rainWe used to have one of those “nature sounds” machines that played rain or waves to lull you to sleep. It worked well for a few years but finally started making very odd sounds (we must have gotten the alien version). So we went to the library and got three CDs full of nature sounds.

They had lots of tracks of nature sounds, not all sleep inducing. So we copied our favorite. To do that in Windows  7, 8 or 8.1, stick a blank CD into your drive and open up Windows Media Player. (XP users can download it from Microsoft.) You’ll see a message “Disk is empty, open burn list.” Click that and then drag the songs you want into the burn list until you’ve filled 80 minutes worth. Then click “burn.” Now in this case we just wanted to burn one track over and over, so to do that just keep dragging that same track onto the play list. This makes for a very boring CD, but in this situation that’s just what we wanted.

If you want that CD to play all night, your CD player has to have a “repeat” feature. Your player or boom box may already have that but you don’t know how to trigger it. But who still has the manual for these things? Nobody, right? You can get one, however, by typing the brand and the serial number for your machine in Google. Mother Google will find it for you.

Or, better yet, play nature sounds from a free smartphone app, such as “Nature Sounds.” We find we don’t need speakers, the phone is loud enough.

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