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Q: Playing .CDA files ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Playing .CDA files
Category: Computers
Asked by: nautico-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 24 Feb 2004 11:36 PST
Expires: 25 Mar 2004 11:36 PST
Question ID: 310343
I've burned a CD with a series of .cda audio files. The CD plays in my
computer's CD-ROM drive, but it will not play on a regular CD player.
What might prevent it from playing on the latter?

Clarification of Question by nautico-ga on 24 Feb 2004 12:19 PST
I think I have the answer. I believe that after burning to a CD-RW, I
must then burn again to a CD-R, correct?
Subject: Re: Playing .CDA files
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 24 Feb 2004 12:38 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi nautico,

.CDA is not an actual file format, it's more of an index file than
anything else. You'll need to convert the CDA files to WAV or MP3 to
get them to work in your CD players.  Basically it's a reference for
players somewhat like a menu.
.cda - not a file format but a way of displaying audio tracks, much like a menu 

So, what you'll need to do is use a conversion tool, and they're easy
to install and utilize.

I recommend the following software - 

CDex - Totally 100% free

So.. what exactly does CDex do?

CDex is a tool to do all sorts of things audio related. Mainly focused
on ripping and converting, things like turning your home Compact Disc
collection into an mp3 collection on your hard drive become extremely
easy. With built in support for many encoders you wont find any
shortage of options for your media files. Below is a more in-depth
explination of CDex features.

CDex Feature List:

Easy to use interface
Media File Player
Create PLS and M3U playlist files
Advanced jitter correction
Support for many file formats/audio encoders (WAV, MP3, OGG, VQF, APE, etc)
Support for ID3 V1 and V2 tags
Support for normalization of audio files
Support for transcoding of compressed audio files
Support for CDDB
Support for recording from the analog input line
Best of all CDexis entirely free! You will never have to pay to use
the software or register in any way. Moreover, CDex is entirely
opensource, as per the GPL Terms.

Download Page:


Virtuosa Gold - Download free Trial

Virtuosa Gold is an all in one music machine that converts CD audio to
MP3, WAV, WMA, performs conversions between all those formats, and
also will burn to CD. Included is a great sounding player, skins to
change the look of the program, and a ton of other features.


Most all in one MP3 software packages try to do too much and do very
little well. Not true with Virtuosa. This is by far the best all
around program I have seen, beating out MusicMatch Jukebox by a great
deal. So what makes it so good?

1.  Speed.   Oh the speed. The program ripped a 13 track CD to WAV in
about 5 minutes. Conversion to MP3 is just a matter of seconds. Burn
time will depend on your CD burning hardware.

2. Quality.   Ripped tracks were excellent. MP3 encoding is with the
Fraunhofer encoder so that too was top notch. Decoding was perfect.

3. Features.   Lots of them. Included is jukebox capability, cd cover
maker, cool visualizations and skins, movie jukebox that reads all the
latest formats, audio and video database organizer and playlists, cd
collection manager and more. There is even an addictive automix
feature that lets you mix all your normalized tracks. Add search
function, id3v2 tag support, and normalization and you've got a ton of
features packed in.

Virtuosa undertakes a huge mission in trying to do so much but so much
it does well. I would say the only drawback to the program is that the
interface is non-standard design. You may have to go through the
tutorial or help file to learn your way around. One last benefit to
the programs is updates. If you decide to purchase the program, you
will get free updates for life, a feature that programs like
MusicMatch charge $20 extra to get. Virtuosa Gold Phoenix Edition may
be the last MP3 program you check out.


Easy CD Ripper - Download Free Trial

Easy CD Ripper uses a variety of encoders, including LAME, to convert
CD audio to MP3, VQF, WMA, and WAV.  The program can connect to the
CDDB database for fast file naming and ID3 tagging.

The layout on Easy CD Ripper is very nice, everything you need right
in front of you.  You can easily change the output folder, bitrate
options, file format, and artist info right from the main screen.  The
ripper and LAME encoder combo worked very quickly on the fly and
produced a nice sounding file at 128kbps.   It even did OK with a
track on a scratched CD.  If you have WAV files already on your
system, Easy CD Ripper has a WAV converter you can load them into and
pump out MP3, VQF, or WMA files just like you can from a CD.

Overall, I really liked this program's layout and diverse ability. 
You get many file format options and the program works quickly.  There
were few drawbacks on the whole and no major problems I could find.


CD-DA X-Tractor - Freeware

CD-DA X-Tractor is a fantastic open source development project that
includes a ripper and incorporates the latest LAME mp3 converter. 
Ability to encode to the OGG Vorbis format is also provided.

