Friday, September 28, 2012

Designing and Burning Custom CDs

I love listening to music, especially while I drive. It lifts me up and sets my mood for the rest of the day. But as much as I treasure my iPod and radio, I just can’t let go of my good ol’ CDs. Perhaps it’s because my iPod requires a bit too much fuss at times (not very good when I’m driving)…or maybe it’s because CDs pump out better sound than the radio…whatever the case, I still love having my favourite tunes available on CD format.

I am fussy though. I want to hear my preferred selections and not someone else’s idea of a great playlist. Of course, I also want to compile these music lists on the cheap. As such, I figured out early on how to design and burn my own custom CDs. It’s pretty easy, once you know the drill.

Step 1: Create a Custom Playlist
  • Group music together by genre, timeframe or specific taste i.e. Caribbean Tunes, Christmas Classics, Summer Hits or Love Songs.
  • Include approximately 20-24 songs in each CD playlist. (CD capacity varies according to the length of each individual tune.)
  • Arrange songs in the desired order (sort by Name, Album, Artist, etc.)
  • Ensure the most critical tracks are at the top of the list, so they’ll definitely be included on your album.

Step 2: Burn CD

  • Highlight or click on the playlist of your choosing.
  • Insert a blank CD into the CD drive.
  • Go to the ‘File’ drop down menu and click ‘Burn Playlist to Disc’.
  • Follow prompts and remove when complete. (You’ll automatically be notified if/when you’ve reached CD capacity.)

Step 3: Design Album Cover
  • Choose an appropriate photo or image for the album cover.
  • Add special effects like increasing colour saturation, airbrushing, posterizing, adding contours or oil paint techniques.
  • Name the album or dedicate your creation, by superimposing text over a portion of the image. Experiment with different fonts and colours.
  • Cut and paste the song playlist (including artist details) into a text document. Insert this on the inner sleeve of the CD cover.
  • Use permanent marker to label the CD disc, to avoid later mix ups.

Once you get the hang of creating your own CDs, you can start to customize CDs for others. They make very impressive and inexpensive gifts. You’re crafting something distinct and personalized, just for that person. Also, the final product will be something they’ll actually use and enjoy.

Please share your music and other money-saving ideas with the rest of the group, in the comments section below. Click ‘Follow’ on this page for further articles on how to live better, with less.

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