OFF: Re: Advice wanted: PC CD Writers.

Paul Mather paul at GROMIT.DLIB.VT.EDU
Sat Sep 19 12:46:25 EDT 1998

On Sat, 19 Sep 1998, sprawl wrote:

=> Paul Mather wrote:
=> > With the caveat that multi-session audio CDs will only play all the
=> > sessions in multi-session CD-ROM drives, i.e., only the first session
=> > will play in standard consumer CD players.  (I have a Peter Green era
=> > Fleetwood Mac CD I made, which I later added some Peter Green material
=> > to later, as a second session on the disc.
=> I'm sure that is true to your experience, but not with the one I have.
=> Only the HiVal _PLUS_ software allows this.  I have tested it, and all
=> tracks read true, no matter what I play it on.  That is the value of
=> writing the Contents at the _end_ of the session. I know this is true,
=> because when I begin recording, it starts writing the file immediately,
=> ( I have interupted recordings seconds after starting to find that I had
=> seconds of music on the disc- ruining the disc, of course....)
=> and when I finish a disc it spends about three minutes writing unknown
=> info to the disc.  Check out their website for more info.

That three minutes at the end is known as "finalising," and is the part
of the writing process where the session "lead out" is written and the
session is closed.  For disc-at-once recordings, it is also when the
disc is closed.  (Also, it is where the CD-R drive is emptying its
buffer cache, which is why your PC "finishes" writing before the CD-R
drive does.)

The CD-DA "red book" standard was designed before the days of
multi-session CD-ROMs (a need ushered in by Photo CD).  One of the
things it dictates is that the TOC begin at the start of the disc, in a
fixed place, so that even relatively dumb consumer CD hardware can
locate it with a minimum of fuss and time spent seeking through the disc
contents.  Since each session gets its own TOC, in consumer (not
computer) CD players, they'll only see the first session.  I know this
is definitely the case with my CD players (but not the computer CD-ROM
drives I use to play audio CDs, which are more "enlightened" about
multi-session formats).  Maybe newer CD players can understand
multi-session discs just fine, but I know that according to the CD-DA
"red book" industry standard *they don't have to*, and, like I said,
mine don't.  It's not a matter of what software you use.  (Read the
standard if you don't believe me.:)

=> If I am recording whole disc images, I just press record and go out or
=> to bed, or maybe lunch.  I mean, I can't see needing more speed unless
=> I were to go beyond trading, like maybe as far as 'piracy.'  It's only
=> slightly annoying when live track for track recording.

It's not really an issue of piracy.  I got a Gov't Mule CD-R from
someone recently as part of a B&P offer he was running.  He took over
forty people on the offer, which amounted to burning a lot of CDs in a
short time.  One of the stipulations he made about getting aboard the
deal was that you had to send a blank capable of burning at quad speed
(minimum).  I can understand that when you're burning over forty CDs,
you (and your recipients) appreciate all the speed you can get.  That
guy does a LOT of (legitimate) trading, and so quad-speed burning is
very useful for him.

Besides, if you were a pirate, you'd no doubt invest in an autoloader,
so you didn't have to be on hand to load the blanks manually.



obCD-R: Gov't Mule, _Dancing Across the Water_

e-mail: paul at

"I didn't mean to take up all your sweet time"
        --- James Marshall Hendrix

More information about the boc-l mailing list