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This file documents GNU CD Input and Control library

Copyright (C) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Rocky Bernstein and Herbert Valerio Riedel

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1. History

As a result of the repressive Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) I became aware of Video CD's (VCD's). Video CD's are not subject to the DMCA and therefore enjoy the protection afforded by copyright but no more. But in order for VCD's to be competitive with DVD's, good tools (including GPL tools) are needed for authoring and playing them. And so through VCD's I became aware of the excellent Video CD tools by Herbert Valerio Riedel which form the vcdimager package.

Although vcdimager is great for authoring, examining and extracting parts of a Video CD, it is not a VCD player. And when I looked at the state of Video CD handling in existing VCD players: xine, MPlayer, and vlc, I was a bit disappointed. None handled playback control, menu selections, or playing still frames and segments from track 1.

Version 0.7.12 of vcdimager was very impressive, however it lacked exportable libraries that could be used in other projects. So with the blessing and encouragement of Herbert Valerio Riedel, I took to extract and create libraries from this code base. The result was two libraries: one to extract information from a VCD which I called libvcdinfo, and another to do the reading and control of a VCD. Well, actually, at this point I should say that a Video CD is really just Video put on a existing well-established Compact Disc or CD format. So the library for this is called libcdio rather than libvcdio.

While on the topic of the name libcdio, I should also explain that the library really doesn't handle writing or output (the final "o" in the name). However it was felt that if I put libcdi that might be confused with a particular CD format called CD-I.

Later on, the ISO-9660 filesystem handling component from vcdimager was extracted, expanded and made a separate library. Next the ability to add MMC commands was added, and then CD paranoia support. And from there, the rest is history.

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2. The problem and previous work

If around the year 2002 you were to look at the code for a number of open-source CD or media players that work on several platforms such as vlc, MPlayer, xine, or xmms to name but a few, you'd find the code to read a CD sprinkled with conditional compilation for this or that platform. That is there was no OS-independent programmer library for CD reading and control even though the technology was over 10 years old; yet there are media players which strive for OS independence.

One early CD player, xmcd by Ti Kan, was I think a bit better than most in that it tried to encapsulate the kinds of CD control mechanisms (SCSI, Linux ioctl, Toshiba, etc.) in a "CD Audio Device Interface Library" called libdi. However this library is for Audio CD's only and I don't believe this library has been used outside of xmcd.

Another project, Simple DirectMedia Layer also encapsulates CD reading.

SDL is a library that allows you portable low-level access to a video framebuffer, audio output, mouse, and keyboard. With SDL, it is easy to write portable games which run on ...

Many of the media players mentioned above do in fact can make use of the SDL library but for video output only. Because the encapsulation is over many kinds of I/O (video, joysticks, mice, as well as CD's), I believe that the level of control provided for CD a little bit limited. (However to be fair, it may have only been intended for games and may be suitable for that). Applications that just want the CD reading and control portion I think will find quite a bit overhead.

Another related project is Jörg Schilling's SCSI library. You can use that to make a non-SCSI CD-ROM act like one that understands SCSI MMC commands which is a neat thing to do. However it is a little weird to have to install drivers just so you can run a particular user-level program. Installing drivers often requires special privileges and permissions and it is pervasive on a system. It is a little sad that along the way to creating such a SCSI library a library similar to libcdio wasn't created which could be used. Were that the case, this library certainly never would have been written.

At the OS level there is the "A Linux CD-ROM Standard" by David van Leeuwen from around 1999. This defines a set of definitions and ioctl's that mask hardware differences of various Compact Disc hardware. It is a great idea, however this "standard" lacked adoption on OS's other than GNU/Linux. Or maybe it's the case that the standard on other OS's lacked adoption on GNU/Linux. For example on FreeBSD there is a "Common Access Method" (CAM) used for all SCSI access which seems not to be adopted in GNU/Linux.(1)

Finally at the hardware level where a similar chaos exists, there has been an attempt to do something similar with the MMC (multimedia commands). This attempts to provide a uniform command set for CD devices PostScript does for printer commands.(2) In contrast to PostScript where there one in theory can write a PostScript program in a uniform ASCII representation and send that to a printer, for MMC although there are common internal structures defined, there is no common syntax for representing the structures or an OS-independent library or API for issuing MMC-commands which a programmer would need to use. Instead each Operating System has its own interface. For example Adaptec's ASPI or Microsoft's DeviceIoControl on Microsoft Windows, or IOKit for Apple's OS/X, or FreeBSD's CAM. I've been positively awed at how many different variations and differing levels of complexity there are for doing basically the same thing. How easy it is to issue an MMC command from a program varies from easy to very difficult. And mastering the boilerplate code to issue an MMC command on one OS really doesn't help much in figuring out how to do it on another OS. So in libcdio we provide a common (and hopefully simple) API to issue MMC commands.

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3. What is in this package (and what's not)

The library, libcdio, encapsulates CD-ROM reading and control. Applications wishing to be oblivious of the OS- and device-dependent properties of a CD-ROM can use this library.

Also included is a library, libiso9660, for working with ISO-9660 filesystems, libcdio_paranoia, and libcdio_cdda libraries for applications which want to use cdparanoia's error-correction and jitter detection.

Some support for disk-image types like cdrdao's TOC, CDRWIN's BIN/CUE and Ahead Nero's NRG format is available, so applications that use this library also have the ability to read disc images as though they were CDs.

libcdio also provides a way to issue SCSI "MultiMedia Commands" (MMC). MMC is supported by many hardware CD-ROM manufacturers; and in some cases where a CD-ROM doesn't understand MMC directly, some Operating Systems (such as GNU/Linux, Solaris, or FreeBSD or Microsoft Windows ASPI to name a few) provide the MMC emulation.(3)

The first use of the library in this package are the Video CD authoring and ripping tools, VCDImager (http://vcdimager.org). See http://www.gnu.org/software/libcdio/projects.html for a list of projects using libcdio.

A version of the CD-DA extraction tool cdparanoia (http://www.xiph.org/paranoia and its library which corrects for CD-ROM jitter are part of the distribution.

Also included in the libcdio package is a utility program cd-info which displays CD information: number of tracks, CD-format and if possible basic information about the format. If libcddb (http://libcddb.sourceforge.net) is available, the cd-info program will display CDDB matches on CD-DA discs. And if a new enough version of libvcdinfo is available (from the vcdimager project), then cd-info shows basic VCD information.

Other utility programs in the libcdio package are:


shows off libcdio audio and CD-ROM control commands. It can play a track, eject or load media and show the the status of a CD-DA that is might be currently played via the audio control commands. It can be run in batch mode or has a simple curses-based interface.

If libcddb is available or a CD has CD-Text and your CD-ROM drive supports CD-Text, track/album information about the CD can be shown.


shows what drivers are available and some basic properties of cd-drives attached to the system. (But media may have to be inserted in order to get this info.) lists out drive capabilities


performs low-level block reading of a CD or CD image,


displays ISO-9660 information from an ISO-9660 image. Below is some sample output

iso-info version 0.72
Copyright (c) 2003, 2004, 2005 R. Bernstein
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.
There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
ISO 9660 image: ../test/joliet.iso
Preparer   : K3b - Version 0.11.12
Publisher  : Rocky Bernstein
System     : LINUX           
Volume     : K3b data project
Volume Set : K3b data project
ISO-9660 Information
 Oct 22 2004 19:44  .
 Oct 22 2004 19:44  ..
 Oct 22 2004 19:44  libcdio

 Oct 22 2004 19:44  .
 Oct 22 2004 19:44  ..
 Mar 12 2004 02:18  COPYING
 Jun 26 2004 07:01  README
 Aug 12 2004 06:22  README.libcdio
 Oct 22 2004 19:44  test

 Oct 22 2004 19:44  .
 Oct 22 2004 19:44  ..
 Jul 25 2004 06:52  isofs-m1.cue

extracts files from an ISO-9660 image.

At present, there is no support for writing CD's. Nor is there any support for reading or writing DVDs. For some of these, there are other libraries (e.g. libdi, libscg, or libdvdread) may be helpful.

I'm not theoretically opposed to putting support like this into libcdio. However at present there are already many gaps in this package, so narrowing its scope in order to focus on these things I think is a good idea.

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4. CD Formats

Much of what I write in this section can be found elsewhere. See for example http://www.pctechguide.com/08cd-rom.htm or http://www.pcguide.com/ref/cd/format.htm

We give just enough background here to cover Compact Discs and Compact Disc formats that are handled by this library.

The Sony and Philips Corporations invented and Compact Disc (CD) in the early 1980s. The specifications for the layout is often referred to by the color of the cover on the specification.

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4.1 Red Book (CD-DA)

The first type of CD that was produced was the Compact Disc Digital Audio (CD-DA) or just plain "audio CD". The specification, ICE 908, is commonly called the "Red Book". Music CD's are recorded in this format which basically allows for around 74 minutes of audio per disc and for that information to be split up into tracks. Tracks are broken up into "sectors" and each sector contains up to 2,352 bytes. To play one 44.1 kHz CD-DA sampled audio second, 75 sectors are used.

The minute/second/frame numbering of sectors or MSF format is based on the fact that 75 sectors are used in a second of playing of sound. (And for almost every other CD format and application the MSF format doesn't make that much sense).

In libcdio when you you want to read an audio sector, you call cdio_read_audio_sector() or cdio_read_audio_sectors().

In addition the the audio data "channel" a provision for other information or subchannel information) can be stored in a sector. Other subchannels include a Media Catalog Number (also abbreviated as MCN and sometimes a UPC), or album meta data (also called CD-Text). Karioke graphics can also be stored in a format called CD+G.

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4.1.1 CD Text, CD+G

CD Text is an extension to the CD-DA standard that adds the ability to album and track meta data (titles, artist/performer names, song titles) and and graphical (e.g. Karioke) information. For an alternative way to get album and track meta-data see See section Internet CD Database (CDDB).

Information is stored in such a way that it doesn't interfere with the normal operation of any CD players or CDROM drives. There are two different parts of the CD where the data can be stored.

The first place the information can be recorded is in the R-W sub codes in the lead in area of the CD giving a data capacity of about 5,000 ASCII characters (or 2,500 Kanji or Unicode characters). This information is stored as a single block of data and is the format used in virtually all of the CD Text CDs shipping today. The method for reading this data from a CDROM drive is covered under the Sony proposal to the MMC specification. The format of the data is partially covered in the MMC specification.

