Useful Tips

How to burn a disc on a MacBook


Mac OS X can burn both CDs and DVDs using the built-in applications, but there are some fundamental differences between them.

Mac OS X provides the ability to burn a CD or DVD using the built-in applications, without resorting to third-party programs. “Native” CD or DVD burning tools include a recording folder and application Disk utility (Disk Utility). Both options will be discussed below.

Burn Using Recording Folder

Using the burn folder is the easiest way to burn, but it only works with empty CDs or DVDs. Creating a recording folder does not oblige us to immediately record, its contents can be gradually accumulated by simply dragging the necessary folders and files into it, and when the folder is fully composed, you can go directly to the recording process.

To create a recording folder and burn through it, you need to perform a series of actions.

  1. Select the desired location for the recording folder. It could be your folder Documents (Documents) located in the home directory or desktop. In fact, it doesn't matter where you create the recording folder, since at any time you can move it painlessly.
  2. Run command File (File) → New Recording Folder (New Burn Folder).
  3. A new folder will appear in the indicated location, marked with a special icon and having the extension .fpbf. Do not leave the created folder nameless, it should be given a name, which will be used later for the name of the CD.
  4. Drag the files necessary for recording to the created recording folder. Please note that the physical location of the files does not change, only the aliases of the specified objects are created in the folder.
  5. Insert a blank CD into the drive.
  6. To start the burning process, press the button Write down (Burn) located in the upper right corner of the Finder window.
  7. Please note that before recording, we are given the opportunity to calculate the required minimum disk capacity that we need to burn. To do this, click on the button located in the status bar of the Finder window. The minimum capacity will be displayed on the same line.

Fig. 1. The contents of the recording folder whose physical location is on the desktop.

There is another way to determine the amount of space occupied by the information located in the recording folder.

  • Select a recording folder. Open its properties window by pressing the + key combination.
  • In the window that appears, expand the option I write down (Burning).
  • Click on the button Calculate (Calculate), the window displays the size of the contents of the recording folder at the moment.

Fig. 2. Properties window of the Burn folder using Disk Utility.

Burning with the Disk Utility is a universal method of recording, which allows you to overwrite and rewrite a CD, creating its image in advance.

To overwrite a disc, follow these steps:

  1. Create a folder, copy the necessary files into it for further recording. Call her. Note that the name of the folder on which the recording will be based will automatically be assigned to the CD.
  2. Open the folder / Programs / Utilities (/ Applications / Utilities). Run the application Disk (Disk
  3. Run the command File (File) ->New (New) ->Disk image from folder ... (Disk Image from Folder ...). In the window that appears, specify the desired folder and click Create image (Image).

Fig. 3. The disk utility window. Create a disk image based on a folder

Another window for saving the image will appear, in which only the location of the created image will be indicated, and the name will be offered by the program (it will coincide with the name of the folder). Press button Save (Save).

Fig. 4. Specifying the location of the image

If you are working under a standard user account, then before starting the process of creating an image, a dialog box appears prompting you to enter the name and password of the computer administrator.

  • As a result of creating the image, a link to it will appear in the side panel of the disk utility window. Highlight this link and press the button. Write down (Burn).
  • Insert a CD or DVD into the drive.
  • In the dialog box that appears, be sure to check the following boxes: Erase disc before burning (Erase disc before burning), if some information has already been recorded on the CD, Leave the ability to add files (Leave disc appendable) and Check recorded data (Verify burned data). Press button Write down (Burn).

    Fig. 5 Disk utility window. Settings before burning a disc

  • At the end of the recording process, the disc will be automatically ejected if the switch was set Eject disc (Eject disc).
  • For the rewriting process, the CD must be rewritable, that is, its label must contain the inscription CD-RW or DVD-RW. Also, if the optical drive "can not" rewrite disks, then no disk utility will help you. You can learn about the characteristics of the optical drive by executing the command -> About this Mac (About this Mac).

    After burning a disc, the link to the image will remain on the sidebar of the application, which can be used in the future to burn the following discs. And if you don’t need the link anymore, you can delete it by simply dragging the icon outside the window (just like the icons are removed from the side panel of the Finder window).


    Comparing the above tools, you involuntarily come to the conclusion that the Disk Utilitiy application is better from all sides. Unlike a recording folder, it can add and rewrite CDs, create an image, and record based on an existing image.

    Moreover, this application allows you to manipulate a computer’s hard drive in the same way as Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director Suite. Everything seems to be fine, but with one exception. If you plan to read the recorded disc on a Mac, then you will not encounter any problems.

    But if you want to read the recorded information under Windows, then most likely your system will not read your disc recorded with the disk utility - it will perceive it as clean.

    And there will be no problems with reading a disc recorded using the recording folder. Therefore, just in case, record your photos for friends on a CD using the recording folder so that you can read it on an IBM-compatible computer.

    Burn data disc

    A data disc is written as follows:

    • Insert a blank disc into the drive,
    • A menu will appear on the screen, prompting you to choose what you want to do with the disk,
    • Choose to open Finder,
    • A blank disk icon appeared on the desktop,
    • We click on it to open in Finder,
    • We drag the necessary files and folders into the blank disk window,
    • You need to rename and properly arrange files and folders right away (after recording, do not do this),
    • Choose File, Burn Disc Untitled,
    • Now it will be offered to name a disk,
    • Give the disk a name, click "write",
    • All is ready.

    How to burn an audio CD?

    To burn an audio disc, we need iTunes. The process does not require special settings, you just need to create a playlist. Here's how to do it:

    • Open iTunes,
    • Select "File", "New", "Playlist",
    • Give a name to the playlist. It will also be the name of the recordable disc,
    • Add songs to the playlist. Do not forget that a regular Audio CD may contain about 80 minutes of recording,
    • Select the order of the songs (in this case, select "Manual Order"),
    • Insert the disk,
    • Click "File", "Burn playlist to disk",
    • Set the recording parameters that you consider necessary,
    • Click "Record",
    • Soon, the disc will be recorded and ready to listen.

    Program selection

    The standard utility for burning discs copes with its tasks. If you want to get more functionality, advanced features of working with virtual drives and creating images - you can pay attention to third-party programs. Utility DAEMON Tools has gained worldwide fame.

    DAEMON Tools is a convenient tool for emulating drives, creating images, and writing files to disk. The program is offered for Mac in the free version (DAEMON Tools Lite). But there are other versions of it, featuring advanced functionality. Details can be found on the developer's website.

    Burn is a great disc burning program. You can record any files on them, configure access, add an icon. You can also make menus for videos when burning DVDs. This is useful, for example, for recording family video chronicle.