CD-ROM Services

Data CD Specifications

Audio CD Specifications

Data DVD Specifications

Video DVD Specifications

Specifications for CD-ROM Data master discs

Choose the correct mode

Most data CDs should be recorded Mode 1, rather than Mode 2XA.
Data on a CD-ROM is stored in sectors, or blocks of data. Each sector holds 2,352 bytes of data.

On a Mode 1 disc:

  • 16 bytes of data is used to identify to the CD-ROM reader the location and identity of the block.
  • Then follows 2,048 bytes of user data.
  • There is also 304 bytes of extra error correction, above and beyond the standard error correction that exists on all CDs. This is needed because data CD-ROMs are less tolerant to faults than audio CDs.

On a Mode 2XA disc, the extra error correction is dispensed with, allowing 2,336 bytes of user data per sector. This means that because a disc can rotate at only a finite speed, you can read more data per rotation from a Mode 2XA disc than from a Mode 1 disc, making a Mode 2XA disc ideal for multimedia applications, such as QuickTime and MPEG video playback, where high reading speed is critical. But it is at the expense of the extra error correction given by the Mode 1 format.

Therefore, static data (such as text documents, PDFs, graphics, HTML, PowerPoint presentations, etc) should always be recorded Mode 1. Video files, and Enhanced CDs (CDs containing both CD Audio and CD-ROM data) should always be recorded Mode 2XA. This discussion about the merits of Mode 1 or Mode 2XA does not apply to DVD-ROM, because there is no option to record DVD-ROM discs in Mode 2XA.

Check your content

We do not check your data discs before duplicating. It is your responsibility to check whether the content of your discs works well on a variety of players, and on a variety of different computers and operating systems.

  • If you have images in a presentation, such as a PowerPoint file, make sure that the images are embedded in the file, not just linked to a file on your local system.
  • Use standard system fonts. If you use an unusual font, check to see what happens if you play your discs in a computer that doesn't have the font you've used.
  • If you're making your disc playable on Windows and Macintosh computers, make sure that it works both on Mac OS9 and MacOSX.
  • For very high compatibility, keep file names to the old MS-DOS naming system of eight characters plus a three letter extension.
  • If you must use long filenames, keep names to less than 31 characters to ensure compatibility with MacOS9 and earlier. Even if you are not concerned about compatibility with Macintosh computers, keep file names shorter than 64 characters to ensure compatibility with older versions of Windows operating system.
  • Use only alpha-numeric characters in the file names. The underscore (_) and hyphen (-) are also acceptable.
  • Avoid other characters. The slash symbol (/) popularly used in Macintosh file names is incompatible with MS-DOS and Windows operating systems. The other Macintosh habit of putting spaces at the beginning or end of file names is also incompatible with MS-DOS and Windows.
  • Auto-Run, which automatically launches specific files or folders, works on most older Windows computers such as those running Windows XP, but Auto-Run does NOT work reliably on Windows 7 or 8 computers and does NOT work at all on Macintosh computers.
  • For multimedia content, avoid less popular playback formats unless you're sure that your recipients can play them.

Do not use Packet-Writing

Packet-written CDs, such as those written by Adaptec's Direct-CD and Nero's InCD, are NOT suitable for duplication. If you supply a packet-written disc, it will always need to be remastered. Additional charges may apply and additional turnaround time will needed.

Alternative data formats

If you are unable to supply a data CD or DVD master, you can also supply data in the following ways (Additional charges may apply, and you will need to allow extra time.)

In order for us to complete your duplication job accurately, unless you supply us with a ready-to-duplicate disc, you must check the master disc before we proceed.

Alternative ways of supplying data to us include:

  • FTP
  • DropBox
  • Email
  • USB drive
  • SD Card

See also:  Specifications for all master discs

| CD-ROM Data | CD-Audio | DVD-ROM Data | DVD-Video |