The second place the information can be recorded is in the R-W sub codes in the program area of the CD giving a data capacity of roughly 31MB. This information is stored in a format that follows the Interactive Text Transmission System (ITTS) which is the same data transmission standard used by such things as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), and virtually the same as the data standard for the MiniDisc. Traditionally the R-W sub codes have been used for text and graphics in applications such as CD+G (CD w/graphics) or in the case of most audio CDs, not at all. The methods for reading this data from a CD-ROM drive is covered by the programming specs from the individual drive manufacturers. In the case of ATAPI drives, the SFF8020 spec covers the reading of the RW subcodes.

Not all drives support reading the RW subcodes from the program area. However for those that do, libcdio provides a way to get at this information via cdtext_get() and its friends.

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4.1.2 Internet CD Database (CDDB)

CDDB is an database on the Internet of of CD album/track, artist, and genre information similar to CD Text information. Using track information (number of tracks and length of the tracks), devices that have access to the Internet can query for meta information and contribute information for CD's where there is no existing information. When storage is available (such as you'd expect for any program using libcdio, the information is often saved for later use when the Internet is not available; people tend request the same information since they via programs play the same music.

Obtaining CD meta information when none is encoded in an audio CD is useful in media players or making one's own compilations from audio CDs.

There are currently two popular CDDB services on the Internet. The original database has been renamed Gracenote and is a profit making entity. FreeDB (http://freedb.org is an open source CD information resource that is free for developers and the public to use.

As there already is an excellent library for handling CDDB libcddb (http://libcddb.sourceforge.net we suggest using that. Our utility program cd-info will make use it if it is available and it's what we use in our applications that need it.

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4.2 Yellow Book (CD-ROM Digital Data)

The CD-ROM specification or the "Yellow Book" followed a few years later (Standards ISO/IEC 10149), and describes the extension of CD's to store computer data, i.e. CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory).

The specification in the Yellow Book defines two modes: Mode 1 and Mode 2.

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4.2.1 ISO 9660

The Yellow Book doesn't specify how data is to be stored on a CD-ROM. It was feared that different companies would implement proprietary data storage formats using this specification, resulting in incompatible data CDs. To prevent this, representatives of major manufacturers met at the High Sierra Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe, NV, in 1985, to define a standard for storing data on CDs. This format was nicknamed High Sierra Format. In a slightly modified form it was later adopted as ISO the ISO 9660 standard. This standard is further broken down into 3 "levels", the higher the level, the more permissive.

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Level 1 ISO 9660 defines names in the 8+3 convention so familiar to MS-DOS: eight characters for the filename, a period, and then three characters for the file type, all in upper case. The allowed characters are A-Z, 0-9, ".", and "_".Level 1 ISO 9660 requires that files occupy a contiguous range of sectors. This allows a file to be specified with a start block and a count. The maximum directory depth is 8. For a table of the characters, see See section ISO-9660 Character Sets.

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Level 2 ISO 9660 allows far more flexibility in filenames, but isn't usable on some systems, notably MS-DOS.

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Level 3 ISO-9660 allows non-contiguous files, useful if the file was written in multiple packets with packet-writing software.

There have been a number of extensions to the ISO 9660 CD-ROM file format. One extension is Microsoft's Joliet specification, designed to resolve a number of deficiencies in the original ISO 9660 Level 1 file system, and in particular to support the long file names used in Windows 95 and subsequent versions of Windows.

Another extension is the Rock Ridge Interchange Protocol (RRIP), which enables the recording of sufficient information to support POSIX File System semantics.

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Joliet extensions were an upward-compatible extension to the ISO 9660 specification that removes the limitation initially put in to deal with the limited filename conventions found in Microsoft DOS OS. In particular, the Joliet specification allows for long filenames and allows for UCS-BE (Big-endian Unicode) encoding of filenames which include mixed case letter, accented characters spaces and various symbols.

The way all of this is encoded is by adding a second directory and filesystem structure in addition to or in parallels to original ISO 9600 filesystem. The root node of the ISO 9660 filesystem is found via the Primary Volume Descriptor or PVD. The root of the Joliet-encode filesystem is found in a Supplementary Volume Descriptor or SVD defined in the ISO 9660 specification. The SVD structure is almost identical to a PVD with a couple of unused fields getting used and with the filename encoding changed to UCS-BE.

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Using the Joliet Extension one overcome the limitedness of the original ISO-9660 naming scheme. But another and probably better method is to use the Rock Ridge Extension. Not only can one store a filename as one does in a POSIX OS, but the other file attributes, such as the various timestamps (creation, modification, access), file attributes (user, group, file mode permissions, device type, symbolic links) can be stored. This is much as one would do in XA attributes; however the two are not completely interchangeable in the information they store: XA does not address filename limitations, and the Rock Ridge extensions don't indicate if a sector is in Mode 1 or Mode 2 format.

The Rock Ridge extension makes use of a hook that was defined as part of the ISO 9660 standard.

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4.2.2 Mode 1 (2048 data bytes per sector)

Mode 1 is the data storage mode used by to store computer data. There are 3 layers of error correction. A Compact Disc using only this format can hold at most 650 MB. The data is laid out in basically the same way as in and audio CD format, except that the 2,352 bytes of data in each block are broken down further. 2,048 of these bytes are for "real" data. The other 304 bytes are used for an additional level of error detecting and correcting code. This is necessary because data CDs cannot tolerate the loss of a handful of bits now and then, the way audio CDs can.

In libcdio when you you want to read a mode1 sector you call the cdio_read_mode1_sector() or cdio_read_mode1_sectors().

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4.2.3 Mode 2 (2336 data bytes per sector)

Mode 2 data CDs are the same as mode 1 CDs except that the error detecting and correcting codes are omitted. So still there are 2 layers of error correction. A Compact Disc using only this mode can thus hold at most 742 MB. Similar to audio CDs, the mode 2 format provides a more flexible vehicle for storing types of data that do not require high data integrity: for example, graphics and video can use this format. But in contrast to the Red Book standard, different modes can be mixed together; this is the basis for the extensions to the original data CD standards known as CD-ROM Extended Architecture, or CD-ROM XA. CD-ROM XA formats currently in use are CD-I Bridge formats, Photo CD and Video CD plus Sony's Playstation.

In libcdio when you you want to read a mode1 sector you call the cdio_read_mode2_sector() or cdio_read_mode2_sectors().

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4.3 Green Book (CD-i)

This was a CD-ROM format developed by Philips for CD-i (an obsolete embedded CD-ROM application allowing limited user user interaction with films, games and educational applications). The format is ISO 9660 compliant and introduced mode 2 form 2 addressing. It also contains XA (Extended Architecture) attributes.

Although some Green Book discs contain CD-i applications which can only be played on a CD-i player, others have films or music videos. Video CDs in Green-Book format are labeled "Digital Video on CD." The Green Book for video is largely superseded by White book CD-ROM which draws on this specification.

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4.4 White Book (DV, Video CD)

The White Book was released by Sony, Philips, Matsushita, and JVC in 1993, defines the Video CD specification. The White Book is also known as Digital Video (DV).

A Video CD contains one data track recorded in CD-ROM XA Mode 2 Form 2. It is always the first track on the disc (Track 1). The ISO-9660 file structure and a CD-i application program are recorded in this track, as well as the Video CD Information Area which gives general information about the Video Compact Disc. After the data track, video is written in one or more subsequent tracks within the same session. These tracks are also recorded in Mode 2 Form 2.

In libcdio when you you want to read a mode2 format 2 audio sector you call the cdio_read_mode2_sector() or cdio_read_mode2_sectors() setting b_form2 to true.

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5. CD Image Formats

In both the cdrdao and bin/cue formats there is one meta-file with extensions .toc or .cue respectively and one or more files (often with the extension .bin) which contains the content of tracks. The format of the track data is often interchangeable between the two formats. For example, in libcdio's regression tests we make use of this to reduce the size of the test data and just provide alternate meta-data files (.toc or .cue).

In contrast to the first two formats, the NRG format consists of a single file. This has the advantage of being a self-contained unit: in the other two formats it is possible for the meta file to refer to a file that can't be found. A disadvantage of the NRG format is that the meta data can't be easily viewed or modified say in a text file as it can be with the first two formats. In conjunction with this disadvantage is another disadvantage that the format is not documented, so how libcdio interprets an NRG image is based on inference. It is recommended that one of the other forms be used instead of NRG where possible.

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5.1 CDRDAO TOC Format

This is cdrdao's CD-image description format. Since this program is GPL and everything about it is in the open, it is the preferred format to use. (Alas, at present it isn't as well supported in libcdio as the BIN/CUE format.)

The toc-file describes what data is written to the media in the CD-ROM; it allows control over track/index positions, pre-gaps and sub-channel information. It is a text file, so a text editor can be used to create, view or modify it.

The cdrdao(1) manual page, contains more information about this format.

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5.1.1 CDRDAO Grammar

Below are the lexical tokens and grammar for a cdrdao TOC. It was taken from the cdrdao's pacct grammar; the token and nonterminal names are the same.

