Playing MP3s on a Consumer DVD Player

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Ismail asks: If my standalone DVD player can play MP3s burned to CDs, will it also play them from burned DVDs? I copied some MP3 files to a DVD, but they don’t play in my DVD player.

After consulting a huge pile of consumer DVD player manuals, I still haven’t found a player that explicitly admits to supporting MP3 playback from burned DVDs. In fact, a majority of the consumer DVD player documentation says something like, CD-R/RW discs containing MP3 files should be in ISO 9660, Level 1, Closed Session format for best compatibility.

ISO 9660 is a file system standard for CD-Rom media supported by Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems, in addition to many consumer electronic devices. The standard is designed to make data portable across multiple platforms. The Level 1 designation means nested folders will not be recognized and filenames should be no longer than 8 characters. Newer consumer DVD players also support the Joliet extension of ISO 9660, which is an extension of the ISO 9660 standard created by Microsoft with support for file names up to 64 characters in length.

A few of the user manuals I consulted gave more specific limitations. Toshiba lists ISO 9660 as the format; requiring MP3s to have a sampling frequency of 44,100 kHz and a bit rate in the range of 32 – 320kbps. WMA files require slightly different specifications, with sampling frequencies of either 22,500 kHz or 44,100 kHz. WMA bit rates should be fall in the 32 – 128kbps range. And don’t forget to put fewer than 650 files on each disk, thank you very much.

If you happen to own a consumer DVD player with support for MP3 or WMA playback from DVD-R/RW media, please send me the brand and model number.