Windows Media Player Burn Options

Bill states, I purchased an album from Napster and downloaded the files to Windows Media Player 10. The software tells me I have the necessary licenses and it let me copy the tracks to a blank CD. When I try to play the CD in my car or with my home stereo, it won’t recognize the CD. It works in my computer, but not anywhere else. I tried converting the files to WAV, but I get an error message saying I’m unable to convert. Napster claims I can burn a CD of the album, why won’t the CD play?

There are two possible reasons tracks purchased from Napster (or one of the other download services) might not play from a burned CD. Possibility one is that the tracks you purchased don’t come with the right to burn a CD. The $9.99 monthly subscription service from Napster lets you download as many tracks as you want, but not burn them to CD. If this had been the case, Windows Media Player would have prompted you to login to Napster and purchase the album prior to burning the CD. Since you were able to burn a CD, the other likely possibility is you burned a data CD rather than an audio CD, which burns the files in their original WMA format rather than converting them to the standard Red Book Audio format supported by all consumer CD players.

The first time you attempt to burn a Data CD with Windows Media Player, it prompts you with the following warning:

You have chosen to create a CD in data format.
Data CDs can be played on most computers and some portable CD players. However, they cannot be played on most home or car stereos.
Do you want to create a data CD?

After that first warning, it remembers you burned a Data CD last time and won’t warn you again. If you are like many people, you may have seen the warning and clicked Yes without paying much attention to what it said. The CD you burned is likely full of WMA files.

To play the CD in your car or home stereo, you need to burn an Audio CD. From the Windows Media Player 10 Burn tab, verify Audio CD is selected from the dropdown menu on the right hand side of the screen.

Windows Media Player 10 CD burning options

The CD you burn should then be playable in any commercial player.