#lexclass START
#token Eof		"@"
#token                  "[\t\r\ ]+"
#token Comment          "//~[\n@]*"
#token                  "\n"       
#token BeginString      "\""       
#token Integer          "[0-9]+"
#tokclass AudioFile     { "AUDIOFILE" "FILE" }

#lexclass STRING
#token EndString        "\""
#token StringQuote      "\\\""
#token StringOctal      "\\[0-9][0-9][0-9]"
#token String           "\\"
#token String           "[ ]+"
#token String           "~[\\\n\"\t ]*"
<toc>  ::= ( "CATALOG" <string> | <tocType> )* { <cdTextGlobal> } 
           ( <track> )+ Eof 

<track> ::= "TRACK" <trackMode> 
    { <subChannelMode> }
    (  "ISRC" <string> | { "NO" } "COPY" | { "NO" } "PRE_EMPHASIS" 
    { <cdTextTrack>  }
    { "PREGAP" <msf> }
    ( <subTrack> | "START" { msf } | "END" { msf } )+
    ( "INDEX" <msf> )*

<subTrack> ::= 
     AudioFile <string> { "SWAP"  } { "#" <sLong>  }  <samples>
     | "DATAFILE" <string> { "#" <sLong> { <dataLength> } }
     | "FIFO" <string> <dataLength> 
     | "SILENCE" <samples> 
     | "ZERO" { dataMode  } { <subChannelMode>  } <dataLength> 

<string> ::=  BeginString ( String | StringQuote | StringOctal )+ 

<stringEmpty> ::= BeginString ( String | StringQuote | StringOctal )*

<uLong> ::= Integer 

<sLong> ::= Integer 

<msf> ::= Integer ":" Integer ":" Integer 

<samples> ::= <msf> | <uLong>

<dataLength> ::= <msf> | <uLong>

<dataMode> ::=  "AUDIO" | "MODE0" | "MODE1" | "MODE1_RAW" | "MODE2" 
     | "MODE2_RAW" | "MODE2_FORM1" | "MODE2_FORM2" | "MODE2_FORM_MIX"

<trackMode> ::= "AUDIO" | "MODE1" | "MODE1_RAW" | "MODE2"
     | "MODE2_RAW"  | "MODE2_FORM1" | "MODE2_FORM2" | "MODE2_FORM_MIX"

<subChannelMode> ::= "RW" | "RW_RAW"

<tocType> ::= "CD_DA" | "CD_ROM" | "CD_ROM_XA" | "CD_I"

     | "MESSAGE" | "DISC_ID" | "GENRE" | "TOC_INFO1" | "TOC_INFO2"  
     "ISRC" | "SIZE_INFO"

<binaryData> ::=  "{"
    { Integer ( "," Integer  )* }
<cdTextItem> ::= <packType>  ( <stringEmpty> | <binaryData> )
<cdTextBlock> ::=  "LANGUAGE" Integer "{" ( <cdTextItem> )* "}"

<cdTextLanguageMap> ::= 
    "LANGUAGE_MAP" "{"
    ( Integer  ":" (  Integer | "EN"  ) )+

<cdTextTrack> ::=  "CD_TEXT" "{" ( <cdTextBlock> )*  "}"

<cdTextGlobal> ::= "CD_TEXT" "{" { <cdTextLanguageMap> } ( <cdTextBlock> )* "}"

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The format referred to as CDRWIN BIN/CUE Format in this manual is a popular CD image format used in the PC world. Not unlike cdrdao's TOC file, the cue file describes the track layout, i.e. how the sectors are to be placed on the CD media. The cue file usually contains a reference to a file traditionally having the `.bin' extension in its filename, the bin file. This bin file contains the sector data payload which is to be written to the CD medium according to the description in the cue file.

The following is an attempt to describe the subset of the `.cue' file syntax used in libcdio and vcdimager in an EBNF-like notation:

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5.2.1 BIN/CUE Grammar

<cue-document> ::= +( <file-line> +<track-expr> )

<digit> ::= "0" | "1" ... "8" | "9"
<number> ::= +<digit>
<msf> ::= <digit><digit> ":" <digit><digit> ":" <digit><digit>

<file-line> ::= "FILE" <pathname-expr> <file-type> <EOL>

<pathname-expr> ::= [ "\"" ] <pathname-str-without-spaces> [ "\"" ] 
                  | "\"" <pathname-str> "\""  

<file-type> ::= "BINARY" 

<track-expr> ::= <track-line> [ <flag-line> ]
                 [ <pregap-line> ] *<index-line> [ <postgap-line> ]

<flag-line> ::= "FLAGS" *<flag-type> <EOL>
<flag-type> ::= "DCP"

<track-line> ::= "TRACK" <number> <track-type> <EOL>

<pregap-line> ::= "PREGAP" <msf> <EOL>

<index-line> ::= "INDEX" <number> <msf> <EOL>

<postgap-line> ::= "POSTGAP" <msf> <EOL>

<track-type> ::= "AUDIO" | "MODE1/2048" | "MODE1/2352" 
               | "MODE2/2336" | "MODE2/2352"

<comment-line> ::= "REM" *<char> <EOL>

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5.3 NRG Format

The format referred to as NRG Format in this manual is another popular CD image format. It is available only on Nero software on a Microsoft Windows Operating System. It is proprietary and not generally published, so the information we have comes from guessing based on sample CD images. So support for this is incomplete and using this format is not recommended.

Unlike cdrdao's TOC file the BIN/CUE format everything is contained in one file. that one can edit Meta information such as the number of tracks and track format is contained at the end of the file. This information is not intended to be edited through a text editor.

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6. The units that make up a CD

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6.1 tracks -- disc subdivisions

In this section we describe CD properties and terms that we make use of in libcdio.

A CD is formated into a number of tracks, and a CD can hold at most 99 such tracks. This is defined by CDIO_CD_MAX_TRACKS in `cdio/sector.h'. Between the tracks CD specifications require a "2 second" in gap (called a lead-in gap. This is unused space with no "data" similar to the space between tracks on an old phonograph. The word "second" here really refers to a measure of space and not really necessarily an amount of time. However in the special case that the CD encodes an audio CD or CD-DA, the amount of time to play a gap of this size will take 2 seconds.

The beginning (or inner edge) of the CD is supposed to have a "2 second" lead-in gap and there is supposed to be another "2 second" lead-out gap at the end (or outer edge) of the CD.

People have discovered that they can put useful data in the various gaps and their equipment can read this, violating the standards but allowing a CD to store more data.

In order to determine the number of tracks on a CD and where they start, commands are used to get this table-of-contents or TOC information. Asking about the start of the lead-out track gives the amount of data stored on the Compact Disk. To make it easy to specify this leadout track, special constant 0xAA (decimal 170) is used to indicate it. This is safe since this is higher than the largest legal track position. In libcdio, CDIO_CDROM_LEADOUT_TRACK is defined to be this special value.

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6.2 block addressing (MSF, LSN, LBA)

A track is broken up into a number of 2352-byte blocks which we sometimes call sectors or frames. Whereas tracks have to have a gap between them, a block or sector does not. (In libcdio the block size constant is defined using CDIO_CD_FRAMESIZE_RAW).

A Compact Disc has a limit on the number of blocks or sectors. This values is defined by constant CDIO_CD_MAX_LSN in `cdio/sector.h'.

One can addressing a block in one of three formats. The oldest format is by it's minute/second/frame number, also referred to as MSF and written in time-like format MM:SS:FF (e.g. 30:01:40). It is best suited in audio (Red Book) applications. In libcdio, the type msf_t can be used to declare variables to hold such values. Minute, second and frame values are one byte and stored BCD notation.(4) There are libcdio conversion routines cdio_from_bcd8() and cdio_to_bcd8() to convert the minute, second, and frame values into or out of integers. If you want to print a field in a BCD-encoded MSF, one can use the format specifier %x (not %d) and things will come out right.

In the MSF notation, there are 75 "frames" in a "second," and the familiar (if awkward) 60 seconds in a minute. Frame here is what we called a block above. The CD specification defines "frame" to be another unit which makes up a block. Very confusing. A frame is also sometimes called a sector, analogous to hard-disk terminalogy.

Even more confusing is using this time-like notation for an address or for a length. Too often people confuse the MSF notation this with an amount of time. A "second" (or CDIO_CD_FRAMES_PER_SEC blocks) in this notation is only a second of playing time for something encoded as CD-DA. It does not necessarily represent the amount time that it will take to play a of Video CD--usually you need more blocks than this. Nor does it represent the amount of data used to play a second of an MP3--usually you need fewer blocks than this. It is also not the amount of time your CD-ROM will take to read a "second" of data off a Compact Disc: for example a 12x CD player will read 12x CDIO_CD_FRAMES_PER_SEC CDIO_CD_FRAMSIZE_RAW-byte blocks in a one second of time.

When programming, unless one is working with a CD-DA (and even here, only in a time-like fashion), is generally more cumbersome to use an MSF rather than a LBA or LSN described below, since subtraction of two MSF's has the awkwardness akin to subtraction using Roman Numerals.

Probably the simplest way to address a block is to use its LSN or "logical sector number." This just numbers the blocks usually from 0 on. fix me: LSNs can be negative up to the pregap size? The Lead-in and Lead-out gaps described above have LSNs just like any other space on a CD. The last unit of address is a LBA. It is the same as a LSN but the 150 blocks associated with the initial lead-in is are not counted. So to convert a LBA into an LSN you just add 150. Why the distinction between LBA and LSN? I don't know, perhaps this has something to do with "multisession" CDs.

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7. How to use

The libcdio package comes with a number of small example programs in the directory `example' which demonstrate different aspects of the library and show how to use the library. The source code to all of the examples here are contained on the package.

Other sources for examples would be the larger utility programs cd-drive, cd-info, cd-read, iso-info, and iso-read which are all in the `src' directory of the libcdio package. See also See section Diagnostic programs (`cd-drive', `cd-info', `cd-read', `iso-info', `iso-read').

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7.1 Example 1: list out tracks and LSNs

Here we will give an annotated example which can be found in the distribution as `example/tracks.c'.

 1: #include <stdio.h>
 2: #include <sys/types.h>
 3: #include <cdio/cdio.h>
 4: int
 5: main(int argc, const char *argv[])
 6: {
 7:  CdIo_t *p_cdio = cdio_open ("/dev/cdrom", DRIVER_DEVICE);
 8:  track_t first_track_num = cdio_get_first_track_num(p_cdio);
 9:  track_t i_tracks        = cdio_get_num_tracks(p_cdio);
10:  int j, i=first_track_num;
12:  printf("CD-ROM Track List (%i - %i)\n", first_track_num, i_tracks);
14:  printf("  #:  LSN\n");
16:  for (j = 0; j < i_tracks; i++, j++) {
17:    lsn_t lsn = cdio_get_track_lsn(p_cdio, i);
18:    if (CDIO_INVALID_LSN != lsn)
19:      printf("%3d: %06d\n", (int) i, lsn);
20:  }
21:  printf("%3X: %06d  leadout\n", CDIO_CDROM_LEADOUT_TRACK, 
22:         cdio_get_track_lsn(p_cdio, CDIO_CDROM_LEADOUT_TRACK));
23:  cdio_destroy(p_cdio);
24:  return 0;
25: }

Already from the beginning on line 2 we see something odd. The #include <sys/types.h> is needed because libcdio assumes type definitions exist for uint32_t, uint16_t and so on. Alternatively you change line 2 to:


and <cdio/cdio.h> will insert line 2. If you use GNU autoconf to configure your program, add sys/types.h to AC_HAVE_HEADERS and it will arrange for HAVE_SYS_TYPES_H to get defined. If you don't have <sys/types.h> but have some other include that defines these types, put that instead of line 2. Or you could roll your own typedefs. (Note: In the future, this will probably get "fixed" by requiring glib.h.)

