Q&A: Can I burn a CD-RW disk as an audio CD?

Q I know that I can burn an audio CD to CD-R. Can I do the same but using a CD-RW disk? Will the result then play correctly in a domestic CD player?

A If you are burning an audio CD and have both CD-R and CD-RW media to choose from, you will be better off using the CD-R disk, to ensure complete compatibility. There should not really be any difference, but experience will vary according to the device that you use to play the disk.

The medium, that is type of CD, should be fairly independent of the data format, in this case audio CD, being stored on it. However not all CD drives recognise CD-RW media, but most modern drives and all those in modern computers should work fine with both.

CD-RW does not really make much sense with audio CD data, either. The idea of a rewritable medium is that you can erase and change content, not something really supported by the audio CD standard, other than erasing the whole disk. CD-RW media may also not store data for as long as equivalent quality CD-R disks.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 28 issue 02, 2012.