what is the difference between an audio cd & a mp3 cd for audiobooks?
An audio CD conforms to the Compact Disc Digital Audio “red book” standard and will not hold more than about 74 minutes worth of audio. A CD with MP3 files on it can hold considerably more than that, depending on the bit rate of the MP3 encoding. I burn a CD with MP3 files on it every week with over 9 hours worth of radio shows, and it’s not even full. I also have the Harry Potter books on CDs as MP3 files, and the first 6 books take up about 8 CDs.
From a more practical standpoint, a CD with MP3s on it won’t play in a standard CD player, it has to have a CD player capable of reading MP3 files.
Also, with a CD, each track can be given a title and the whole CD can be given title/artist. This is as long as your player supports CD text. If you have multiple artists, then you need to put their name in the track title. Mp3 CD’s use id3 tags, so each track can have its own artist, title, and album listed.
79.8 minutes, as per your link.
An audio CD is the kind you just stick in a regular CD player and play, the way people have been doing since the 1980s.
An MP3 CD is a data CD that has MP3 files on it. (A commercially-produced CD-ROM or home-burned CD can contain pretty much any kind of file you can store on your computer’s hard drive, including audio files in MP3 or other formats.) As has been pointed out, you can fit many hours’ worth onto a single disc this way, but to play it, you need either a CD player that can play MP3 files (not all of them can), or a computer that has a CD drive and audio software (nowadays, most of them do).
Of course, with such a computer, you could rip audio CDs and store the contents as MP3 files. And you could copy the files from an MP3 CD onto your computer, and burn audio CDs from them.
Stupid question–and you can’t copy from regular CDs?
Sure you can. To “rip” a (regular) CD means to copy its tracks onto your computer in some form or other, often converting/compressing them into MP3 files. Once they’re on your computer, you can listen to them there, burn an audio CD (essentially making a new copy of the original “regular” CD, though of lesser quality if you compressed the tracks during ripping), or burn a data disc with the files as MP3 files (resulting in an MP3 CD as I described earlier).
This all assumes you have a computer with a CD burner drive, and the right software (Windows Media Player, that comes with Windows, is one possibility), and that the original CD doesn’t have some funky copy protection scheme to thwart you.
I’m gonna shop around for a cheap mp3 player.