Have you ever noticed that when you play certain CDs in your car or home stereo, the CD, track and sometimes even the artist name will show up on CD player’s display?

In my experience, only wide-release CDs from top artists such as Bob Dylan or the White Stripes have this text information.

Not all CD players can decode and display CD text information on their displays, but many can. I’ve known for some time that the LCD display in my Prius could display this information, and I often wished I knew how to burn CDs that could take advantage of that feature. I listen to a lot of music, but I often don’t know the names of specific songs.

I recently discovered you can burn these informative disks in iTunes 7.2. iTunes may have had this feature for many generations, but I don’t remember seeing it.

It’s easy to use iTunes to burn CDs with the encoded text artist name, disc name, and/or track name. To do this, launch iTunes 7.2 or later (though this feature may appear in earlier versions of iTunes), and browse to iTunes > Preferences in the menu bar. In iTunes Preferences, click on Advanced.

Notice the “Disk Format:” session. Make sure “Audio CD” is selected. Next make sure “Include CD Text” is selected.

Click OK, and you’re ready to go. Next time you burn a CD, the text artist name, disc name, and/or track name will be included with the audio. Compatible car and home CD players will show it.

Now, I wonder what other cool / useful features are hidden in plain sight in OS X…


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