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Easy-to-use audio CD image creator + burner, [TOS #6: moved from General Audio]
chrisjj
post Jul 6 2012, 12:38
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Can anyone suggest an inexpensive program that lets me create an audio CD
image from an .M3U and its .WMAs, and then lets a non-techy user to whom I have
sent that image file burn the image to a CD?

No joy from the many I have tried so far including CDBurnerXP, Burnnn, BurnAware ... and ImgBurn which does not accept .M3U.

So if anyone can suggest a program that they actually know meets the stated requirements, I'd love to hear.

Thanks.
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Dynamic
post Jul 6 2012, 18:42
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foobar2000 is freeware. Install with default choices should do or can run as a portable install. No need to accept any file type associations.

- supports m3u playlists (check relative paths are used if sending the referenced WMA files to your user)
- supports WMA
- can burn Audio CDs

Click File/Load Playlist (or drag m3u file onto foobar2000 to Load it)
Use the right mouse button to click the playlist title (the tab at the top of the playlist) to bring up the menu of actions to perform on that playlist
On the menu, left-click the item at the bottom called "Playlist Name" Contents > Then in that sub-menu click on Convert > then in that sub-menu near the bottom click Write Audio CD...
On the Write Audio CD menu that pops up, the Device: is likely to be the only CD writer a non-techy user owns. Unless you have a good reason, leave unchecked Replaygain Processing and DSP Processing. Dither is optional and inaudible under normal conditions. You now whether the files include trailing silence or not, so you can advise whether to tick the box by Burn gaplessly or not.

So long as it's not a live or DJ-mix album with tracks merged seamlessly it should be fine. If it's seamless, I don't think WMA supports gapless playback except the WMA Lossless variant and you'd be better off encoding Ogg Vorbis or LAME MP3 lossy files (which foobar can help with and contain accurate length information).


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Hotsoup
post Jul 6 2012, 19:35
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jul 6 2012, 10:42) *
On the Write Audio CD menu that pops up, the Device: is likely to be the only CD writer a non-techy user owns. Unless you have a good reason, leave unchecked Replaygain Processing and DSP Processing. Dither is optional and inaudible under normal conditions. You now whether the files include trailing silence or not, so you can advise whether to tick the box by Burn gaplessly or not.

Will that create a disk image like the OP was asking? I think they're looking for an application that easily loads an m3u of WMA tracks, then will create a CD audio image (not ISO, but I'm guessing BIN + CUE?)
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lvqcl
post Jul 6 2012, 19:39
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FLAC with embedded cuesheet is simpler IMO.
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Jul 6 2012, 21:39
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QUOTE
foobar2000 is freeware. ..........snip........... can burn Audio CDs


I'm a big fan of foobar as a media player but, in all honestly, the foo.burninate is a bit of an afterthought. It's remarkably picky about which optical drives it will or will not co-operate with. Hasn't been updated for years either. Not that I blame the devs. Not core competency.

If it usually does the trick for you then fair but you need to be prepared to swap drives in and out until you find something compatible or bite the bulet and get a dedicated writer.

Good player though. Object lesson in user configurable software design too. World class.
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Dynamic
post Jul 6 2012, 22:42
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Perhaps I misunderstood that the OP wants to send a bunch of WMA files and an m3u playlist to this 'user' who then needs to burn a CD at their end.

If the end user wants to burn a CD why transcode WMA (presumably lossy) into lossless with a CUE sheet rather than send them the lossy files, requiring less data transmission.

Foobar2000 can also create a FLAC image for example, and CUEtools can generate a CUE sheet as an alternative 'playlist' format.

I guess you might want to make an BIN+CUE set ready for imgburn or something, which I guess might seem simpler as one file to open and only one button to press for your end user.

I think you can get fb2k to convert to a format for the burning tool of choice to import including a generated CUE sheet (or convert to separate files (e.g. FLAC) then get CUETools to convert to WAVimage+CUE and import that into your burning app to make BIN/CUE. That puts a bit more work on you but takes work off the user.


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chrisjj
post Jul 9 2012, 18:16
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> why transcode WMA (presumably lossy)

They are lossless.

> Foobar2000 can also create a FLAC image for example

Is that equivalent to an audio CD image e.g. contains CD-TEXT?

> and CUEtools can generate a CUE sheet as an alternative 'playlist' format.
> I guess you might want to make an BIN+CUE set ready for imgburn or something, which I guess might seem simpler as one file to open and only one button to press for your end user.
>
> I think you can get fb2k to convert to a format for the burning tool of choice to import including a generated CUE sheet (or convert to separate files (e.g. FLAC) then get CUETools to convert to WAVimage+CUE and import that into your burning app to make BIN/CUE. That puts a bit more work on you but takes work off the user.

I've now found ImgBurn Write mode "Create CUE file" will accept an M3U, but that's of little use since that mode won't write an image to HD file.

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JJZolx
post Jul 9 2012, 19:31
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If you have a choice of lossy formats and aren't tied to WMA:

1. Use EAC to rip to Flac, one file per track, gaps appended.
2. In EAC create a non-compliant CUE sheet file.
3. Use Burrrn to burn a CD directly from the CUE sheet and Flac files.

Edit: Taking a quick look at Burrrn's web page, it can also burn a CD from a single EAC image file (one file for the whole CD) if that's any easier for you.

This post has been edited by JJZolx: Jul 9 2012, 19:33
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chrisjj
post Jul 9 2012, 21:04
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> 1. Use EAC to rip to Flac, one file per track, gaps appended.
> 2. In EAC create a non-compliant CUE sheet file.
> 3. Use Burrrn to burn a CD directly from the CUE sheet and Flac files.

Thanks, but assuming "rip" means rip from CD, IIUC for that to meet requirements I would have to burn the .M3U and its .WMAs to CD first. Is that what you intended?

> Edit: Taking a quick look at Burrrn's web page, it can also burn a CD from a single EAC image file (one file for the whole CD) if that's any easier for you.

That would be great... if you could suggest a way of converting .M3U and .WMAs (which include gaps) to an EAC image file. I can see no way on the EAC UI.
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JJZolx
post Jul 9 2012, 21:15
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You're not ripping the CD yourself? You already have the WMA files in hand and need to proceed from there?

Can't you just burn a CD from WMA files using Windows Media Player? In fact, for a non-techy, sending him the WMA files and having him use WMP to burn a CD should be as simple as any other solution.

Edit: I just tried it. Yeah, it's pretty damned easy.

1. Open Windows Media Player.
2. Select Burn.
3. Place a blank disc in the burner.
4. Drag either the WMA files or the .m3u playlist file into the burn list column.
5. Press the Burn button.

This post has been edited by JJZolx: Jul 9 2012, 21:25
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chrisjj
post Jul 9 2012, 21:53
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> You're not ripping the CD yourself?

Correct. No-one is ripping a CD.

> You already have the WMA files in hand and need to proceed from there?

Correct.

> Can't you just burn a CD from WMA files using Windows Media Player?

Yes I can, but that does not meet the requirements. Sending CDs by snail mail is the solution I am attempting to improve upon.

> In fact, for a non-techy, sending him the WMA files and having him use WMP to burn a CD should be as simple as any other solution.

She has only Windows XP. The best WMP on XP will not burn gapless, and will not burn CD-TEXT.


This post has been edited by chrisjj: Jul 9 2012, 21:55
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korth
post Jul 9 2012, 22:42
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QUOTE (chrisjj @ Jul 9 2012, 18:16) *
I've now found ImgBurn Write mode "Create CUE file" will accept an M3U, but that's of little use since that mode won't write an image to HD file.
Why don't you just send WMA + CUE then? You could also use M3U2CUE to create the CUE (if it supports WMA). ImgBurn also requires a DirectShow Filter for WMA (which should be already installed in XP).

Here's a little guide using ImgBurn to create the CUE and burning to CD (the second guide is titled "How to write an image file to a disc" but WMA + CUE will be handled the same as an Image + CUE if you select the CUE file).

This post has been edited by korth: Jul 9 2012, 23:17


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chrisjj
post Jul 9 2012, 23:45
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> Why don't you just send WMA + CUE then?

A single file is more foolproof, but I'd settle for WMA + CUE if necessary.

And do you mean WMA singular or WMAs plural?

> ImgBurn also requires a DirectShow Filter for WMA (which should be already installed in XP).

Thanks. Seems like WMA is a good choice then, sine no other lossless compresses format is supported direct.

> Here's a little guide using ImgBurn to create the CUE

Thanks. Additionally Create CUE will accept M3U.
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korth
post Jul 10 2012, 00:09
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QUOTE
And do you mean WMA singular or WMAs plural?
Doing it this way I meant WMAs plural. Joining lossless WMAs and creating a cue could be done easy enough using alternate apps. Joining lossy WMAs and creating a cue wouldn't be as easy because you can't just re-encode without additional loss.


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Dynamic
post Jul 10 2012, 01:36
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If you want a single file, something like lossless disc image with embedded CUE sheet might be best. CueTools does this nicely, but you'd have to convert from WMA-Lossless into a format it understands, first, e.g. FLAC. Also need to choose a lossless format compatible with your chosen burning app. I note that ImgBurn doesn't support subcode data, which means it can't do CD-TEXT.


