Saturday, November 19, 2011

Audio CD-R vs. Data CD-R

I am a bit disappointed that I did not think of this myself.  I mentioned a few days ago that I was about to order an FM transmitter so that I can play MP3s through my Jaguar stereo, since I only have the single CD player in-dash.  It is about $1000 to have the Jaguar disc changer installed, and none of the aftermarket stereos seem to be capable of working with the steering wheel controls.

One reader pointed out that you can record a lot more MP3s onto a CD-R if you do it in data mode, not audio mode.  In audio mode, it acts just like an audio CD.  In data mode, the files are stored like a computer disk directory and at much higher density.  Many newer CD players will play data CD-Rs.  As it turns out, not my 2005 Jaguar, or the 2007 TrailBlazer, and I did not even try the 2000 Corvette.  But there are CD players around the house that will play the data CD-Rs--and I can get about eight CDs on one data CD-R.


  1. Look at the title of the post.

  2. I suspect there are even modern head-units that will play MP3 files off of a data DVD disc.

    On the other hand, it's less important every year, with USB-in, playing either from a phone or dedicated MP3 player, or from a USB thumb drive.

    (I have "CD players" in both of my cars. Never played a CD in them, though... 100% external input via an 1/8" jack.

    Next set will have dedicated USB in.

    In essence, optical media is dead, for audio content.)

  3. By the way, don't waste your money on "Audio CD-Rs". They're all the same--it's just that when you buy ones labelled audio, you're paying a tax to the RIAA to copy your music.

  4. I always buy CD-Rs based on price, which suggests that I am probably getting data CD-Rs.