Burning audio CD's for the car

I’ve been registered a while but this is, I think, my first post. I’ve got a Lite-On LTR 32123S CD rewriter connected to an IBM Thinkpad T41, running Windows XP (SP2). I have a copy of Nero 5.5 which was bundled with the drive and this setup produces audio CD’s which work well on all of our domestic CD players.

After storing it for years, I installed an Alpine CDM7838R in my fiancee’s car and it is very fussy about what discs it plays. Original CD’s play no problem, including using random, repeat and scan functions. When I play CDR’s the player seeks for several minutes before starting to play the first track. If it’s allowed to just play, it will track the entire CD faultlessly. If I use random, repeat or scan - or if RDS cuts in with traffic news - forget it, the player just starts to seek again for a long time. Some discs refuse to play at all, despite the fact that my domestic players play them effortlessly.

I don’t remember the player being so bad in the last car I used it in. I use a variety of brands of blank but try always to burn DAO at x4 and Nero is configured to use a large buffer.

I recently read about different dyes and I’m now wondering if I should be using CDR blanks with Azo dye, or some other dye that better suits the laser pickup in my Alpine head unit. Am I on the right track or should I be looking at something else in my Nero config?

Many thanks for any advice.

I’ve found that Verbatim is the best option for me with my picky CD player. The Pastel are terrific , followed by the Super AZOs.

Burned at 16x with Burrrn or Roxio’s Creator Classic they play faultlessly. Personally I never burn Audio CDs with Nero and I know many here have found Burrrn to work better than Nero for them.

Tim, many thanks for the answer. I kind of had it in mind that Verbatim discs would be worth trying. I just downloaded Burrn and I’m going to give that a shot. I just need to figure out how to edit cue sheets with it because I have some albums where the tracks run together.

I’ll let you know how I get on…

Thanks again!

I tried using Burrn at 4x and I used a CUE sheet created using EAC because some of the tracks on this fabulous Marcus Miller album run together. I noticed that if you open a CUE sheet instead of loading the audio files (in this case MP3’s ripped at 256 kb/s using EAC) you don’t get any track names/CD text. Not the end of the world but a nice-to-have.

Using a Plasmon CD (branded as Emotion and bought from a cheapy shop) the Alpine won’t read the CD. I’m just off to get some Verbatim…

By the way, which version of Roxio do you use?

I don’t really use Burrrn much myself, but EAC can also burn CUE sheets and you’ll get CD-TEXT if the CUE sheet contains track titles - at least with the EAC I’m using (0.95 beta 3) provided that “Use CDRDAO for writing in the EAC laout editor” is disabled in EAC options. It might be different with the latest EAC version.

You can also edit a CUE sheet directly in a text editor and add/change stuff yourself.

CUE Sheet article on Wikipedia

I wouldn’t burn that slow for CDs. 16x is the slowest I go & the speed recommended by many here.

As for Roxio , it’s 7.5 which many consider the best by far. Version 8 upwards are the product of the takeover by Sonic & some of the functionality I used in 7.5 has disappeared.

I’ve an old Liteon CD writer like yours & I must say that my modern DVD writers burn with far less jitter - in-car CD player killer - than the Liteon.

Tim - many thanks - my experiments continued.

  1. Verbatim Super AZO (available near me) using Burrrn, this time without a CUE sheet, burning at 4x (I hadn’t read your last post then). This and the first disc of the day were burned on my work Thinkpad T41 using the UJDA755 combo drive. The Alpine didn’t like 'em.

  2. Verbatim Super AZO using CD Burner XP Pro 3, burning 4x ([I]still[/I] hadn’t read your post) but TAO instead of TAO using the old Lite-On on my home laptop. Bit slow but Alpine will play them normal, random and scan with the occasional hesitation.

You can get through lots of discs testing the different scenarios can’t you? That’s why it’s tempting to use cheapo ones - false economy though.

I appreciate all the advice and, as ever, the solution seems like it will involve flashing a bit of cash.

Thanks TimC and DrageMester.

Guys, I think this could be my last post on this subject. I’ve done about 10 test CD’s by now, using several permutations. My last two at home using the Lite-On LTR32123S CD rewriter involved a) a Verbatim pastel (oh yes I got a tub of 50) written at 16x (I think) DAO and b) one of my “cheapies” burned from an image file at (I think) 16x. Both of these are much more compatible with the Alpine CDM7838R than my recent efforts.

However, yesterday I had something of a revelation: I was using Roxio 7.5 (see below) at work and a colleague reminded me we have a Lite-On SHM-165P6SX external DVD burner so I burned a CD from an image built from MP3’s at 8x and then played it in the car straight away. Not only do random, scan and pause have no unsettling effect on playback but the sound was more detailed and punchier (especially at the top end) than any of the CDR’s I’ve burned recently on the LTR32123S. I’ve now ordered a DVD burner…

I have acquired a copy of Roxio EMC 7.5 and used it for these most recent burns, but I think I should uninstall it and ask for a refund because I think it’s illegal software. What is the ‘next best’ version of Roxio EMC or Nero - any ideas? I want legal supported software.

One last thing… the DVD burner I used at work yesterday was designed to be connected via USB. The CD rewriter I’ve been using at home has been used via a IDE-to-USB interface. Is that likely to introduce problems of its own?

I have a CD-ROM drive that won’t read Riteks but will read Taiyo Yudens perfectly, so if you can find Taiyo Yuden media in your neck of the woods, that’d be a good choice, too. Lots of mail order places have it (rima.com, blankmedia.ca, etc.).


For me Roxio 7.5 is the best version as I’ve stated before.


The Verb Pastels here in the UK are indeed a TY dye and very good.