This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
Most CD players can only handle uncompressed audio in "Red Book" format.
Some newer player, such as the AIWA CDC-MP3 and Philips Expanium, can play
MP3 files from a CD-ROM. Such discs should be written in ISO-9660 with
8+3 filenames, and ought to use 128Kbps and "plain" stereo for broadest
compatibility. The documentation for the I-Jam (http://www.ijamworld.com/)
recommends putting no more than 50 MP3 files in a directory.
If you don't have such a player, though, you need to write a standard
"Red Book" audio CD. The first step is to convert from whatever format
the sound is in to WAV or AIFF. In some cases (e.g. MP3), many of the
popular CD recording programs will do the conversion for you. If not, you
will need to convert it to 44.1KHz 16-bit stereo PCM format. Once it's
in WAV or (on the Mac) AIFF format, you can record it as you would audio
taken from other CDs. Be sure to play it back once after you convert it
to make sure that it came out okay.
For a tutorial on converting CD-DA to MP3 and vice-versa, see
newsgroup FAQ for alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.* at http://www.mp3-faq.org/
is also useful.
WMA is Windows Media Audio, part of Microsoft's attempt to create an
architecture for "Digital Rights Management" protected media. A WMA
player isn't supposed to let you hear any music you don't have the right
to play. If you want to record it to CD, and the player won't let you
do the conversion to WAV, you can still use a general-purpose sound
recorder like Total Recorder to do the job.
There may or may not be a converter for the format you're interested in.
Here are some links to try:
- http://www.advicom.net/~diac/mr-home.html (MIDI Renderer)
- http://www.polyhedric.com/software/ (MIDInight Express)
- http://home.att.net/~audiocompositor/ (Audio Compositor)
- http://www.dartpro.com/ (DART CD-Recorder)
MPEG audio (a/k/a MP2 and MP3)
- http://www.mpeg.org/~tristan/MPEG/mp3.html (various)
- http://www.winamp.com/ (Winamp)
- (Feurio, WinOnCD, Nero, and perhaps others will record from MP3 on the fly)
- http://www.realaudio.com/ (Real Jukebox Plus)
General (sound driver that writes to disk -- works for anything you can play)
- http://www.HighCriteria.com/ (Total Recorder)
You can't write MPEG, AC3, or other compressed audio formats to a CD-DA
disc and expect to play it back in your car stereo. CD players only
understand uncompressed PCM audio.
See http://www.howstuffworks.com/mp3.htm for an intro to MP3 technology.
The site at http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~djmrob/mp3decoders/ has
comparisons of various MP3 players.
http://www.sonicspot.com/multimediaconverters.html has a collection of
converters for different formats.
If you *really* want to be able to play MP3-compressed songs while driving
down the freeway, check out http://utter.chaos.org.uk/~altman/mp3mobile/
(or the commercial counterpart at http://www.empeg.com/).