Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)



Friday, February 11, 2011

Express Burn those CDs

by Martin Courcells

I'm always attracted to simple applications. Much of the CD burning software out there is full of bells and whistles. Sometimes, I'd rather just have a straightforward, no nonsense application and have an easy way of simply burning a CD. Oh, and it has to be fully accessible. Sure, I can use my screen reader review cursor and find buttons to click, but sometimes I just want things to work. Here comes Express Burn by NCH software to the rescue.  

First, you can visit to read what Express Burn can do for you. For convenience, I have posted the direct link to the download below:

Click on the above link and choose "run" or ALT+R to commence downloading. You'll have to press ALT+R again to start the setup. Run through the various setup screens in order to install the program. Use the usual TAB, SHIFT+TAB and SPACEBAR to navigate these screens. One particular screen lists other products that NCH has created as well. You can choose whether to install them or not. Once you click finish, the program will install and then show a web page with further options. Simply close this screen, unless you want to read further.  

The Main Screen:

Go to the desktop by pressing WINDOWS+M. Press the letter E until you get to the Express Burn Icon. Press ENTER and you're in.  

On second thought, we're burning a CD right? So, put one of those nifty CD/R disks into your burner and close the drive. An autoplay screen will come up. ARROW around until you hear "Burn a CD with Express Burn". Press ENTER and the program will be launched for you automagically.  

The program cursor will always be in the ListView when you first start the program. This is where the data of your project will reside. It's presently empty since we haven't added anything yet. Let's TAB through the screen. And I'll list the buttons, with their accompanying shortcuts and a quick explanation of what they do:

  • Add File(s), CONTROL+A: let's you add 1, or many files to your project.
  • Add Folder, CONTROL+F: enables the dump of a whole folder to your project. Very handy if your albums are organized in folder fashion.
  • CD-Text, No shortcut: This is the button that activates the area where you can title your CD and verify your CD track names.
  • Edit with WavePad, CONTROL+E: (only visible when audio files have been added to the project). This is an audio editor also available through NCH Software.
  • Play, Function key F9: Plays the tracks.
  • Stop, function key F10: pauses the track.
  • Burn Audio CD, Function key F3: Will burn the project to a CD.

Creating and burning your first Audio CD:

Here is a quick example of how you would create and burn your first Audio CD. This presumes that you already have digital audio material to burn to said CD. You also know where this music resides on your computer. In general, for windows 7 users, this material would be under:

C:\users\JohnDoe\music, replace JohnDoe with your user name.

Under windows XP, the music folder is generally found under:

C:\documents and settings\JohnDoe\my documents\my music

Again, JohnDoe is replaced with your user name.

Enough of this nerdy stuff, let's get going.  

Adding Files:

  1. Press CONTROL+A to add files, or just TAB to Add files and press ENTER.
  2. A file manipulation window will open up. This is the same sort of window you would encounter in Word for example. You are at an edit box where you could type the filename. I prefer to go find the file by using the file panel. Depending on the flavor of Windows, you can reach this by pressing SHIFT+TAB once or twice. From there, use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to move through the folder structure, RIGHT ARROW to open a folder, LEFT ARROW to close one, BACKSPACE to move back within the folder tree and finally, ENTER to select one file.
  3. The audio file will be brought into the program and will appear in the list view.

    You can repeat the above process to add more files. Hint: You can add more than one file at once by holding down the CONTROL key while within the file list, moving around with the UP and DOWN ARROW keys and pressing SPACEBAR on the wanted files. Once you've selected the files, press ENTER and they will all be inserted into the project.  

Editing THE ListView:

Once you've got your list of files, you can ARROW through them to make sure they're all there. You can remove a file by pressing SHIFT+DELETE. You can delete the whole list by pressing CONTROL+DELETE. Let's Burn The CD:

You can either TAB to the Burn CD Button and press ENTER, or simply press F3. The Burn CD screen will be presented.

You can TAB through the selections if you're curious, or just press ENTER to start. The program will announce its progress during the burning process. Once it's all done, the CD will be ejected out of the drive. And you're done. Congratulations, you've completed your first music CD.

There are many more hidden options within this program. They are found within the menus. For example, you can burn Data CDs and both data and movie DVDs. You can even add more options to the free program by purchasing the full product.

Hopefully, the above information has given you enough to get started with this program. Happy Burning!

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.