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Any way to store a large number of songs on a CD that plays in a car CD player?

Posted on 2011-09-24
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I had tried to get a solution to this question, years ago and was told that it could not be done.  I thought I would give it another try with all the software and technical breakthroughs lately, so here goes:

Currently about 15 songs can be burnt to a normal CD and be played back in an automobile CD player. My understanding is that there are different formats for saving music in, so my big question is –

Is there any way to record/copy a large number (50+) of songs onto a traditional 700 MB CD that can then be played on a standard automobile CD player? Thanks.
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Question by:photoman11
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by:Dave Baldwin
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You can record about 74 minutes of audio in standard CD format.  If your CD player will play MP3s, then you can put 700MB of tunes on the CD.

I don't know what a "standard automobile CD player" is.  The PIONEER DEH-1300MP for about $80: "On top of playing traditional audio CD's, the DEH-1300MP also reads and plays MP3 and WMA file formats."  So does the KENWOOD KDC-248 for a little more.
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BillDL earned 250 total points
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Hi photoman11

I find that after having a standard Audio CD in the car's player for a couple of days I can anticipate what track is coming next and get ready to sing along, but it takes a lot longer to remember the order with 50 or more songs on a CD.  Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes bad, so I tend to burn "themed" CDs to match whatever mood I'm in that day and swap the CD if my mood changes, however I don't have to commute too far to work and can usually make one "bad mood" CD last a fukll working week without getting fed up with it ;-)

As Dave has stated above, when burning an Audio CD it is the total playback time of all the tracks that counts, whereas when burning MP3 or WMA audio files to a Data CD it is the combined file sizes (or capacity of the CD) that count.

I gave a fuller explanation in another question that might help you understand the differences between the special "Audio CD" format and a CD just being used to store data in the form of audio files:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_27292485.html
My Comment ID: 36487600

You will usually see the official "MP3" and, if supported, "WMA" logo(s) on the front of a car CD Player that will indicate whether it will be able to look for, load, and play audio files on a CD.

Some players need to find a "Playlist" file on the drive, eg. an MP3 Playlist with the *.M3U extension, but generally they don't need one.  CD Burning software may provide the option of creating a playlist file on the CD if it has the "MP3 CD" project type available, but if such a playlist file is needed by your player you can create one very simply as long as you have all your audio files in one folder ready for burning:
DIR /a-d /on /b "*.mp3">_playlist.m3u

The only benefit of a playlist file, which is just a simple text list of file names, is that you can arrange the entries in some order other than the default alphaneumeric ascending.

That's the main drawback of just burning loose *.MP3 files to a CD-R as a Data CD.  It will burn the files in the same sort order as you would see the files on your hard drive if they were all in one folder, because the CD is just being used as storage rather than created in the "Audio CD" format where you can rearrange the tracks in the software before burning.

Another thing about having MP3s on a CD is that you DON'T want to burn the containing folders to the CD, ONLY THE FILES.  A Data CD can store folder structures and files just like the hard drive, and some players (eg. your domestic DVD Player) will show a simple folder browser menu that allows you to move around and play the MP3s within each of the separate folders.  You obviously can't be trying to navigate through a folder structure on a car CD Player while driving (if the controls allow this), because you will crash!!

So, all your MP3 files should just be burned to the root of the CD, and if you want to control the playback order you should either use the Playlist File (if the player supports this) OR first rename the MP3s so that they sort on the hard drive the way you want them to play on the CD before burning them to CD.

Capable car CD Players will usually show the name of the MP3 file being played, and alternate that with any ID3 Tags found in the files.  ID3 tags are areas in the file reserved for extra data descriptions in the form of artist, album, track on that album, year, etc.  That's what you see in most software media players on your PC.  Not all tags will show on a car CD Player's simple and smallish display, and you also have the problem that a long file name needs to scroll a lot before you see fully what the name of the song is.  So there are compromises to be made with an MP3 CD in terms of trying to keep the file names brief and devoid of superfluous information, while ensuring that the file names of all the MP3 files are unique.

Another drawback is that a CD with MP3 files will generally load slower on a car player, and pressing the "skip" button to jump forward or back is not as instantaneous compared with a standard Audio CD.

The good news is that CD-Rs are cheap and you can experiment until you get it right for your car's player.

Good luck burning ;-)

Bill
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by:photoman11
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I have a 2006 Acura TL which has an integrated 6 CD changer and sound system. Unfortunately it doesn't have MP3 capabilities. It does however allow to play audio DVD. I have made certain assumptions and spent hours following up on them, without any success of all, so I am hoping you can help me.

A audio-friend of mine suggested that since my player will play audio DVDs, that I should record CDs onto the DVD because I will be able to get a lot more tracks. That sounded good in theory until I tried it and realized that since all of the tracks were in wav format, my player could not play them.

Thinking that it would be easy to find an online free converter to convert wav files to ccd files, this "easy project" has been taking me 3 very frustrating hours. Even the software that describes "able to convert from wav to ccd," doesn't seem to have an option to do it. At this point I will not invest any more time because I was mainly just trying to determine whether loading tracks in ccd format onto a DVD would in fact even play in my car.

My 2 questions are:

1. If a car audio system can play audio DVDs, will it be able to play ccd tracks that are burned onto a DVD or does it require some other format?

