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Recording Tips: Using a CD burner



Note to moderator: I am trying to do this right! That is, I sent
this message the same way I sent my original query, and didn't have
any HTML problems that time! Thanks -- NG1


Dear Choralist,

Wow! A few days ago I asked for advice on buying a CD burner. I
have gotten several extensive replies -- plus eight requests for
compilations. Here are the replies. They are unedited (except for
trimming my own questions a bit) and in random order, because if I
waited until I had time to organize this information it would be
several days before I got this back to the list!

Many thanks,

Nina Gilbert

Anne Musselman writes:

>We bought one for $89 at Best Buy. There are others on either side of the
>price range. With careful attention, you can record from cds in the
>way you mention.
>
>It has features that allow you to adjust for scratches in old vinyl (half
>the reason my husband wanted it -- to transfer his favorite old
>"records" to CD for trips in the car). It also did a great job of
>removing the hiss from tape recordings.
>
>On this cheap burner, it is possible to put grooves anywhere you want them
>as long as you work in MANUAL mode.
>
>The RW just means that it re-writes -- re-records over what you "burned."
>We were unable to find RW blank disks at our Best Buy in Charlotte, though
>we will continue to look for them so we don't have to discard those we are
>"experimenting" on.
>
>We bought headphones (cheap is what Radio Shack sold me) so we could
>correctly catch the beginnings of tapes we wanted to "burn."
>
>We are very satisfied.
>
>Don't know if live recording is an option. I haven't read the manual yet.
>Waiting for summer vacation!
>
>There, in a non-technical nutshell, is what we have used our cd burner for
>so far. I can't believe we waited so long to buy one.

Anthony Linden Jones writes from Sydney:

>It is really not hard. The software that comes with any CD burner will do
>all those functions you mention.
>
>For your reference, I have a old Mac with a G3 card in it and I am
>running a Yamaha CR8424 CD burner with the Toast program. Because the old
>Macs came standard with an interface called SCSI (much faster than USB),
>this CD burner is a SCSI one. You would need to get either USB or
>Firewire. The latter is much faster! If you wanted to go for a SCSI
>model, you would need also to get a plug in card to do SCSI - you can't
>do this with an iMac, because you can't plug in extra cards in an iMac.
>
>CD-R discs are 'write-once' - they cannot be erased. CD-R/W discs are
>erasable, but cannot be read by most normal audio CD players.
>
>If you want to record audio with a microphone, you'll have to either use
>the mic input on the Mac (not good quality) or record separately onto
>something like a MiniDisc recorder. I am not sure if your computer will
>have an 'audio in' like the older Macs did - mine included. Since I also
>do quite a bit of hard disc recording, I have a sound-card in mine. If
>you wanted to do some more serious recording, you would need to look at
>an external box that plugs into your computer through the USB or Firewire
>ports. Talk to a music store if you want to go down that path - there are
>new boxes coming out all the time.

Brent Alexenko writes:

