We produce lots of CD orders for bands and musicians putting their music to CD for the first time. Recently we’ve noticed growing confusion between the formats needed for digital music distribution and that needed for ‘physical’ Audio CDs.
The advent of digital music players and downloads has made music file formats such as .MP3 and .WAV ever more popular. Music tracks are encoded and compressed and stored as a series of 1’s and 0’s in much the same was as a photo or a spreadsheet.
These files are stored on servers, music players and are easy to email and move around. You can even write them to a CD 😉
When you write .WAV files or .MP3 files onto a CD they are just data files, and depend on the device reading the CD to recognise them for what they are and select the right software to play them. Your computer does this automatically as do modern CD & DVD players.
For older CD players this is a problem as they do not recognise MP3s or other digital music files so CDs with digital music files will not play, leaving the listener unable to hear your music.
The solution is to create an Audio-CD ( CD-Digital Audio or CD-DA ) master using the CD recording software on your computer. This will help ensure that your master will play on all CD Players and will generally give the best quality reproduction of your music.