This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
Yes. You can create CD-ROMs from data on your hard drive, and you can
create new audio CDs from anything you can record into a WAV or AIFF sound
file. With an audio-only CD-Recorder, which hooks up to your stereo system
instead of your computer, you can record directly from CD, cassette, DAT,
The CD-ROMs you produce will play in ordinary CD-ROM drives, and the audio
CDs you create will work in your home or car CD player.
Writing to CD-Rs and CD-RWs requires a CD recorder. You can't write CDs
with an ordinary CD-ROM drive.
One of the more popular things to do with a CD recorder is make copies
of old cassettes and LPs. See section (3-12) for information about this.