>In case you don't have enough answers, I'll give you my $.02.
> > 1. I have a Macintosh G4.
>
>Congratulations! You'll have no problem finding equipment for that. My G3
>iMac has served me well for several years in this capacity. Personally, I
>have an Iomega Zip CD 650. It gets the job done.
> >
> > 2. I want to be able to duplicate audio CDs.
>Duplicating audio CDs will not be a problem. I use Toast Titanium (most
>burners come with software) for that, and it's a simple process to just copy
>an entire CD. Taking "one long track" and jumping will require audio
>editing software - something like Pro Tools. There is a free version
>available online, but I've not been able to get it to work on my iMac.
>You'd have to go in and edit (cut/paste) your songs out of the mix and save
>them as individual songs (files).
>
>
> > 2 1/2. I want to copy portions of CDs -- say, one track, or even
> > just part of a track (say, the second verse of a song).
>
>Toast will be able to copy one track, but you'd need audio editing software
>if you only wanted part of a track. Again, you'd have to go in and edit the
>song and save what you wanted separately.
>
> >
> > 3. I want to be able to convert things from our CDs into audio files
> > I can put on our Web pages. I want to make those files fade in at
> > the beginning and out at the end when people listen to them.
> >
>Editing software will be able to create fade-ins and outs. Most of the
>time, audio files on web pages are in MP3 format, but there are different
>formats out there (WAVE, AIFF, Real Player, etc.) It's a question on how
>you want to present your songs - the answer will take you into different
>software.
>
>
> > 4. What else can/should I expect a CD burner to do?
>
>You'll be able to archive pretty much anything you like. Any file
>(pictures, word processor documents, etc) can be stored on a CD. You can
>technically store music in it's "non-audio" format - it takes up less space.
> >
> > 5. Are there questions of quality, or do digital files copy into the
> > same quality of digital files? Speed doesn't affect quality, right?
> >
>Nope, you're fine there. Gone are the days of copying by tape when signals
>would degrade. This is a purely digital medium.
>
> > 6. Are there accessories or peripherals I need to know about?
>
>If you've got a burner hooked up to (or in) your G4 that should be all you
>need.
> >
> > 6 1/2. Is this the same equipment that could make a few duplicates
> > at once, or is that another item?
> >
>That's another machine entirely. You can buy commercial duplicators, that
>will burn more than one, but they're pricey.
>
> > 7. Is there such a thing as a CD burner with a microphone, so it can
> > record live sound too, or is that a different piece of equipment?
>
>You may be able to hook up a microphone (or audio source) to your computer
>to record live sound, but then you're in the area of digital recording (with
>the right software). I've not seen one with a direct microphone input.
> >
> > 8. I'm not sure what the official name of the item is that I am
> > calling "CD burner." Maybe it's a "CD-RW." There doesn't seem to be
> > an actual "CD burner," but that's what I hear people talk about.
> >
>Burner will work - people will know what you're talking about. A laser
>"burns" information onto a CD. CD-RW is probably the most technically
>accurate term.
>
> > 9. People have been recommending Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Circuit
> > City as the best sources (U.S.). Do you agree?
>
>Hmm...I would try MacMall (www.macmall.com) also or online stores such as
>that also. I would make a decision on what you want, and then look
>everywhere for the best price.
> >
> > 10. The engineers in our choir have found...
> >
>This is just talking about how the burner and computer will communicate.
>There are always new developments in technology. USB (Universal Serial Bus)
>is just a type of plug that your computer has. With your G4, you will need
>a burner with either a USB interface or a FireWire (assuming it has
>FireWire) interface. Burn speeds are just talking about how fast your
>burner can operate. Mine is only a 2X burner, which means a whole CD burns
>in about 30 minutes or so. I know people who have faster burners (16X) they
>can do the job much faster (only a few minutes). It's handy if you've got
>multiples CDs to burn.
>
> > 11. I have been told a few different meanings for the term "CD-RW"
> > in different contexts, and would love to know when it means what.
>
>It means Compact Disc - Read/Write, meaning that it has the ability to store
>(burn) information along with just reading it like your CD-ROM (Read Only
>Memory) does.


Steve Szalaj writes:

>The Apple Store online at www.apple.com/store has a LaCie Firewire
>32x10x40 CD-RW for only $209. I just purchased it. I also have a
>G4 that has Firewire connections.


Carolyn Dwyer (formerly Howell) writes:

>Call the guys at All Pro Sound and tell them just what
>you want. I have found them to be very helpful and
>they don't seem to try to sell you the most expensive
>thing on the menu. I've temporarily lost their
>catalogue and phone number, but I'm sure if you did an
>internet search you would find them.


A friendly, helpful person who doesn't want her address posted writes:

