Compact Disc Overview
Compact Discs have become highly successful for
the distribution of music, games and computer data.
The compact disc celebrated 20 years since its launch in
October 1982. The optical disc format has been very successful in this
time and provides a compact and reliable distribution format not just
for music but for other applications as well. Even with the introduction
of DVD, the CD is still forecast to remain the mainstream format for
music for some years to come.
CD Audios can store up to
80 minutes in a digital format. The specification is defined in
the Red Book.
In 1984, the Yellow Book specification
CD-ROM was published allowing the CD to be used for computer data
The introduction of recordable versions of the CD and the reduction
in price of both hardware and recordable media have encouraged consumers
to make copies of both CDs and CD-ROMs, not just for their own use but
as an alternative to purchasing the legitimate product. This has led
games and music companies to make use of the various copy protection
technologies to reduce the level of home copying and to combat piracy.
The future of the compact disc is now under threat from both the
Internet and DVD. Despite the introduction of DVD,
the CD is likely to remain the dominant format for music for some time to come.
The compact disc supports a range of pre-recorded formats for
music, computer data, video, games and other applications.
These are illustrated in the diagram below and described in sections
on CD Audio and
CD-ROM. Click on any format for more information or
use the links on the left or right above.
- CD Audio is the
original CD format on which all other formats are based. CD Audio
discs may also use
CD-Text, while CD-Extra adds
computer data to the audio.
- CD-ROM is derived from CD
Audio to store computer data for PC games and other applications.
- CD-ROM XA is a
multimedia version of CD-ROM used as the basis for
Video CD and Photo CD.
allows the last two formats to play on CD-I players.
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"The compact disc celebrated 20
years since its launch in October 1982"