Okay after getting over the hurdle of line 2, the next line pretty straightforward: you need to include this to get cdio definitions. One of the types that is defined via line 3 is CdIo_t and a pointer that is used pretty much in all operations. Line 6 initializes the variable cdio which we will be using in all of the subsequent libcdio calls. It does this via a call to cdio_open().

The second parameter of cdio_open is DRIVER_UNKNOWN. For any given installation a number of Compact Disc device drivers may be available. In particular it's not uncommon to have several drivers that can read CD disk-image formats as well as a driver that handles some CD-ROM piece of hardware. Using DRIVER_UNKNOWN as that second parameter we let the library select a driver amongst those that are available; generally the first hardware driver that is available is the one selected.

If there is no CD in any of the CD-ROM drives or one does not have access to the CD-ROM, it is possible that libcdio will find a CD image in the directory you run this program and will pick a suitable CD-image driver. If this is not what you want, but always want some sort of CD-ROM driver (or failure if none), then use DRIVER_DEVICE instead of DRIVER_UNKNOWN.

Note that in contrast to what is typically done using ioctls to read a CD, you don't issue any sort of CD-ROM read TOC command--that is all done by the driver. Of course, the information that you get from reading the TOC is often desired: many tracks are on the CD, or what number the first one is called. This is done through calls on lines 8 and 9.

For each track, we call a cdio routine to get the logical sector number, cdio_get_track_lsn() on line 17 and print the track number and LSN value. Finally we print out the "lead-out track" information and we finally call cdio_destroy() in line 23 to indicate we're done with the CD.

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7.2 Example 2: list drivers available and default CD device

One thing that's a bit hoaky in Example 1 is hard-coding the name of the device used: /dev/cdrom. Although often this is the name of a CD-ROM device on GNU/Linux and possibly some other Unix derivatives, there are many OSs for which use a different device name.

In the next example, we'll let the driver give us the name of the CD-ROM device that is right for it.

 1: #include <stdio.h>
 2: #include <sys/types.h>
 3: #include <cdio/cdio.h>
 4: int
 5: main(int argc, const char *argv[])
 6: {
 7:   CdIo_t *p_cdio = cdio_open (NULL, DRIVER_DEVICE);
 8:   driver_id_t driver_id;
10:  if (NULL != p_cdio) {
11:    printf("The driver selected is %s\n", cdio_get_driver_name(p_cdio));
12:    printf("The default device for this driver is %s\n\n", 
13:           cdio_get_default_device(p_cdio));
14:    cdio_destroy(p_cdio);
15:  } else {
16:    printf("Problem in trying to find a driver.\n\n");
17:  }
19:  for (driver_id=CDIO_MIN_DRIVER; driver_id<=CDIO_MAX_DRIVER; driver_id++)
20:    if (cdio_have_driver(driver_id))
21:      printf("We have: %s\n", cdio_driver_describe(driver_id));
22:    else
23:      printf("We don't have: %s\n", cdio_driver_describe(driver_id));
24:  return 0;
25: }

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7.3 Example 3: figure out what kind of CD (image) we've got

In this example is a somewhat simplified program to show the use of cdio_guess_cd_type() to figure out the kind of CD image we've got. This can be found in the distribution as `example/sample3.c'.

# include "config.h"
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <cdio/cdio.h>
#include <cdio/cd_types.h>

static void
print_analysis(cdio_iso_analysis_t cdio_iso_analysis, 
	       cdio_fs_anal_t fs, int first_data, unsigned int num_audio, 
	       track_t i_tracks, track_t first_track_num, CdIo_t *cdio)
  switch(CDIO_FSTYPE(fs)) {
  case CDIO_FS_ISO_9660:
    printf("CD-ROM with ISO 9660 filesystem");
    if (fs & CDIO_FS_ANAL_JOLIET) {
      printf(" and joliet extension level %d", cdio_iso_analysis.joliet_level);
      printf(" and rockridge extensions");
    printf("CD-ROM with CD-RTOS and ISO 9660 filesystem\n");
    printf("CD-ROM with High Sierra filesystem\n");
    printf("CD-Interactive%s\n", num_audio > 0 ? "/Ready" : "");
  case CDIO_FS_HFS:
    printf("CD-ROM with Macintosh HFS\n");
    printf("CD-ROM with both Macintosh HFS and ISO 9660 filesystem\n");
  case CDIO_FS_UFS:
    printf("CD-ROM with Unix UFS\n");
  case CDIO_FS_EXT2:
    printf("CD-ROM with Linux second extended filesystem\n");
  case CDIO_FS_3DO:
    printf("CD-ROM with Panasonic 3DO filesystem\n");
    printf("CD-ROM with unknown filesystem\n");
  switch(CDIO_FSTYPE(fs)) {
  case CDIO_FS_ISO_9660:
    printf("ISO 9660: %i blocks, label `%.32s'\n",
	   cdio_iso_analysis.isofs_size, cdio_iso_analysis.iso_label);
  if (first_data == 1 && num_audio > 0)
    printf("mixed mode CD   ");
  if (fs & CDIO_FS_ANAL_XA)
    printf("XA sectors   ");
    printf("Hidden Track   ");
    printf("%sPhoto CD   ", 
		      num_audio > 0 ? " Portfolio " : "");
  if (fs & CDIO_FS_ANAL_CDTV)
    printf("Commodore CDTV   ");
  if (first_data > 1)
    printf("CD-Plus/Extra   ");
    printf("bootable CD   ");
  if (fs & CDIO_FS_ANAL_VIDEOCD && num_audio == 0) {
    printf("Video CD   ");
  if (fs & CDIO_FS_ANAL_SVCD)
    printf("Super Video CD (SVCD) or Chaoji Video CD (CVD)");
  if (fs & CDIO_FS_ANAL_CVD)
    printf("Chaoji Video CD (CVD)");

main(int argc, const char *argv[])
  CdIo_t *p_cdio = cdio_open (NULL, DRIVER_UNKNOWN);
  cdio_fs_anal_t fs=0;
  track_t i_tracks;
  track_t first_track_num;
  lsn_t start_track;          /* first sector of track */
  lsn_t data_start =0;        /* start of data area */

  int first_data = -1;        /* # of first data track */
  int first_audio = -1;       /* # of first audio track */
  unsigned int num_data  = 0; /* # of data tracks */
  unsigned int num_audio = 0; /* # of audio tracks */
  unsigned int i;

  if (NULL == p_cdio) {
    printf("Problem in trying to find a driver.\n\n");
    return 1;

  first_track_num = cdio_get_first_track_num(p_cdio);
  i_tracks      = cdio_get_num_tracks(p_cdio);

  /* Count the number of data and audio tracks. */
  for (i = first_track_num; i <= i_tracks; i++) {
    if (TRACK_FORMAT_AUDIO == cdio_get_track_format(p_cdio, i)) {
      if (-1 == first_audio) first_audio = i;
    } else {
      if (-1 == first_data)  first_data = i;

  /* try to find out what sort of CD we have */
  if (0 == num_data) {
    printf("Audio CD\n");
  } else {
    /* we have data track(s) */
    int j;
    cdio_iso_analysis_t cdio_iso_analysis; 

    memset(&cdio_iso_analysis, 0, sizeof(cdio_iso_analysis));
    for (j = 2, i = first_data; i <= i_tracks; i++) {
      lsn_t lsn;
      track_format_t track_format = cdio_get_track_format(p_cdio, i);
      lsn = cdio_get_track_lsn(p_cdio, i);
      switch ( track_format ) {
      case TRACK_FORMAT_CDI:
      case TRACK_FORMAT_XA:
      case TRACK_FORMAT_DATA: 
      case TRACK_FORMAT_PSX: 
      start_track = (i == 1) ? 0 : lsn;
      /* save the start of the data area */
      if (i == first_data) 
	data_start = start_track;
      /* skip tracks which belong to the current walked session */
      if (start_track < data_start + cdio_iso_analysis.isofs_size)
      fs = cdio_guess_cd_type(p_cdio, start_track, i, &cdio_iso_analysis);
      print_analysis(cdio_iso_analysis, fs, first_data, num_audio,
		     i_tracks, first_track_num, p_cdio);
      if ( !(CDIO_FSTYPE(fs) == CDIO_FS_ISO_9660 ||
	     CDIO_FSTYPE(fs) == CDIO_FS_ISO_HFS  ||
	/* no method for non-ISO9660 multisessions */
  return 0;

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7.4 Example 4: use libiso9660 to extract a file from an ISO-9660 image

Next a program to show using libiso9660 to extract a file from an ISO-9660 image. This can be found in the distribution as `example/iso3.c'. A more complete and expanded version of this is iso-read, part of this distribution.

/* This is the ISO 9660 image. */
#define ISO9660_IMAGE_PATH "../"
#define ISO9660_IMAGE ISO9660_IMAGE_PATH "test/copying.iso"

#define LOCAL_FILENAME "copying"

# include "config.h"

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <cdio/cdio.h>
#include <cdio/iso9660.h>

#include <stdio.h>

#include <errno.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <sys/types.h>

#define my_exit(rc)				\
  fclose (p_outfd);				\
  free(p_statbuf);				\
  iso9660_close(p_iso);				\
  return rc;					\

main(int argc, const char *argv[])
  iso9660_stat_t *p_statbuf;
  FILE *p_outfd;
  int i;
  iso9660_t *p_iso = iso9660_open (ISO9660_IMAGE);
  if (NULL == p_iso) {
    fprintf(stderr, "Sorry, couldn't open ISO 9660 image %s\n", ISO9660_IMAGE);
    return 1;

  p_statbuf = iso9660_ifs_stat_translate (p_iso, LOCAL_FILENAME);

  if (NULL == p_statbuf) 
	      "Could not get ISO-9660 file information for file %s\n",
      return 2;

  if (!(p_outfd = fopen (LOCAL_FILENAME, "wb")))
      perror ("fopen()");
      return 3;

  /* Copy the blocks from the ISO-9660 filesystem to the local filesystem. */
  for (i = 0; i < p_statbuf->size; i += ISO_BLOCKSIZE)
      char buf[ISO_BLOCKSIZE];

      memset (buf, 0, ISO_BLOCKSIZE);
      if ( ISO_BLOCKSIZE != iso9660_iso_seek_read (p_iso, buf, p_statbuf->lsn 
						   + (i / ISO_BLOCKSIZE),
						   1) )
	fprintf(stderr, "Error reading ISO 9660 file at lsn %lu\n",
		(long unsigned int) p_statbuf->lsn + (i / ISO_BLOCKSIZE));
     fwrite (buf, ISO_BLOCKSIZE, 1, p_outfd);
     if (ferror (p_outfd))
          perror ("fwrite()");
  fflush (p_outfd);

  /* Make sure the file size has the exact same byte size. Without the
     truncate below, the file will a multiple of ISO_BLOCKSIZE.
  if (ftruncate (fileno (p_outfd), p_statbuf->size))
    perror ("ftruncate()");


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7.5 Example 5: list CD-Text and disc mode info

Next a program to show using libcdio to list CD-TEXT data. This can be found in the distribution as `example/cdtext.c'.

