This tutorial will take you step-by-step through burning (recording) audio CD’s from .flac files, in Windows..
You have quite a few choices when it comes to creating audio CD’s from flac 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 Flac with library support plug-in for Winamp, and CDBurnerXP Pro. Each installation is very straight forward (you’ll mostly click Next a bunch of times)
Step 2. Decoding .flac files with Winamp
Step 3. Creating an audio CD with CDBurner XP Pro
The I-paid-for-Nero route:
- 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)
- Select Output from the Plug-ins section of the left window, and then select Nullsoft Disk Writer. Click Configure.
- Click the Directory: button so you can choose a location to save the .wav files
- Navigate to the folder you want to save the .wav files in. I usually save them in the same folder as the .flac files.
- 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 .flac files. Select all of the .flac 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
- Press the Play button. Winamp will now decode the .flac 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.
Now you’ll use the .wav files you created in the above steps to burn an audio CD.
- Open CDBurner XP Pro and select Click here to… Create a new Audio-CD … from the menu
- Make sure that your CD (or DVD) Recordable drive is selected
- Use the left column to navigate to the folder that contains all of the .wav files
- Select each of the .wav files from the right column (hold down the Control key to select multiple files) and then click Add
- 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
- This step is only required if you want to create a gapless CD. Select Disc At Once and then click Write disc
- 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!
Depending on your version of Nero, you may already be able to burn .flac files straight to an audio CD. Open Nero and create a New Audio CD. Drag the .flac 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 flac 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:
- After you drag the audio files into Nero, right click on any of them and select Compilation Properties
- Choose the Audio CD tab, and then place a check in the box labeled No pause between tracks. Click OK
- 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.