Burn an Audio Data Disc with Windows Media Player

Learn how to create an audio CD or DVD that can hold about 47 hours of music on CD or over 300 hours of music on DVD that can be played on most DVD players.


Let’s say you have a nice home theater system with a DVD player hooked up to the speaker system and a nice Windows Media Player library filled with music on your home PC. You want to create a “mix tape” with a bunch of your favorite music from your WMP library to play on your home theater system for a party but your computer has no way of playing music on your home theater.

This guide shows you how to create a “mix tape” on CD or DVD that hold compressed music that’s playable on most DVD players now-a-days. You can pack around 47 hours of music on a single CD or over 300 hours of music on a DVD using a high compression.

Setup WMP Burn Settings

Before we make an audio data CD or DVD there are a few things you need to set up.

Set WMP to burn a Data Disc

  1. Open Windows Media Player.
  2. Click the down arrow at the bottom of the burn tab and select data CD or DVD.

Volume Leveling

If you’re going to add music from different CDs on the same audio data disc it’s a good idea to turn Volume Leveling on. Volume leveling prevents some songs from playing louder than others.

  1. Click the down arrow at the bottom of the burn tab and select More Options.
  2. Make sure Apply volume leveling across tracks on the CD is checked.


Playlist Type

Windows Media Player adds a playlist to the audio data CD or DVD that tells the DVD player where all the tracks are located. The default playlist type is WPL and will work with most new DVD players.

If you have an older DVD player that doesn’t recognize WPL playlists you can change the type of playlist to M3U which is an older universal playlist format.

  1. To change the playlist type, click the down arrow under the burn tab and select More Options.
  2. Change WPL to M3U in the Data Discs section.


Compress Burnt Files

You can compress the files being burned to CD or DVD even further than they already are. Keep in mind that the quality will go down as well.

  1. Click the down arrow at the bottom of the burn tab and select More Options.
  2. Select Convert to.


  3. Slide the setting left or right to adjust the compression.

Note: I don’t recommend compressing audio files being played on a home theater system. You’ll notice a huge difference in quality on high end theater systems.

Burn an Audio Data Disc

Now that you’ve set up the burn settings you can create and burn your audio data disc.

  1. Open Windows Media Player.
  2. Insert a blank CD or DVD.
  3. Click the Burn tab.
  4. Drag individual songs or entire albums from the library to the burn section on the right side of WMP.


    Note: To drag an entire CD simply drag the album cover to the burn section.

  5. When you’re finished adding media to the burn section click Start Burn.

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5 Responses to “Burn an Audio Data Disc with Windows Media Player”

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  1. raleigh says:

    why does it automatically re arrange the order of the songs
    why cant it just burn it in the same order as the burn list you make

  2. Andie says:

    well i have a list of “pump up” songs i intend on using for my nhl 09 soundtrack on my xbox 360….however in order for the xbox to rip to audio from cd to save to the hdd on the xbox the files need to be in .cda format…i hope burning with WMP will convert my audio files from .mp3 to .cda

  3. Syn Holliday says:

    I believe auto sound leveling is only available for audio CDs (maximum of 80 minutes per CD), not data CDs/DVDs.

  4. Syn Holliday says:

    Ah, I figured out how to auto sound level mp3s files for data mp3 discs. I used dBpoweramp (www.dbpoweramp.com). I created a directory and copied all the mp3s I wanted to put on the disc, then ran dBpoweramp on them. Worked great!

    You don’t want to run it on your original mp3 files because dBpoweramp actually modifies the mp3 files (unlike what Windows Media Player does when auto sound leveling).

  5. Quirky Ben says:

    My Windows Media Player 11 does not give me the option to switch the type to a dvd… just audio or data cds. How do I fix this without rolling back my player?

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