> > 1. I have a Macintosh G4.
>You already have some software available you will need if you are running OS
>9.X or higher (itools).
> >
> > 2. I want to be able to duplicate audio CDs. Actually, I want to be
> > able to take a CD where someone has recorded our choir concert in one
> > long track, and break it up into tracks, so you can listen to my new
> > CD copy and jump right to, say, the eighth piece on the program.
>You will need software to do this. Most burners come with software. The one
>preferred by most Mac users is Toast 4.1 or 4.2. I'm using an EZQuest Boa
>12X36X10 CDRW, firewire with Toast 4X burn software (ships with the burner
>and can update online to 4.2) and CD Spin Doctor which also helps to
>convert sound files from one kind to another.
> >
> > 2 1/2. I want to copy portions of CDs -- say, one track, or even
> > just part of a track (say, the second verse of a song).
>You may need something like software ProTools 3 to do this (shipped free on
>CD disk with last issue of MacAddict magazine.) Is a sound
>manipulator. Most sequencing software will do this too. Inexpensive
>if purchased. Will do about what you need at this stage.
> >
> > 3. I want to be able to convert things from our CDs into audio files
> > I can put on our Web pages. I want to make those files fade in at
> > the beginning and out at the end when people listen to them.
>Not sure abouyt the fade-in, but Toast can provide .aiff format through CD
>Doctor that should convert files to something mountable.
> >
> > 4. What else can/should I expect a CD burner to do?
>Should be able to play back normal as well as homemade CDs (all of them
>don't.) You should be able to boot computer from it if installed CD in Mac
>faulty. (But so dependable I don't think you may ever need it.)
> >
> > 5. Are there questions of quality, or do digital files copy into the
> > same quality of digital files? Speed doesn't affect quality, right?
>Sound software like ProTools can enhance or 'clean up' things. A booger to
>learn though. Speeed affects quality in that the faster you try to burn
>something the less likely you will end up with a CD which can play back on
>low end CD players such as may be installed in cars or less expensive
>system. In general, for best quality burn no faster than 60-75% of what your
>burner is advertised to burn speed-wise.
> >
> > 6. Are there accessories or peripherals I need to know about?
>Some CD burners have a direct input for burning from other CDs - a line in
>that is separate from the line which connects to computer. This simplifies
>things greatly when you are coming from another CD directly and you don't
>want any changes in formatting or sound tweaking. All burners have a line
>out I think.
> >
> > 6 1/2. Is this the same equipment that could make a few duplicates
> > at once, or is that another item?
>No, that is a separate item - expensive.
> >
> > 7. Is there such a thing as a CD burner with a microphone, so it can
> > record live sound too, or is that a different piece of equipment?
>I've never heard of one having a microphone, but if you get one that has
>'line-in' plug, perhaps it could be used for that.
> >
> > 8. I'm not sure what the official name of the item is that I am
> > calling "CD burner." Maybe it's a "CD-RW." There doesn't seem to be
> > an actual "CD burner," but that's what I hear people talk about.
>CDR means Read Only (it will only play back already recorded CDs. CDRW
>means Read and Write - it will record and read back CDs.
> >
> > 9. People have been recommending Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Circuit
> > City as the best sources (U.S.). Do you agree?
>Check out the equipment at . Find the product you
>want first by researching Mac forums about complaints folks have about
>particular system/model configurations. One of the best is
>>
>At this site they have files on various brands of burners and how they are
>working. Not all brands have feedback yet:
>
>After doing my homework, I found that the model which has the best
>guarantee, instructions, support and least complaints was the EZQuest Boa
>Firewire 12X36X10. I went with firewire because of the protocol of USB
>peripherals which means sometimes you have to hold your tongue the
>right way if you have all USB peripherals plugged in through a
>single USB adaptor
>which then plugs into one of the USB plugs on the Mac motherboard. If you
>don't have them in the right order, they are finnecky. Firewire solves that
>and when burning things - including photos and large data files - they are
>WAY faster. So much so, I use CD to back up my system instead of Zip drives,
>etc.
>
> > 10. The engineers in our choir have found... Using the LaCie
>CD-RW with your Mac's USB port will
> > work, it just won't break any speed limits..."
>Which is why firewire is the way to go...
>
>OK - I know exactly where you're coming from, gal! Here are some primers
>for those of us who have no intention of being qualified geeks. Just wade in
>and things will appear less murky as you go...
>
>The CD Bible:
>
>
>
>
>There will be links you can also explore at the above URLs.
>
> > 11. I have been told a few different meanings for the term "CD-RW"
> > in different contexts, and would love to know when it means what.
>See #8.

