Burn music, photo and data discs easily with built-in tools
Despite living in a time when much of our digital information is stored on hard disks, memory keys or in the cloud, the ability to be able to burn a CD, DVD or Blu-ray of files and folders will always come in handy.
Windows 8’s disc-burning tools won’t be of much use to those using tablet PCs or laptops without an optical disc drive, but for anyone using Microsoft’s latest operating system with desktop PCs and laptops, the disc-burning process is quite straightforward.
Watch: Windows 8 video guides
In this workshop we are going to look at how to burn files to a blank CD, create a music CD and how to create an ISO image of a disc and make a CD with it, all with Windows 8’s tools.
Kicking off the burning process is as easy as putting a blank CD, DVD or Blu-ray in your PC’s optical disc drive. When you do this, a small window pops up at the top right of the screen asking what you would like to do with the disc. There are two options: ‘Burn files to disc’ and ‘Burn an audio CD’, which is the one you want if you want to use the disc in an audio disc player. You’ll get this pop-up message regardless of whether you are on the Start page or in desktop view. We’re going to begin by burning an audio CD. While it’s possible to burn audio discs from File Explorer, here we’re using Windows Media Player (WMP) for ripping and organising our music, so we’ll burn our disc there too. Click the appropriate action in the pop-up window to continue.
Our album has appeared under the Music heading on the left-hand side of the WMP window. On the right-hand side we can see our blank disc under the Burn tab. We have already started dragging and dropping audio tracks from our music library in to the area below the picture of the CD-R we are using. To the right of the CD-R image is a small meter that fills up as we add more tracks. We still have almost 63 minutes of space available. Once you have added your tracks (they don’t have to be from the same source folder) and are ready to create the disc, click the Start Burn button. The number of tracks you have chosen and the speed at which you choose to burn the disc at will affect how long the process takes but most audio CDs will be ready in a couple of minutes.
It’s possible to burn images and videos to disc in WMP, as described in Step 2, but there is another way that is useful for burning other files and folders, and it works from the desktop without the need for any other programs. Here we have opened File Explorer. We already have a blank disc inserted in our PC’s optical drive. Selecting which files we want to burn to our disc is a case of dragging the files we want on to the disc drive icon under the Computer heading on the left-hand side of the window. Once you have dragged across the files you want, click the ‘Burn to Disc’ icon under the Share tab.
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