|How CD Burner Works|
In the previous sections, we looked at the basic idea of CD and CD-burner technology. Using precise lasers or metal molds, you can mark a pattern of more-reflective areas and less-reflective areas that represent a sequence of 1s and 0s. The system is so basic that you can encode just about any sort of digital information. There is no inherent limitation on what kind of mark pattern you put down on the disc.
But in order to make the information accessible to another CD drive (or player), it has to be encoded in an understandable form. The established form for music CDs, called ISO 9660 , was the foundation for later CD formats. This format was specifically designed to minimize the effect of data errors .
This is accomplished by carefully arranging the recorded data and mixing it with a lot of extra digital information. There are a number of important aspects involved in this system:
The actual arrangement of information on music CDs is incredibly complex. And CD-ROMS -- compact discs that contain computer files rather than song tracks -- have even more extensive error-correction systems. This is because an error in a computer file could corrupt an entire program, while a small uncorrected error on a music CD only means a bit of fuzz or a skipping noise. If you are interested in the various ways that data is arranged on different types of CDs, check out Audio Compact Disc - Writing and Reading the Data .
With some writable CD formats, you have to prepare all of the information before you begin burning. This limitation is built into the original format of CDs as well as the physical design of the disc itself. After all, the long track forms one continuous, connected string of 1s and 0s, and it's difficult to break this up into separate sections. With newer disc formats, you can record files one " packet " at a time, adding the table of contents and other unifying structures once you've filled up the disc.
CD burners are an amazing piece of technology, and the inner workings are certainly fascinating. But to the typical computer user, the most compelling aspect of burners is what you can do with them. In the next section, we'll find out how you can put all of this technology to work and make your own music mix.
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| Table of Contents:
› Introduction to How CD Burners Work
› CD Basics
› Reading & Writing CDs
› Burning CDs
› Erasing CDs
› CD Formats
› Creating Your Own CDs