Understanding CD Mastering

Another newbie joins the group…
Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

I am trying to understand if there is a difference between commercially generated audio CDs and personnaly created audio CDs with CD-Text.

If anyone can shed some light on this subject, I would be extremely appreciative.


There are certainly differences in pressed (replicated) discs and burnt CD-Rs. However, the way CD-Text is stored on them should be the same.


When properly copied from a a pressed audio CD
a Home burned CD is only different mechanically
from the pressed CD.

The pressed shows it’s reflective/non-reflective pits
purely by the means of the pressing.

On a Burned CD all the pits are equally reflective until the
dye is burned this resulting in changing it’s color and thus reflectivity.

If you make two CD-R copies of a specific CD that didn’t have any
CD-Text as pressed one of those copies with text and the other without text an aftermarket car stereo that has somethign like Sony’s “Custom file” feature will not be able to tell the three discs apart, because the text information is recorded on a physical part of the disc that is not normally used for audio information.

If I haven’t covered your so general question ask a more detailed question and I’ll give it another go…


RM and AD, thank you for the responses. AD, I think you are correct that my question was too general. Allow me to restate:

I am creating an “indie” audio CD (not a copy of a commercial). It is my understanding that Windows Media player is not able to read CD-Text.

What I have noticed is that when reading a commercial CD, Windows Media Player will see the track names, album title, and the cover art as well.

I have successfully burned my indie audio CD with CD-Text, but Media Player cannot see it (without a plug-in specifically for that purpose).

So my real question is, what do I need to do to create my own CD so that the track titles and the album title (AND album art) can be seen as it is with commercial CDs?

Thanks again!

I have read that Windows Media Player does not read CD-Text from any CD. Instead, it gets the track listing details (start times and length) and trys to find a matching CD in an online database. Even EAC can do this online database search. So, if someone has ever entered the details (text info) of a CD then the database lookup will return the track names etc… even if the CD does not have CD-Text on it.

What you need is to make sure you write the CD-Text info into the subchannel of the leadin when you make your CD-R (even Nero will do some of the CD-Text for you). Then, the factory you select to make copies (replicas) needs to make sure they know there is CD-Text to be used.

So, the track names etc… you see with music players might not be coming from CD-Text but from an online database instead. If your new creation is not out in the world yet, then it will not be in the database yet.

Also, the album art is never stored on an audio CD so this just helps prove that the informaiton is coming from a database.

Even if you do all the above and your CD has CD-Text, Windows Media Player will still not see it on the CD. Someone will have to enter this info into the database before it will see it.

Hope this makes sense.


WMP gets the data the way most computer audio programs do, by comparing a “waveform” (a combination of track lengths in miliseconds, number of tracks track gaps and peak volume levels at certain time locations) with a database of similar data used to identify CD’s.

Ever notice that sometimes two completely different CD’s are proposed as a possiuble “match” to the CD in question?

That because although there are a near infinite number of possibilities occasionally two differen CD’s will hav characteristics cloe enough that the database comparison software will question it.

Like a 3 doors down CD that resembles a classical music CD…
OR a Led Zeppelin CD that gets confused for a jazz album, etc…

Delete the cookies on a computer and start feeding it CD’s and you’ll get some amusing comparisons:)

Want your CD identified? take a copy of it to every computer you can find and load it into the drive… as the CD is entered into the database the first few times it’ll say it’s unable to identify it
and force you to enter the data manually.

After a period of time this will become unnecissary as you enter the data several times from several sources into the same database.

Hey, when I first inserted my new at the time AC/DC "Black Ice"
it was a “no hit” on three different databases.
So I entered it manually…

I’ll bet that those databases would identify it now:)

Though CD-Text is far from universal more and more new CD’s are having it, because the CD-makers are catching up to the reality that most aftermarket car stereos over the last 4-5 years have this capability, AND people have gotten spoiled by portable mp3 devices
and satellite radios that identify all songs by artist and title…

The record labels have adopted it as another piece of wreckage from their sinking ship to cling to to get a few more breaths before they drown.

Frankly I don’t object to $12 Cd’s, what I object to are $15 & $18 CD’s