Disc burning overview

You can use iTunes to create your own CDs and DVDs with audio and video from your iTunes library.

Important:  You can’t burn movies and TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store to a DVD or VCD that plays in a DVD player or to a Video CD.

What do you need to burn discs?

  • A computer with an internal disc drive that can burn discs. To create an audio, MP3, or data CD using iTunes, your Mac must have an Apple Combo drive or SuperDrive. To create a data DVD, your Mac must have an Apple SuperDrive. Some external drives might also work.

  • An iTunes playlist containing the music and video you want on the disc. If your playlist contains iTunes Store purchases, you can burn it to a disc as many times as you want as long as all the items are iTunes Plus songs. If some items aren't iTunes Plus songs, you can burn the playlist up to seven times.

  • A blank disc. Some older CD players won’t play CD-RW discs (but they will play CD-R discs). You can use DVDs with your computer, but most DVD players can’t read data DVD discs. (“RW” stands for “read-write” and means the disc can be erased and reused.)

How many files can you burn on a disc?

The number of songs a disc can hold depends on the format of the song files and the capacity of the disc. You can fit about 74 minutes of music on a 650 MB audio CD, or about 150 MP3 files on the same size disc. Some CDs can contain 700 MB of music. A DVD can hold 4.7 gigabytes (GB), almost five times as many songs as a CD.

What type of disc should you use?

  • To make audio CDs that work in most stereo systems, use CD-R discs. CD-RW discs usually work only in computers.

  • To make a CD of MP3 files to play in your computer or an MP3 CD player, use a CD-R disc; some MP3 players can play CD-RW discs as well.

  • If your computer has a DVD burner (or SuperDrive), you can burn a playlist on a DVD-R or DVD-RW disc. DVDs you create using iTunes work only in your computer (not DVD players).

For more information about the drives that work with iTunes, visit the iTunes Support website.