The program uses AKrip, an open source ripper with great jitter
correction that produces accurate WAV files and fast speeds.  Ripping
on my Plextor 16/10/40 took only 33 seconds.  When output settings
were changed to rip and encode on the fly with LAME VBR setting at 5
(mid quality), it only took a minute and a half and quality was very

For a free WAV to MP3 converter and CD ripper, CD-DA X-Tractor is a
steal.  Extra features include CDDB lookup and automatic file naming.
Use this program in conjunction with MP3 CD Burner and you have a
complete MP3 package.  Great program and highly recommended


FreeRip MP3 Ripper - Free

Lean, mean rippin' machine!  FreeRip can quickly pull the audio off
your CDs and convert to MP3 with the LAME encoder. The program will
also function as an Ogg Vorbis mp3 converter with the open source Ogg
encoder included.

Once a naughty little adware program that used your Internet
connection to pull down custom ads just for you, FreeRip has reformed
and now only pulls ads from the program itself on your hard drive. 
You may get sick of the same ads but at least you don't have to worry
about privacy concerns.

The program is small and takes up very little space on your hard
drive.  Output quality is OK, I did notice a few bumps in the test
file I listened to when ripping and encoding at 160kbps.   There is
also a WinAmp plugin to play Ogg Vorbis in that popular player. The
only drawback to the program is the lack of a minimize button which is
odd for a program of the 21st century.

For a free tool, this is worth the time.  The other free tools
mentioned to the left are also very good so download and start
comparing to see what works for you. For full MP3 conversion
capabilities, pair this program with MP3 CD Burner to decode and burn
MP3 to CD.
FreeRip is a freeware application that let you save audio CD tracks to
Wav or MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. FreeRIP is also an audio file
converter since it can convert and encode Wav files to Ogg Vorbis
(.ogg) or MP3 (.mp3), and back.

FreeRIP is a CD ripper, this means that it can record digital audio
tracks directly from audio CD to files on your hard drive (this
process is known as "ripping"). You can save tracks as CD quality WAV
files or encode them to Ogg Vorbis or MP3 compressed audio format.

Download page:


Audio Utilities - $19.95

AltoMP3 Maker is an excellent CD-ripper for Windows. If you want to
make your own MP3 from audio CD , this is exactly what you are looking
for. With full CD audio playback control function, AltoMP3 Maker can
also work as a freedb-aware CD player & MP3 wav Decoder. (include
function cda to mp3 converter,cda to wav,wav to mp3 encoder and mp3 to
wav decoder)
The program can converts all CDa tracks to mp3 file,Easily and
Quickly.It copies the audio digitally-not through the soundcard-which
enables you to make perfect copies of the originals.

  System Required:   Version Info  
- Windows 95,98
- Windows 2000
- Windows NT,ME
- Windows XP
   Last Release : Version 3.1.2 [2002.09.22]
File Size: 1.58MB
Price : $19.95 
- Convert CDa to mp3.
- Convert CDa to wav.
- decode MP3 to wav
- encode wav to mp3
- MP3 ID3 tag editor.
- Play MP3 files.
- Play wav files.
- convert wav file to ogg
- Winamp Playlist generation 
- Perfect output quality with high speed
- Easy to use.
- Convert sound files fast.
- Freedb enabled 

Easy Cd-DA Extractor - $29.95

Rips audio CD's

Hi-performance multithreaded buffered CD-ripping & encoding 
Copies "Copy-Protected" CDs 
Error Recovery, reads audio from badly scratched CDs 
Download and upload disc information from/to the freedb, the Internet
Compact Disc Database.
Volume Normalizer and Compressor, Fade In/Out, Silence deletion from
the start and end of a song
Reads CD-Text 
Output Formats: MP3, Windows Media Audio 8 and 9, Ogg Vorbis, MP4,
M4A, AAC, FLAC, VQF, WAV, AIFF, and Monkey's Audio

Converts audio files between different formats

Volume Normalizer and Compressor, Fade In/Out, Silence deletion from
the start and end of a song
Input formats: MP1, MP2, MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, MP4, M4A, AAC, FLAC,
VQF,  WAV, and Monkey's Audio
Output Formats: MP3, Windows Media Audio 8 and 9, Ogg Vorbis, MP4,
M4A, AAC, FLAC, VQF, WAV, AIFF, and Monkey's Audio

Creates audio CD's

Supports all CD-recorders without need to update the program when a
new CD-recorder becomes available, all CD-recorder parameters are
automatically detected!
Writes CD-Text 
Supports buffer underrun prevention technologies 
Input Formats: MP3 and WAV 

Google search:

cda to mp3 converter
cda to wav converter
freeware cda conversion tools

Best regards,

Clarification of Answer by tlspiegel-ga on 24 Feb 2004 12:59 PST
Hi nautico,

In reference to your clarification "I believe that after burning to a CD-RW, I
must then burn again to a CD-R, correct?"

