SkaarjMaster, Justin 42, and RediumRare,
Thanks a lot for your replies, I really appreciate them.
A CD with clicks plays the same on a Phillips, a Sony, a high-end Alpine, and the drive that burned the CD - the same clicks are audible on all, although most noticeable on the Phillips (ca. 2000).
About my system resources - my Dell 2.0GHz P4 came with WinXP, a Liteon 24X burner, and 512MB RAM. Sort of minimal for WinXP, which I believe can take half that RAM easily.
On my DTP system at work, funny things would happen when Photoshop, CorelDraw, and my layout program (plus the mandatory Lotus Notes) were all open at the same time. Increasing the RAM to 1 GB fixed all that.
On my home system (same configuration) and looking back 4 years, it could very well be that my problem began after I replaced the 24X burner with a Liteon 52X. I know that for a time everything was going well, probably because of the 24X burn speed.
Also on my home system, I began having system slowdowns as I increased the load more and more. Last week I installed more RAM, bring the total to 1.5 GB. Perhaps this will help.
I do recall reburning one CD that was especially bad, and I used a different program to do the burn. IIRC, I was a little worried during the burn because it seemed to take quite a bit longer than I was used to, but the result was - no more clicks. This, using the Liteon 52X.
So, my plan is to grab one of the particularly nasty CDs and run 4 tests:
1. Reburn with no changes
2. Reburn using the alternate burning program if I can find it, that is
3. Reburn at 32X (24X if this burn is also bad)
4. Convert to WAV first, then burn at max speed.
BTW, the MP3s came from various groups within alt.binaries.sounds.mp3, and I've found no problems with the MP3 files.
I may just start burning the MP3 files to CD, as all my players have MP3 capabilities. Probably the easiest thing to do. Except I just gotta know what would fix the click problem.
Thanks again to you and the others who have helped me.