Old 19-05-2002   #1
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How to recognize and copy and/or rip protected audio music cd

Last edited on: 2002-12-01

Available audio cd protections:
Note: this list is not complete, more protections are available. Availability is mainly targeted at Europe.

How to recognize a protected audio cd:
  • use Clony XXl (German version, homepage might be down. English version can be found here.)
  • use Tccd Scout (German version. English version unavailable ?)
  • visual inspection
Note: Clony XXL/Tccd Scout will not always properly recognize the protection because audio protections are hardware dependant protections, dependant on your reader. Your reader might not properly report/read the content of the disc in which case Clony XXL can't determine the protection. Another factor: audio protections are still evolving and newer versions are silently released.

Cactus Data Shield 200 (Example: Natalie Imbruglia - White lillies island)

A CDS200 protected audio cd can be recognized by visual inspection as follows:
  • Copyright statement refering to Midbar Tech, Tel-Aviv, Israel somewhere on the front/back cover or inlay.
  • Availability of the Cactusplayer (= proprietary mp3-player) when cd is inserted in a cd-rom player.
  • Availability of the hidden textfile 'versions.txt' in the datatrack. In this file the used version of CDS200 is mentioned. Note: older versions of CDS200 may not have this file.

Key2Audio (Example: Shakira - Laundry service)

A Key2Audio protected audio cd can be recognized by visual inspection as follows:
  • Warning stating 'will not play on pc/mac' on the front/back cover and labelside of cd.
  • Textstring 'Sony Music' or 'Sony dadc' on the innerring on the data-side of the cd.

[update 2002-12-01]
Doc.Loc (Example: Hitzone 21 - various artists, released in the Netherlands)

A Doc.loc protected audio cd can be recognized by visual inspection as follows:
  • Textstring 'DocData' on the innerring on the data-side of the cd.
Note: DocData not only develops audio copy protections, it has also normal cd replication/manufacturing plants. It has been reported that non-protected cds also may have the textstring 'DocData' on the innerring on the data-side of the cd.

Logo's

The record industry nowadays uses special logo's so customers can recognize cds which contain copy protections. The following logo's are used:

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This logo is a general logo stating the cd has a copy protection.

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This logo states the cd can be played on most cd/dvd players but not on a personal computer.

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This logo states the cd can be played on a personal computer but cannot be copied.

Note: A lot of modern dvd players are also able to play mp3 cds. In order to achieve this a cdrom is used. This means you can encounter the same problems as when trying to play this cd on your personal computer.

A user-contributed list of protected cds around the world can be found here. Note: be aware that wrong information might be displayed! For the Netherlands an official site with list can be found here.
[/update]

How to copy/rip a protected audio cd:

General considerations:

Audio protections are hardware dependant protections, based on your reader. This means that when you have the 'right' reader, audio protections will give (almost) no trouble copying/ripping. But it could also mean that when you have the 'wrong' reader you won't be able to copy/rip the cd at all... The writing part is not interesting because all available writers are able to write protected audio cds.

Tricks used by audio protections: illegal Table Of Content entries, multi-session tricks. A normal audio cd-player is a single-session device, it just reads the first session where the audio tracks are, it isn't bothered by the extra sessions because it can't read the extra sessions. Also, an audio cd-player expects only audio-tracks so can't be confused by illegal TOC entries which claim that the audio-tracks are data-tracks. A Cdrom-player (or dvd-player, cd-writer) is a multi-session device, it tries to read all sessions. But these (illegal) extra sessions are purposely added to the cd to fool the cdrom-player. Also, a cdrom-player can read audio as well as data, so it can be confused by illegal TOC entries which claim that audio-tracks are data-tracks.

Because the protection is hardware dependant we can classify 3 categories:[list=1][*] reader is (almost) not affected by protection and just reads the cd.[*] reader is affected by protection, but is still able to read the cd using tricks.[*] reader is affected by protection and can't even read the cd using tricks.[/list=1]
1.) You are lucky, you can copy/rip the protected cd relatively easy with programs like CloneCD, Feurio or ExactAudioCopy or Isobuster. You might need to tweak the advanced settings of these programs.
2.) You are still able to copy/rip the protected cd with the marker-trick.
3.) You are not able to read the protected cd, whatever you try, you won't succeed. Only option: try another firmware which might make your reader able to read the protected cds. LiteOn is a good example for this, since november 2002 recent models can suddenly read most audio protections, while before they couldn't read almost any...

