Making *most* compatible Audio CDs for old players

Hey all – reading this forum and FAQs have helped me greatly in the past year for CD/DVD burns. But I finally have to Post a question now.

I’ve burned tons of CD/DVDs for Audio,MP3/WMA,Data, Movies, Encoding blah blah. All the various types have worked just fine in my PCs, laptops, newer DVDs, home ent. systems, etc. My wife tells me I’ve purchased (& used) well over 1500 CD/DVD discs in the 3 burner’s I’ve gone thru in the past 2 years. Once you get it set, it all works great.

But I have two older CD players that won’t play (either don’t start at all or lock up at a specific track) my burned Audio CDs. One is my 1999 stock CD player in my Chrysler Van and the other is an old Panasonic 1989 stereo system w/5 CD player. Replacing either of them will be more than I want to spend. I know for a fact these will play custom burned CDRs, because if I Clone (backup) my purchased CDs, it will play them just fine. Also they play custom encoded/burned Audio CDs that contain recorded lectures from here in town (each week the folks record audio, encode, and use cheap CDRs with a crummy label on it).

Which program & options would you suggest creates the most compatible, BASIC, Audio CDs that would work on older players? I don’t need CDTEXT or any fancy features – just need to play regular audio CDs I can make from my MP3/WMA and other files I record/encode.

I’ve gone thru dozens of “trial” discs varying each option separately in Nero Burning ROM 6.6, Nero Express, and Soundtraxx : adding/removing Track info, CDEXTRA, UPC/EAN, IRSC, Protection, etc. There aren’t that many options in Nero for Audio CDs, unlike when you create a ISO CD (Data) and have compatibility options.

I realize I haven’t given you all the specs of my burners,players,SW/HW etc, but if you could point me in the general direction, I should be able to get myself there.


I would just use Nero Express Disc copy. Dont burn on the fly, and burn at 24X or 32X.
It might be poor media, try a different brand like TY,s. Check the Audio forum
You Might want to check the Blank Media Forum also.

Appreciate the response…

I don’t need Disc Copy – that part works just fine already on these old players. That’s one reason I know they will play CDR discs, not just the manufacturer discs.

It’s creating Audio CDs from MP3/WMA/WAV sources that won’t work. Media was my first thought a year ago, and I’ve tried 6 different disc sources (from local stores) – sony, maxell, memorex, ritek, HP, TDK, OfficeDepot brand, etc. Those media work with a Disc Copy, but not Audio-from-MP3 sources. That should prove it’s not media, correct?

I’ll try the Audio forum tomorrow, to not dupe the posts too quick.

I guess I don’t understand what you are trying to do. If you are trying to play MP3, WMA, WAV on a player that is not compatable with that format it isn’t going to work.

Your old cd players will only see wav or pcm.

:cool: :cool:

Well put your music on an -RW, then ‘Clone (backup)’ it as you usually do and see if that works.

You have to burn CDDA for these players according to the Red Book and without any ugly extras.

Also use only good media and burn at low speeds, that’s lower than 16x.

Sorry for the confusion, I use the Nero term “Audio CD” thinking that is commonplace for “CDDA” format (supposedly lowest common denominator for even the oldest CD players, correct)?

If my rambling in the original post is still unclear, maybe this will help.

What I Always Do:

  1. I buy an older CD from store, it works in all my CD players (“older”=bypassing anti-copy protection discussion)

  2. I use Alcohol 120 Image Making Wizard (or other Apps) to create an ISO or MDS disc image on my HD. Immediately turn back around and burn the image to a CD-R. Sometimes I use Alcohol, Nero, or ImgBurn to put the image back onto CD-R. I test the CDs and they have always worked just fine in all my CD and MP3 players (as a “disk-clone/copy” of the original).

  3. Afterward, I use Nero, WMP, or other tools to rip the songs from the original CD into a folder structure on my HD. I vary the options (quality,format,etc) depending on how much we like the album. We listen to the .mp3/.wma version of the songs and delete the ones we dislike; so the HD library just has our favorites.

  4. I select a few of .mp3 version of the songs, ripped from the original CD during Step #3, and use Nero to make a basic “Audio CD”. I never put in any CDTEXT or anything, just do Add-Files, select slowest burn speed (1200kbs), then BURN.

The resulting cdda Audio CD works fine in the newer CD players, portable ‘walkman’ cd-mp3 players, my home ent. DVD systems, etc. They won’t work in the 2 offending, old, cd players.

I then put the original CD and the cloned copy into storage and just use the one from Step #4 that has our favorites.

Do you’ve used always the same media brand?
I’d recommend you to try some Verbatim Pastels(Taiyo Yuden) or if you find some genuine unbranded Taiyo Yuden media. Personally for me they’ve a great compatibility with players.

UPDATE: Per advice below, I converted the source files (some wma,some mp3) to PCM/Wave first using Nero Soundtraxx, then burned to Nero Audio CD (cdda) format. I actually heard music for once on the old CD players – that’s a breakthru. Of course, it was skipping all over the place and only worked a few times before stopping itself – but I guess I’m on the right track?? I’ll try varying all the media again, varying all the burn options, speed, etc. Takes me thru a few dozen CDs.

Although I’m confused – assume you burn “Song A” by selecting “AudioCD” (cdda) format from Nero 6.6. You don’t use any cdtext,irsc,protection options at all. Shouldn’t the resulting CD be identical – regardless of whether the source file for SongA was pcm,mp3,or .wma format? Why would converting an .MP3 file to pcm/wave FIRST, then burning with Nero, make a different resulting cdda AudioCD?

Sometimes the encoder/decoder makes all the difference in the world.

It has been my experience that Nero is not quite adept in making audio CDs.
The audio CDs that I used to make with Nero would always skip on the older CD changer in my Jeep.
Yet the same compilations burned on the same disc on the same system, with the same burner using the [B]Feurio!®[/B] audio only burning software would play fine.

Similarly, about a month ago my son encountered skipping on his audio CDs burned with Nero when played in his 2004 Honda Accord.
I installed [B]Feurio!®[/B] on his system and the same compilations burned on the same system with the same media and the same burner would play fine in his car.

I have found that many old cd players simply refuse to play 80min cd-r’s regardless of burn quality/speed.

Try some old 74 min cdr’s if you have any. They can still be ordered (maybe?) although I’m not sure how old the stock would be.

UPDATE: It finally works! I’ve tried other CDDA encoders in the past, but none ever worked on the old players. I did a Google search for “nero cdda format” and the first link was back to
which also said “burn the MP3 to wave first, then burn to Audio CD”. Since burning the PCM/Wave files to cdda via Nero didn’t work already,
I installed the little BurnAtOnce app and burned the exact same .wav files I used for Nero, but now the resulting CD works perfectly!

Of course the solution involved two-factors: converting to .Wav first (used Soundtraxx for that), then NOT using Nero to burn CDDA. The media I’ve been using, burn speed, other settings, etc I used weren’t part of the problem. This explains why other encoders didn’t work in the past (wasn’t using .wav) and why other folks custom CDDAs work OK in my old players.

[I]<<< Nemesys: It has been my experience that Nero is not quite adept in making audio CDs.
[/I] I would have to agree, even tho it’s worked fine for me for years on the newer players.

I haven’t been able to do this for 2 years now: gone thru many test disks, different media, read various posts/FAQs – but 1 post to cdfreaks and my problem is solved the next day. Thanks for all the help in this post and the other posts online that are an abundancy of info…

How the audio quality after being compressed to MP3 and then back to WAV?

OK I’m an idiot, wish I could erase my last post. What’s working right now is the CD from yesterday that WAS burned using Nero (darn 5 disc changer confused me; got so excited I came back to post after listening thru the entire CD only once). The burnAtOnce CD isn’t recognizing at all.

So converting to .wav from Soundtraxx, then burning from Nero Burning Rom, has created CDs that are working about 50% of the time (eject, insert, play, eject, will get it working eventually). The player refuses to recognize it mostly, sometimes skips too fast, but at least half the time it’s playing completely through just fine.

I’ll try various media and options again, but it looks like I shouldn’t need help from the boards on this topic.

Sound Quality converting to .wav first? Can’t tell a major difference atm – I know most songs were at 128kbs/VBR when in MP3, and the players I’m expending all this effort on have lousy speakers. Why bother, just buy new equipment?? but I’d rather spend the extra cash on power tools atm – telling the wife I’m buying my 4th CD/MP3 player for the other bedroom and 2nd vehicle wouldn’t fly. LOL

When I care about quality, I’ll rip straight to .wav with no compression then burn back to cdda.

Looks like my old stereos won’t be put to pasture yet; saving up for the new table saw.

Thanks again…

Hi cebury :),

Could it be a combination of your system and players that’s causing the problems instead of just the players themselves?

Maybe you could try creating a ‘favourites’ disc on a different system or even creating an image of the offending disc on your own PC and then re-burning.

Possibly a silly suggestion making a clone/copy of a disc that won’t play but, all your ‘problem discs’ seem to occur when converting files to CD audio during the burn process.

Perhaps the conversion slightly effects the burn process and your older players maybe don’t like this ?

But you can’t burn CDs or DVDs with a table saw! That won’t be any fun at all! :bigsmile: