This is my first post and hopefully not the last.
The 900 MB CDs have finally arrived in my town. So I took one of them and tested it thoroughly :). Here are some facts regarding burning, reading, ripping and testing a 90-minutes Audio-CD.
How the CD looked: Brand-name: DataTrack (bulk-CD which comes in 100 pieces on a stick, u know what I mean). label: CD-R 99 / 900 MB (99 min) Multispeed (no express burning speed specifications). Serial number: J31 6G41 061 35151C05 80++
First of all, I didn't dare writing 99 minutes of tracks on the medium 'coz I was thinking that would ruin my CD-Writer (happened before in other circumstances lol ). So I burned 90 mins on it.
I used Feurio 1.64 to burn, a HP cd16r Writer and two MP3 albums which summed 89:59 minutes. Feurio recognized the CD as 99:59 minutes CD. Burning went fine @16X and then I took the CD out, took a look at it and realized there was place on it to burn the rest. So HP cd16r Series can burn such a CD to the rim (but see below the writing limit!!!!).
The CD was READABLE in all the CD players I could test it on (about 11, portable or not!!!). It played well also in newer CD-ROMs (32X and higher). But an ANCIENT CD-ROM I have (2X, with play/stop/fwd/next/prev buttons) spitted it out. Now let's go on with the tests.
First test: playing the CD. I played the tracks using Windows Media Player 8. Everything went fine, loud and clear sound, no problems. Then I started jumping from a track to another, jumping between different times inside the same track, all tracks were working fine, except the last one, where I got an error: you know what a flail is? but double-clicking the track played it flawlessly. (could be just Windows Media Player 8 doing the nasty).
Second test: DAE: ripping the tracks (MP3). I used Easy CDDA Extractor 4.7.1 from www.poikosoft.com (registered, fully functional version). Forgot to say I burned a CD-text Audio-CD so Easy CDDA Extractor recognized the tracks' names. I ripped the tracks to MP3z using the following settings: Full-Stereo VBR, min. 192, med. 256, max. 320 KBPS, Highest Quality, CRC-error enabled. Ripping went fine from beginning to end. I used the same CD-Writer I burned the CD on. Ripping results (may depend on system configuration):
Total CD Time:89:59
Ripping average speed:8.61X
Ripping max speed: 10.24X
Ripping min speed (not considerring the ripping speed at the beginning of the track): 7.98X
During ripping there were no speed slowdowns.
Playing the ripped MP3z: NO ERRORS
Third test: DAE: Ripping the tracks (WAV). I used same CD-Writer, same software. Ripped the tracks to Wave (PCM). Ripping results (using my configuration of course):
Ripping Time: 03:35
Ripping Average Speed: 24.88X
Ripping max speed (very end of CD): 34.73X
Ripping min speed (very beginning of CD): 11.4X
During ripping there were no speed slowdowns.
Playing the ripped WAVs: NO ERRORS
Fourth test: CD Test. I used Nero CD Speed utility. Nero CD Speed options:
Test Length: slow (1:1, most accurate tests) - I used this setting becaus I wanted the tests to be as reliable as possible.
Read Speed (limited by inaccurate drive information): 32X
CD Quality check grid limit: auto (and the program went nuts as you shall read below).
Data length (KB): 32.
This effective (but not-so-reliable) tool recognized the CD as 'Audio, length: 89:57.44'. There are some VERY interesting reports in Drive check:
Type: Audio (correct)
Tracks: 19 (0 data, 19 Audio) (correct)
Capacity: 89:57.44 (small error, actually 89:59)
Manufacturer: unknown (code 96m43s37f) (see comments below)
Media code: 96m43s37f (see comments below)
Dye type: 7
Disc type: CD-R
Capacity: 79:59.74 (completely incorrect! Well, this CD type is still unsupported so Nero CD Speed's total available time setting might be limited to this value, not knowing this new kind of media)
Comments: there's an interesting fact concerning the Manufacturer and Media code. Analyze this code! Seems that they have actually written the maximum available capacity of the disk INSIDE it! This is, as read: 96:43.37 (so say NO-NO to 99:00.00 CDs ).