Ed Kolcz

>I can tell you what I know but I'm an IBM/PC owner...not Mac. I would
>expect these to be very similar.
>
> > 2. I want to be able to duplicate audio CDs. Actually, I want to be
> > able to take a CD where someone has recorded our choir concert in one
> > long track, and break it up into tracks, so you can listen to my new
> > CD copy and jump right to, say, the eighth piece on the program.
> >
> > 2 1/2. I want to copy portions of CDs -- say, one track, or even
> > just part of a track (say, the second verse of a song).
> >
> > 3. I want to be able to convert things from our CDs into audio files
> > I can put on our Web pages. I want to make those files fade in at
> > the beginning and out at the end when people listen to them.
> >
>
>Answer to questions 2, 2 1/2, and 3.
>
>You will need some sort of audio editing software. I use CoolEdit 2000.
>Think of it as a word processor
>for audio files. I do exactly what you would like to do with this software.
>This type of software normally does not
>come shipped with the CD burner. Software that comes with CD burners only
>do basic 'mixing' of tracks...i.e. create your own CD from one or more
>source CD's with whatever tracks you like.
>
> > 4. What else can/should I expect a CD burner to do?
>
>Make sure you can perform a 'Disk At Once' burn. This is handled by the CD
>burner software.
>
> > 5. Are there questions of quality, or do digital files copy into the
> > same quality of digital files? Speed doesn't affect quality, right?
>
>Digital copies are exact duplicates of their originals. There is no
>degradation of the audio (like analog/cassette) tape.
>When burning a CD, DO NOT burn them at the highest rated speed the CD
>burner is capable. I find the 4X speed
>will produce the most compatible 'burn' when playing the CD's back on a
>home/car CD player. Speeds higher than 4X are great for storing data not
>audio.
>
> > 6. Are there accessories or peripherals I need to know about?
>
>Make sure you have a good sound card. Those shipped with the PC's/Mac's are
>not high quality. I use a Voyetra Santa Cruz sound card (about $80). Cheap
>sound cards can introduce 'hiss' into the audio.
>
> > 6 1/2. Is this the same equipment that could make a few duplicates
> > at once, or is that another item?
>
>CD burners to make multiple CD's at the same time are usually stand-alone
>(not computer attached) and they are very expensive ($1000+).
>
>
> > 7. Is there such a thing as a CD burner with a microphone, so it can
> > record live sound too, or is that a different piece of equipment?
>
>No. If you want to do live recording, you're better off purchasing a
>digital recorder of some kind. These usually come with internal hard drive
>or floppy/zip discs. Sometimes they come without internal hard drives or
>discs and record directly into memory. In either case, you will need to
>copy from the digital recorder to your Mac (in order to accomplish questions
>2,3,4).
>
> > 8. I'm not sure what the official name of the item is that I am
> > calling "CD burner." Maybe it's a "CD-RW." There doesn't seem to be
> > an actual "CD burner," but that's what I hear people talk about.
>
>Nearly all CD burners are now CD-RW. There is something you need to be
>aware of. There are two different types of CD's (discs). CD-R's and
>CD-RW's. For your project, you want CD-R's. Only CD-R's are capable
>of being played in a conventional home/car CD player. There are some newer
>players now on the market that can play both......but....most players can
>only play CD-R's. Keep in mind, when you burn a CD-R....it is a one-time
>recording....i.e. if you make a mistake, you cannot simply re-burn
>(re-record) CD-R like you can with a cassette tape.
>CD-RW on the other hand is re-recordable however these cannot be played on
>most CD players. CD-RW is great for taking backups of your hard drive.
>CD-RW drives are capable of burning both CD-R discs and CD-RW discs.
>
> >
> > 9. People have been recommending Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Circuit
> > City as the best sources (U.S.). Do you agree?
>
>NO. I have a CD-RW burner made by Plextor. (www.plextor.com) One of the
>best on the market and under $200. Best Buy, Amazon, etc sell 'consumer'
>quality equipment. You will probably want something better than that. Not
>'professional' quality....but somewhere in-between....'Audiophile' quality.
>
> > 11. I have been told a few different meanings for the term "CD-RW"
> > in different contexts, and would love to know when it means what.
>
>See answer #8.
>
> >
> > I appreciate any advice or guidance on this!
>
>I did considerable research during the past year regarding CD burning.
>Reason, I have a collection of reel-to-reel audio tapes that are 25+ years
