Burn CDs and DVDs on the Fly in Mountain Lion - dummies

Burn CDs and DVDs on the Fly in Mountain Lion

With OS X Mountain Lion, you can play, create, and publish audio and video on optical media. One way to burn files to a CD or DVD is to simply insert a blank disc and select the files you want to burn on the fly. Just follow these steps:

  1. Insert a blank CD or DVD disc.

    You see an alert that asks you what you want to do with the disc.


    In this case, the blank disc happened to be a DVD-R, but the same thing happens if you insert any supported recordable blank CD or DVD disc.

  2. Choose Open Finder from the Action pop-up menu.

    Open Finder is the default choice unless you’ve changed that default in the CDs & DVDs System Preferences pane or as explained in the following tip.

    Your choices in the CDs & DVDs System Preferences pane for the default action when you insert a blank CD or DVD are

    • Open Finder: Mounts the blank disk in the Finder

    • Open iTunes: Opens iTunes automatically when you insert a blank CD

    • Open Disk Utility: Opens the Disk Utility application automatically

    • Open iDVD (for DVDs only, not CDs): Opens iDVD automatically

    • Open Other Application: Lets you choose the application to use when you insert a blank CD or DVD disc

    • Run Script: Runs a specified AppleScript when you insert a blank disc.

    • Ignore: Leaves the disk in your drive but does nothing (that is, none of the above).

    If you want to make any of these actions, select the Make This Action the Default check box.

    For the purposes of these steps, go with Open Finder for now.

  3. Click OK.

    Your blank DVD mounts (appears as an icon) on the Desktop just like any other removable disc, but its distinctive icon tells you that it’s a recordable DVD (or CD).


  4. Drag files or folders onto the disc icon on your Desktop (or in the Sidebar) until the disc contains all the files you want on it.

  5. (Optional) If you like, you can change the disc’s name from Untitled DVD (or CD) the same way that you change the name of any file or folder.

  6. When you’re ready to finish (burn) your DVD (or CD), open its disc icon and click the Burn button in the top-right corner of the disc’s window, or click the Burn icon (which looks like the warning symbol for radioactivity) to the right of the disc in the Sidebar.


    Notice that the amount of free space remaining on the disc (638.8MB) is displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the window. If you don’t see the status bar, choose View→Status Bar.

    Alternatively, you could

    • Control-click or right-click the disc’s icon and choose Burn Your Disc’s Name Here from the contextual menu (that is, Burn “Burn This DVD”).


    • Select the icon, and choose File→Burn Disc Name. If you choose Eject, from either the contextual menu or the File menu, you’re asked whether you want to burn the disc first.

    • If you drag the disc icon to the Trash/Eject Disk icon in your Dock, the Trash/Eject Disk icon turns into the Burn Disc icon (which still looks like the warning symbol for radioactivity). Drop the disc icon on the radioactivity icon in the Dock, and the burning begins.

    After you’ve chosen to burn a disc, you see the dialog shown here.


  7. Choose a speed from the Burn Speed pop-up menu, click the Burn button, and you’re done.

    Use a slower but more reliable burn speed whenever possible. Many discs fail when burned at the default highest speed possible. You can call those discs drink coasters unless they were rewritable (RW) discs. If that’s the case, you can erase them with Disk Utility and try again.

    CD-RW and DVD-RW discs rarely (if ever) work in devices other than your Mac, including CD (audio) players and DVD (video) players. When you burn a music CD or a video DVD and plan to watch it on a device other than your Mac, you shouldn’t burn it on rewritable (RW) media.

    Select the Save Burn Folder To check box if you think that you may want to burn another copy of this disc someday.