Not to mention that HP cd15r is not accurately recognized (32X max instead of 40X max). But let's go on with the tests.
With the CD still hot in the writer, I began the tests, but I had some serious problems. I will show and comment test results below:
Transfer Rate Test:
Speed: average - 26.46X, start - 15.34X, end - 34.86X
Type: Constant Angular Velocity (CAV).
The graphic bars got OUT OF SCALE (the utility is compiled for only max. 80 mins CDs) but the program was still doing its job to the end.
DAE Test: FAILED! here's the log:
DAE Quality Test - start - No Errors
DAE Quality Test - center - No Errors
DAE Quality Test - end - read error at 88:00.00 (code 023A00)
I have to mention that CD Unit made some weird noises at this point and the CD stopped spinning. The noises seemed like the lens tried to get out of the CD and politely knocked at the door. I waited for about 4 minutes then ejected the CD.
The rest of the tests were made one by one:
- Seek tests:
Random Seek Test: 133 ms
1/3 Seek test: 129 ms
Full Seek test: FAILED at 88:00.00 (code 023A00). Same noises, same behavior, same solution: ejecting the CD. 'Stop' button didn't respond. Actually, it responded when initiating the next test.
Comment: seems that Nero CD Speed doesn't like this time-border (88:00.00).
CPU Usage Test (depends on the CPU):
1X - 8%
2X - 5%
4X - 8%
8X - 24%
Burst Rate Test: 8 MB/s (I cloaked around this, is it because of the UATA/100 data Cable? Still, the CD-writer is UATA/33).
Spin UP/DOWN tests:
Spin Up test - 3.11 sec
Spin Down Test - 2.81 sec
Disc eject/load tests:
Disc Eject time - 1.71 sec.
Disc Load time - 1.75 sec.
Disc Recognition Time - 6.73 sec. (no special timing here, the Disc Recognition Time takes as long as on any other 'traditional' CD).
I've continued with Extra tests of Nero CD Speed. CD Quality test gave some surprising results: at 29:45 (CD Audio time) there was a problem (yellow line) and SURPRISE! Fatal error in the application as it got close to the edge of the CD (around 88:00.00, I suppose!). Test successfully FAILED.
CD Speed - ScanDisc test results:
File test at 0.1X (20 KB/s, Track 19):PASSED.
Surface scan showed the very first cluster of the CD as damaged (yellow spot) but readable. The rest of the disk checked successfully, no errors. When checking again, the whole disk went through testing OK (no more yellow spots, all green and readable).
Now there's the interesting part: after doing all these tests I took the CD and gently scratched it like this:
Two fine scratches along the gaps;
Two fine scratches perpendicular to the gaps;
One deep scratch along the gaps;
One deep scratch perpendicular to the gaps;
One BIG FAT SLIMY fingerprint close to the track start;
One little fingerprint close to the edge;
A scratched spot (many fine,small crossed scratches) in the middle track.
Result: no tests had place as the CD wasn't recognized AT ALL (even after removing the fingerprints and lense-cleaning the CD-Writer).
After a WHOLE freaking day of testing this CD I can tell you that, if you buy such a CD, please VERIFY its media code and manufacturer (I found interesting info there!). DON'T burn more than 96 minutes on it! You might DAMAGE your writer! I do NOT recommend writing at speeds higher than 16X (because I haven't tested such speeds yet heh). Handle the burned CDs with EXTRA CARE! Otherwise, a scratch could render the disk unusable. TEST the Audio CD in your Cd player before burning more such CDs, because it might not recognize it!
I'll do a Data CD test in a couple of days and I'll post the results as well, so be prepared. But there is yet a problem. Overburning function of CD-writers may not work as well in data mode. This is because of the software, and by the way, do you know any piece of software supporting 900 MB CDs?