How to Compress Music onto a Regular CD

By James Clark

Compressing music onto a compact disc involves changing the bitrate setting on software for burning audio files to the disc. Bitrate is a measurement of how many units of data (bits) are transferred from one location to another per second. When burning audio files from a computer to a blank CD or from a prerecorded CD to a blank disc, this transfer rate is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps). The lower the Kbps number, the more music that can be compressed onto a CD.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Audio CDs
  • Blank, recordable CDs
  • Audio software for burning music such as RealPlayer or Windows Media Player

Step 1

Open media ripping and burning software on a computer.

Step 2

Look for a tab or option labeled "Burn", and click to reveal a drop-down menu.

Step 3

Click More Options, or a similarly worded selection, from this drop-down menu.

Step 4

Look for a box labeled "Convert" or "Convert Bitrate", and select this.

Step 5

Review the bitrate speeds available for burning audio files. Lower bitrate speeds will compress more music onto a CD. For example, at a setting of 32 Kbps, it may be possible to record nearly 48 hours of music onto a single CD that would normally hold only about 90 minutes of music. At 128 Kbps, it is possible to burn about 11 hours of music onto a CD.

Step 6

Choose the highest bitrate speed that will allow you to compress the amount of music desired onto a single CD. Keep in mind, audio quality suffers as more music is compressed onto a single disc.

Step 7

Click to apply these changes, and then click OK.

Step 8

Choose music tracks to add to a new CD file, then insert a blank CD in the computer's disc drive and click Start Burn to transfer the music at the newly compressed Bitrate onto the disc.