Please Help a Technopeasant Burn Some CDs
October 21, 2021 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I recently bought ten rewritable CDs in order to make myself some mix music CDs. However, I can't seem to burn them in a way that makes them usable, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

I've burned CDs before, and should know what I'm doing. However, this time when I set up two playlists and burned two separate CDs in Windows Media Player as per usual, the process seemed to work just as well as it has before, but when I tried to play the CD in my little boom box, the boom box couldn't seem to access the music. I looked at the CD's contents on my laptop, and it's showing the files in a folder, but I can't play the CD files as music even on Windows Media or iTunes.

I tried erasing one of the discs and burning it again, with the same result as before.

I then tried formatting one of the discs, and now my computer is refusing even to recognize the CD and keeps ejecting it.

How do I fix both the formatted disc issue and the "CD won't burn accessible files" issue?

As stated in my post, I am a technopeasant and not technically inclined, so please keep any directions simple and straightforward.
posted by orange swan to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some but not all CD players can play rewritable CDs. Best to stick with CD-R
posted by jmsta at 12:01 PM on October 21, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: It sounds like Windows Media Player was set to create a data CD rather than an audio CD. According to this documentation, you can follow these steps before burning the CD to ensure it is an audio CD:
  1. Open Windows Media Player.
  2. In the Player Library, select the Burn tab, select the Burn options button, and then select Audio CD
posted by mbrubeck at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2021 [10 favorites]

That boom box may not be able to play the burned CD. My old boombox won't play any burned CDs. But I haven't experimented to determine if that can be overcome through burn settings.
posted by hydra77 at 12:56 PM on October 21, 2021

Response by poster: My boombox, while being a $27 model that I bought from Canadian Tire, is just a year old and I have been able to play other RW CDs that I have burned on it.
posted by orange swan at 1:00 PM on October 21, 2021

It probably still needs to be "closed" or "finalized." There's usually a checkbox in the place where you tell it to start burning the disc.
posted by rhizome at 1:23 PM on October 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I tried mbrubeck's suggestion, and the burn setting was indeed the problem. I erased the second CD and burned the playlist on it again using the Audio CD setting as opposed to the Data/DVD setting, and now my boombox plays it with no problem whatsoever.

Now, can anyone tell me how to salvage the CD I formatted and that my laptop won't even recognize, or it is permanently borked?
posted by orange swan at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

If the computer just ejects the disc without even letting you try to erase it or burn to it, I suspect it is permanently borked. But I don't really know for sure.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:02 PM on October 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

You can try to format it again, but chances are it's FUBAR.
posted by kschang at 2:03 PM on October 21, 2021

The disc that’s being ejected is probably a coaster now.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:50 AM on October 23, 2021

Response by poster: I tried reformatting the "reject disc" and while it's no longer being ejected, Windows Media isn't recognizing it as a blank CD RW disc. Is there anything I can do to fix that?
posted by orange swan at 8:29 AM on October 26, 2021

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