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Archive for the 'CD Text' Category

CD Text and Audio CDs

CD TextCD Text has to be one of the most misunderstood and poorly explained concepts in the world of music. For the life of me I wish someone would eliminate the jargon and stop torturing aspiring musicians and bands that just want to get their music out there in an accepted format.

OK, most people think CD Text is what you see when you put a CD into a computer – WRONG!

CD Text

A media player such as iTunes or Windows Media Player does not use any information on the disc other than the .wav file. If your computer is connected to the internet, it pulls the text data from a giant database called the Grace Note Program Database. It used to be called CDDB, Compact Disc Database. Essentially, its a huge database that anyone can contribute to if you know where the “Submit Track Names” option is in your place.

The point is, when you insert a CD into a computer that is connected to the internet, this database is what supplies the artist, track name, genre and album information you see on your screen, not the CD.

So what’s CD Text then you wonder?

CD Text

Well, its added or embedded into one of the sub-channels on your CD master by your mastering engineer most likely. You have to ask for it. Its not typically a standard aspect of a mastering process. Some mastering studios do and some don’t, the point is ask for it if you want it. Then when you have the cd duplication done, the information passes from your master onto the duplicated discs. If you don’t have it on your CD, do not expect it on your duplicated or replicated CDS.

So, if what I see on my computer isn’t CD Text, why would I have it on my master?

Good question. There are a lot of audio CD players that are equipped to read the CD Text that your engineer embeds into the master. When you insert a disc into an equipped machine, there is an LCD read out that scrolls or does a two line display of artist, track name and album. In that circumstance, that’s CD Text.

Its true whether you are doing cd duplication or cd replication.

CD Text

In future articles I’ll show you how to submit track names and how to check to see if your replicated or duplicated discs have CD Text in them. But for now, this will at least stop you from calling your duplicator to tell them that they didn’t put CD Text on your CDs. At least, I hope it stops you.

posted by Carolyn Holzman in CD Duplication,CD Replication,CD Text,Red Book Audio and have No Comments

What is CD Text?

CD Text is an interesting aspect to creating audio masters. If you don’t know what CD Text is – you’re not alone. I hope this short explanation helps clarify it for you.

There are specific standards for what it takes to create a master that falls within accepted requirements for an audio CD to be prepared. Each disc format has a set of specifications – Red Book Audio and other formats- for audio discs its called Red Book. The specification was released in September 1996 and backed by Sony.

CD Text is an extension of the CD specifications standard. The extension of the specs allows for storage of additional related information on the disc – the information is album name, song title, artist name, genre etc.

There’s approx about 5 kiloytes of space available. What’s interesting is that while provisions have been made to specifications CD text, CD Text itself is by no means universal. There are multiple subchannels where this information can go, some CD burning software put this information in one particular subchannel and another program will put it in another. This is technically not within Red Book Audio but it is allowable and there is a place to put it and still consider it a standards-compliant audio CD.

The text is added to a disc in a format usable by the Interactive Text Transmission System (ITTS) and is readable by CD players that are specifically equipped to read the text in those subchannels and to display that information in a window on the CD player. While many people think putting a CD in a computer and seeing text in the window display is CD Text – it is not. A computer’s media player is not designed to pull information from those subchannels. You’re seeing data from somewhere else. That’s another issue and I’ll post more information on that later.

Things that are considered CD Text would be song titles, artist name(s), album name, genre, ISRC and barcodes.

Adding CD text is a function of your sound  or mastering engineer. It is not a standard function of duplication. If you want this information on your duplicated or replicated, this information must already be embedded on your master.
So if you have it on your master – good for you. If you don’t, do not spend a lot of time agonizing over this – you can always add it later when you make your next round of discs.
posted by Carolyn Holzman in CD Text and have No Comments

CD Text – what is it and why can’t I see it on my computer

CD Text has to be one of the most misunderstood and poorly explained concepts in the world of music. For the life of me I wish someone would eliminate the jargon and stop torturing aspiring musicians and bands that just want to get their music out there in an accepted format.

OK, most people think CD Text is what you see when you put a CD into a computer – WRONG!

A media player such as iTunes or Windows Media Player does not use any information on the disc other than the .wav file. There is a behind the scenes, pay no attention to it, giant database called the Grace Note Program Database. It used to be called CDDB, Compact Disc Database. Essentially, its a huge database that anyone can contribute to if you know where the “Submit Track Names” option is in your place. The point is, when you insert a CD into a computer that is connected to the internet, this database is what supplies the artist, track name, genre and album information you see on your screen, not the CD.

So what’s CD Text then you wonder?

Well, its added or embedded into one of the sub-channels on your CD master by your mastering engineer most likely. You have to ask for it. Its not typically a standard aspect of a mastering process. Some mastering studios do and some don’t, the point is ask for it if you want it.

So, if what I see on my computer isn’t CD Text, why would I have it on my master?

Good question. There are a lot of audio CD players that are equipped to read the CD Text that your engineer embeds into the master. When you insert a disc into an equipped machine, there is an LCD read out that scrolls or does a two line display of artist, track name and album. In that circumstance, that’s CD Text.

In future articles I’ll show you how to submit track names and how to check to see if your replicated or duplicated discs have CD Text in them. But for now, this will at least stop you from calling your duplicator to tell them that they didn’t put CD Text on your CDs. At least, I hope it stops you.

posted by Carolyn Holzman in CD Text and have Comment (1)