where and how to find blank "music" CD's

I recently came into possession of a TEAC LPR 400 turntable that can copy vinyl to CD. The problem is that apparently, I need RIAA (recording industry of America) approved music CD's and not the data CD's that are more common. The music CD's have a flag embedded in them that the manufacturer paid royalties to RIAA for lost revenue. Does anyone know where to get them, and/or how to tell the difference between the two if you are on ebay or similar site? 


Yes I have been ripping and burning music CDs for car listening for many years.  I have bought them from Office Depot or mail order from Amazon and others, back from the days of iTunes.

They used to be labeled "Digital Audio" CDR, then later "Music Only" CDR (or something like that).



Yes Amazon has everything at your fingertips as it takes over the world of commerce.

Thanks for the feedback. I bought a small package of blank CD's for about $7 on amazon, but they are data CD's. I never knew there was a difference let alone how to tell the difference on Amazon or ebay. The way I learned there is a difference was reading the manual for the turntable.  I think the link provided by missti will do the trick. I just wanted a little help before I go spending more money. 

Blank CD discs are generic and there is no distinction between writing audio or data onto them. There are two types of writable blank CD discs, and your Teac is compatible with both:

  • CD-R (CD Recordable) which can be burned permanently one time
  • CD-RW (CD Rewritable) where the disc can be erased and rewritten

The laser mechanisms typically found in standard CD audio players can read CD-R discs more reliably than CD-RW discs. Therefore it is recommended that you use blank CD-R discs to burn audio CDs.

The RIAA flag that you mentioned would be written by a writer (such as your Teac) as part of the audio data, not something that is already on a blank disc.

THESE are what you want. I have thousands of these burned from my bootlegging days (Grateful Dead, ABB, Phish, and too many others). I can't remember the last time I encountered a bad disc.

I have a Phillips CD recorder, model 760. It will not record music on data CDs. The recorder will not recognize a data CD is in the tray as a “blank” CD. It even indicates in the trouble shooting section of the manual you have to use “music only” CDs. I tried, having bought data CDs by mistake. Amazon has plenty. I bought the recorder when it first came out and it has and still works flawlessly. The manual was printed in 1998. How these recorders are made today, i.e. if new ones can record to data CDs, I have no idea. Not sure if the player in my desktop will record music to data CDs. I always use music CDs there also. 

Live and learn! I’ve made thousands of music CD’s on a computer and never heard of digital music CD’s. I even had a commercial CD copier.  Do music CD’s sound sound any different?

Blank CD discs are generic and there is no distinction between writing audio or data onto them. There are two types of writable blank CD discs, and your Teac is compatible with both:

  • CD-R (CD Recordable) ...
  • CD-RW (CD Rewritable) ...

You are mistaken. The OP has a consumer grade CD recorder that requires discs made specifically for the purpose. The recorder will not write to data-grade CDs, by design. The proper discs will be labelled for music. Notice how Maxell labels its products:


Verbatim disc are labeled the same, indicating for music. I tested this morning recording to a Verbatim data-only blank CD from my desktop PC and it worked fine. 

@cleeds...is 100% correct.  I've had a Harman Kardon CD recorder since the day it came out.  

You MUST use "Music" or "Audio" labeled CD blanks.

Desktop and Laptop computers use different blanks than the standalone CDR machines do.

@moofoo From. Your. Desktop. PC. 

This is a wholly separate use case from OPs question. Way back when manufacturers wanted to release components that could record CDs without the use of a computer, the RIAA had what’s called “a hissy fit.”

See, it’s perfect digital copy. Not only had that never been possible previously meaning you could only copy of a copy of a copy so many times before the recording became unlistenable, when that first generation copy was made the record industry didn’t make a red cent on it. 

So after long threats of lawsuits that risked both sides, they agreed in compromise. The RIAA would allow a digital copy to be made once on these devices with drastically lower complexity for the consumer. They would minimize losses of revenue through a pre-paid license cost to be put onto the recording medium itself. So Music Only CD blanks cost a few cents more to abide by this agreement. That way the manufacturer wasn’t inhibited in selling devices, RIAA got their money, and consumer at least had access to some kind of use case.

I think it’s funny that they are still around - any avenue to try and rebuild the monies lost through home recording apparently will stand the test of time, even if the whole world has moved to a phone apps. 

hope this helps. 

Thanks @cleeds @seismicfrog for the information, and I stand corrected. Since computer drives burn perfectly good Redbook discs, I had assumed that a consumer disc burner would simply use the same kind of disc.

I have had three TASCAM CD-RW2000 CD recorders that I used in my live music recording business.  My recollection is that I could write a disc that could be copied an unlimited number of times or a disc that could only be copied once.  How that was accomplished was and still is a mystery to me.  I also believe that the "Music" discs that were available were connected to a scheme to pay artists in a round-about way for the unstoppable copying habits of the digital age !  Having been a professional musician for many years, the idea that your music was assumed to be available to others for free was not an easy concept to understand ---- and I STILL don't understand !

As others have explained, CDR-Audio/Music blanks are designed to work with component CD recorders which were designed to work ONLY with such discs. This was part of a royalty scheme implemented by federal law, the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992. The discs are manufactured with a flag that allows recording by the CD recorder.  The higher expense for the blanks is because of the embedded cost of royalties.  When a consumer copies music using such recorders and discs, there is a statutory presumption of non-infringement of copyright. BTW, CDR-Music blanks will work in any CD writer, while regular CDR blanks will not work in standalone CD recorders. I have a Denon CDR-W1500 that still works great after more than 20 years, although I haven’t used the recording function for years.