CD Audio Track Shortcut
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What is a CDA file?
A CDA file is a shortcut to a track on an audio CD. Some versions of Windows create CDA files when a user loads an audio CD via their CD drive. Users can double-click a CDA file to play the track to which the file points (provided the CD is in the user's CD drive).
You're most likely to encounter CDA files in Windows File Explorer, when viewing the contents of an audio CD you've loaded via your CD drive. For these CDs (specifically, Compact Disc Digital Audio CDs), Windows automatically creates CDA files, which can be used to jump to and play specific tracks.
CDA files do not contain any audio data. Instead, they contain a pointer to the location at which an audio track is stored on an audio CD. Thus, if you attempt to open a CDA file without the associated CD in your CD drive, the file will not open (and no audio will play).
Common CDA Filenames
Track##.cda - CDA files' typical name. ## corresponds to the track to which the CDA file points.
How to open a CDA file
Despite the fact that CDA files contain no actual audio, you can open them with various media players to play the audio to which they point. Remember, however, that in order for a CDA file to play audio, you must first load the associated audio CD in your computer's CD drive.