How to maintain pre-gaps on audio CDs?



I used Alcohol to burn some audio CDs, and I noticed an interesting thing - despite copying to the .mds/.mdf files with RAW DAO, the pre-gaps (non-zero) from the original audio CD is NOT kept. No matter how I write the image, RAW DAO or SAO/DAO, All tracks except the first (mandatory 2 seconds) is reset to 0 seconds!

What gives? I thought this software was able to make 1:1 copies, but it cannot do that for unprotected audio CDs? I tried all reading options, like reading subchannel data, etc, and the result is the same - the copies do not maintain the original pre-gap information.

I didn’t think this was possible since Alcohol reads sector for sector…

I found this to be true for images read and written to the following drives:

LiteOn LTR-52327S
LiteOn SOHW-1633S
Plextor PX-716A

I did find that if I used the PlexTools CD/DVD copy software included with the Plextor drive, that I could make a copy with pre-gaps. I didn’t try other software, though I did make a nero image and mounted that in a virtual drive, and that didn’t maintain the pre-gaps either.

Is there ANY way to get Alcohol to maintain audio pre-gap information?


This is not the answer you asked for, but Exact Audio Copy (EAC) will copy an audio cd keeping the correct pre-gap information.

EAC will also allow you to compensate for the audio cd read/write offset of your reading/writing drive (you have to configure it yourself though) - something almost no other software will do (PlexTools is the only other such software known to me).

EAC is freeware.

I DO use Alcohol 120% for data discs, but not for audio cds. :slight_smile: