Burn your own customized CDs

You can use Windows Media Player 11 to burn an audio CD containing any mix of songs you want from your library. Once you've burned a CD, you can play it in any standard CD player, such as your home stereo system, your car, or your portable CD player, as well as on your computer. Burning custom CDs makes it easy to listen to your favorite songs anywhere and anytime you want.

Before you begin, you need the following:

  • A Windows XP–compatible CD recorder drive installed in your computer. This can also be called a CD burner, compact disc-recordable (CD-R) drive, or compact disc-rewriteable (CD-RW) drive. See the Windows Compatibility Center for a list of drives that are designed for use with Windows XP.

  • A blank CD-R disc.

To burn an audio CD

  1. Click the Burn tab, click the arrow below the Burn tab, and then click Audio CD, as shown in the following screen shot.

    Screen shot of the Burn Options menu
  2. Insert a blank CD-R disc into the CD burner.

  3. If you have multiple CD burners installed on your computer and the burner you want to use is not the one selected, in the List pane above the playlist, click Next Drive (as shown in the following screen shot) until the CD burner drive you want is selected.

    Screen shot of the Next Drive link

    Note that you can only burn CDs to one CD burner at a time.

  4. To add albums, songs, or playlists from your Player library, drag them from the Details pane to the List pane to create a list of songs to burn.

    If you need to clear the List pane before beginning to build your burn list, click the Clear List pane button Picture of the Clear List pane button.

    The Player typically calculates how many minutes and seconds of empty space remain on the disc after each song is added to the burn list, as shown in the following screen shot. However, occasionally the Player may not be able to detect the duration of songs in advance, which means it may not be able to accurately calculate how many songs can fit on a CD. If this occurs, playing the songs on the burn list first may help the Player to determine the correct duration of the songs.

    Screen shot of the List pane

    To add a file that is on your computer but not in your library, right-click the file and then click Add to Burn List.

  5. If you have selected more files than can fit on one CD, you can either burn all of the files to multiple CDs or choose to remove files until they all fit on one CD. To do this, right-click the file you want to remove, and then click Remove from List, as shown in the following screen shot. Keep doing this until the files will fit on one CD. Note that removing files from the burn list will not delete the affected files from the library.

    Screen shot of the Remove from List command

    It is possible that the last song will not fit even if the total time exactly matches the CD length, because the Player inserts two seconds between songs when burning.

  6. In the list, drag files up or down to arrange them in the order that you want them to appear on the CD. If you have chosen to burn more than one CD at once, make sure that the files are ordered so that they will be burned to the CD you want.

  7. At the bottom of the List pane, click Start Burn.

  8. If you are burning multiple CDs, insert a blank CD when the first one has finished burning, and then click Start Burn. Repeat this step until you have finished burning all of the CDs.

    As the CD is burned, you can check its progress in the burn list. Burning a CD will take some time.


  • It is recommended that you do not try to perform any other actions on the computer while burning a CD. For example, playback and recording may be affected if you try to play music from the library while burning a CD.

    You cannot burn additional songs to a CD after burning is completed, even if there is unused space left on the disc.

    For more information about burning, including the types of discs and types of files that you can burn, see Windows Media Player Help.


  • Unauthorized use and/or duplication of copyrighted material may be a violation of copyright law in the United States and/or other countries/regions. Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to, software, documentation, graphics, lyrics, photographs, clipart, animations, movie and video clips, as well as sound and music (including when MP3 encoded). Violation of U.S. and international copyright laws may subject you to significant civil and/or criminal penalties.