How to Convert an MP3 to CDA in Windows

Written by barbara cannon
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How to Convert an MP3 to CDA in Windows
Music CDs are not difficult to make. (cds and sheet music image by Warren Millar from

When CD burners became standard issue on home computers, many music-lovers envisioned creating their own compilations. Mechanically a simple task, sometimes users are baffled by the various music formats and software and their respective limitations. Popular MP3 files play well on MP3 players, computers, and some of the latest model CD players and stereos. However, most car stereos and home music systems will not play CDs containing unconverted MP3 audio files. Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7 contains all the tools you need to convert an MP3 to a CDA. No additional software needed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Microsoft Windows Media Player (WMP), Version 9 or higher
  • Blank CDs (not the rewritable type)
  • CD markers

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  1. 1

    Place a blank CD in the CD drive. Open Windows Media Player (WMP) by clicking on the "Start" button. Click on "All Programs" and navigate to Windows Media Player.

    How to Convert an MP3 to CDA in Windows
    Audio files must be in CDA format to play in most home stereos. (cd 2 image by ss-serega from
  2. 2

    Click on the "Burn" tab, located near the top right of the WMP screen. Looking under the "Burn" tab, you will see a narrow box titled "Burn List." Drag the MP3 files you wish to burn to a CD and drop them below the narrow box, onto the area labelled "Drag items Here to Create a Burn List."

    How to Convert an MP3 to CDA in Windows
    Windows Media Player comes with Windows Vista and Windows 7. (business boy six image by Paul Moore from
  3. 3

    Click on the small "Burn Options" button, marked with a blue check mark, located immediately under the "Sync" tab. Be sure the "Audio CD" option is selected, indicated by a small blue dot.

    How to Convert an MP3 to CDA in Windows
    MP3 files are smaller than CDA files. (mp3 hand image by giovanni cardinali from
  4. 4

    Click on the "Start Burn" button, located under the "Play" tab, above the CD icon. The files will begin burning to the CD. When the task is complete, WMP will eject the finished CD. Label your CD and treat it gently.

    How to Convert an MP3 to CDA in Windows
    WMP will cause the finished CD to eject. (chantier cd-rom 3 image by Frédéric Prochasson from

Tips and warnings

  • The number of CDA files that will fit on one CD depends on the length of the song, and the quality of the MP3. Until you are experienced in balancing the number of tracks on a CD, aim for 12 to 14 songs per CD. CDA files take more space than do MP3 files.
  • Do not use re-writable CDs for music. Some programs and burners will not accept them, and if they do, they may not work well.
  • Paper CD labels are not recommended, as they can cause disks to be unbalanced. Unbalanced CDs can skip.
  • Be sure to label your homemade music CDs with special CD markers, and not ordinary markers. Ordinary markers can leach through the plastic and damage the disk.

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