>old and I wish to save them on CD. The tapes are beginning to deteriorate
>from age.
>I also wanted to update my 'recording' equipment. Mine was still based on
>reel-to-reel but reel-to-reel machines are very hard to come by these days
>much less finding anyone who knows how to fix them.
>So I was looking for a 'digital' solution for multiple purposes. In a
>nutshell, live recording will need to be done using a digital recorder of
>some kind. That digital recording then needs to be copied into the PC/Mac
>where you can edit the audio....create multiple tracks from one long live
>recording, fade in/out, remove 'dead' space, even apply effects such as
>reverb, normalizing, compression, removing noise, etc. That is the most
>time consuming part. When done with that, you are then ready to 'burn' a
>CD using DAO (disk at once) technique. There is a 'track at once'
>(TAO)technique available also. This is generally used to 'piece
>together'...(i.e. one track at a time) a CD burn. HOWEVER,
>a CD burned TAO will not be playable on a home/car CD player until the CD is
>'finalized'. Finalized means that the CD's 'table of contents' has been
>created. The table of contents is what a home/car CD player uses to set
>itself up for playing the CD.
>
>Something else to keep in mind. Purchase 74 minute CD's. Do not purchase
>the 80 minute or longer CDs. Most of the older (2+ years) home/car CD
>players will not play an 80 minute CD. Also, it is NOT necessary to
>purchase 'music' CD-R's. The only difference between 'music' and 'data'
>CD-R's is that 'music' CD-R's contain anti-copy data on them to prevent
>making copies from copies. Other than that...they are idential.
>
>I purchase CD-R's made by Mitsui. They are hard to find but they're
>probably the best on the market. You can find them at Sam Ash music
>store...or purchase them online. TDK Certified Pro are also good. Both
>cost about $1 per disk (w/jewel case). Stay away from Memorex and Maxell or
>any off-brand. They don't last. Mitsui's and TDK Certified Pro are made
>for long-term archival storage (100+ years). I also understand Kodak makes
>good CD's also..haven't tried them myself.
>
>You may also want to purchase some sort of software to print labels and
>jewel case covers. I use CD Stomper.
>
>Lots of information can be found at http://www.cdrfaq.org/ and also at
>http://www.cdrwcentral.com
>
>Each 'track' is a .wav file on the PC/Mac hard drive. The CD burner
>software give you the ability to place the tracks in whatever sequence you
>want. Also, the tracks on the burned CD are NOT .wav files. You
>cannot not simply copy .wav files to a CD. .wav files are not
>playable in a CD player. You must use the software supplied with the CD-RW
>drive to burn the CD.
>
>You will need a considerable amount of hard drive space on your PC/Mac.
>Make sure you have at least 3 gig free.
>Each CD is approx 750mb of data. Double/Triple that if you will be
>'editing' the audio.
>
>Prior to burning the CD....disable any programs that run in the background
>such as anti-virus software, schedulers, internet connection, etc. You
>don't want these things running at the same time because they can
>temporarily overtake the processor and ruin the CD burn.
>
>Remember a 4X burn speed is about the highest speed that you can use and
>be sure that the CD will be playable.
>You will also hear the term 'burn-proof'. What this is is basically
>software/memory in the CD-RW drive (burner) to help ensure a successful
>burn. The actual burning of a CD cannot be interrupted in any way. The
>data (or audio) in your case needs to be sent to the CD-RW drive faster than
>the CD-RW can actually write (burn) it. If the CD-RW drive is faster than
>the data being supplied to it....the burned CD will not be usable.
>
>Also, if possible, make sure your CD-RW burner drive is on a different
>'bus' than your Mac's hard drive. In other words, try not to have the input
>on the same 'bus' as the output. If this is unavoidable, then make sure you
>have lots of memory on your Mac. At least 512meg.
>
>One last thing to remember.... After burning your first CD, go try to play
>it (in it's entirety) on several CD-players to
>make sure it works and that you know that what you did worked. If you need
>to make multiple copies, it's faster to get (input) the audio from your
>hard drive than it is to copy CD to CD. Reason: If you try to copy CD
>to CD, the PC/Mac will first read the input CD and put it on the hard
>drive, then turn around and read from the hard drive to burn the output CD.
>This is true even if you only make one copy. For some reason the CD to CD
>copy process is slower than manually copying CD to hard drive then hard
>drive to CD burn. (at least that's the case on a PC...don't know about a
>Mac).
>
>Hope this helped.

