Got a sweet playlist on iTunes you wish you could put on a CD? Well, the good news is that iTunes will let you burn your favorite playlist onto an iTunes CD. Depending on how many songs you have and how much space the CD can hold, this process can take some time, but nonetheless, iTunes has a built-in feature for burning songs and playlists to CDs. Of course, that does mean your laptop needs a CD tray, whereas many laptops are shipping without them. That said, an external CD player will do just fine.
Ready to get your playlist onto a CD? Follow along below and we’ll take you step-by-step on how to do just that!
Burning a CD
The first step to burning your iTunes playlist or songs onto a CD is to first have iTunes on your Mac or PC. You can download it for free here. You may or may not need to be logged into your Apple ID with iTunes. Go ahead and log in after installing it.
Next, we need to make sure that you have a playlist in iTunes. To create a playlist, we’ll follow these steps:
- Click on the File tab at the top left corner.
- Click our mouse over the New option.
- Select Playlist.
Your new playlist will appear at the bottom left hand corner of iTunes under the section that says All Playlists. You can finish creating a playlist by giving it a name and pressing Enter.
Now we need to add some songs to our playlist! The simplest way to do this is to navigate through your iTunes library and drag and drop songs into the playlist we just created. You’ll always be able to see your playlists on the left pane, with your songs showing up in the right pane. That said, you’ll always be able to drag songs to it. Alternatively, you can click the icon next to the song you want to add and click the button that says Add to Playlist.
Now, you need to order the songs in the way you want them played. The simplest way to do this is to click on your playlist in the left pane and then drag and drop songs above each other. If you want, iTunes can sort your songs in a couple of different ways for you. With your playlist selected, click on the View button at the the top of the screen, and then under Sort By, you can choose the option that you like best. You’ll find sorting option for:
- By name
- By genre
- By year
- By artist
- By album
- By time
Once you have your playlist sorted the way you want, we can finally burn it to a CD. There’s a couple things we should note before we go ahead with this. The first is that you can burn a single song to a CD as much as you want; however, if you burn a playlist to your CD, you can only burn that playlist up to five times — this is try and deter people from unauthorized reproduction and sale of music. That said, if you burn your playlist to a CD five times, you’ll have to create a new playlist in order to burn more music.
Now, to burn our CD:
- Put a blank CD in your CD/DVD drive.
- Once your computer or laptop recognizes the CD, click on the File tab and click the Burn Playlist to Disc button.
- Next, a window will pop up titled Burn Settings. You’ll want to fill out your desired settings for your CD here. You’ll see an option for Preferred Speed. This is how fast iTunes completes your CD. Choose the Maximum Possible option.
- Next, you’ll choose Disc Format. In most cases, you’ll want to select Audio CD. This will allow your CD to be played on most devices. You can choose MP3 CD if you want your CD to only be played in devices that support MP3s. This is a great way for transferring music to another computer, too. Or, you can choose Data CD so that your CD can exclusively be played on PCs and laptops.
- Next, we’ll choose our Gap Between Songs. This is the duration of silence there is between the end and start of a song. Usually you’ll want a small, couple second gap for a natural flow between songs.
- When you’re done filling these settings out, click the Burn button. Depending on how many songs are in your playlist, this process can take a bit of time. When your CD is done, iTunes will alert you with a notification.
As you can see, it’s quite easy to burn a CD for playing music in your car and other stereo devices. It can take a little bit of time, but it’s well worth it if you don’t have a way to stream music from your phone to your car stereo.