How To Listen With Your CD Player
There are two different ways to listen with your CD and DVD players. They both involve burning (i.e., writing) CDs, and differ based on the format of the data on the CDs. These formats are MP3 disk and standard audio CD.
Here's an external link to a guide on How to burn a CD -- also see the information below.
- 1 MP3 Disks
- 2 Audio CDs
- 3 Advanced Topics
An MP3 disk is really a data CD-ROM which contains MP3 files.
Some CD players can play MP3 disks (often the player has a little "MP3" written somewhere on it). This means that you can just copy !LibriVox MP3 files straight to a CD, burn the CD, and your CD player will play this MP3 disk. Most owner's manuals have a page which lists all the disk types and formats the player can handle. This will list "MP3" if your player can play MP3 disks.
One nice thing about this is that MP3 files are much smaller than regular CD audio, so you can fit at least 10 times the length of audio on an MP3 disk, meaning you can fit at least 10 hours of audio on one MP3 disk (i.e., CD-R). A standard audio CD is limited to 80 minutes.
When using your burning software (such as Nero, Easy CD Creator, iTunes, or Winamp), one of the first steps is to choose the type of disk. Here you want to choose "MP3 disk" (or something similar; it may be listed under "Music") if that option is available, or simply choose "Data disk". Most programs will let you drag and drop the MP3 files to the file list window. Be careful to make certain the files are in filename order, since some programs don't do this automatically.
MP3 Disks and DVD players
Many DVD players will play MP3 disks in addition to standard audio CDs. Again, the player may have "MP3" written on it. Most owner's manuals have a page which lists all the disk types and formats the player can handle. This will list "MP3" if your player can play MP3 disks.
Unfortunately, a lot of CD players (especially older ones) don't play MP3 disks. In this case, if you want to listen on CD (for instance, in your car), you'll have to make standard audio CDs from the MP3 files. Fortunately, this is straightforward to do with recent versions of most CD burning (i.e., writing) software, such as Nero, Easy CD Creator, iTunes, or Winamp.
Software for burning
When using your burning software, one of the first steps is to choose the type of disk. Here you want to choose "Audio CD" (or something similar; it may be listed under "Music"). Most programs will let you drag and drop the MP3 files to the track list window. Be careful to make certain the files are in filename order, since some programs don't do this automatically. If your software is older, it may not be able to convert automatically from MP3 to the format needed for audio CDs. In this case, you will need to use another program to convert the MP3 files to Wave format (or AIFF if you use a Mac); see Software We Use.
Tip: some CD players remember your position
Some CD players, both in your home and in your car, will remember where you were listening if you simply turn off the player (such as happens when you turn off the car). Usually, this means you shouldn't press "Stop" on the player, merely turn it off. When turned back on, if your player has this feature, it will pick up playing where you left off. Consult your owner's manual for details.
Making the files shorter so they fit on a CD (cutting audio)
Sometimes a file almost, but not quite, fits on to a CD. You may wish to cut some elements of the recording, such as the LibriVox disclaimer at the beginning, or the silence at the end of the file. This Beginners Guide to Cutting Audio explains how to do it using free software.
Splitting the MP3 Files to Make Short Tracks
If your CD or DVD player does not remember where you left off listening, you can make it easier to get back to where you were -- or near it -- by splitting the MP3 files into short segments before burning them to disk. This is true for both MP3 disks and standard audio CDs. Many commercially-produced audio books on CD have average track lengths about about four minutes.
Normalizing the Volume
Some book-length works in the LibriVox catalog have not been processed to equalize the volume across all the chapter files. In order to avoid having to reach for the volume control when a new chapter begins, you can process all the MP3 files for a work with MP3Gain. This adjusts them all to have the same playback volume. Do this as the first step in the process of getting the MP3 files onto CD.
Folders or Directories on MP3 Disks
Some players allow the files on MP3 disks to be organized into folders. Exactly what's allowed varies by brand and model. See your owner's manual for details.
One use for this would be to put several shorter works from the LibriVox catalog on a single disk. How practical this is depends on whether your player can display the folder names. Some players display only sequential numbers representing the folders, instead of the actual names; not very useful.
Caution: Filename Limits on MP3 Disks
Some players, both CD and DVD, which do play MP3 disks have limits on filenames. This can be a maximum length (in number of characters) on individual filenames, a length which is shorter than the maximum allowed on data CDs. For example, one brand of DVD player limits filenames to about 45 characters. The limit may also be in terms of the total number of characters for all files on the disk. For example, one brand of CD boombox has a limit of 7000 characters (this was once exceeded by a LibriVox volunteer who split a long work with long filenames into many short tracks).
Printing CD covers
If you're giving the CD as a gift or donation, you may want an attractive case for your audio or mp3 CDs. To find some pre-made covers for your CD, see the page CompactDiscCovers.