Allen Fisher writes:

>Most of what you ask is more related to audio editing software as opposed to
>what your burner can actually do. See my in-line responses to your
>questsions.
>
>1. I have a Macintosh G4.
>
>Do you want an internal drive or an external drive? An external drive will
>allow you to take your burner to other computers, but is most often more
>expensive because it is portable. Also, make sure you get a burner that is
>OSX compatibile (most everything you would buy new today should, but it
>never hurts to double-check). Each drive should list the formats that it can
>burn to (all of them do audio and data, but if you're interested in doing
>something like Karioke CD's you might have to look specifically for a drive
>that will handle the specialized format). Since you have a Mac, you will
>most likely want to purchase Toast (www.roxio.com) that will give you
>control over ordering tracks on a CD, printing covers, and all sorts of
>other activities you want the burner to do. Be warned this is an expensive
>package. There may be something a little less pricey but I really don't have
>a source for it.
>
>2. I want to be able to duplicate audio CDs. Actually, I want to be
>able to take a CD where someone has recorded our choir concert in one
>long track, and break it up into tracks, so you can listen to my new
>CD copy and jump right to, say, the eighth piece on the program.
>
>This is something that audio editing software will do. I think ProTools Free
>(http://www.protools.com/) or something like Cubasis (the basic version of
>Cubase http://www.cubase.com/). ProTools Free is probably your best bet and
>it is the right price.
>
>2 1/2. I want to copy portions of CDs -- say, one track, or even
>just part of a track (say, the second verse of a song).
>
>This again is something that is handled by your audio editing software.
>
>3. I want to be able to convert things from our CDs into audio files
>I can put on our Web pages. I want to make those files fade in at
>the beginning and out at the end when people listen to them.
>
>This again is something that is handled by your audio editing software. If
>you want to convert to MP3, you may need something like Audio Converter (do
>a search for it on www.tucows.com) I'm not sure ProTools Free or Cubase
>allow you to do that without buying stuff.
>
>4. What else can/should I expect a CD burner to do?
>
>Not destroy CDs. The burner itself is only part of the picture. You'll want
>to make sure your audio editing software and CD burning software do what you
>want.
>
>5. Are there questions of quality, or do digital files copy into the
>same quality of digital files? Speed doesn't affect quality, right?
>
>For the most part, there isn't much quality loss when copying digital to
>digital. However, I have seen a difference in quality when the rate that you
>burn is faster. Your CD burning software will allow you to pick a speed to
>burn at, so you can have a choice between quality and speed.
>
>6. Are there accessories or peripherals I need to know about?
>
>I think I've covered this above
>
>6 1/2. Is this the same equipment that could make a few duplicates
>at once, or is that another item?
>
>Your CD burning software should allow you to make multiple copies at once,
>you just have to be there to stick in another CD when it asks for one.
>
>7. Is there such a thing as a CD burner with a microphone, so it can
>record live sound too, or is that a different piece of equipment?
>
>Your best bet on that would be a different piece of equipment. You can
>record directly to your Mac via ProTools and then burn that to CD.
>
>8. I'm not sure what the official name of the item is that I am
>calling "CD burner." Maybe it's a "CD-RW." There doesn't seem to be
>an actual "CD burner," but that's what I hear people talk about.
>
>That term is just as good as any other. There is a difference between a CD-R
>drive and a CD-RW drive. A CD-R drive can write disks that can be burned
>once. CD-RW drives can burn a special kind of CD (in addition to a regular
>CD) called a re-writeable CD. These, as there name states, can be written to
>kinda like a floppy disk. The drawback to these is they don't play in a CD
>player often times. CD-RW drives can also burn regular CD's so there's no
>danger of getting one of those (that's probably all you can buy anymore
>anyway, since they're more flexible)
>
>9. People have been recommending Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Circuit
>City as the best sources (U.S.). Do you agree?
>
>Circuit City is bad in my opinion, their people work on comission and they
>try to force you into buying something you do not need or want. Best Buy is
>good, Amazon.com is pretty good. I would also suggest that if there is an
>Apple Store in your area (find a store at www.apple.com), to go there or to
>CompUSA. I've bought stuff from CompUSA before and they've been really
>great.
>
>10. The engineers in our choir have found...
>
>I wouldn't worry about that article. Your G4 has firewire plugs on it, so I
>would suggest gettting a firewire burner. I wouldn't worry about all of that
>USB version 1.1/2.0 garbage. If the article really doesn't tell you what you
>need to know, (and this one doesn't, IMHO) then it's probably not worth
>spending a lot of time reading. One of the ones we use at work is really
>nice. The company that makes it is Que. The people at Best Buy, CompUSA, or
>the Apple Store can tell you what you need.
>
>11. I have been told a few different meanings for the term "CD-RW"
>in different contexts, and would love to know when it means what.
>
>As far as I know, CD-RW, can stand for one of two things. A CD burner that
>can make Re-writable CD's or the re-writeable CD disks themselves.

