CD burning in the modern age
October 7, 2022 8:43 AM   Subscribe

How, pray tell, should I burn a CD in 2022?

My dear dad still loves CDs and buys and listens to a ton of them. Years and years ago, I used to make him mix CDs of things I was enjoying, which he got a huge kick out of. But I haven't had a computer with a drive that could burn CDs in forever. I was just thinking that I want to burn him a CD for the holidays - I've discovered a lot of new songs lately that I think he'd love - but I'm stumped on the best way to do it!

If you've burned a music CD! Are there stores that will do this for me? Do I really just need to buy a cheap external optical drive (and some kind of software, presumably)? These are legally purchased MP3s that currently live on my MacBook Air. (I did see this question but it's a decade old at this point and surely some things have changed.)

And yes, I know how easy it would be to share a Spotify playlist or throw these on a USB drive but it's got to be a CD. The man is a CD fiend!

Thanks, all.
posted by Synesthesia to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you do end up with an optical drive, as for software, you just need iTunes to burn a CD. ...Sorry, it's called 'Music' now... Create a playlist and in the File menu, there's a command to 'Burn playlist to disk'.
posted by hydra77 at 8:53 AM on October 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would get an external optical drive. They're handy to have, and easy to stow away when not in use.
As for software, I figure that any full-fledged OS surely comes with a CD burning program. Ah, looks like hydra77 has that covered.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:55 AM on October 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: An external CD burner is $19 to $22 on Amazon - and you can burn them from most standard built-in music playing software.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:01 AM on October 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I have a USB-connected external DVD burner for my MacBook Pro.

Once in a while I need to rip old media, and the drive can also burn music CDs

I have no idea of the manufacturer -- honestly, once the computer sees the drive, burning the CD should Just Work, as explained here.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:01 AM on October 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I purchased this external CD/DVD player/burner (a bargain at $25) and a stack of CD-Rs for my daughter. More details about burning a CD on a Mac.
posted by prinado at 9:05 AM on October 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Going to go ahead and mark this as resolved - looks like there is a swift, clear consensus around just getting a drive, and I should have realized that my Mac would still have the inherent ability to burn a playlist. Thanks, folks!
posted by Synesthesia at 9:07 AM on October 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

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