Dave, I’m using the latest release of Microsoft Window Media Player and am having a problem I thought you could help me with: the CDs that I burn in Media Player don’t work on my car’s CD player. How do I fix this problem?
There are a bunch of reasons that your CDs might not work in your car. First question, though: does the CD work on your computer? If not, then you might be burning it incorrectly or have a spate of bad media.
If the disk does work, though, then you probably have a media formatting problem that’s related to how you’re burning the disk itself.
For an exact answer in this situation, I popped over to the Microsoft support site to see what they recommend in this situation, and here’s their best advice…
Your CD player might not be able to play the CD for several reasons, including the following:
- It can’t play data CDs. This type of CD plays only in your computer and in some newer CD players. When creating data CDs, the Player does not convert your Windows Media Audio (.wma) and .mp3 files to another format. Instead, the Player burns the files to the CD in their current format. Consequently, the CD player that you use to play a data CD must be able to play .wma or .mp3 files.
- It can play data CDs, but can’t play the type of files that are burned on your CD (for example, it can play .wma files but not .mp3 files).
- It can play data CDs, but can’t play protected files (for example, you burned a licensed .wma file that you purchased from an online store to your CD).
- It can play data CDs, but can’t play the particular brand or type (for example, CD-RW) of disc that you used.
- It can’t play data CDs that haven’t been finalized. For more information about this issue, see the Windows Media Player FAQ.
Review the documentation that came with your CD player to determine its playback capabilities, and then do one of the following:
- If your CD player can’t play a data CD that contains either WMA or MP3 files, or it can’t play protected content, then burn the tracks to an audio CD (not a data CD) on CD-R (not CD-RW) media. An audio CD plays in most CD players (in your home stereo, your portable CD player, your car stereo, your computer, and so forth). When creating audio CDs, the Player converts your .wma and .mp3 files to the pulse code modulation (PCM) format that standard CD players can play, before burning them to disc.
- Follow the instructions in the next question for burning a CD in your version of the Player. However, make sure you click the Audio CD option to burn an audio CD.
- If your CD player can play data CDs, but the files in your library are in the wrong format (for example, your CD player supports WMA playback, but the files in your library are in MP3 format), you can use Plus! Audio Converter, a feature in Microsoft Plus! SuperPack for Windows XP, to convert your .mp3 files to .wma files (this also works in reverse from .wma to .mp3). Then follow the instructions in the next question to burn the converted files to a data CD in your version of the Player.
- If you are using Windows Media Player 9 Series, in addition to purchasing the Plus! SuperPack, you must purchase and install an MP3 Creation plug-in that’s compatible with the Player.
- If you are using Windows Media Player 10, in addition to purchasing the Plus! SuperPack, you must install a free Plus! Audio Converter Update. Purchase and installation of an MP3 Creation plug-in is not required.
If your CD player can’t play data CDs that haven’t been finalized, you must use another CD burning or authoring software program to burn a finalized data CD.
You can learn more about this complex subject at the Windows Media Knowledge Center.