[update 2002-12-01]
Recommended hardware:
  • Yamaha CRW F1 (appears to read all copy protections and all versions of the copy protections, also the older and more harder versions)
  • Plextor - all models
  • LiteOn - starting from models 40sp and higher with the latest firmware
[/update]

General tips regarding the used software:

CloneCD v4 is the easiest way to backup your audio protected cd. Just use the audio-profile which reads only the first session so your backup is not protected anymore.
Feurio can be used to rip the tracks. Of course your backup, when writing the ripped tracks, isn't protected anymore. Feurio is able to detect illegal TOC entries and gives you the option to ignore the further sessions and illegal entries. If you succeed in reading the protected audio cd with CloneCD you should also be able to rip it with Feurio. You might need to tweak the advanced settings of Feurio first.
Exact Audio Copy can be used to rip the tracks. Of course the protection is gone after ripping. In some cases you might need the option 'manually detect TOC' in order to be able to rip the tracks. The advantage of EAC is its secure reading method (which has nothing to do with the protection).


Always try to let your application to close the cd-tray with the protected audio cd in it. Do not insert the protected audio cd earlier because Windows might interfere with it and 'activate' the protection. Programs like CloneCD lock the drive so Windows can't mess up things. Again: don't insert the disk to early!

In order to prevent Windows (or the firmware of your drive) to access the protected cd too early, you also need to make sure that you have disabled 'auto insert notification' and 'auto play'. These options can be disabled through the device manager or the registry, depending on your Windows version. CloneCD also has a special entry in its settings for disabling these settings.

How to copy/rip a protected audio cd if the above mentioned methods don't work:
  • make a digital copy using your audio cd-player and a soundcard.
  • make an analog copy using your audio cd-player and a soundcard.
If your audio cd-player has a digital-out and your soundcard has a digital-in, you could connect the two and use the 'record audio data'-option from Feurio. Total Recorder is also able to record from line-in.
If your audio cd-player has no digital-out or your soundcard has no digital-in, you could still connect the 2 the analog way. Just connect the line-out cinch-plug with the line-in minijack-plug of your soundcard. Again use Feurio or Total Recorder to record incoming audio data. The disadvantage of this method is you are copying in the analog domain, your digital data is converted twice which might degrade the resulting copy. In practice an analog copy can be very good, but we CDFreakers prefer the best, so we go for the digital copy!


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Last edited by Upp3rd0G; 01-12-2002 at 23:53.
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Old 19-05-2002   #2
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you can also try scout if clony xxl not works..
oh and the correct address for the english clony xxl site is clony.tk

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Old 19-05-2002   #3
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when you use the digital in and use total recorder for the recording means that you let the soundcard do the da bit and let the soundrecorder capture this soundstream back to digital. I think therefor that even if you use the digital out and in this is still a analog copy


With the plextools there is the option to read only the first session of a cd
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Old 11-06-2002   #4
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great article!!

thx
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Old 11-06-2002   #5
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Congratulations for your guide.
My experience with Clonecd and cds 200 wasn't that good : it copied all the audio tracks on the first track of the cd-r and the other ones were empty. I have an ultraplex 40max and i've heard that other people had the same problem.
At that time, i didn't know that "read toc manually" couldn't be activated in beginner mode. So i used my writer (matshita 7502b) with the default settings of EAC and it did the job !!
Surprising but true.
With key2audio v2 my ultraplex is just fine.
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Old 12-06-2002   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ludwig van moza
My experience with Clonecd and cds 200 wasn't that good : it copied all the audio tracks on the first track of the cd-r and the other ones were empty. I have an ultraplex 40max and i've heard that other people had the same problem.
Very strange... my Ultraplex fw 1.13 cuts through CDS200 like butter, it recognizes the disk faster then a Key2Audio cd! I have never seen somebody claiming that his Ultraplex could not read CDS200... Did you make sure that autoplay was off and you let CloneCD close your tray?
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Old 12-06-2002   #7
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Yes autoplay was off and i started clonecd before inserting the disc. I used the audio profile with "first session only" and my firmware is 1.13. It's quite a pitty i don't remember where i read that someone had the same experience. Maybe it's on cdfreaks.
I don't have any explanation. Anyway, i did the job with my writer and EAC.
If you have an ultraplex, you know it's possible to make an image of the audio disk (pxi) withe cd copy in Plextools. But i don't have a plextor writer. Do you know a way (= a software) to burn a pwi image without a plextor writer ?
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Old 12-06-2002   #8
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Nope, never used Plextools, did not know about the image format, don't know any other tools who can write that image...