That **MIGHT** work, but you won't know until you try.  More than
likely you'll need to convert the music files to mp3 or wav format. 
Then the music will play in your CD-ROM drive and on any player.

Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by nautico-ga on 24 Feb 2004 13:24 PST
Eureka! Burning to a CD-R enabled me to play the disk on my CD player,
but it made me wonder whether I really understand the difference
between a CD-RW and a CD-R. I had thought the latter was read-only. I
also thought that "burning" and "writing" were synonomous terms. So
how is it that I can burn to a read-only CD?

Here are the instructions I followed from iTunes. I still don't
understand why it is that in step 5 one is presumably burning to a
CD-RW (?) and then in step 6 burning to a CD-R. Why is step 5 even

 Creating your own audio CDs 
If your computer has a CD-RW drive, you can make your own audio CDs
containing the songs you add to a playlist. You can listen to the
audio CDs you create in iTunes in most consumer CD players and on your

iTunes converts the songs to standard audio files before writing them
to the CD. You can fit about 74 minutes of music, or about 20 songs,
on a 650 MB CD-R disc. Some discs allow 80 minutes (700 MB) of music.
1 Choose Edit > Preferences, then click the Burning tab at the top of the window. 
2 Choose Audio CD as the Disc Format. 
3 To have all the songs on the CD play at the same volume level,
select the Sound Check checkbox.
4 Click OK. 
5 Select the playlist you want to burn to the CD, then click the Burn
Disc button.
 You can only burn a CD from the songs in a playlist.  
 If the playlist contains more songs than will fit on the CD, iTunes
will burn as many songs as will fit on one disc, then ask you to
insert another disc to continue burning the remaining songs. (You can
see the size of the selected playlist at the bottom of the iTunes
6 Insert a blank CD-R disc and click Burn Disc again. 
 If you plan to play the CD on a consumer CD player, you need to use a
blank CD-R disc. If you plan to only play the CD using your computer,
you can also use a CD-RW disc.
 It takes several minutes to burn an audio CD. You can cancel the burn
by clicking the X next to the progress bar, but if you're burning to a
CD-R disc you won't be able to use the CD after canceling.
If a playlist contains any songs purchased from the iTunes Music
Store, you can only burn the same playlist 10 times. If the playlist
includes Audible spoken word content with chapter markers, the
chapters are burned as separate tracks.

For more information about external CD burners that work with iTunes,
visit the Apple Support website at
Go to the website

Clarification of Answer by tlspiegel-ga on 24 Feb 2004 13:46 PST
Hi nautico,

Thank you for the nice rating and generous tip! :)

Best regards,'

Clarification of Answer by tlspiegel-ga on 24 Feb 2004 14:16 PST
Hi nautico,

CD-R or CD-RW Disks Definitions

CD-R: A writeable CD that cannot be erased or re-written. These are
the most affordable, and the recommended disks for data archiving.

CD-RW: A CD that can be written, erased, and re-written.


Usually when someone talks about burning a CD it is in reference to
writing either a data or a music CD. In other words, writing is

Hope this helps!

Clarification of Answer by tlspiegel-ga on 24 Feb 2004 14:18 PST
Hi nautico,

Here's more information for you:

Learn to Burn: Understanding CD-RW

Best regards,
nautico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Many thanks!

Subject: Re: Playing .CDA files
From: tlspiegel-ga on 24 Feb 2004 14:28 PST
Because I don't have the software I-tunes, I really don't have an
explantion for your question:

"I still don'tunderstand why it is that in step 5 one is presumably burning to a
CD-RW (?) and then in step 6 burning to a CD-R. Why is step 5 even

Beats me!
Subject: Re: Playing .CDA files
From: crabcakes-ga on 25 Feb 2004 06:23 PST
Hi nautico, 

In general, CD-RW is not recommended for burning music as the CDs
can't be played in home or car stereos. Just use CD-R  - they're
cheaper too,subcat-MULTIMEDIA.html

I addition, most burning programs require that you "close" the disk
(CD-R)when burning music CDs.(The program you have *may* close it
automatically) you don't close the disk, it won't play.
Subject: Re: Playing .CDA files
From: rapho-ga on 08 Mar 2004 03:51 PST
"CD-RW is not recommended for burning music as the CDs can't be played
in home or car stereos."

This isn't true, as my Aiwa personal stereo plays CD-RW without a
glitch (Aiwa NSX model). You need to be sure that the disk session is
"closed" when recording, though. This should be true for Sony stereos
as well, because of Sony's relationship with Aiwa.


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