2. If the answer is yes, does anyone have a recommendation for a free converter that will actually do what it says?

Thank you very much.

I have been able to download CDs
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by:Dave Baldwin
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You need DVD burning software that will allow you to make a track list of tunes and burn the disc as DVD-Audio.  Putting files of any kind directly on a disc will not be in DVD-Audio format.  Just like an audio CD, it has it's own format and your burning software has to know what it is.
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by:BillDL
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Hi photoman11

You have referred to "CCD" files a couple of times.  At first I thought you had just typed an extra "c" in "CD", but it is clear you are referring to a file type when you say "WAV to CCD" conversion.

A *.CCD file is part of s "Disc Image" created and used by the CloneCD software.  While it IS a CD Burning application, a "Disc Image" is actually an "image" of a CD just packed down into one file.  You can create a selection of files from a CD Project (whether it be an Audio CD or a Data CD) and essentially Export To Disc Image.  To burn a CD using an image file, you just choose the project type described as "Burn CD from Image File", and it then burns either the exact copy of the CD it was made from, or the CD that WOULD HAVE BEEN burned had you continued in the CD burning software rather than exporting the project as an Image.  You don't need to create a Disc Image to create either an Audio CD or a Data CD.

Other disc image files are *.ISO and the various other proprietory types used and created by the well known software such as Nero and Roxio.

I can't assist with the "Audio DVD" option, because that is something I have never burned, and I can't say I have really noticed that as being a project type in the CD Burning software I have used.

Hmmm.  Smart car you have there:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZzUJ92EpFo
I've never heard of that make. We don't have it here in the UK, although I'm probably out of touch having had to buy well used cars for two decades now due to being broke ;-)  Actually, I see that it's an offshoot of Honda like the Lexus, and the Honda Legend here is much the same.

Here's the MP3 Player version of your player (I think).

OK, so you don't want to buy a new player, unless you can pick one up really cheaply at a breaker's yard where presumably many of the Honda players will fit.  I am wondering if you player has has a small 2.5 or 3.5mm jack socket to accept auxilliary input.  If so, then you have the option of plugging an an MP3 Player.  It doesn't have to be a fancy one, even the simplest supermarket own-brand ones are fine for this and would hold plenty of MP3 files, and a lesser number of WAV files.  I know it doesn't match having a Disc and you may hate having a separate gadget connected by a wire to the player, but it might be an interim solution.

There are quite a few WAV to MP3 conversion utilities around, but it is possible that your CD Burning software already has the capability (via a separate module) to convert audio files.  The alternative would be to actually burn about 4 Audio CDs using your WAV files, and then "Rip" the tracks off the CDs to MP3 files.  Again, there are a number of ripping software programs around, but most CD Burning software will allow you to do this.

What software do you use for burning CDs?
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by:BillDL
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Looks like there is no auxilliary input socket on the 2006 models, only 2007 onwards :-(
http://www.acuraworld.com/forums/f72/05-tl-aux-input-jack-87872/
Ignore the "adapter" mentioned in that discussion.  The buffoon suggesting it doesn't know the difference between RCA connectors/sockets and standard stereo mini jack plugs/sockets.
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by:photoman11
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Well guys, thank you for your help, but after spending around 4 hours trying various solutions without any of them working, I decided to throw in the towel and call this a lost cause that is just not worth anymore of my time. thanks for your help and I will be awarding points I guess, although I'm not sure what the processes in the situation.
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by:BillDL
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Just one last item, and it goes back to the auxilliary socket:
http://reviews.cnet.com/sedan/2006-acura-tsx/1707-10865_7-31861505.html
"The six-disc changer had no idea what to do with MP3 and WMA CDs. Also, the auxiliary input jack in the center storage console will present a problem to the driver who wants to plug in a portable MP3 player; it's impossible to see the exact position of the port due to the rubber cap that hinges upward, blocking the already awkward view. A simple, uncovered auxiliary jack in the head unit would have worked just as well and been a lot easier to use."
http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/sc/31861505-2-300-DT3.gif
That relates to a 2006 TLX, so maybe yours won't have that socket, but if it's that awkward to see when you plug things into it, then perhaps you haven't been aware of its presence and could use it for an MP3 player?
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by:BillDL
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Sorry, TSX, not TLX
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by:photoman11
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Can't say if the wording in the article was misleading or not because I have never been in a TSX. However, in my model, there is an additional input inside the center console, but it is 12 volt- the same size as a cigarette lighter; not anything remotely resembling a stereo input jack.

Thanks for trying though.
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by:DanCh99
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Please don't progress any further trying to get lots of tracks onto a ***DVD*** - the car's player is designed to work with CDs, which have much bigger tracks, and the laser won't be able to focus or read the small tracks on a DVD.

I think your best bet is to take the direction suggested by BillDL in terms of fitting auxiliary input sockets into your system.  Personally, I'd contact a car audio specialist (for the brand of player that you have) and see if it's possible.  

We had a garage fit such a socket to our lowly Peugeout 407 for approx $100.  It's just a loose flylead that tucks inside the glovebox when not in use, and plugs straight into the headphone socket on our mp3 player of choice...
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by:photoman11
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Thanks everyone. I guess it's back to the old CD.
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by:BillDL
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Thank you photoman11
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