Creating navigable MP3 discs

With gasoline in the U.S. expected to top $7,000 a gallon by summer’s end, drivers are leaving their SUVs by the side of the road and, after filing vehicle identification numbers from engine blocks and car doors, waltzing over to the nearest Hybrid dealership.

With these new cars come CD players that play not only Red Book audio CDs, but also MP3 discs. iTunes can create such discs but people are often confused about how to create them so that you can navigate the separate albums burned to them rather than through one long playlist. Here’s the secret:

Launch iTunes and open its preferences. Click the Advanced preference and then the Burning tab within that preference. Enable the MP3 CD option and click OK.

Create a new playlist—this playlist will contain the albums that you’d like to burn to the MP3 CD. Into this playlist drag several albums-worth of MP3 files (only MP3 files work, not AIFF, WAV, Apple Lossless, or AAC files).

Select the playlist and click the Album heading to sort it by album. Insert a blank CD and click the Burn MP3 CD button at the bottom of the iTunes window. iTunes will proceed to burn an MP3 CD that includes folders for each album. When you insert this disc into your new fuel-efficient car’s audio disc player, you’ll be able to navigate the disc by album and then tracks within that album. If your tracks are tagged with album and track information that information should appear on the player’s display.

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