How to Burn CDs and DVDs on your Mac

April 13, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Once you know how to rip a CD on your Mac, you should also learn how to burn a CD. Whether you are using a recordable CD or DVD, using your Mac to burn data is a great way of backing up files and folders and keeping them safe in the event of a major hard drive failure or some other computer disaster.

Mac OS X is geared to let you find data that you wish to burn and add it to your writable CD or DVD as you go, making it easy to save data that you might not want to lose.

How to Burn CDs and DVDs on your Mac

Using the Right Writable Discs

CD-R and CD-RW compact discs can be used with a Mac, as can DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD+R. Older Macs had problems with the +R format so if you need to check if your computer will support these discs, go to Applications > Utilities > System Profiler and select Disc Burning to find out what type of discs can be used.

When you’re ready to burn data to your disc, insert the media into the disc drive. You will see that OS X detects the disc, giving you various options. For instance you can select to Open Finder, Open Disk Utility or Open iTunes, and each of these options can be set to the default choice. When a selection is made, click OK to continue.

You might also cancel this by selecting Ignore or Eject.

Finding Data to Burn

With your blank disc ready and waiting for data to burn, you will need to find something to add to it! If you’re planning on burning the disc with Word documents, choose the Open Finder option (or just open the Finder) and browse for the data that you are planning to burn to your disc.

When you are ready to start burning data, right click the file or files concerned and select Burn [FILENAME] to Disc….

You will then be prompted to name the disc, as well as specify a burn speed. Unless you’re heading for an urgent flight you should avoid using the fastest available speed wherever possible to reduce the chance of errors during the burn.

Click Burn to continue and the data will be copied to your CD or DVD!

Using Disk Utilities to Burn Data

Another way which you can burn data to CD or DVD with your Mac is via the Disk Utilities tool, which you can open via Applications > Utilities.

Here you can select or create any disk images that are already running on your Mac and use the Burn option to burn the data to your blank writable CD or DVD. This is a great way to burn several copies of the same data as a master record – perhaps of some home audio or video recordings. With a disc image of this data created, all you need to do is click Burn each time a blank disc is inserted!

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