Only because Window Media Player comes forced upon Windows 8.1 did I attempt to use it rather than assume it was as flaccid and ineffective as it was in 1996. I just thought it might be less messy in the long run to no longer have third-party software replace nearly every aspect of Microsoft outside the operating system. I was wrong on both accounts.
I plugged in a memory stick and browsed to the the listing of songs I had there and drug them over to the "Drag Items Here" pane under "Burn and Audio CD." When that didn't work, I had to watch a YouTube video where they showed dragging files from Windows Explorer - not the explorer view of WMP itself - which is so incomprehensibly stupid, I cannot fathom why these components are included if they don't work together.
The next issue at least had an error to tell me what was wrong, "Windows cannot burn this track because Windows doesn't know how long it is." Right next to the column which listed precisely how long the track was.