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The following text is an edited extract from original article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc
A Compact Disc is made from a 1.2 mm thick disc of almost pure polycarbonate plastic and weighs approximately 16 grams. A thin layer of aluminium or, more rarely, gold is applied to the surface to make it reflective, and is protected by a film of lacquer. The lacquer is normally spin coated directly on top of the reflective layer. On top of that surface, the label print is applied. Common printing methods for CDs are screen-printing and offset printing.
CD data is stored as a series of tiny indentations (pits), encoded in a tightly packed spiral track moulded into the top of the polycarbonate layer. The areas between pits are known as "lands". Each pit is approximately 100 nm deep by 500 nm wide, and varies from 850 nm to 3.5 μm in length.
The spacing between the tracks, the pitch, is 1.6 μm. A CD is read by focusing a 780 nm wavelength (near infrared) semiconductor laser through the bottom of the polycarbonate layer. The change in height between pits and lands results in a difference in intensity in the light reflected. By measuring the intensity change with a photodiode, the data can be read from the disc.
The pits and lands themselves do not directly represent the zeros and ones of binary data. Instead, Non-return-to-zero, inverted (NRZI) encoding is used: a change from pit to land or land to pit indicates a one, while no change indicates a zero. This in turn is decoded by reversing the Eight-to-Fourteen Modulation used in mastering the disc, and then reversing the Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Coding, finally revealing the raw data stored on the disc.
While CDs are significantly more durable than earlier audio formats, they are susceptible to damage from daily usage and environmental factors. Pits are much closer to the label side of a disc, so that defects and dirt on the clear side can be out of focus during playback. Discs consequently suffer more damage because of defects such as scratches on the label side, whereas clear-side scratches can be repaired by refilling them with plastic of similar index of refraction, or by careful polishing. Early music CDs were known to suffer from "CD rot" or "laser rot" where the internal reflective layer itself degrades. When this occurs the CD may become unplayable.
The main parameters of the CD (taken from the September 1983 issue of the audio CD specification) are as follows:
The program area is 86.05 cm² and the length of the recordable spiral is 86.05 cm² / 1.6 μm = 5.38 km. With a scanning speed of 1.2 m/s, the playing time is 74 minutes, or around 650 MB of data on a CD-ROM. If the disc diameter were only 115 mm, the maximum playing time would have been 68 minutes, i.e., six minutes less. A disc with data packed slightly more densely is tolerated by most players (though some old ones fail). Using a linear velocity of 1.2 m/s and a track pitch of 1.5 μm leads to a playing time of 80 minutes, or a capacity of 700 MB. Even higher capacities on non-standard discs (up to 99 minutes) are available at least as recordables, but generally the tighter the tracks are squeezed the worse the compatibility.
The smallest entity in a CD is called a frame. A frame consists of 33 bytes and contains six complete 16-bit stereo samples (2 bytes × 2 channels × six samples equals 24 bytes). The other nine bytes consist of eight Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Coding error correction bytes and one subcode byte, used for control and display. Each byte is translated into a 14-bit word using Eight-to-Fourteen Modulation, which alternates with 3-bit merging words. In total there are 33 × (14 + 3) = 561 bits. A 27-bit unique synchronization word is added, so that the number of bits in a frame totals 588 (of which only 192 bits are music).
These 588-bit frames are in turn grouped into sectors. Each sector contains 98 frames, totalling 98 × 24 = 2352 bytes of music. The CD is played at a speed of 75 sectors per second, which results in 176,400 bytes per second. Divided by 2 channels and 2 bytes per sample, this results in a sample rate of 44,100 samples per second.
For CD-ROM data discs, the physical frame and sector sizes are the same. Since error concealment cannot be applied to non-audio data in case the CIRC error correction fails to recover the user data, a third layer of error correction is defined, reducing the payload to 2048 bytes per sector for the Mode-1 CD-ROM format. To increase the data-rate for Video CD, Mode-2 CD-ROM, the third layer has been omitted, increasing the payload to 2336 user-available bytes per sector, only 16 bytes (for synchronisation and header data) less than available in Red-Book audio.
For the Red Book stereo audio CD, the time format is commonly measured in minutes, seconds and frames (mm:ss:ff), where one frame corresponds to one sector, or 1/75th of a second of stereo sound. Note that in this context, the term frame is erroneously applied in editing applications and does not denote the physical frame described above. In editing and extracting, the frame is the smallest addressable time interval for an audio CD, meaning that track start and end positions can only be defined in 1/75 second steps.
