Does a PlayStation 4 play compact discs?
This question reflects one of the most frustrating features about the PS4 that Sony included when manufacturing the console.
Although you can stream music from apps like Spotify or play MP4 files from a USB drive or an external HDD, the PlayStation 4 does not have the innate ability to play an audio CD without extra help.
Does the PS4 Play CDs? How to Play a CD on a PlayStation 4
Unlike the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4 does not come with a default way to play compact discs. Sony explicitly instructs users not to place a CD inside this console, including the PS4 Pro edition. If you place a CD in the console without having conversion software available, a read error occurs.
When playing a compatible format through a PS4, the music file must contain the appropriate codec to operate correctly. If you want to use an MP4 file, it must have H.364 as its codex.
MP4 files are not the only compatible format that the PlayStation 4 recognizes when you want to play music on your console.
MCV, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 are also viable options. Sony keeps its entire compatibility list in the PS4 manual for reference.
Anyone who wants to play a CD on their PS4 must first convert the files from the disk into a compatible format.
Since the PlayStation 4 doesn’t support audio files, you’ll need to convert the information into a video file for reading.
There is no other PS4 methodology that works consistently. If you place a CD in a PS4, there is a slight chance that it could damage the system.
Even DualDisc options with a DVD on one side and a CD on the other will not work on the latter side.
The codex requirements are so stringent that in some instances, Blu-ray discs and DVDs might not play properly on the PlayStation 4 because of software encoding issues.
What If My Music Is on a USB Drive?
A PlayStation 4 can play music from a USB drive when inserted directly into one of the console’s ports. Before using this method to access files from a CD, you’ll need to ensure that the drive is formatted with FAT32 or exFAT.
No other formatting option is recognized by the PS4 system.
Once the formatting is complete, you can transfer the files from your CD to a computer or laptop.
After that, you can transfer the information to the USB drive so that the PS4 can eventually play the files through the connected television or monitor.
Here are the steps to follow to have a successful experience when you want to play music from a USB drive on your PlayStation 4 console.
- You need to create a music folder in the root directory of the USB drive. Place whatever audio files you want the PS4 to play in this folder using a computer or laptop.
- Click on the arrow to safely disengage the USB drive from the computer or laptop to avoid corrupting the files you just transferred.
- Connect the USB drive to your PlayStation 4 console.
- Choose the library option from your menu in the content area after logging into your console. Please note that it is not necessary to log into your PlayStation Network account information during this step. However, many users have their PS4 set up so that it automatically takes that action.
- Select the USB music player from the content area.
- Now, pick the different songs that you want to play on the PlayStation 4. If you want to play every file in the folder, highlight it press the options button, and choose play.
When using the USB drive method to play music on a PS4, the player only supports MP3, AAC, and FLAC file types.
Playing every file may not be possible because of the data type, coding issue, or file size used.
This PS4 application does not play copyright-protected music files, which means some content could have playback restrictions to consider.
If you have any questions about this process, you’ll need to contact the content provider directly to troubleshoot the issues you’re experiencing.
How to Convert CD Files into a Compatible Format
Most computers and laptops provide the ability to transfer CD files onto a local hard drive. If you can’t read discs, you’ll need to purchase a portable player that works with your Windows or Mac system.
I like using the external USB DVD drive from Gotega for this purpose. It works with Windows and macOS while using the USB 3.0 protocol.
If you still want that capability, it functions as a CD-ROM burner, but it also provides high-speed file writing to the connected drive.
The Gotega USB portable CD reader is super slim, delivering a plug-and-play option that can get your files ready to be sent to a compatible drive for the PS4 in minutes.
It takes me about two minutes to copy a compact disc, and I tend to use older equipment – my iMac doesn’t have SSD technology.
Before copying the files, you’ll need to convert them to something the PS4 reads as they transfer. Several software and plugin choices are available for this purpose.
If you choose a free program, make sure to isolate the downloaded files first in a trusted antivirus program to avoid having something harmful transferred to your system – and your console.
Although each software or plugin process is slightly different, these general steps can help you convert the CD files into something the PlayStation 4 console recognizes.
- Download and install the program of your choice on your Windows PC or Mac system. You’ll want to verify that your system specifications are compatible with your setup.
- The next step is to launch the application for most programs because the file transfer must occur during the copying phase from the CD instead of converting it from the drive.
- After the installation is complete and verified, you’ll want to scan the files for viruses, Trojans, ransomware, stalkerware, and other problems.
- Launch the software, plugin, or widget when you are confident that the program is safe.
- Insert the CD that you want to convert into the connected drive. It can be internal or external, based on your system and setup.
- Your computer or laptop should start syncing the compact disc once it recognizes the audio files.
- Depending on the software being used, it might be necessary to rip the files after loading them to ensure that the transition occurs correctly. Follow whatever prompts are given to ensure that the files are ready to be played on the PS4.
- Some programs give you a complete title list segmented by each CD, allowing you to transition multiple albums at once instead of doing each file or folder independently. If the latter is the case, you’ll need to repeat the steps above for each product you intend to copy.
- Remember to choose the appropriate codecs or the PlayStation 4 when converting the files.
- Copy all the files to your USB drive or compatible external HDD. When the process is complete, undock the storage so that it doesn’t corrupt.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you can successfully plug in the USB drive to your PS4. The file reader app should recognize what you’ve connected to begin playing the files through the console.
If you encounter a problem with these steps, starting over from the beginning might be necessary.
Forgetting to use the correct codex is the most common error that happens when trying to play CDs through the PS4.
Is There an Alternative Way to Play CDs with a PS4?
The PlayStation is designed to read from one optical drive only. That means you can load files from an external hard drive or USB stick to stream movies or play audio CDs through the media player. Even if you convert the existing equipment with something compatible, the codecs problem still requires a file transferring process.
As strange as it might sound, I take a different approach to play audio CDs. I use my PlayStation 3 for that purpose.
Sony decided to remove CD playback capabilities with the PS4, which is a feature continued with the PlayStation 5. Although rumors suggested in 2020 that it would be restored, that turned out not to be the case.
I love the PS3’s functionality because you can play many of your older CDs, SACDs, and DVDs.
It even lets you play Blu-ray discs so that I don’t need to put more wear and tear on the optical drives of my PS4 and PS5.
Even if you have an HD-DVD drive, the USB functionality works with the PS3 to let you play the disc.
If you don’t have a computer or a laptop to use with a USB drive for your PS4, that’s the method I’d recommend using to play CDs on your TV. The PS3 is still remarkably versatile, even after all these years.