What's the Fastest Way to Copy Audio CDs?

Posted on 2014-11-18
Last Modified: 2014-11-21
For long driving trips my wife and I take, we have developed the habit of buying audiobooks on CDs to keep us awake and mentally engaged while on the interstates. I like to keep the original ones at home, safe and sound, and listen to copies I burn and then--believe it or not--discard after we return home.

With an increasing amount of travel, this is starting to eat up more and more time. So I'm looking for the fastest way to make those copies. So far, the software I use requires the ripping of the tracks to mp3 on the computer and then creating a new, properly formatted CD for use in the car CD player.

So, actually this is a 2-part question:

(1) Am  I locked into doing it this way, and if so, what's the fastest software (free or otherwise) to get the job done?

(2) I have two somewhat older (say 5 years or so)  DVD/CD burners. Is there any way to make a straight copy from one to the other that will work in my car's CD player?

I'm posting this on EE because there are SO many programs to copy CDs but I have seen none that address the need I spell out here.
Question by:RadioGeorge
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Phillip Burton
ID: 40450270
Can I suggest a completely different way (and let other experts answer the question as posted).

Buy the audiobooks in another format - through iTunes, Amazon or, my personal favourite, Audible - and play them through your car radio through a compatible device such as an iPhone (or any modern phone, really) and an audio wire.

This way, no need to burn lots of CDs for a one-time trip, and easily to re-download your favourites,
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 40450549
I've ripped a lot of my old CDs to MP3s using CDEx -
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 40450632
If you have a PC with two dvd/cd devices you can copy/burn "on the fly".
This would definitely be the quickest solution

CDBurnerXP is mentioned here as the best free audio duplication available
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 40451220
Hi RadioGeorge

I don't do audio books, but I do create music CD's for my car.

One way to go is to create an audio CD, which is like the music CD's that you buy. You are limited to about an hour of music with this option!

Alternatively, you can create a music CD with mp3 or wma files as long as the cd reader in your car can read this type of disc. With the mp3 option, you can get about 5 hours of music on a CD. This is what I create for my car stereo!

Some cd readers will read a 'data' cd with a mix of mp3 and wma files. This is the case with many home stereos and CD readers. With this option, you can get about 7 hours of music on a CD.

All you need is some free software now: Gizmo's Best Freeware - Best Free CD-DVD Burning Software. I recomend BurnAware Free for your needs!
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40451753
another solution is buying a new car radio, with the option to play mp3 from usb sticks
then you have weeks - months playtime an stick of several GB (they go over 64 Gb for reasonable price now)
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Merete earned 300 total points
ID: 40451797
Hi RadioGeorge
my 2 cents, what is inside these CD? what does it look like?
Are the files mp3 or cda?
I believe audio books on CD are DRM copy protected so you cannot rip them in a standard tool.
There is no fast way to do this
However you could use Itunes to import the audio books and convert them all to mp3 then burn them to Disc as mp3.
[iTunes] Audio File Type Conversion
an mp3 cd will hold ten times more than an audio cd
How to Convert iTunes M4B Audiobooks to MP3?
Importing Audio Book CDs into iTunes

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40458898
I find it a little unusual that no one actually addressed the posted question, which has to do with speed of copying. The replies all focus on how to do it.

Note that I have been using FreeRip for quite some time to rip the files in combination with CDBurnerXP---and it looks like that will be the method I will continue to use unless something better comes along.

I did not mention using a USB stick in my car, which has a USB port, because I've tried that way and it just doesn't work. The owner' manual is filled with the phrase "may not be compatible" over and over--and that's accurate!

II also knew that the car CD player will only play WMA files and not MP3 files, so that partial solution is not applicable.

Lee W's short reply suggesting CDex based on his personal usage merits points because the suggestion is derived from his personal experience. Merete's suggested links provided much information, and point to the conclusion that converting any iTunes-associated audio to CD for use in my car player would be a time-consuming and chancy gamble. Sometimes knowing what NOT to try can be very valuable.

One other note: doing it the way I do seems to make no difference whether  I use my older XP Dell desktop or my new ultra-fast processor Toshiba satellite laptop.

Author Comment

ID: 40458903
OOPS- In my last comment, I typed "WMA," when it should be "CDA." Sorry!
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 40458918
Thank you..
Well there is no method to copy and burn faster than another method RadioGeorge, it all depends on the process.
There is many way to circumvent these but unfortunately not allowed to post them even if it legitimate and you own them. But you can google it  or use iTunes to convert them to mp3.
With the USB you can use an FM mp3 player and car cigarette lighter
Let me share with you my experiences  :)
This is what I use and how it looks in my Sportivo, mine is a tad outdated..Newer versions can add to mobile devices as well, the remote on the left is for the mp3 player  but don't use it much and the one the right is for my car stereo. As you see it shows the track listings 0017 track of 0492, that is 492 tracks capable of more than 4 digits as per the 0492  these are all mp3.
FM mp3 player
I get a USB stick onto my computer add 300 audio tracks or more depending how big the USB stick capacity is, then go to my car add the USB stick to the mp3 player
turn the car on to accessories first so you have power on,
 plug in the FM mp3 player into my cigarette lighter and press play,
 on the car stereo system  tune FM station on to the mp3 player done.
Car MP3 Player Wireless FM Transmitter USB SD MMC Slot & USB Port similar
Very cool
Car MP4 small video screen : 1.8" LCD Car Mp3 Mp4 Player Wireless

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