I have a public domain audiobook from librivox.org which I want to put on CD for a blind friend.  I want to add a table of contents to the beginning of each CD.  The total length will take six CDs without a lot to spare, so I am planning on seven after I add the TOC files.

The files already have track numbers matching the 27 chapter numbers, i.e., 1 0f 27, 2 of 27, …, 27 of 27.  Since I only have ten blank CDs, and they are CD-R (write only once), I am reluctant to answer this by experimenting.

Do I need to renumber all the files, including my additions, so that each CD starts with track 1 of N? Or can I make my additions track 0 of 27, disk X of 7 and still have the addition be the first track on its CD?

Or to put it another way, if the metadata for disk two is 0/27, 5/27, 6/27, etc. will the CD be in that order? Or scrambled, or even just create an error message?

When I imported an unrelated two-disc album, the CDDB made it two separate albums, so I can't judge by that.

Would it work better to take them out of iTunes and burn the CDs some other way?

2 Answers 2


The track numbers in iTunes are mainly for human consumption. The computer will burn them in ascending order and once they're on the CD they'll be numbered starting from 1.

So, basically, I think you can proceed and everything will work as you want it to.


  • you might be able to burn to a virtual CD to test?
  • look into .cue files
  • use Tag Editor or A Better Finder Renamer to work with audio file metadata
  • A .cue files that Amadeus outputs lists the markers within a track. iTunes refuses to save a track number of zero, and without a track number, it displays that track after the numbered ones. So it seems I need to renumber. Virtual CD is an interesting idea, but how would that be done? When I've created CDs in the past, it doesn't ask where, It just sends it to the optical drive.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 2:06
  • Apparently this is partially incorrect.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 5:09

It turns out that the track numbers in iTunes are completely irrelevant to CD sequence.  I wasted several minutes changing the numbers in the tags.

The burn option on the menu is ghosted until I go to a playlist and select all the tracks in the playlist.  Then it will burn them in the order they appear in the playlist, which will probably NOT be the order they were displayed in the album or audiobook.

I have to

  1. Select the tracks I want on the CD;
  2. Put them in a new playlist;
  3. manually re-order the playlist (because iTunes does NOT order it by the track/chapter numbers!)
  4. Burn the playlist to CD.

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