Even if optical media are slowly disappearing, they are not completely dead. And it’s always possible that you’ll have to burn or copy a CD after all.
Sometimes one needs it then nevertheless: The good, old DVD.
Even if Apple doesn’t use superdrives since half a decade: Every now and then you still need to burn or copy a DVD or CD on your Mac. For example for your car radio. The golden question is: How? Well: First you need of course an external CD or DVD burner for the USB port. They are available for little money and don’t need any additional drivers on the Mac – any burner will work! After that, CD burning on the Mac is a breeze.
Burners for the USB-C port?
Of course, newer Macbooks still have a small hurdle: They only support USB-C ports. To use a burner here, you either have to buy a DVD burner with USB-C port directly. Or you can get an inexpensive USB-C adapter. However, there is still a "secret trick" to operate burners (and hard drives, for that matter) on the USB-C port: Since the burners usually have micro USB ports on the device side, you can simply use your cell phone cable instead of the cable on the burner. Or any Micro-USB to USB-C cable. Because the "wide" Micro-B ports on burners and hard drives are nothing more than normal Micro-USB ports: The small additional part is for the high speed of the USB-3.0 mode. You can plug a normal micro USB cable into the wider part of the port without any problems – but then the device works "only" with USB 2.0 – completely sufficient for burners.
A little lifehack on the side: Micro-USB cables also work on the wide ports. Just with USB-2.0-speed.
1. Install the free burning program
So, after all this is clarified, you can start working. The Mac can burn CDs and DVDs in the Finder, but they have a Mac-specific format, i.e. they can’t necessarily be read by PCs. Therefore it makes sense to use a classic burning program: Burn is an old, but still working open source burning program for the Mac and can also burn on the current MacOS. Download the "64-bit version" and install it in your programs folder.
To burn a CD on your Mac, it’s best to use Burn.
2. Start Burn and prepare CD
Now start Burn and select the "Data" tab if you just want to burn some data to a CD or DVD. Analogous you can also create a copy of an existing CD/DVD or burn an audio CD or video DVD, in each case via the tab. The menus are basically self-explanatory. But first we want to burn a simple data CD – and here is unfortunately format confusion announced. Therefore give the CD or DVD a name. Selects for maximum compatibility with all operating systems as format "PC (Joliet)" from.
The surface of Burn is very simple.
3. Copy files to CD
Now move files and folders you want to have on the CD/DVD into the burn program window. Below the program shows you the current total size. Standard CD blanks can hold up to 700 megabytes, DVD blanks even much more. When you have finished the compilation, you can insert a blank DVD or CD into your burner.
Compilation done? Then you can burn!
4. Burn DVD or CD
As soon as you insert a blank into your burner, two things happen: First, the finder wants to take the blank, which you can prevent by clicking on "Ignore". And secondly, the blank CD or DVD will show up at the bottom of the Burn window, including its remaining data volume. Of course, this only plays a role for multisession CDs and DVDs. This has never worked properly in the past, so for me the rule is: One blank per burning process! That’s it: Click on "Burn" to start the burning process. Burn asks again if you have chosen the right burner and how fast you want to burn. You can simply accept the defaults. Click on "Burn" again, so that the optical disc is burned. Afterwards Burn emits a signal tone. You can remove the DVD or CD afterwards.
Take over the defaults and click on "Burn". Your data medium is created.
Copy CD or burn ISO on Mac
Of course you can also copy a CD with Burn without any problems: To do this, open the "Copy" tab in Burn and click "Scan" to read the CD in. Then click on "Burn. If you want to burn an ISO file, you can just drop the ISO into the Burn window and then click "Burn.
In the "Copy" tab you can copy media or burn ISOs.