/* Simple program to list CD-Text info of a Compact Disc using libcdio. */
# include "config.h"
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <cdio/cdio.h>
#include <cdio/cdtext.h>

static void 
print_cdtext_track_info(CdIo_t *p_cdio, track_t i_track, const char *message) {
  const cdtext_t *cdtext    = cdio_get_cdtext(p_cdio, 0);
  if (NULL != cdtext) {
    cdtext_field_t i;
    printf("%s\n", message);
    for (i=0; i < MAX_CDTEXT_FIELDS; i++) {
      if (cdtext->field[i]) {
        printf("\t%s: %s\n", cdtext_field2str(i), cdtext->field[i]);
static void 
print_disc_info(CdIo_t *p_cdio, track_t i_tracks, track_t i_first_track) {
  track_t i_last_track = i_first_track+i_tracks;
  discmode_t cd_discmode = cdio_get_discmode(p_cdio);

  printf("%s\n", discmode2str[cd_discmode]);
  print_cdtext_track_info(p_cdio, 0, "\nCD-Text for Disc:");
  for ( ; i_first_track < i_last_track; i_first_track++ ) {
    char psz_msg[50];
    sprintf(msg, "CD-Text for Track %d:", i_first_track);
    print_cdtext_track_info(p_cdio, i_first_track, psz_msg);

main(int argc, const char *argv[])
  track_t i_first_track;
  track_t i_tracks;
  CdIo_t *p_cdio;
  cdio = cdio_open (NULL, DRIVER_UNKNOWN);
  i_first_track = cdio_get_first_track_num(p_cdio);
  i_tracks      = cdio_get_num_tracks(p_cdio);

  if (NULL == p_cdio) {
    printf("Couldn't find CD\n");
    return 1;
  } else {
    print_disc_info(p_cdio, i_tracks, i_first_track);

  return 0;

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7.6 Example 6: Using MMC to run an INQURY command

Now a program to show issuing a simple MMC command (INQUIRY). This MMC command retrieves the vendor, model and firmware revision number of a CD drive. For this command to work, usually a CD to be loaded into the drive; odd since the CD itself is not used.

This can be found in the distribution as `example/mmc1.c'.

# include "config.h"
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <cdio/cdio.h>
#include <cdio/scsi_mmc.h>
#include <string.h>

/* Set how long to wait for MMC commands to complete */
#define DEFAULT_TIMEOUT_MS 10000

main(int argc, const char *argv[])
  CdIo_t *p_cdio;

  p_cdio = cdio_open (NULL, DRIVER_UNKNOWN);

  if (NULL == p_cdio) {
    printf("Couldn't find CD\n");
    return 1;
  } else {
    int i_status;                  /* Result of MMC command */
    char buf[36] = { 0, };         /* Place to hold returned data */
    scsi_mmc_cdb_t cdb = {{0, }};  /* Command Descriptor Buffer */

    cdb.field[4] = sizeof(buf);

    i_status = scsi_mmc_run_cmd(p_cdio, DEFAULT_TIMEOUT_MS, 
				&cdb, SCSI_MMC_DATA_READ, 
				sizeof(buf), &buf);
    if (i_status == 0) {
      char psz_vendor[CDIO_MMC_HW_VENDOR_LEN+1];
      char psz_model[CDIO_MMC_HW_MODEL_LEN+1];
      char psz_rev[CDIO_MMC_HW_REVISION_LEN+1];
      memcpy(psz_vendor, buf + 8, sizeof(psz_vendor)-1);
      psz_vendor[sizeof(psz_vendor)-1] = '\0';
	     buf + 8 + CDIO_MMC_HW_VENDOR_LEN, 
      psz_model[sizeof(psz_model)-1] = '\0';
      psz_rev[sizeof(psz_rev)-1] = '\0';

      printf("Vendor: %s\nModel: %s\nRevision: %s\n",
	     psz_vendor, psz_model, psz_rev);
    } else {
      printf("Couldn't get INQUIRY data (vendor, model, and revision\n");
  return 0;

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7.7 Example 7: Using the CD Paranoia library for CD-DA reading

# include "config.h"

#include <cdio/cdda.h>
#include <cdio/cd_types.h>
#include <stdio.h>

#include <stdlib.h>

main(int argc, const char *argv[])
  cdrom_drive_t *d = NULL; /* Place to store handle given by cd-paranoia. */
  char **ppsz_cd_drives;   /* List of all drives with a loaded CDDA in it. */

  /* See if we can find a device with a loaded CD-DA in it. */
  ppsz_cd_drives = cdio_get_devices_with_cap(NULL, CDIO_FS_AUDIO, false);

  if (ppsz_cd_drives) {
    /* Found such a CD-ROM with a CD-DA loaded. Use the first drive in
       the list. */
    d=cdio_cddap_identify(*ppsz_cd_drives, 1, NULL);
  } else {
    printf("Unable find or access a CD-ROM drive with an audio CD in it.\n");

  /* Don't need a list of CD's with CD-DA's any more. */

  /* We'll set for verbose paranoia messages. */
  cdio_cddap_verbose_set(d, CDDA_MESSAGE_PRINTIT, CDDA_MESSAGE_PRINTIT);

  if ( 0 != cdio_cddap_open(d) ) {
    printf("Unable to open disc.\n");

  /* Okay now set up to read up to the first 300 frames of the first
     audio track of the Audio CD. */
    cdrom_paranoia_t *p = cdio_paranoia_init(d);
    lsn_t i_first_lsn = cdio_cddap_disc_firstsector(d);

    if ( -1 == i_first_lsn ) {
      printf("Trouble getting starting LSN\n");
    } else {
      lsn_t   i_cursor;
      track_t i_track    = cdio_cddap_sector_gettrack(d, i_first_lsn);
      lsn_t   i_last_lsn = cdio_cddap_track_lastsector(d, i_track);

      /* For demo purposes we'll read only 300 frames (about 4
	 seconds).  We don't want this to take too long. On the other
	 hand, I suppose it should be something close to a real test.
      if ( i_last_lsn - i_first_lsn > 300) i_last_lsn = i_first_lsn + 299;

      printf("Reading track %d from LSN %ld to LSN %ld\n", i_track, 
	     (long int) i_first_lsn, (long int) i_last_lsn);

      /* Set reading mode for full paranoia, but allow skipping sectors. */

      paranoia_seek(p, i_first_lsn, SEEK_SET);

      for ( i_cursor = i_first_lsn; i_cursor <= i_last_lsn; i_cursor ++) {
	/* read a sector */
	int16_t *p_readbuf=cdio_paranoia_read(p, NULL);
	char *psz_err=cdio_cddap_errors(d);
	char *psz_mes=cdio_cddap_messages(d);

	if (psz_mes || psz_err)
	  printf("%s%s\n", psz_mes ? psz_mes: "", psz_err ? psz_err: "");

	if (psz_err) free(psz_err);
	if (psz_mes) free(psz_mes);
	if( !p_readbuf ) {
	  printf("paranoia read error. Stopping.\n");



Those who are die-hard cdparanoia programmers will notice that the libcdio paranoia names are similar but a little bit different. In particular instead of paranoia_read we have above cdio_paranoia_read and instead of cdda_open we have cdio_cddap_open.

This was done intentionally so that it is possible for the original paranoia program can co-exist both in source code and linked libraries and not conflict with libcdio's paranoia source and libraries.

In general in place of any paranoia routine that begins paranoia_, use cdio_paranoia_ and in place of any paranoia routine that begins cdda_, use cdio_cddap_. But for a limited time libcdio will accept the old paranoia names which may be useful for legacy paranoia code. The way this magic works is by defining the old paranoia name to be the libcdio name.

In the unusual case where you do want to use both the original paranoia and libcdio routines in a single source, the C preprocessor symbol DO_NOT_WANT_PARANOIA_COMPATIBILITY can be define'd and this disables the #define substitution done automatically. The may still be a problem with conflicting structure definitions like cdrom_drive_t.

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7.8 A list of all sample programs in the example directory

The example directory contains some simple examples of the use of the libcdio library.

A larger more-complicated example are the cd-drive, cd-info, cd-read, iso-info and iso-info programs in the src directory.

Descriptions of the sample are as follows...


A program to test if a CD has been changed since the last change test.


A program to show CD-Text and CD disc mode info.


A program to show drivers installed and what the default CD-ROM drive is and what CD drives are available.


A program eject a CD from a CD-ROM drive and then close the door again.


A program to show using libiso9660 to list files in a directory of an ISO-9660 image.


The same program as isolist.c written in C++.


A program to show using libiso9660 to extract a file from a CDRWIN cue/bin CD image.


The same program as iso2.c written in C++.


A program to show using libiso9660 to extract a file from an ISO-9660 image.


The same program as iso3.c written in C++.


A program showing fuzzy ISO-9660 detection/reading.


A program to show issuing a simple MMC command (INQUIRY).


The same program as mmc1.c written in C++.


A more involved MMC command to list CD and drive features from a SCSI-MMC GET_CONFIGURATION command.


Prints MMC MODE_SENSE page 2A paramaters. Page 2a are the CD/DVD Capabilities and Mechanical Status.


The same program as mmc2.c written in C++.


A program to show using libcdio's version of the CD-DA paranoia.


A program to show using libcdio's version of the CD-DA paranoia library. But in this version, we'll open a cdio object before calling paranoia's open. I imagine in many cases such as media players this may be what will be done since, one may want to get CDDB/CD-Text info beforehand.


A simple program to list track numbers and logical sector numbers of a Compact Disc using libcdio.


A simple program to show drivers installed and what the default CD-ROM drive is.


