4) When done, drag the CD icon to the trash. The trash icon will turn into a "burn" icon. The Mac will ask if you actually want to burn the CD at maximum speed. Click Burn and burning will begin.

Note: Test your burned CD on both a PC and a Mac before mailing to others!

Note: These instructions also work for data DVDs, but you need Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) to create a DVD that will also work under Windows. If burned under 10.2, the DVD will be Mac-only.