What's the problem with my CD burner?

I downloaded music from Napster. The CD-R keeps trying to spin up, but won’t get “up to speed”. I then get a stupid message that says my hard drive may not be fast enough to keep up with the burner (I’ve burned music before and never had a problem). The option is set on 48x max, which is the auto setting.

Any help appreciated.

Can you give us some computer specs? And have you tried burning at a slower speed?

You may try burning at a lower speed. See if that works. What kind of hardrive and setup do you have?

Sorry. The computer is a Pentium 4, 2.40 Ghz, 512 RAM Gateway. As I said, I’ve burned music before (not from Napster) and not had any problems. I tried burning at 32X and had the same result.

What speed are your disks?

I reckon you’re using a Roxio product. (WAG)

The problem may be that your computer can’t keep up with transcoding the higher bit-rate files supplied by the new Napster. Are you trying to create an audio CD from a bunch of MP3 files, or are you just dumping MP3s to the CD?

Yes, it’s Roxio. I am attempting to create an audio CD (that can be used on my home system), not an MP3 disk.

handy: I’m not sure I understand the question about the speed of the disks. They’re standard 700MB/80min Imation CD-Rs.

By the way, I can still load up a game with the driver, so I don’t think it’s the CD-ROM.

I’ve never had any problems with Easy CD & DVD creator. Make sure you have the latest version of your roxio software.

If the software IS having problem with the mp3 bitrate, try decoding the mp3’s to wav files then burn those.

As for CD speed, cd’s usually have printed on the box the max speed they support. If the discs you are using only suport 12x recording, then you can’t burn them at 48x.

Can ya dumb this down for me? I need instructions. Thanks.

Well, mp3’s are basically compressed wav files.

So you want to uncompress them back.

To do this you’ll need a decoder. I believe winamp will let you do this, though I don’t know how, you’ll have to read the online manual.

You could also do a search for mp3 to wav on the web. Or you can try the free version of Goldwave: http://www.goldwave.com/release.html

Either way you want to use these tools to uncompress that mp3 file to a wav file, (follow the instructions on the tool you decide to use). One you’ve saved that wav file you can burn it with Roxio as normal.

Of course this will only help you if indeed it’s the bitrate fo the mp3’s that’s messing things up.

Another solution is to try another cd burning software, I think there are a few freeware programs that’ll burn music Cd’s.

FYI, not sure if this is relevant, but the latest update of Windows Media Player contained a bug–excuse me: a feature–that disabled ALL the CD burners in our office. Our IT guy is going around installing IBM burning software until MS gets it figured out; as of the last I heard, they’re still denying it’s a MS issue.

Check the speed rating on your writeable/rewriteable CDs.
If the CD say 8x, then don’t try to burn it faster than 8X.

Download files to your hard disk, then burn the CD.
The burning programs I used some time ago made a test run first to assure it had the rates coordinated to assure proper burning. Then burn away.

Attempting to burn downloads as you go won’t work satisfactorily due to incompatability of the various rates. Best to burn from a list of files that are contiguous on the HD.

Burning speed is dependent on the intensity of the IR LED, the speed of the burner, and the max recording speed of the CD itsself.
The burning software should handle this chore.

Playback is always at the standard playback speed for all music players. Don’t know about data playback speed, may be faster.


read the instruction book!

Well, the CD-R package has no speed on it anywhere that I can find.

I tried burning from the downloaded playlist, with no luck.

I tried burning at the lowest speed allowed by my CD-R, with no luck.

I went to the Roxio site and tried to download an update, but I apparently don’t have the “Platinum” version of the software, which, as far as I can tell, isn’t available for sale on the site (?).

Looks like I may need to go buy the latest version of Roxio, or find another program that will work. Assuming that the software is the problem, of course. That will mean that the $12 I paid for the music will now increase to $92, which works out to about $7 per song. At this rate, I will need to download a couple hundred songs in order to break even.

Thanks for all the help, folks. You would think that Napster would let you know what you need for this chore, but I didn’t see it in the FAQs.

From Roxio:

If you are recording audio CDs from MP3 files, or vice versa, the CPU has to transcode the data on the fly as the disc is being written. At very high recording speeds, your processor may simply not be able to keep up. It’s still faster to record a CD this way than to transcode first, then burn, so reduce the recording speed if you get buffer underruns.

Contributing factors are the amount of free, unfragmented space on your drive, the speed of your drive, the amount of memory in your machine and the size of our swap file.
Try this (I may be on an earlier version, so please bear with me):

  1. Drag your MP3s to your CD layout window.
  2. Once they’re in place and in the order you prefer, click File|Create CD Image. Save the image to your desktop or some other easy place to find. 8 audio files will take about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Once it’s done, click File|Create CD from Image. Select the image file you’ve just made in the previous step.

One caveat: under this method, you should close all non-essential background apps (empty your system tray, etc.) and change your burn speed down to 24x or so. This will keep you from making yet another coaster.

Good luck!

Here’s a bunch of freeware CD burning tools:


Re: the Roxio warning

That might apply to a slower system (Pentium I/II, low clock Celeron, low RAM, slow old hard drive, etc.) but it shouldn’t be a problem with a 2.4 GHz Pentium IV with 512 MB, unless the software stinks beyond all casual belief. Back when I ran a Celeron 466, freeware MP3 decoders regularly ran at 20-40x ‘realtime’ - which was convenient because I could play MP3s to audio in the background as I worked with no noticeable decrease in performance.

The OP’s CPU should be able to handle decoding at 48x, and still have time to rationalize post-911 politics (in Hellenic Greek). This fact can be checked by decoding an MP3 to a WAV file. A 5 min song will completely decode in seconds.

I uninstalled Roxio’s stuff, including the products they bought up, after a string of similar issues. In one case, it crashed because it apparently saw my (unusual at the time) 512MB and decided it could cache to RAM - a ridiculous assumption when decoding was so much faster than the writing, and I had less than a CD’s worth of spare RAM for the buffer. It crashed because the buffer wasn’t being emptied fast enough - instead of, say, gracefully spooling to disk. There was a patch. Then the problem emerged again later, followed by another patch, a nother recurrence - Lather, Rinse Repeat. Wash that program right outta your hair.

I generally concur with the suggestion of recording at a slower rate, but in the case of the above bug (related to the pseudo-SCSI driver that many faster ATA controllers use) that may not work

Okay, I gave up and bought Roxio 6.0. Damn thing still wouldn’t burn on a known 48x disc, so I dumbed the thing down to 12x and it finally copied. yay! The old Roxio wouldn’t allow me to reduce the disc speed that far.

Your CD hould have burned flawlessly from the start. Your system is more than fast enough to handle any “on the fly” burning issues. I doubt it’s your software or the CDR blank. I suspect your CD burner may be having alignment or related mechanical issues. You can get perfectly good new CDR burners for $20-$30 on sale after rebate at most office supply and electronics stores. I think chances are better than even it will have to be replaced shortly.