Ian Loeppky writes:

>I would buy a CD burner; I use a minidisc
>recorder for my recording needs and then burn it to a CD if needed.
>
>One note: there are always questions of quality; if you're interested in
>manipulating sound files on your computer, the better the quality, the
>larger the file.
>
>CD-RW refers only to discs that can be recorded and erased multiple times;
>CD-R is a one-time recording disc.


Joel Kramme writes:

>Incidently, multiple CD burners are separate hardware items.
>Apparently they come in a number of configurations, some of which
>cost thousands of dollars and can do everything but heat your
>coffee. A modest 2 or 3-CD burner is probably what you want,
>especially if you have access to student help for insertion and
>removal of each CD that is burned.


Jim Brown writes:

>My answers pertain
>to CD burners that are installed in or attached to your computer, not
>stand-alone units . I've seen such things, but have never used one, so I
>don't know their capabilities.
>
> > 2. I want to be able to duplicate audio CDs.
>
>I think all CD-R and CD-RW drives can do that.
>
> > Actually, I want to be
> > able to take a CD where someone has recorded our choir concert in one
> > long track, and break it up into tracks, so you can listen to my new
> > CD copy and jump right to, say, the eighth piece on the program.
>
>You need the right software to do that. I use Sound Forge, but your
>computer probably has its own editing software, and the burner you buy may
>come with suitable software.
>
> > 2 1/2. I want to copy portions of CDs -- say, one track, or even
> > just part of a track (say, the second verse of a song).
>
>The same software will do that for you.
>
> > 3. I want to be able to convert things from our CDs into audio files
> > I can put on our Web pages. I want to make those files fade in at
> > the beginning and out at the end when people listen to them.
>
>Sound Forge will do that.
>
> > 4. What else can/should I expect a CD burner to do?
>
>The burner will put audio tracks on the CD. It's the editing of those
>tracks before you burn that makes life interesting. You can also put
>other files (such as printed information) on the disc with the sound
>files.
>
> > 5. Are there questions of quality, or do digital files copy into the
> > same quality of digital files?
>
>You can usually choose. You would use a lower-quality MP3 version to post
>the music on your web site.
>
> > Speed doesn't affect quality, right?
>
>It can if you're not careful. Read the documentation that comes with the
>burner to prevent problems.
>
> > 6. Are there accessories or peripherals I need to know about?
> >
> > 6 1/2. Is this the same equipment that could make a few duplicates
> > at once, or is that another item?
>
>That's something else.
>
> > 7. Is there such a thing as a CD burner with a microphone, so it can
> > record live sound too, or is that a different piece of equipment?
>
>You should be able to plug a microphone into your computer's sound card.
>You record onto the computer's hard drive, and then edit the sound file
>and burn onto the CD.
>
> > 8. I'm not sure what the official name of the item is that I am
> > calling "CD burner." Maybe it's a "CD-RW." There doesn't seem to be
> > an actual "CD burner," but that's what I hear people talk about.
>
>I think 'burner' is slang. A CD-R (CD-Recorder) drive is for recording
>onto CDs, and is probably what you are looking for. A CD-RW (CD-Rewriter)
>is used when you want to put files on the disc and later change them. It
>can also do everything a CD-R drive can do as well. There are two
>different kinds of discs, both of which can be used in the CD-RW drive. I
>use CD-R discs to record music, and CD-RW discs (which cost 2-3 times as
>much) to back up my data.


