Special copiers are available for duplicating audio CD and can copy multiple CDs from a single original or master CD. The master CD is copied onto several unwritten blank CDs. Audio CD copiers need software to copy or burn the CD, and depending on the program, a number of CDs can be burned at the same time.
Software programs also enable file conversions. Audio files have extensions such as Mp3, wav, ogg and audio CD. There are software programs, which can perform required file conversions. Audio files can be encoded into Mp3, which occupy less space and can be copied faster. Later these can be decoded into audio formats to be played on players such as Windows Media Player, WinAmp, Real Player, etc.
Audio CD copiers use burning technology. CDs are coated with a dye. A laser head in the copier selectively burns this dye. This copies the audio file on the CD.
Earlier CD copiers were manually operated. They required the user to open the shutter when one CD was copied and to load the other CD. Naturally, they were very slow, with speeds rarely going above 8x. Modern audio copiers are standalone or PC attached. Standalone audio CD copiers do not need a PC connection, and they have a hard disc of their own. They are actually a combination of several CD copiers, which can simultaneously copy CDs. They also have a robotic arm, which can load CDs as they are being copied. Hence, standalone CD copiers are also called as hands-free copiers. They can copy as many as 150 CDs in an hour.
Audio CD copiers are very useful for people who wish to distribute audio material through CDs. Music companies use such copiers to duplicate CDs. Depending on the quality of the CD copier, the duplicated CD may be almost as good as the original. Copying CDs is an economical method for producing bulk number of audio CDs.