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The Finder can burn files to a CD or DVD. Mac OS X burns discs that can be used on Windows computers as long as the data that you are copying to disc is also compatible.

Many Macs can burn both CDs and DVDs. To find out what kind of optical drive you have, click on the Apple Menu and choose About This Mac. Click on the More Info button to open the System Profiler. Click on Disc Burning (under Hardware) to see what types of optical media (CDs and DVDs) your computer can read and write.

Burning a CD or DVD using the Finder
Burning to a disc more than once: Multi-session burning
Burning music to a CD using iTunes
Design your own DVDs using iDVD

Burning a CD or DVD using the Finder

It is easy to burn CDs and DVDs using the Finder. You can burn single-session CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, and DVD-RWs in a few simple steps:

  1. Insert a blank disc into the optical drive of your computer.

  2. If you see a dialog asking you what to do with the disc, choose "Open Finder" and select "Make this action the default" if you want the Finder to open every time you insert a blank disc.

  3. The disc will appear on your Desktop and in the Finder sidebar. Double-click on the disc to open it and drag the files and folders you want to burn into the disc's window. (If you drag folders into the disc's window, the contents of those folders will be burned to disc.)
    The Finder makes aliases to the files in the disc's window. The original files will not be moved or deleted.

  4. If you want to rename or re-arrange the files within the disc window, do so now. You will not be able to rename files on the disc after it has been burned.

  5. Choose File > Burn Disc and follow the on-screen instructions.

For more information, click on the Help menu and type burning disc. "About burning your own CDs and DVDs" is a good starting point.

You may also want to read the Apple Support article, Mac OS X: About burning data onto CDs.

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Burning to a Disc More than Once: Multi-session Burning

If you use the Finder, you can burn to a CD or DVD only once. But if you use the Disk Utility to burn a disc, you can burn files to the disc multiple times as long as there is space available. Each time you burn to the disc is a session. This is called mutlisession burning.

CD-Rs and DVD-Rs can be be used for multisession burning but sessions cannot be erased. If you use a CD-RW or DVD-RW, sessions can be erased and the disc can be re-used.

  1. Create or locate the folder with all of the data that you want to burn to disc. This folder will not be moved or deleted during the burning process.

  2. Choose File > New > Disk Image from Folder and select the folder you want to burn to disc.

    Disk Utility

  3. Select the folder you created in Step 1 and click Image.

  4. A Save As dialog will open. Name your Disk Image and click Save.
  5. Select your disk image from the Disk Utility list on the left and choose Images > Burn.


  6. Insert blank disc (or disc to be appended).

  7. Select Leave disc appendable. (If you don't see this option, click on the arrow in the upper-right corner.)

  8. Click Burn (or Append).

  9. A Disk Utility Progress window will open. Burning may take a few minutes. When Disk Utility is finished, click OK.

To add another session to your disc, repeat the steps above. Each session will appear in the Finder as a seperate volume (it will look like you have multiple discs mounted, each named after the Disk Image you created in step 4).

Note: Each Disk Image that you create makes a copy of your data. You can (and should) delete these disk images when you are done burning them to disc. In the Disk Utililty list, ctrl-click on the Disk Image and select Reveal in Finder. In the Finder window, ctrl-click on the Disk Image icon and select Move to Trash. Your old Disk Images will dissapear from the Disk Utility list once you empty the Trash.

For more information, open Disk Utility and click on the Help menu.

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Burning Music to a CD using iTunes

The above instructions for burning CDs and DVDs create data discs. These discs can be read by computers, but not by most CD or DVD players.

If you want to burn music to a CD so that you can play it in a regular CD player or computer, you can use iTunes. For instructions, visit the Apple iLife Mulitmedia Tutorials: iTunes website.

As always, for more information, open iTunes and click on the Help menu.

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Design your own DVDs using iDVD

iDVD, part of the iLife suite (which is included on all FCAP machines and part of most personal computer setups as well), allows you to burn DVDs of your own videos and photos. See Apple's iDVD support site for more information.

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 |  Last updated March 5, 2014

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