How to burn an audio CD from .shn files in Windows

This tutorial will take you step-by-step through burning (recording) audio CD’s from .shn files, in Windows..

You have a couple of choices when it comes to creating audio CD’s from shn files. You can pay for a program like Nero, which is a feature-rich CD/DVD burning utility, or you can use CDBurnerXP Pro, which is a freeware CD/DVD burning utility. What’s the catch, you ask? With Nero you can do it all in one step – with CDBurner XP Pro you have to do it in two steps. Either way – it’s all outlined below.

The free route:

Step 1. Download and install Winamp, the ShnAmp plugin for Winamp, and CDBurnerXP Pro. Each installation is very straight forward (you’ll mostly click Next a bunch of times)
Step 2. Decoding .shn files with Winamp
Step 3. Creating an audio CD with CDBurner XP Pro

The I-paid-for-Nero route:

How to burn shn files straight to audio CDs using Nero

Decoding .shn files with Winamp

  1. Open Winamp and select Options and then Preferences… (note: if you’re using the “classic version” skin, open the Winamp Preferences by clicking the Control and p keys on your keyboard)
  2. setting up winampc
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  3. Select Output from the Plug-ins section of the left window, and then select Nullsoft Disk Writer. Click Configure.
  4. setting up winamp
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  5. Click the Directory: button so you can choose a location to save the .wav files
  6. setting up winamp

  7. Navigate to the folder you want to save the .wav files in. I usually save them in the same folder as the .shn files.

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  9. Click OK to return to the Preferences window, and then Close to return to Winamp. Now select File -> Play file… and navigate to the folder with your .shn files. Select all of the .shn files by single-clicking the first file, holding down the Shift key on your keyboard, and then single-clicking the last file. When all of the files are selected, click Open

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  11. Press the Play button if Winamp doesn’t automatically start to decode the files. Winamp will now decode the .shn files and turn them into .wav files. It typically takes about 20 seconds to convert a 5 minute song, but this depends on how “fast” your PC is.

    Once Winamp is done decoding the files, make sure to set the Plug-ins -> Output back to DirectSound output, or the next time you try to play a file using Winamp, it will decode that file instead.

    Check to make sure all of the .wav files were created.

  12. click to enlarge

Creating an audio CD with CDBurner XP Pro

Now you’ll use the .wav files you created in the above steps to burn an audio CD.

  1. Open CDBurner XP Pro and select Click here to… Create a new Audio-CD … from the menu

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  3. Make sure that your CD (or DVD) Recordable drive is selected
  4. Use the left column to navigate to the folder that contains all of the .wav files
  5. Select each of the .wav files from the right column (hold down the Control key to select multiple files) and then click Add
  6. If you’re recording a concert, you’ll probably want to create a ‘gapless’ CD (no pauses between tracks). Click the small arrow next to Burn and choose Burn and let me choose settings. If you do want a two second pause between each track, just click the Burn button

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  8. This step is only required if you want to create a gapless CD. Select Disc At Once and then click Write disc

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  10. That’s it – you’re done. After the CD has burned, give it a listen and if you’re happy, you can delete the .wav files. Happy burning!

How to burn shn files straight to audio CDs using Nero

Depending on your version of Nero, you may already be able to burn .shn files straight to an audio CD. Open Nero and create a New Audio CD. Drag the .shn files directly into Nero the same way you would with .wav or .mp3 files. If Nero doesn’t report any errors, you should be able to click Burn and create the CD.

If Nero does report an error, you need to download and install the Nero Mega Plugin Pack (which is free). After it’s installed, try dragging the shn files directly into Nero again and this time you shouldn’t get any errors.

To create a gapless (no pauses between tracks) CD with Nero, follow these steps:

  1. After you drag the audio files into Nero, right click on any of them and select Compilation Properties

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  3. Choose the Audio CD tab, and then place a check in the box labeled No pause between tracks. Click OK

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  5. Make sure that the Pause is set to 0:00:00 in the track listing. The very first track must have a 2 second pause, so don’t worry about that one.

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