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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently started burning more CDs (now that I have a car that will actually play them!). I'm finding that the quality of the CDs that I burn leave something to be desired. They tend to skip and stop more than I would expect when I play them in the MDX (or my wife's car for that matter). In contrast, store-bought CDs don't skip at all.

First some facts about what I'm using:

CD-R/RW Drive: NEC 7800R 16X/10X/40X CD-RW (according to Device Manager)
Operating System: Windows XP Pro
Software: Easy CD Creator Platinum and MusicMatch Plus
Media: Memorex 700MB/80min and/or TDK 650MB/74min CD-R

So, I guess my question is which of the above factors can/will impact the quality of home-burned CDs the most?

Any advice on how I can create better quality CDs from my computer?
 

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First thing try different media. buy a small batch. See if that helps.
Then try burning at a slower speed 16 is slow compared to todays 52X buy still. Defrag you HD where you have you mp3s. Then try different SW. Nero IMO is the best!!!!
 

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I burn my audio using a SCSI 12X Plextor and generic media. I burn at full speed using CD-R blanks that support my burn speed. Today's burners are much faster and I would expect 95% of the blanks out there support the fastest burners available.

My stuff sounds fine with no skipping.
 

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I agree, the slower the speed the better
 

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rjmitche,

Are you downloading your music using a swapping program (ie. AIM, Kazaa, Morpheus)? If so, that could be your culprit. Sometimes the songs sound fine when played on the computer, but once they are converted to wav format and burned, it's lousy.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice so far. I'll try some different media and make sure that I'm burning at the lowest speed possible (with nothing else running on the PC).

Does the size of the CD-R make a difference? - 700MB/80min vs. 650MB/74min

MDX-Hungry said:
Are you downloading your music using a swapping program (ie. AIM, Kazaa, Morpheus)? If so, that could be your culprit. Sometimes the songs sound fine when played on the computer, but once they are converted to wav format and burned, it's lousy.
Nope, all of the CDs I've been making to date have been 'compilations' from existing store-bought CDs. The one I've been 'testing' with is a compilation of music for my 5-year-old from various Disney CDs (Lion King, Tarzan, Toy Story, etc.). You can never have too many of those around -- one for Dad's car, one for Mom's car, one for the living room stereo, etc. (and, the music actually isn't half bad either -- Elton John, Phil Collins, etc.:)).
 

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rjmitche said:
[BThe one I've been 'testing' with is a compilation of music for my 5-year-old from various Disney CDs (Lion King, Tarzan, Toy Story, etc.). You can never have too many of those around -- one for Dad's car, one for Mom's car, one for the living room stereo, etc.[/B]
I just made a Disney compilation for our hour-long trip to my brother's house last Saturday. My compliation was 23 songs on one 80-min CD of converted MP3's. 3 from Little Mermaid, 2 from Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, Song of the South, Lady and the Tramp, 3 from Pocahontas, Lilo and Stitch (Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride), Toy Story 2, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (not Disney) and a bunch more I can't remember.

My 3-year old daughter liked playing "name that tune" as they came on and beat my wife on almost all of them.
 

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rjmitche said:
Thanks for the advice so far. I'll try some different media and make sure that I'm burning at the lowest speed possible (with nothing else running on the PC).

Does the size of the CD-R make a difference? - 700MB/80min vs. 650MB/74min

Nope, all of the CDs I've been making to date have been 'compilations' from existing store-bought CDs. The one I've been 'testing' with is a compilation of music for my 5-year-old from various Disney CDs (Lion King, Tarzan, Toy Story, etc.). You can never have too many of those around -- one for Dad's car, one for Mom's car, one for the living room stereo, etc. (and, the music actually isn't half bad either -- Elton John, Phil Collins, etc.:)).

It shouldn't matter as far of length of CD. BUT what program are you using to rip the existing CDs? I use CDex. Very good ripping program and free! Get it here , The problem could be the ripping. But like I said try a different media. First and eliminate that, then go to the others suggested methods.
 

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Make sure your downloading music at a Bit rate of 256 or better .
 

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Loony said:
Make sure your downloading music at a Bit rate of 256 or better .
That won't necessarily fix the cracking and popping sounds but will give you a fuller sound.

I prefer 160 or 192. Most of what I've gotten at 256 or 320 is House/Techno. I find most of the stuff posted to the newsgroups is of very high quality. The people ripping/encoding the files take their "craft" seriously.

If a file is posted as "NMR" it means Not My Rip and that the person posting it got it from someone else so don't blame them if the quality is poor. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
scoobs said:
I think his problem is with his media.
Any suggestions on what makes a good CD for this purpose? I didn't go ultra-cheap when I purchased these particular CD-Rs... Memorex and TDK aren't 'generic'.
 

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Unfortunately I don't think that anyone can guarantee that any particular brand will "always" work. I've used Memorex in the past and had some batches that worked fine and others that had problems. It's almost as if they came from different factories. It wouldn't surprise me if they did. Where I noticed the problem particularly was where I was using some Memorex CDs ( 80 minutes ) burning MP3s ( ripped from original CDs using Musicmatch Plus ) back to an audio CD and trying to fill up more than 75% of the disc. The last two or three tracks would have cracks and pops worse than my oldest LPs. Someone might say it was an overburning problem . I haven't used TDK so I can't comment on them. A friend gave me 10 Sonys once and they worked fine.
I bought a batch of 24x Gigastore 80 min/700 mb blanks and have experienced no problems with them at all after burning over 150 disks with them. They were considered "generic" CDs but they've been extremely reliable for me. Unfortunately the supply is running low and the store where I got them doesn't carry them any more so I shall be out sampling brands like you soon.
The computer that I did most of the burning with was a 4 year old IBM Aptiva 500 mhz P3 ( Windows 98 ) with a 16x10x40 Liteon. I still use it because the new computer I have, a 2.8 GHZ Dell 8250 ( Windows XP Pro ) with a NEC DVD+r/+rw only writes cds at 8x even though Dell assured me that it would write cds at 16x. But that's another story. So when I want "speed" I use my 4 year old IBM not my brand new Dell, go figure.
 

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rjmitche said:


Any suggestions on what makes a good CD for this purpose? I didn't go ultra-cheap when I purchased these particular CD-Rs... Memorex and TDK aren't 'generic'.
Try some verbatims.
 

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MP3 Song Checker

Great mp3 song checking utility (and it is free!). It verifies that your mp3's are indeed valid (winamp can be very forgiving).
linky

Excellent software.
 

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I swear by Imation.
 

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I suggest the problem lies in one of the following:

Source rip is inaccurate (do the songs sound fine on PC?) This is the area where I've found the biggest problem and variation, based on how I generate the file. Also, if going from mp3 to CD, this program can make a big difference as well.

Possibly, the system can not keep up with the CD so image problem is created. This is unlikely, but when buring, open taskmanager (Start>Run>taskmgr.exe and look at CPU utilization and memory available). Also, if CPU util at 100% when burning, ensure DMA enabled to the burner.

Finally, the only media problems I've had were when the media was burned faster than it was certified and a slight slowdown fixed the problem.

Hope this helps.
 

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Slower Speed Worked

Just burned my first CD with my new laptop and had some problems with a few tunes cutting in and out. My CD-R is 16X, made another copy at 8X and the problem was fixed.
 
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