A simple program to show the use of cdio_guess_cd_type(). Figures out the kind of CD image we've got.


A slightly improved sample3 program: we handle cdio logging and take an optional CD-location.


A program to show using libudf to list files in a directory of an UDF image.


A program to show using libudf to extract a file from an UDF image.

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8. Diagnostic programs (`cd-drive', `cd-info', `cd-read', `iso-info', `iso-read')

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8.1 `cd-drive'

`cd-drive' lists out drive information, what features drive supports, and information about what hardware drivers are available.

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8.2 `cd-info'

`cd-info' will print out the structure of a CD medium which could either be a Compact Disc in a CD ROM or an CD image. It can try to analyze the medium to give characteristics of the medium, such as how many tracks are in the CD and the format of each track, whether a CD contains a Video CD, CD-DA, PhotoCD, whether a track has an ISO-9660 filesystem.

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8.3 `cd-read'

`cd-info' can be used to read blocks a CD medium which could either be a Compact Disc in a CD ROM or an CD image. You specify the beginning and ending LSN and what mode format to use in the reading.

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8.4 `iso-info'

`iso-info' can be used to print out the structure of an ISO 9660 image.

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8.5 `iso-read'

`iso-read' can be used to extract a file in an ISO-9660 image.

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9. CD-ROM Access and Drivers

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9.1 Multimedia Commands (MMC)

In contrast to the rest of the sections in this chapter, MMC (Multimedia commands) is not a driver per se, although many of the CD-ROM drivers do in fact issue MMC commands. MMC commands gives (in theory) a broad and uniform way to access a CD-ROM drive.

If your CD-ROM drive understands MMC commands this is probably gives the most flexibility in control. SCSI and ATAPI CD-ROM devices generally support a fairly large set of MMC commands.

The name "SCSI MMC" is often found in the literature in specifications and on the Internet. The "SCSI" part is probably a little bit misleading because a drive can understand "SCSI MMC" commands but not use a SCSI interface--ATAPI CD-ROMs are one such broad class of examples. In fact there are drivers to "encapsulate" non-SCSI drives or a non-MMC-compliant drives and make them act like MMC drives. I believe that many OS SCSI "pass-through" mechanisms do roughly the same thing.

The name "SCSI MMC" is no doubt due to the fact that these commands grew out of the SCSI command set and thus were bundled in them.

For clarity and precision we will use the term "MMC" rather than "SCSI MMC".

One of the problems with MMC is that there are so many different "standards". In particular there are MMC ftp://ftp.t10.org/t10/drafts/mmc/, MMC 2 ftp://ftp.t10.org/t10/drafts/mmc2/, MMC 3 ftp://ftp.t10.org/t10/drafts/mmc3/, MMC 4 ftp://ftp.t10.org/t10/drafts/mmc4/, and MMC 5 ftp://ftp.t10.org/t10/drafts/mmc5/ standards several "drafts" for each standard. The good news about ATAPI drives is that they too understand some sort of MMC subset. The bad news (as I understand it) is that they do not understand any full MMC command set.

Another problem with the MMC commands related to the variations in standards is the variation in the commands themselves and there are perhaps two or three ways to do many of the basic commands like read a CD frame.

There seems to be a fascination with the number of bytes a command takes in the MMC-specification world. (Size matters?) So often the name of an operation will have a suffix with the number of bytes of the command (actually in MMC jargon this is called a "CDB" or command descriptor block). So for example there is a 6-byte "MODE SELECT" often called "MODE SELECT 6" and a 10-byte "MODE SELECT" often called "MODE SELECT 10". Presumably the 6-byte command came first and it was discovered that there was some deficiency causing the longer command. In libcdio where there are two formats we add the suffix in the name, e.g. CDIO_MMC_GPCMD_MODE_SELECT_6 or CDIO_MMC_GPCMD_MODE_SELECT_10.

If the fascination and emphasis in the MMC specifications of CDB size is a bit odd, equally so is the fact that this too often has bled through at the OS programming API. However in libcdio, you just give the opcode in scsi_mmc_run_cmd() and we'll do the work to figure out how many bytes of the CDB are used.

Down the line it is hoped that libcdio will have a way to remove a distinction between the various alternative and alternative-size MMC commands. In cdio/scsi-mmc.h you will find a little bit of this for example via the routine scsi_mmc_get_drive_cap(). However much more work is needed.

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9.2 GNU/Linux

The GNU/Linux uses a hybrid of methods. Somethings are done vai ioctl and some things via MMC. GNU/Linux has a rather nice and complete ioctl mechanism. On the other hand, the MMC mechanism is more universal. There are other "access modes" listed which are not really access modes and should probably be redone/rethought. They are just different ways to run the read command. But for completeness These are "READ_CD" and "READ_10".

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9.3 Microsoft Windows ioctl and ASPI

There are two CD drive access methods on Microsoft Windows platforms: ioctl and ASPI.

The ASPI interface specification was developed by Adaptec for sending commands to a SCSI host adapter (such as those controlling CD and DVD drives) and used on Window 9x/NT and later. Emulation for ATAPI drives was added so that the same sets of commands worked those even though the drives might not be SCSI nor might there even be a SCSI controller attached.

However in Windows NT/2K/XP, Microsoft provides their Win32 ioctl interface, and has taken steps to make using ASPI more inaccessible (e.g. requiring administrative access to use ASPI).

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9.4 Solaris ATAPI and SCSI

There is currently only one CD drive access methods in Solaris: SCSI (called "USCSI" or "user SCSI" in Solaris). There used to be an ATAPI method and it could be resurrected if needed. USCSI was preferred since on newer releases of Solaris and Solaris environments one would needs to have root access for ATAPI.

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9.5 FreeBSD ioctl and CAM

There are two CD drive access methods on Solaris: ioctl and CAM (common access method). CAM is preferred when possible, especially on newer releases. However CAM is right now sort of a hybrid and includes some ioctl code.

More work on this driver is needed. Volunteers?

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9.6 OS X (non-exclussive access)

A problem with OS/X is that if the OS thinks it understands the drive it gains exclusive access to it and thus prevents a library like this to get non-exclusive access.

Currently libcdio access the CD-ROM non-exclusively. However in order to be able to issue MMC, the current belief is that exclusive access is needed. Probably in a future libcdio, there will be some way to specify which kind of access is desired (with the inherent consequences of each).

More work on this driver is needed. Volunteers?

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10. Internal Program Organization

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10.0.1 file organization

Here is a list of libcdio directories.

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10.0.2 `libcdio'

libcdio exports one opaque type CdIo_t. Internally this a structure containing an enumeration for the driver, a structure containing function pointers and a generic "environment" pointer which is passed as a parameter on a function call. See `lib/driver/cdio_private.h'. The initialization routine for each driver sets up the function pointers and allocates memory for the environment. When a particular user-level cdio routine is called (e.g cdio_get_first_track_num for lib/driver/track.c), the environment pointer is passed to a device-specific routine which will then cast this pointer into something of the appropriate type.

Because function pointers are used, there can be and is quite a bit of sharing of common routines. Some of the common routines are found in the file `lib/driver/_cdio_generic.c'.

Another set of routines that one is likely to find shared amongst drivers are the MMC commands. These are located in `lib/driver/scsi_mmc.c'.

There is not only an attempt to share functions but we've tried to create a generic CD structure generic_img_private_t of file `lib/driver/generic.h'. By putting information into a common structure, we increase the likelihood of being able to have a common routine to perform some sort of function.

The generic CD structure would also be useful in a utility to convert one CD-image format to another. Basically the first image format is "parsed" into the common internal format and then from this structure it is unparsed.

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10.0.3 `libiso9660'

To be completed....

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10.0.4 Coding Conventions

In libcdio there are a number of conventions used. If you understand some of these conventions it may facilitate understanding the code a little.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ] namespace names

For the most part, the visible external libcdio names follow conventions so as not to be confused with other applications or libraries. If you understand these conventions, there will be little or no chance that the names you use will conflict with libcdio and libiso9660 and vice versa.

All of the external libcdio C routines start out with cdio_, e.g. cdio_open; as a corollary, the libcdio CD-Paranoia routines start cdio_cddap_, e.g. cdio_cddap_open. libiso9660 routines start iso9660_, e.g. iso9660_open.

libcdio C-Preprocessor names generally start CDIO_, for example CDIO_CD_FRAMESIZE_RAW; libiso9660 C-preprocessor names start ISO9660_, e.g. ISO9660_FRAMESIZE.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ] suffixes (type and structure names)

A few suffixes are used in type and structure names:

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ] prefixes (variable names)

A number of prefixes are used in variable names here's what they mean

There are a some other naming conventions. Generally if a routine name starts cdio_, e.g. cdio_open, then it is an externally visible routine in libcdio. If a name starts iso9660_, e.g. iso9660_is_dchar then it is an externally visible routine in libiso9660. If a name starts scsi_mmc_, e.g. scsi_mmc_get_discmode, then it is an externally visible MMC routine. (We don't have a separate library for this yet.

Names using entirely capital letters and that start CDIO_ are externally visible #defines.

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A. ISO-9660 Character Sets

For a description of where are used see See section ISO 9660 Level 1.

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A.1 ISO646 d-Characters

  | 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
0 |       0   P     
1 |       1 A Q     
2 |       2 B R     
3 |       3 C S     
4 |       4 D T     
5 |       5 E U     
6 |       6 F V     
7 |       7 G W     
8 |       8 H X     
9 |       9 I Y     
a |         J Z     
b |         K       
c |         L       
d |         M       
e |         N       
f |         O _     

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A.2 ISO646 a-Characters

  | 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
0 |       0   P                    
1 |     ! 1 A Q                    
2 |     " 2 B R                    
3 |       3 C S                    
4 |       4 D T                    
5 |     % 5 E U                    
6 |     & 6 F V                    
7 |     ' 7 G W                    
8 |     ( 8 H X                    
9 |     ) 9 I Y                    
a |     * : J Z                    
b |     + ; K                      
c |     , < L                      
d |     - = M                      
e |     . > N                      
f |     / ? O _                    

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B. Glossary

See also http://www.dvdrhelp.com/glossary.


See Win32 ASPI


Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA). The same things as IDE.


Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) Packet Interface. The interface provides a mechanism for transferring and executing SCSI CDBs on IDE CD Drives and DVD Drives.