The largest entity on a CD is called a track. A CD can contain up to 99 tracks (including a data track for mixed mode discs). Each track can in turn have up to 100 indexes, though players which handle this feature are rarely found outside of pro audio, particularly radio broadcasting. The vast majority of songs are recorded under index 1, with the pre-gap being index 0. Sometimes hidden tracks are placed at the end of the last track of the disc, often using index 2 or 3. This is also the case with some discs offering "101 sound effects", with 100 and 101 being index 2 and 3 on track 99. The index, if used, is occasionally put on the track listing as a decimal part of the track number, such as 99.2 or 99.3. (Information Society's Hack was one of very few CD releases to do this, following a release with an equally-obscure CD+G feature.) The track and index structure of the CD carried forward to the DVD as title and chapter, respectively.
Current manufacturing processes allow an audio CD to contain up to 80 minutes (variable from one replication plant to another) without requiring the content creator to sign a waiver. Thus, in current practice, maximum CD playing time has crept higher by reducing minimum engineering tolerances, while still maintaining acceptable standards of reliability.
Replicat Mar-2020: The red book standard for CD Audio production sets the maximum length of audio at 74 minutes and 30 seconds. This is the recommended maximum length for reliable playback on all standard CD players. Overlength surcharges can apply over this length due to the likelihood of the factory making several stampers to get one to pass readability tests. Contrary to the original wiki article above (written in 2005) it may also be necessary to receive a waiver, as some CD players may struggle to play overlength discs reliably.
The following text is an edited extract from original article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc
For its first few years of existence, the Compact Disc was purely an audio format. However, in 1985 the Yellow Book CD-ROM standard was established by Sony and Philips, which defined a non-volatile optical data computer data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive.
Video CD (aka VCD, View CD, Compact Disc digital video) is a standard digital format for storing video on a Compact Disc. VCDs are playable in dedicated VCD players, most modern DVD-Video players, personal computers, and some video game consoles.
The VCD standard was created in 1993 by Sony, Philips, Matsushita, and JVC and is referred to as the White Book standard.
Overall picture quality is intended to be comparable to VHS video. Poorly compressed VCD video can sometimes be lower quality than VHS video, but VCD exhibits block artefacts rather than analogue noise, and does not deteriorate further with each use, which may be preferable.
352x240 (or SIF) resolution was chosen because it is half the vertical, and half the horizontal resolution of NTSC video. 352x288 is similarly one quarter PAL/SECAM resolution. This approximates the (overall) resolution of an analogue VHS tape, which, although it has double the number of (vertical) scan lines, has a much lower horizontal resolution.
Super Video CD (Super Video Compact Disc or SVCD) is a format used for storing video on standard compact discs. SVCD was intended as a successor to Video CD and an alternative to DVD-Video, and falls somewhere between both in terms of technical capability and picture quality.
SVCD has two-thirds the resolution of DVD, and over 2.7 times the resolution of VCD. One CD-R disc can hold up to 60 minutes of standard quality SVCD-format video. While no specific limit on SVCD video length is mandated by the specification, one must lower the video bit rate, and therefore quality, in order to accommodate very long videos. It is usually difficult to fit much more than 100 minutes of video onto one SVCD without incurring significant quality loss, and many hardware players are unable to play video with an instantaneous bit rate lower than 300 to 600 kilobits per second.
Photo CD is a system designed by Kodak for digitizing and storing photos in a CD. Launched in 1992, the discs were designed to hold nearly 100 high quality images, scanned prints and slides using special proprietary encoding. Photo CD discs are defined in the Beige Book and conform to the CD-ROM XA and CD-i Bridge specifications as well. They are intended to play on CD-i players, Photo CD players and any computer with the suitable software irrespective of the operating system. The images can also be printed out on photographic paper with a special Kodak machine.
Picture CD is another photo product by Kodak, following on from the earlier Photo CD product. It holds photos from a single roll of colour film, stored at 1024×1536 resolution using JPEG compression. The product is aimed at consumers. Software to view and perform simple edits to images is included on the CD.
The Philips "Green Book" specifies the standard for interactive multimedia Compact Discs designed for CD-i players. This Compact Disc format is unusual because it hides the initial tracks which contains the software and data files used by CD-i players by omitting the tracks from the disc's Table of Contents. This causes audio CD players to skip the CD-i data tracks. This is different from the CD-i Ready format, which puts CD-i software and data into the pregap of Track 1.
Enhanced CD, also known as CD Extra and CD Plus, is a certification mark of the Recording Industry Association of America for various technologies that combine audio and computer data for use in both compact disc and CD-ROM players.