Samuel Metzger writes:

>Anything Yamaha "firewire" capable should be fine. The editing software that
>comes bundled with it, usually will do the things you are talking about.

Bill Ganz writes:

>Firstly, the free Mac software, iTunes, will do a lot of what you
>want. and there will probably info on the Apple website about what
>else is available to produce the fades, etc.
>
>A great resource is the International Mac Users Group at Yahoo.com.
>Randy Singer, the author of the Mac Bible is a regular contributor,
>oand on his "heads-up" i got a great deal on a highly recommended
>Yamaha 16/10/40 Read/Write drive.
>
>>1. I have a Macintosh G4.
>Congratulations. Have you started using OS X yet. Its really
>wonderful after a fairly short period of adjustment.
>>
>>2. I want to be able to duplicate audio CDs. Actually, I want to
>>be able to take a CD where someone has recorded our choir concert
>>in one long track, and break it up into tracks, so you can listen
>>to my new CD copy and jump right to, say, the eighth piece on the
>>program.
>
>Doable with iTunes, or the software that came with my CD: Toast.
>>
>>2 1/2. I want to copy portions of CDs -- say, one track, or even
>>just part of a track (say, the second verse of a song).
>
>Not sure how, but if I were looking to do that I would first explore iTunes.
>>
>>3. I want to be able to convert things from our CDs into audio
>>files I can put on our Web pages. I want to make those files fade
>>in at the beginning and out at the end when people listen to them.
>No experience.
>>
>>4. What else can/should I expect a CD burner to do?
>>
>>5. Are there questions of quality, or do digital files copy into
>>the same quality of digital files? Speed doesn't affect quality,
>>right?
>There are sites that compare the different audio formats available.
>iTunes has choices of about three or four different formats and
>qualities.
>>
>>6. Are there accessories or peripherals I need to know about?
>There is a label making gadget that is pretty handy. Do be aware
>that there are some blank CD's that are rewritable. They are about
>double the cost of blank CD's you can only record on (i.e., burn)
>once
>>
>>6 1/2. Is this the same equipment that could make a few duplicates
>>at once, or is that another item?
>I think that is industrial stuff.
>>
>>7. Is there such a thing as a CD burner with a microphone, so it
>>can record live sound too, or is that a different piece of
>>equipment?
>Different.
>>
>>8. I'm not sure what the official name of the item is that I am
>>calling "CD burner." Maybe it's a "CD-RW." There doesn't seem to
>>be an actual "CD burner," but that's what I hear people talk about.
>One "burns" and can read CD's with a CD-RW (read/write)
>>
>>9. People have been recommending Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Circuit
>>City as the best sources (U.S.). Do you agree?
>There are free price comparison sites. Among those I use:
>
>http://www.pricegrabber.com/
>http://www.mysimon.com/
>http://www.half.com/index.cfm
>http://www.dealtime.com/main/
>http://www.bizrate.com/
>
>>
>>10. The engineers in our choir have found...
>
>Firewire transfers date about 35 times faster than USB (Universal
>Serial Bus has maximum transfer rate of 12Mbps (Megabits/second).
>Firewaire can handle rates of up to 400Mbps.


Thanks to all for their thoughtful input! I'll let you know when I
get my CD Burner and start using it to put soundclips online.

Best wishes,

Nina Gilbert
--

-------------------------------------------------------------
| Nina Gilbert
| gilbertn(a)lafayette.edu
| Director of Choral Activities, Lafayette College
| Easton, Pennsylvania 18042-1768
| phone 610-330-5677
| fax 610-330-5058
| http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~gilbertn
| -------------------------------------------------------------