IDE (also called ATA) was originally designed for hard drives only, but with help of ATAPI it is possible to connect other devices, in particular CD-ROMS to the IDE/EIDE connections.

The ATAPI CD-ROM drives understand a subset of MMC commands. In particular multi-initiator commands are neither needed nor deviced for ATAPI devices.


A CD-image format developed by Jeff Arnold for CDRWIN software on Microsoft Windows. Many other programs subsequently support using this format. The .CUE file is a text file which contains CD format and track layout information, while the .BIN file holds the actual data of each track.


Compact Disc


Compact Disc Digital Audio, described in the "Red Book" or ICE 908. This commonly referred to as an audio CD and what most people think of when you play a CD as it was the first to use the CD medium.


Compact Disc + Graphics. An extension of the CD audio format contains a limited amount of graphics in subcode channels. This disc works in all audio players but the graphics portion is only available in a special CD+G or Karaoke player.


Compact Disc Interactive. An extension of the CD format designed around a set-top computer that connects to a TV to provide interactive home entertainment, including digital audio and video, video games, and software applications. Defined by the "Green Book" standard. http://www.icdia.org/. CD-i for video and video music has largely (if not totally) been superceded by VCDs.

CD-i Bridge

A standard allowing CD-ROM XA discs to play on CD-i. Kodak PhotoCDs are CD-XA Bridge discs.


Compact Disc Read Only Memory or "Yellow Book" describe in Standards ISO/IEC 10149. The data stored on it can be either in the form of audio, computer or video files.

CD-ROM Mode 1 and Mode2

The Yellow Book specifies two types of tracks, Mode 1 and Mode 2. Mode 1 is used for computer data and text and has an extra error correction layer. Mode 2 is for audio and video data and has no extra correction layer. CD-ROM/XA An expansion of the CD-ROM Mode 2 format that allows both computer and audio/video to be mixed in the same track.

CD Text

CD Text is a technology developed by Sony Corporation and Philips Electronics in 1996 that allows storing in an audio CD and its tracks information such as artist name, title, songwriter, composer, or arranger. Commercially available audio CDs sometimes contain CD Text information.


CD-ROM EXtended Architecture. A modification to the CD-ROM specification that defines two new types of sectors. CD-ROM XA was developed jointly by Sony, Philips, and Microsoft, and announced in August 1988. Its specifications were published in an extension to the Yellow Book. CD-i, Photo CD, Video CD and CD-EXTRA have all subsequently been based on CD-ROM XA.

CD-XA defines another way of formatting sectors on a CD-ROM, including headers in the sectors that describe the type (audio, video, data) and some additional info (markers, resolution in case of a video or audio sector, file numbers, etc).

The data written on a CD-XA is consistent with and can be in ISO-9660 file system format and therefore be readable by ISO-9660 file system translators. But also a CD-I player can also read CD-XA discs even if its own `Green Book' file system only resembles ISO 9660 and isn't fully compatible.

Command Packet

The data structure that is used to issue an ATAPI command. The same thing as a SCSI Command Descriptor Block (CDB).


Free Software Foundation, http://www.fsf.org/


GNU is not UNIX, http://www.gnu.org/


Integrated Drive Electronics. This is a commonly used interface for hard disk drives and CD-ROM drives. It is less expensive than SCSI, but offers slightly less in terms of performance.


International Standards Organization.

ISO 9660

The ISO 9660 is an operating-system independent filesystem format for CD-ROM media and DVD-ROMs. It was standardized in 1988 and replaced the High Sierra standard for the logical format on CD-ROM media (ISO 9660 and High Sierra are identical in content, but the exact format is different).

There are several specification levels. In Level 1, file names must be in the 8.3 format (no more than eight characters in the name, no more than three characters in the suffix) and in capital letters. Directory names can be no longer than eight characters. There can be no more than eight nested directory levels. Level 2 and 3 specifications allow file names up to 32 characters long.

ECMA-119 (http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-119.htm is the European specification which is identical to ISO 9660. ISO 13490 is basically ISO 9660 with multisession support.

Joliet extensions

This ISO-9660 upward-compatible standard was developed for Windows 95 and Windows NT by Microsoft as an extension of ISO 9600 which allows the use of Unicode characters and supports file names up to 64 characters.

See http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/chaffee/jolspec.html for the Joliet Specification.

The name Joliet comes from the city in Illinois (U.S) that the standard was defined.


Logical Block Addressing. Mapped integer numbers from CD Red Book Addressing MSF. The starting sector is -150 and ending sector is 449849, which correlates directly to MSF: 00:00:00 to 99:59:74. Because an LBA is a single number it is often easier to work with in programming than an MSF.

Lead in

The area of a CD where the Table Of Contents (TOC) and CD Text are stored. I think it is supposed to be around 4500 (1 min) or more sectors in length. On a CDR(W) the lead-in length is variable, because each manufacturer will have a different starting position indicated by the ATIP start of lead-in position that is recorded in the ATIP groove on the disk.


Logical Sector Number. Mapped integer numbers from CD Red Book Addressing MSF. The starting sector is 0 and ending sector is 449699, which correlates to MSF: 00:00:00 to 99:59:74. Because an LSN is a single number it is often easier to work with in programming than an MSF. Because it starts at 0 rather than -150 as is the case of an LBA it can be represented as an unsigned value.


Media Catalog Number. A identification number on an audio CD. Also called a UPC. Another identification number is ISRC.


MMC (Multimedia Commands). A SCSI programming specification made by the SCSI committee T10 organization http://www.t10.org/. MMC are raw commands for communicating with CDROM drives, CD-Rewriters, DVD-Rewriters, etc.

Many manufacturers have adopted this standard and it also applies to ATAPI versions of their drives.

Mixed Mode CD

A Mixed Mode is a CD that contains tracks of differing CD-ROM Mode formats. In particular the first track may contain both computer data (Yellow Book) CD ROM data while the remaining tracks are audio or video data. Video CD's can be Mixed Mode CDs.


A way of writing to a CD that allows more data to be added to readable discs at a later time.

Nero NRG format file

A proprietary CD image file format use by a popular program for Microsoft Windows, Ahead Nero. The specification of this format is not to our knowlege published.

Rock Ridge Extensions

An extension to the ISO-9660 standard which adds POSIX information to files.


Small Computer System Interface. A set of ANSI standard electronic interfaces (originally developed at Apple Computer) that allow personal computers to communicate with peripheral hardware such as CD-ROM drives, disk drives, printers, etc.


SCSI Command Descriptor Block. The data structure that is used to issue a SCSI command.

SCSI Pass Through Interface.

Yet another way of issuing MMC commands for accessing a CD-ROM. As with MMC or ASPI, the CD-ROM doesn't necessarily have to be a SCSI-attached drive. See also MMC and ASPI.


A fully readable complete recording that contains one or more tracks of computer data or audio on a CD.


Super VCD

An improvement of Video CD 2.0 specification which includes most notably a switch from MPEG-1 (constant bit rate encoding) to MPEG-2 (variable bit rate encoding) for the video stream.

Also added was higher video-stream resolution, up to 4 overlay graphics and text (OGT) sub-channels for user switchable subtitle displaying, closed caption text, and command lists for controlling the SVCD virtual machine.

See http://www.dvdrhelp.com/svcd


(Compact Disc) Table of Contents. The TOC contains the starting track number, last track number individual track starting time, and some track flags (copy protection, linear audio preemphasis, track format: CDDA or data). Every CD must have at least 1 TOC, the first TOC is always recorded at the start of the CD (lead-in area). A multi-session CD may have several TOCs.


A unit of data of a CD. The size of a track can vary; it can occupy the entire contents of the CD. Most CD standards however require that tracks have a 150 frame (or "2 second") lead-in gap.


The Video Compact Disc (Video CD or VCD) is a standardized digital video storage format. It is based on the commonly available Compact Disc technology, which allows for low-cost video authoring. Video CD's can be played in most DVD standalone player, dedicated VCD players and finally, modern Personal Computers with multimedia support.

A Video CD is made up of CD-ROM XA sectors, i.e. CD-ROM mode 2 form 1 & 2 sectors. Non-MPEG data is stored in mode 2 form 1 sectors with a user data area of 2048 byte, which have a similiar L2 error correction and detection (ECC/EDC) to CD-ROM mode 1 sectors. While realtime MPEG streams is stored in CD-ROM mode 2 form 2 sectors, which by have no L2 ECC, yield a ~14% greater user data area consisting of 2324 bytes(5)


Win32 ASPI

The ASPI interface specification was developed by Adaptec for sending commands to a SCSI host adapter (such as those controlling CD and DVD drives) and used on Window 9x/NT and later. Emulation for ATAPI drives was added so that the same sets of commands worked those even though the drives might not be SCSI nor might there even be a SCSI controller attached.

However in Windows NT/2K/XP, Microsoft provides their Win32 ioctl interface, and has take steps to make using ASPI more inaccessible (e.g. requiring adminstrative access to use ASPI).

See also MMC

Win32 ioctl driver

Ioctl (Input Output ConTroLs). A Win32 function, implemented in all Microsoft Windows. It is used for sending commands to devices using defined codes and structures.



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C. GNU General Public License

Version 2, June 1991

Copyright © 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

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The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users. This General Public License applies to most of the Free Software Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it. (Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by the GNU Library General Public License instead.) You can apply it to your programs, too.

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.

To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.

For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.

Also, for each author's protection and ours, we want to make certain that everyone understands that there is no warranty for this free software. If the software is modified by someone else and passed on, we want its recipients to know that what they have is not the original, so that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original authors' reputations.

Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.

The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution and modification follow.

  1. This License applies to any program or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this General Public License. The "Program", below, refers to any such program or work, and a "work based on the Program" means either the Program or any derivative work under copyright law: that is to say, a work containing the Program or a portion of it, either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated into another language. (Hereinafter, translation is included without limitation in the term "modification".) Each licensee is addressed as "you".

    Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program). Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.

  2. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program.

    You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

  3. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:
    1. You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
    2. You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.
    3. If the modified program normally reads commands interactively when run, you must cause it, when started running for such interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this License. (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on the Program is not required to print an announcement.)

    These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

    Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program.

    In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License.

  4. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
    1. Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
    2. Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
    3. Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

    The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.

    If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

  5. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.
  6. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.
  7. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.
  8. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

    If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other circumstances.

    It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the integrity of the free software distribution system, which is implemented by public license practices. Many people have made generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed through that system in reliance on consistent application of that system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot impose that choice.

