Guess the format



Hello all.

A kind friend from Germany sent me this custom compilation CD for my birthday, thanks Susanne! :flower:
I wanted to have the songs in my hard drive so I inserted the disc in my Premium II, launched PerfectRip
and set the subcode packed reading (MMC 100b) just in case it was a CD+G (error correction by hardware).

Something wasn’t normal, the ripping speed was about 23 sectors per second… I switched to subcode
conventional reading (MMC 001b) and the rip was successful as normal, Plextor’s R-W decoder was having
a hard time with P&Q parities, that was confirmed by Truong, who applied RS logic in the inspection.

I inspected the subs too, in interleaved, deinterleaved and packed views, using CDTool and WinHex.
I compared packed view against 7 different R-W subchannel formats: ZERO mode, LINE-GRAPHICS mode,

A bit frustrated, I inspected the leadin and leadout, subs didn’t look different from the ones in program area
but oh surprise… we have Nero’s out of spec leadout (,
I contacted Susanne and asked her about the used burning software and she confirmed it was Nero,
I found the disc was written in a LITE-ON LTR-40125S with firmware revision ZS0J too.

Since matches with known formats haven’t been found under packed read, I’ll post the grouped view:


There are 25 subcode blocks containing this unknown information and an interruption
of a subcode block, this is repeated in the whole program arrea (25, 1, 25, 1…).

What the heck is this? another Nero fault? Lite-On funny writing? Please help solve the mistery.

Thanks in advance.


Hi all again.

Kind Susanne allowed me to get into her computer using TeamViewer,
so we started experimenting a bit, after a couple of burns I discovered
the garbage was written on discs’ subchannel stream during pregap,
program area and leadout when the software is asked to overburn.

It was discovered also, that the garbage is somehow generated based on
main channel information, this was confirmed when the idea of swapping
tracks came to my mind and I saw practically identical patterns in the
location of the same song between copies with different layouts.

After finding out about Susanne’s burning setup I decided to try to reproduce
the problem in mine… I couldn’t get me the Lite-On model but got me a copy
of Nero 8 Ultra and recorded the ripped tracks from both Lovesongs compilations
with my Plextor drive. Result was garbage in subchannel during pregap and leadout
only when short leadout is written, it was discovered this leadout is really tiny:
only 5 seconds (375 sectors, while CloneCD writes 4500 and the standard
is 6750), but no patterns in user area were found. What a mess… :rolleyes:

As one last effort I uninstalled version 8 Ultra and installed version 7, results:
garbage into subchannel of pregap, leadout and finally into program area,
again only when using short leadout… but Susanne never asked Nero for this! :eek:
I think maybe the difference is between Premium and Ultra versions but I’ve
had enough, no more tests… after all it’s only useless information.

All I wanted was to make sure there was nothing decodable there
and I’m satisfied because this was possible. Thanks go to Susanne,
Truong, Liggy and Herbert for their participations in this quest. :flower:


You can find out the procedure here: