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How do I copy an audio CD to a blank CD using iTunes?

Answer: If you have a recordable CD drive that allows you to "burn" CDs, you can copy audio CDs. Apple's iTunes software, which is available for both Macintosh and Windows computers, makes this process relatively easy.

You can download iTunes for free at Apple's website.

When you insert the CD into your CD-ROM drive, iTunes should automatically recognize it as an audio CD. Click the "Import" icon in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window to import the tracks from the CD into your iTunes playlist. This may take a few minutes. Once the CD is done importing, you can eject the disk.

Now make a playlist in iTunes, by clicking the "+" icon in the lower-left corner of the window or by selecting "New Playlist" from the File menu. You can name the playlist the name of the artist, album, or whatever you want. Then click on the Library icon in the left pane of the window to view all the songs in your music library. Locate the songs you imported in the Library. Click the first song from the album, hold the Shift key, then click the last song from the album to select all the songs in between. Once you have all the songs selected, drag the selection to the new playlist you created in the left pane of the iTunes window.

You are almost ready to burn the music CD. However, you may want to change the time gap that iTunes puts between songs. To do this, choose "Preferences..." from the iTunes menu (Mac) or the File menu (Windows). In the Preferences window, click the "Advanced" icon, then select the "Burning" tab. You can use the drop-down menu to select the gap between songs. Once you've chosen your settings, click the OK button to exit the Preferences window.

Highlight the new playlist by clicking on it, then click "Burn Disc" in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window. This is the same place the "Import" icon was previously displayed. iTunes will ask you to insert a disc. Place a blank recordable CD (CD-R) in the CD tray and click the "Burn Disc" icon one more time to close the CD-tray and begin burning the disc. Note that some machines may require you to manually close the CD tray.

The burning process should take a few minutes. Once it is complete, iTunes should eject the CD. You can play the newly created CD in another standalone CD player or put it back into your computer and play it using iTunes.

Because commercial CDs are copyrighted material, it is OK to create CDs for your own use. However, it illegal to distribute copyrighted content to others. In other words, it's OK to listen to your own burned CDs, but it is not OK to share them with others who don't own the music.

Published: February 3, 2006 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center