I am not sure if starting CloneCD is already enough before inserting the cd, I would recommend to start CloneCD, select your reader, open your tray of your reader, insert protected audio cd, click "next" to create the image, CloneCD will now close the tray for you.
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Old 12-06-2002   #9
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Ok, i didn't do that. I'll try that next time. But EAC seems easier and i don't know if Clonecd is good to detect and correct errors. I think v. 4 can do that.
Thanks for your advice.
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Old 17-06-2002   #10
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I can tell you that i've tried clone cd latest version on EpiodeII Clone Attack but in the cd i have clone cd says there is only one session ! I had to use eac latest version to rip correctly with Teac cdw 58e. plextor ultra40x no problem with plextools, nero, feurio.
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Old 18-06-2002   #11
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The Star Wars episode 2 soundtrack cd has key2audio v3 here in the Netherlands. My Plextor px-40ts, sees 2 sessions (1. audio session, 2. data session), but apparently some Toshiba drives see 3 sessions on a key2audio v3 disk... In your case you only see 1 session and that is OK, because there is only usefull data in the first session, that is: the audio part! The rest of the session are corrupted sessions with corrupted data... so you don't need/want the rest of the sessions when backing up this audio cd.
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Old 18-06-2002   #12
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Ya that's probably correct. next week i'll try the cd in a datarius cds4 cd control system wich will tell me exactly how thing really are! BTW how can you recognize the key2audio version?
Thanks!
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Old 18-06-2002   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by sasha79
Ya that's probably correct. next week i'll try the cd in a datarius cds4 cd control system wich will tell me exactly how thing really are! BTW how can you recognize the key2audio version?
Thanks!
What is this datarius cds4 cd control system? I could not find any info about this device on the website of DaTARIUS.
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Old 18-06-2002   #14
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Well it is now called CD Replica Tester (L-5.1)!
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Old 18-06-2002   #15
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What can you test for with this device? Does it show c2 errors?

[edit]
I found the pdf. Interesting device, it can test a lot, including all possible errors c1/c2/burst/bler! Can you mail me the results of the test done by this machine on your StarWars cd?
[/edit]
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Old 18-06-2002   #16
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Ok no problem, last time i tested celine dion's cd there was an invalid change of mode in the 2nd session the same as shakira's cd. The weird thing is that this 2 cds were no problem for teac cdw58e, asus 50x and toshibasdm1222. with SWEpII only teac was able to read the audio data!
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Old 18-06-2002   #17
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What does this device do? It spits out a txt-file with the testresults? I would be very interested in receiving the most extensive testresults which are possible with this device! Preferably of all 3 cd's you mention (Celine Dion, Shakira, SWepII)! Please!

How come you have access to such a machine? Do you work at a cd mastering/replicating manufacturer?
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Old 19-06-2002   #18
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Unfortunately it does not spit out a txt file! it print's out a 1 to 3 page test result and shows on a monitor a lot of parameters for the cd from phisical errors to digital errors, analog errors etc. A friend of mine works in cd dvd manufacturing plant wich has this testing machine. So when i have the chance to see him i give him the cds.
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Old 28-06-2002   #19
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Key2audio tested with 27 drives

An old post @afterdawn : english summary of a ZDnet.fr test of 27 drives facing key2audio.

http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/3332
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Old 28-06-2002   #20
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If you need to make a digital copy of a protected CD via SPDIF, slave the clock of your soundcard to the SPDIF input if it is possible, it's the only way to get bit-perfect copies.
Otherwise, an asynchronous sample rate conversion is performed on the incoming data to prevent drop outs due to clock drift. It doesn't affect the sound very much, but it's better to have lossless copies.

Works with MAudio Audiophile 2496, Terratec DMX 6fire, Terratec EWX, Hoontech DSP, Echo Mia, Marian Marc2, Midiman delta DIO...

Not supported by Creative labs or Hercules soundcards.
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Old 29-06-2002   #21
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For Upp3rd0G :

Just received a 3 page scan of the report for shakira's cd. I can mail them to you but i don't have your email address. Please send me email so i can reply with pics!
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Old 03-07-2002   #22
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Cool! Please mail it to: upp3rd0g@cdfreaks.com

Thanx.

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Old 04-07-2002   #23
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I sent them now!
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Old 22-08-2002   #24
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Hi Insomnia and everybody

Please could you tell me where I can download SCOUT?

Also can anyone help me with this:-

When copying audio cd's I use clony xxl 2.0.0.6.
After scanning the cd in clony I change the read settings to max then start clone cd but the read audio cd setting on clone cd stays at x4 this is alot slower than I would like.
can you tell me why clony will not transfer or clone cd will not accept the altered settings.
If I manually start clone cd without using clony then go to copy an audio cd, clone cd will let me change the speed, if going from clony it will not give me the option to manually change the read speed.

Help please
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Old 22-08-2002   #25
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ClonyXXL doesn't always work while copying audio protected cds. (Read the first post of this thread for more explanation.)

For CloneCD just use the audio profile, make whatever changes you want to make to the profile but leave the option 'read first session only' ticked. The audio readspeed in CloneCD depends on the setting of the 'Audio Extraction Quality' option in the audio profile.

Good luck!


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