How to burn an audio CD from .shn files in OS X

This tutorial will take you step-by-step through burning (recording) audio CD’s from .shn files, in OS X. All of the software required to do so (in this tutorial) is free.

Since you can’t burn .shn files directly as audio CD’s (even with Toast), you have to do it in two steps. The first is to decode the .shn files to .wav, the second is to burn the .wav files as an audio CD.

Step 1. Download and install xACT and Burn. The installation for both is very straight forward.
Step 2. Decoding .shn files to .wav with xACT
Step 3. Creating an audio CD with Burn


Decoding .shn files to .wav with xACT

  1. Launch xACT and select the decode tab
  2. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes

  3. Click the add button
  4. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes

  5. Navigate to the .shn files you want to decode, select them all, and then click Add files
  6. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes
    click to enlarge

  7. Now you’ll need to select the output – I use and suggest .wav. Click Decode when you’re ready
  8. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes
    click to enlarge

  9. You’ll be prompted to choose a location to save the output files. Select the same folder where the .shn files are located and then click Choose
  10. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes
    click to enlarge

  11. Go put on a pot of coffee. The decoding process only takes a few minutes.
  12. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes

  13. When it’s completed you’ll be back at the decode screen but there won’t be any files in the decode list. Feel free to close xACT now.
  14. converting shn to mp3 with xact and itunes

Creating an audio CD with Burn

Now we’re going to take the wav files you just created with xACT, and use Burn to turn them into an audio CD.

  1. Start by launching Burn. Now is probably a good time to make sure you have a blank CD in your recordable drive.

    If you’re recording a concert, you’ll probably want to make the CD gapless (no ‘pauses’ between each song). Select Burn from the menu and click Preferences.

  2. record audio cds from shn files using burn

  3. Select Audio from the top menu and then Audio CD from the second menu. Make sure that Pregap: is set to 0 (zero) Seconds. If you do want a pause between each song, enter a number (2 is good).
  4. record audio cds from shn files using burn

  5. Close the Preferences window and select the Audio tab. Click the + (plus) sign to add songs to your CD
  6. record audio cds from shn files using burn

  7. Navigate to the .wav files that you created with xACT. Select them in the order you want them to play on your audio cd (hold down the apple key to select multiple files at once). Click Open to add those files.
  8. record audio cds from shn files using burn

  9. Review the track order etc and make any necessary changes. Also be sure that the Total Time: does not exceed the time that your CD-R allows (usually 80 minutes but do check). When you’re ready, click Burn.
  10. record audio cds from shn files using burn

  11. Click Burn again…
  12. record audio cds from shn files using burn

  13. Sit back and watch. Or grab a cup of coffee cause it’s actually pretty boring. Burn will eject the CD once the recording is complete, and notify you with an audio “ding”. When the recording is done, give the CD a listen to make sure everything worked out, and then feel free to delete those .wav files.
  14. record audio cds from shn files using burn

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