The primary data formats for Enhanced CD disks are mixed mode (Yellow Book/Red Book), CD-i, hidden track, and multisession (Blue Book).
CD-Text is an extension of the Red Book specification for audio CD that allows for storage of additional text information (e.g., album name, song name, artist) on a standards-compliant audio CD. The information is stored either in the lead-in area of the CD, where there is roughly five kilobytes of space available, or in the subcode channels R to W on the disc, which can store about 31 megabytes.
Compact Disc + Graphics (CD+G) is a special audio compact disc that contains graphics data in addition to the audio data on the disc. The disc can be played on a regular audio CD player, but when played on a special CD+G player, can output a graphics signal (typically, the CD+G player is hooked up to a television set or a computer monitor); these graphics are almost exclusively used to display lyrics on a television set for karaoke performers to sing along with.
Compact Disc + Extended Graphics (CD+EG, also known as CD+XG) is an improved variant of the Compact Disc + Graphics (CD+G) format. Like CD+G, CD+EG utilizes basic CD-ROM features to display text and video information in addition to the music being played. This extra data is stored in subcode channels R-W. Very few, if any, CD+EG discs have been published.
Super Audio CD (SACD) is a read-only optical audio disc format aimed at providing much higher fidelity digital audio reproduction than the Red Book audio CD. Introduced in 1999, it was developed by Sony and Philips Electronics, the same companies that created the Red Book audio CD. SACD was in a format war with DVD-Audio, but neither has yet managed to replace audio CDs. SACD has the advantage over DVD-Audio in that most SACD discs are hybrids: they also contain a standard audio CD layer which is playable in existing CD players.
Compact Disc MIDI or CD-MIDI is a type of audio CD where sound is recorded in MIDI format, rather than the PCM format of Red Book audio CD. This provides much greater capacity in terms of playback duration, but MIDI playback is typically less realistic than PCM playback.
Recordable compact discs, CD-Rs, are injection molded with a "blank" data spiral. A photosensitive dye is then applied, after which the discs are metallized and lacquer-coated. The write laser of the CD recorder changes the colour of the dye to allow the read laser of a standard CD player to see the data, just as it would with a standard stamped disc. The resulting discs can be read by most CD-ROM drives and played in most audio CD players.
CD-R recordings are designed to be permanent. Over time the dye's physical characteristics may change, however, causing read errors and data loss until the reading device cannot recover with error correction methods. The design life is from 20 to 100 years, depending on the quality of the discs, the quality of the writing drive, and storage conditions. However, testing has demonstrated such degradation of some discs in as little as 18 months under normal storage conditions. This process is known as CD rot. CD-Rs follow the Orange Book standard.
The Recordable Audio CD is designed to be used in a consumer audio CD recorder. These consumer audio CD recorders use SCMS (Serial Copy Management System), an early form of digital rights management (DRM), to conform to the AHRA (Audio Home Recording Act). The Recordable Audio CD is typically somewhat more expensive than CD-R due to (a) lower volume and (b) a 3% AHRA royalty used to compensate the music industry for the making of a copy.
A higher density recording format that can hold about:
CD-RW is a re-recordable medium that uses a metallic alloy instead of a dye. The write laser in this case is used to heat and alter the properties (amorphous vs crystalline) of the alloy, and hence change its reflectivity. A CD-RW does not have as great a difference in reflectivity as a pressed CD or a CD-R, and so many earlier CD audio players cannot read CD-RW discs, although most later CD audio players and stand-alone DVD players can. CD-RWs follow the Orange Book standard.
Due to technical limitations, the original Rewritable CD could be written no faster than 4x speed. High Speed Rewritable CD has a different design that permits writing at speeds ranging from 4x to 12x.
Original CD-RW drives can only write to original Rewritable CD discs. High Speed CD-RW drives can typically write to both original Rewritable CD discs and High Speed Rewritable CD discs. Both types of CD-RW discs can be read in most CD drives.
Even higher speed CD-RW discs, Ultra Speed (16x to 24x write speed) and Ultra Speed+ (32x write speed), are now available.
The Rewritable Audio CD is designed to be used in a consumer audio CD recorder, which won't (without modification) accept standard CD-RW discs. These consumer audio CD recorders use SCMS (Serial Copy Management System), an early form of digital rights management (DRM), to conform to the AHRA (Audio Home Recording Act). The Rewritable Audio CD is typically somewhat more expensive than CD-RW due to (a) lower volume and (b) a 3% AHRA royalty used to compensate the music industry for the making of a copy.