How to Compress Music onto a Regular CD

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.

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Open media ripping and burning software on a computer.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Click to apply these changes, and then click OK.

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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.