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chrisjj
post Jul 10 2012, 01:45
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jul 10 2012, 01:36) *
If you want a single file, something like lossless disc image with embedded CUE sheet might be best. CueTools does this nicely, but you'd have to convert from WMA-Lossless into a format it understands, first, e.g. FLAC. Also need to choose a lossless format compatible with your chosen burning app. I note that ImgBurn doesn't support subcode data, which means it can't do CD-TEXT.
Thanks - what burning app is compatible with this?
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korth
post Jul 10 2012, 04:36
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jul 10 2012, 01:36) *
I note that ImgBurn doesn't support subcode data, which means it can't do CD-TEXT.
ImgBurn CAN write CD-Text from a CUE sheet (see guide written by the Author of ImgBurn).


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Dynamic
post Jul 10 2012, 16:03
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Oh, it can do CD-Text. Thanks for correcting me, Korth. The reference to subchannel data support in its Wikipedia article was from 2007 and must have been superceded.

Also, FLAC with embedded CUE is supported according to this thread, so you should be able to send a single file, but you might need to get an ACM codec installed first on the target machine to support FLAC decoding. I'm not sure if even Microsoft's own WMA-lossless is supported by default on a plain install of Windows without installing an ACM codec first. Not sure, check the documentation. Some other formats also support embedded CUE sheets, so FLAC is just an example.


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chrisjj
post Jul 10 2012, 18:51
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Thanks but I'd rather stick with a format supported as standard. Hence that in the requirements I specified WMA. I don't want the end user to have to mess about with code installs.
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greynol
post Jul 10 2012, 19:02
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Are you sure you aren't adding unnecessary constraints?

m3u? cd-text? seriously?? Did she specify these as mandatory criteria?

FWIW, I'd use ALAC. Have her install iTunes and be done with it.

FWIW I'm a flac/EAC user who deals with cue sheets, cd-text, gaps, offsets and everything else, but I think I have a good handle on what an average or less than average user can handle. I think this needs to be put in proper perspective.


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Dynamic
post Jul 11 2012, 09:09
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Greynol is right about simplifying and accepting marginally less than optimal results to make life easier and 'just work' for a non-technical user.

Or stick to Windows Media Player, which supports gapless burning and Windows Media Audio Lossless and m3u out of the box, but I've no idea about CD-TEXT. You've even got options to save bandwidth later like lossyWAV preprocessing (to make lossyWMALSL files with the .lossy.wma double extension) which remains gapless and is transparent to an extremely high degree.

If it's Windows 7 or Vista, and if you want one file, why not simply send a self-extracting ZIP (store mode is fine as the data's already compressed) that extracts automatically to C:\Users\Public\Music (doesn't need Administrator Privilege to write to it) or a ZIP containing absolute full paths to the same location. If it's XP, I think a standard install does not include that folder.

(Only trouble is, if you're emailing rather than uploading to a media cloud server, I know a lot of webmailers like gmail block executables as attachments and don't report a bounce when they do, so the ZIP might be the only option)


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greynol
post Jul 11 2012, 15:45
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QUOTE (chrisjj @ Jul 9 2012, 13:53) *
The best WMP on XP will not burn gapless

???

I seem to recall WMP once having problems preserving proper track length when ripping to any format, but I don't know that this hasn't been corrected. More to the point, I don't know anything about how it handles burning lossless files (wave or wmal) that are properly cut on frame boundaries.


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chrisjj
post Jul 17 2012, 00:04
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 10 2012, 19:02) *
Are you sure you aren't adding unnecessary constraints?
Yes. E.g. WMA is part of the originally stated requirements,

This post has been edited by chrisjj: Jul 17 2012, 00:09
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chrisjj
post Jul 17 2012, 00:08
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jul 11 2012, 09:09) *
stick to Windows Media Player, which supports gapless burning
Not on XP, AFAICT. If you know otherwise, pelase do say.

QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jul 11 2012, 09:09) *
If it's Windows 7 or Vista
It is XP.

Thanks anyway for the suggestions.

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greynol
post Jul 17 2012, 00:16
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Constraints/requirements; I suspect this is purely a matter of semantics.

Who specified these "requirements" and what was the justification?

So let's see:
- must (?) be wmal
- can't install additional codecs so the software must support it natively
- WMP has been accused of not doing an adequate job
- WMP is the only software to support it natively

The solution seems pretty obvious to me: dump wmal.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jul 17 2012, 00:22


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