Why Can't I Burn 80 Minutes of Music on a 80 Minute Disc?

I am attempting to burn my own CDs. How novel. Just music from CDs I already have, nothing fancy. So I purchase CD-Rs (I know, I should use probably CR-RWs) - 700MB/80mins, it says on the box. I’ve copied music onto my hard drive, assembled the playlist I wuold like to burn onto this CD. The program I’m using is Windows Media Player. When I go to copy the files, however, the Player says that while I’ve got 80 free minutes on my CD, it stops after about 44 minutes! (On the second one I burn, it stopped just short of 40 minutes.) I’m confused. The original format I was using was the default setting - 28MB per CD (64 Kbps), “CD Quality” it says. So I think, hmm… maybe I should compress it a bit more, so I do, to the smallest at 22MB per CD (48 Kbps) “Near-CD Quality.” If I can cram 30+ minutes more music in, I’ll take the slight hit in quality. Well, I get only an extra 4-5 minutes with the compressed format.

What gives? What am I doing wrong – why can’t I burn 80 minutes onto an 80 minute CD?!!

Get better burning software. Roxio CD CReator 5 & Nero are just a couple that come to mind. I’ve been using Roxio for nearly two years now and have burned several 80-min CDs. In fact, I try to burn as close to 80 minutes as possible.

Sure, blanks are cheap, but I like the challenge.

Are you trying to burn mp3’s as an audio cd (i.e. converting them to .wav files)?

Regardless, don’t use windows media player to burn, use Nero or something else that actually works. That’s most likely your problem. An 80 minute CD holds 80 minutes of audio (‘audio’ means it will play in a normal CD player).

And I’d say don’t bother with burning audio CD-RW’s. Not worth it, really. If you can get 100 CD-R’s for $5, duffing on a few of them isn’t really a big deal. Just re-burn a new one.

Not to hijack, but where can you get 100 CD-R’s for $5? That sounds good.

Thanks, everyone! I’m glad it’s not because I’m totally inept that I can’t get 80 minutes of music on a 80 minute disc. It’s weird that WMP would take up so much extra room, but I’m off to shop for a better burning software

Maybe Joe K was exaggerating a little, but I did find this:


OfficeMax has 100 CD-Rs and with the double rebates, it comes in just under $10. Not too shabby. I don’t know what 16X means, though… my current CD-Rs say 24X max. Read time?

It sounds like you’re trying to burn a music cd that will play in a cd player. If that’s the case adjusting the quality has no impact on how many minutes the cd will hold. 80 minutes is as much as it will hold no matter what.

On the other hand, if you are burning a data cd with mp3 files, quality is directly related to how many minutes you can fit on the cd. This is the kind of cd that you can only use an mp3 player to play, like on your computer. At 48kbps you should be able to fit many hours of music on a cd, but it won’t play in your car cd player unless you have a special one capable of playing mp3’s.

Your problem of only getting 44 minutes on a cd is probably related to your Windows Media program. Either reinstall it, update it, or better yet get a new program. You can get them free from download.com, or Roxio has a good program if you want to buy one.

Near and after Christmas, there were some great sales, especially if you were willing to do rebates. I got 100 CD-Rs from Best Buy for 79 cents after rebates. Of course, I don’t know how good they are, but for backups and copies, might as well give them a shot. Of course, they didn’t even come with a spindle or nothing; I had to use one of my old ones.

For audio, you should use CD-R. CD-RW is much less compatible with older players, and usually won’t play at all in any device that doesn’t say CD-RW on the packaging.

That’s the maximum write speed. Read speed depends on your drive, but write speed is limited by both the drive and the disc.

you can often, with rebates, get packs of 50 and 100 for free. just gotta look for 'em.

I just want to point out that you should rip your songs at as high a quality as you can, basically, especially since it has no bearing on the length of the CD (as others have pointed out already). Set that slider back up to 64kbps at least.

The Sunday ads have good deals on 50-disc and 100-disc spindles all the time. $10 is not uncommon, and you can often find them for even less.

(All of this is after rebates, of course. Bleh.)

One thing to consider is not all CD-R/RW writers can handle 800MB burning. Check your model, and perhaps to upgrade the firmware.

      • Because your software sux: nobody into this sort of activity uses Windows Media Player for anything.

        -I use Cakewalk Pyro for reading audio files off of CD’s because it can convert them to .wav’s or MP3’s, and Ahead Nero for burning CD’s, because it allows lots of options with CD-disk parameters that Pyro can’t do.

And you may need an audio editor also: sometimes if a song on a CD has a skip or a pop in it, the burning software will think the song “ends” at that skip or pop. So then you have to edit the pop out of the audio file on your HD, so the burning software will accept the entire song.

Second, for CD burning info try http://www.cdrfaq.org/

      • By the way, Windows Media Player is spyware. THis has been suspected for a loong time, apparently now it has been shown to be true. MS’s response is (charmingly enough) something along the lines of “Oh, that old thing? We’d have told you about it if you’d have just asked us. And we don’t use that information for anything anyway.”:

Stopping the write during burning is a sign of a problem with the software/hardware. It has nothing to do with CD capacity. (Decent software will tell you if it won’t fit before it starts to burn.)

The software issue has already been discussed.

For hardware problems, things can happen such as el-cheapo CD-Rs, not a fast enough hard drive, etc., or running other programs while burning that take up resources needed to do the burn.

Try reading the CDR FAQ for more info. You need to understand what it is your are burning and for what purpose.

(My CD-R deal of the week: Staples had 50 packs of generic CD-Rs for $0 after rebate. The one near me ran out, did a sub., and did the “rebate” at the register. 50 Maxwell (name brand) CDs for $0, no sales tax, no stamp. Cool.)

OMG! I dont see any point in ever ripping at anything less than 128kbps…personally I rip all my stuff at 192kbps this gives cd quality mp3’s.

as for useing wmp to burn music I do it all the time, but I am also running XP and I could care less about ms knowing what I am doing. the program is simple and almost never makes a coaster when I want a cd. my best guess is you are running 98-me but if not I cant offer a whole lot of help other than a link to my favorite FREE ripper


a lot of people have been saying that WMP sucks. It doesnt. I have been using it for 4 years now and I havent had a single problem.

So, I downloaded and installed CD’n’Go! per suggestion above. I am now playing a CD I burned using WMP. All is good. When I try to “read” the existing music files already on my hard drive, however, I get nothing. Could it be that CD’n’Go! can’t read whatever format WMP saved the music under? I’d hate to have to re-copy all my music files again.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

As you can tell, I’m not computer savvy, esp. when it comes to audio files. Thanks for your patience.

Actually, Critical1, I’m running WXP. Puzzling. But as you can see, I downloaded the program you suggested. Thanks!


      • Many programs support .wav and MP3 files. Not nearly as many support WMP files. MS owns WMP, WMP owns your music, therefore; MS owns your music…