    This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to be a consequence of the rest of this License.

  9. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the original copyright holder who places the Program under this License may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the limitation as if written in the body of this License.
  10. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

    Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

  11. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Program into other free programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the author to ask for permission. For software which is copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation, write to the Free Software Foundation; we sometimes make exceptions for this. Our decision will be guided by the two goals of preserving the free status of all derivatives of our free software and of promoting the sharing and reuse of software generally.

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Appendix: How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs

If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms.

To do so, attach the following notices to the program. It is safest to attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what it does.
Copyright (C) yyyy  name of author

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.

Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.

If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this when it starts in an interactive mode:

Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 19yy name of author
Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the appropriate parts of the General Public License. Of course, the commands you use may be called something other than `show w' and `show c'; they could even be mouse-clicks or menu items--whatever suits your program.

You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names:

Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program
`Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.

signature of Ty Coon, 1 April 1989
Ty Coon, President of Vice

This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public License instead of this License.

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D. GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.1, March 2000

Copyright © 2000 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

    The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other written document free in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.

    This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.

    We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.


    This License applies to any manual or other work that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License. The "Document", below, refers to any such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is addressed as "you".

    A "Modified Version" of the Document means any work containing the Document or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or with modifications and/or translated into another language.

    A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (For example, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.

    The "Invariant Sections" are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License.

    The "Cover Texts" are certain short passages of text that are listed, as Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License.

    A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy, represented in a format whose specification is available to the general public, whose contents can be viewed and edited directly and straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file format whose markup has been designed to thwart or discourage subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent. A copy that is not "Transparent" is called "Opaque".

    Examples of suitable formats for Transparent copies include plain ASCII without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard-conforming simple HTML designed for human modification. Opaque formats include PostScript, PDF, proprietary formats that can be read and edited only by proprietary word processors, SGML or XML for which the DTD and/or processing tools are not generally available, and the machine-generated HTML produced by some word processors for output purposes only.

    The "Title Page" means, for a printed book, the title page itself, plus such following pages as are needed to hold, legibly, the material this License requires to appear in the title page. For works in formats which do not have any title page as such, "Title Page" means the text near the most prominent appearance of the work's title, preceding the beginning of the body of the text.


    You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept compensation in exchange for copies. If you distribute a large enough number of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.

    You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and you may publicly display copies.


    If you publish printed copies of the Document numbering more than 100, and the Document's license notice requires Cover Texts, you must enclose the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly, all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back cover. Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify you as the publisher of these copies. The front cover must present the full title with all words of the title equally prominent and visible. You may add other material on the covers in addition. Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long as they preserve the title of the Document and satisfy these conditions, can be treated as verbatim copying in other respects.

    If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to fit legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as fit reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest onto adjacent pages.

    If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document numbering more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy a publicly-accessible computer-network location containing a complete Transparent copy of the Document, free of added material, which the general network-using public has access to download anonymously at no charge using public-standard network protocols. If you use the latter option, you must take reasonably prudent steps, when you begin distribution of Opaque copies in quantity, to ensure that this Transparent copy will remain thus accessible at the stated location until at least one year after the last time you distribute an Opaque copy (directly or through your agents or retailers) of that edition to the public.

    It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the Document well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Document.


    You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified Version filling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution and modification of the Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modified Version:

    1. Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the History section of the Document). You may use the same title as a previous version if the original publisher of that version gives permission.
    2. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version, together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has less than five).
    3. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the Modified Version, as the publisher.
    4. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document.
    5. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications adjacent to the other copyright notices.
    6. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license notice giving the public permission to use the Modified Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below.
    7. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document's license notice.
    8. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
    9. Preserve the section entitled "History", and its title, and add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If there is no section entitled "History" in the Document, create one stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as stated in the previous sentence.
    10. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it was based on. These may be placed in the "History" section. You may omit a network location for a work that was published at least four years before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of the version it refers to gives permission.
    11. In any section entitled "Acknowledgments" or "Dedications", preserve the section's title, and preserve in the section all the substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgments and/or dedications given therein.
    12. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document, unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers or the equivalent are not considered part of the section titles.
    13. Delete any section entitled "Endorsements". Such a section may not be included in the Modified Version.
    14. Do not retitle any existing section as "Endorsements" or to conflict in title with any Invariant Section.

    If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied from the Document, you may at your option designate some or all of these sections as invariant. To do this, add their titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modified Version's license notice. These titles must be distinct from any other section titles.

    You may add a section entitled "Endorsements", provided it contains nothing but endorsements of your Modified Version by various parties--for example, statements of peer review or that the text has been approved by an organization as the authoritative definition of a standard.

    You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified Version. Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Document already includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.

    The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this License give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modified Version.


    You may combine the Document with other documents released under this License, under the terms defined in section 4 above for modified versions, provided that you include in the combination all of the Invariant Sections of all of the original documents, unmodified, and list them all as Invariant Sections of your combined work in its license notice.

    The combined work need only contain one copy of this License, and multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with a single copy. If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but different contents, make the title of each such section unique by adding at the end of it, in parentheses, the name of the original author or publisher of that section if known, or else a unique number. Make the same adjustment to the section titles in the list of Invariant Sections in the license notice of the combined work.

    In the combination, you must combine any sections entitled "History" in the various original documents, forming one section entitled "History"; likewise combine any sections entitled "Acknowledgments", and any sections entitled "Dedications". You must delete all sections entitled "Endorsements."


    You may make a collection consisting of the Document and other documents released under this License, and replace the individual copies of this License in the various documents with a single copy that is included in the collection, provided that you follow the rules of this License for verbatim copying of each of the documents in all other respects.

    You may extract a single document from such a collection, and distribute it individually under this License, provided you insert a copy of this License into the extracted document, and follow this License in all other respects regarding verbatim copying of that document.


    A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, does not as a whole count as a Modified Version of the Document, provided no compilation copyright is claimed for the compilation. Such a compilation is called an "aggregate", and this License does not apply to the other self-contained works thus compiled with the Document, on account of their being thus compiled, if they are not themselves derivative works of the Document.

    If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less than one quarter of the entire aggregate, the Document's Cover Texts may be placed on covers that surround only the Document within the aggregate. Otherwise they must appear on covers around the whole aggregate.


    Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may distribute translations of the Document under the terms of section 4. Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special permission from their copyright holders, but you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a translation of this License provided that you also include the original English version of this License. In case of a disagreement between the translation and the original English version of this License, the original English version will prevail.


    You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided for under this License. Any other attempt to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Document is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.


    The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns. See http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/.

    Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation.

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ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents

To use this License in a document you have written, include a copy of the License in the document and put the following copyright and license notices just after the title page:

  Copyright (C)  year  your name.
  Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1
  or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
  with the Invariant Sections being list their titles, with the
  Front-Cover Texts being list, and with the Back-Cover Texts being list.
  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU
  Free Documentation License''.

If you have no Invariant Sections, write "with no Invariant Sections" instead of saying which ones are invariant. If you have no Front-Cover Texts, write "no Front-Cover Texts" instead of "Front-Cover Texts being list"; likewise for Back-Cover Texts.

If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.

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General Index

Jump to:   A   B   C   F   G   I   J   L   M   N   R   S   T   V   X  
Index Entry Section

ASPIB. Glossary
ASPIB. Glossary

BIN/CUE, CD Image Format5.2 CDRWIN BIN/CUE Format

CD Text4.1.1 CD Text, CD+G
CD TextB. Glossary
CD XAB. Glossary
CD+G4.1.1 CD Text, CD+G
CD+GB. Glossary
CD-DAB. Glossary
CD-iB. Glossary
CD-i BridgeB. Glossary
CD-ROMB. Glossary
CDB (Command Descriptor Block)9.1 Multimedia Commands (MMC)
CDDB4.1.2 Internet CD Database (CDDB)
Command PacketB. Glossary

FDL, GNU Free Documentation LicenseD. GNU Free Documentation License
frames6.2 block addressing (MSF, LSN, LBA)
FSFB. Glossary

GNUB. Glossary
GPL, GNU General Public LicenseC. GNU General Public License
Green Book4.3 Green Book (CD-i)
Green Book4.4 White Book (DV, Video CD)

ISOB. Glossary
ISO 96604.2.1 ISO 9660
ISO 9660B. Glossary

Joliet extensions4.2.1.4 Joliet Extensions
Joliet extensionsB. Glossary

LBA6.2 block addressing (MSF, LSN, LBA)
LBAB. Glossary
lead inB. Glossary
lead out6.1 tracks -- disc subdivisions
LSN6.2 block addressing (MSF, LSN, LBA)
LSNB. Glossary

MCNB. Glossary
Mixed Mode CDB. Glossary
MMC (Multimedia Commands)B. Glossary
Mode 14.2.2 Mode 1 (2048 data bytes per sector)
Mode 24.2.3 Mode 2 (2336 data bytes per sector)
MSF6.2 block addressing (MSF, LSN, LBA)
MultisessionB. Glossary

Nero NRG, CD-Image format5.3 NRG Format
Nero NRG, CD-Image formatB. Glossary

Red Book4.1 Red Book (CD-DA)
Rock Ridge extensions4.2.1.5 Rock Ridge Extensions
Rock Ridge extensionsB. Glossary

SCSIB. Glossary
SCSI CDBB. Glossary
SCSI Pass Through Interface.B. Glossary
sectors6.2 block addressing (MSF, LSN, LBA)
subchannel4.1 Red Book (CD-DA)
Super VCD (SVCD)B. Glossary

TOC (CD Table of Contents)B. Glossary
track6.1 tracks -- disc subdivisions
trackB. Glossary

Video CD (VCD)B. Glossary

XAB. Glossary

Jump to:   A   B   C   F   G   I   J   L   M   N   R   S   T   V   X  

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And I'm thankful for that since, at least for MMC commands, it is inordinately complicated and in some places arcane.


I wrote "attempts" because over time the command set has changed and now there are several different commands to do a particular function like read a CD table of contents and some hardware understands some of the version of the commands set but might not others


This concept of software emulation of a common hardware command language is common for printers such as using ghostscript to private postscript emulation for a non-postscript printer.


Perhaps this is a libcdio design flaw. It was originally done I guess because it was convenient for VCDs.


actually raw mode 2 sectors have a 2336 byte user data area, but parts of it are used for error codes and headers when using the mode 2 form 1 or form 2 configurations.

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Table of Contents

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About This Document

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