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How to Copy a Music CD: Backup Your Original Music CDs

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If you've got a collection of original music CDs that you'd like to protect from damage (such as scratches), then creating backup copies is a good solution. You could of course use CD ripping software to create digital music files (MP3, WMA, OGG, etc.), but what if you just want to listen to an audio CD on your stereo? In this case, duplicating the CD is the best option, rather than re-burning lossy digital music files. For the purpose of this tutorial, we're going to use CDBurnerXP to show you how to copy a CD -- there are of course many other CD/DVD software programs you can use for the same task.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Setup Time - 5 Mins. / Copy Time - 10 Minutes Max. per CD (depenant on CD/DVD drive speed)

Here's How:

  1. Note: please remember that it is illegal to distribute copyrighted material without the copyright holders permission. You should only copy a CD that you legitimately own for your own personal use -- please see the Dos and Don'ts of copying a CD for more information.

  2. If you haven't already got a software program installed on your computer capable of copying a CD, then one of the best free CD/DVD programs to use is CDBurnerXP which can be downloaded from the Impressum Website.

  3. On the main screen of CDBurnerXP, click on the Copy Disc menu item, followed by the Copy Audio button.

  4. A pop-up menu will appear showing you the source and destination CD/DVD drive(s). If you've got more than one device, then it's possible to employ two CD/DVD drives (use the drop-down menus) to duplicate a disc. For the purpose of this tutorial, we're going to use one CD/DVD drive to copy a disc -- just accept the default settings in this case.

  5. Insert your original music CD in the CD/DVD drive and click the OK button to start copying the audio tracks.

  6. When the music CD has been temporarily copied onto your hard drive, eject the CD and insert a blank CD-R (or rewritable disc if you want to practice for the first time). On the burning options screen, select a burn speed (slower the better) using the drop-down menu. For the burn method, you can choose to accept the default 2-second pause between each track, a longer period of time, or even no pause between tracks. Finally, to start the copying process, click the Burn Disc button.

What You Need

  • Original Audio CD(s)
  • Blank CD-R or CD-RW
  • CD/DVD software (e.g - CDBurnerXP)

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