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Burning and Software


Section 8: Burning and Software
  1. Buffer underrun
  2. Buffer underrun Errors Occur When using USB CD-R/RW Drive to Write CD`s
  3. Sessions
  4. Addressing
  5. Disc at Once
  6. Track at Once
  7. Track Multi-Session
  8. Packet Writing
  9. Term "On the Fly".
  10. Fixation
  11. Nero & MP3
  12. "Jitter" Problems
  13. How to Burn MP3 CD
  14. Dell`s User Guide for Easy CD 4.02


Please feel free to e-mail me about different Burning software or additional Tips




Section 8: Burning

8-0-1: Buffer underrun:

The Writing process, no matter which mode, is continuous from start to finish. The laser switches on at the beginning of a session and remains in continuous operation until that session is completely finished. The CD format requires the interleaving of data between blocks during the writing process to help ensure data integrity. To properly interleave the data, the drive needs an overview of it, thus the data buffer. For the laser in a CD/RW to operate continuously it must have a continuous supply of data, if at any time it runs out of data to write, the process is interrupted. Unlike hard disks, the CD/RW drive can not pick up where it left off on the next spin of the disc, resulting in an buffer underrun error, you may have yourself a coaster.

To help prevent this error, if your software allows it:

Disable any TSR Programs:

No multi-tasking, just do the writing process only. Scan Disk and Defrag regularly, do not neglect.

The manufacturer of your drive and / or the software that you use will have additional tips on their web sites, on how to avoid buffer underruns.

Additional info: Increasing buffer cashe or memory is two-fold, Software and Hardware. The Hardware is an internal on-board chip, most of the newer models have from 2 - 4 MBs, may be greater by now. The Software will depend somewhat on the "burning software" you are using, but it is basically the folder on your hard-drive that the software stores the "image" or data temporarily for the burning process. Most "burners" will use Windows\temp folder which on the majority of our PC`s is cluttered with miscellaneous items of other programs. A good suggestion is to create a new folder, call it whatever you like and use it for only the "burning" software. As for the size just a reminder, one minute of audio is about 10 MBs.


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8-0-2: Bufferrun Errors Occur When using USB CD-R/RW Drive to Write CD's (Article Q261461)


Buffer Underrun Errors Occur When Using a USB CD-R/RW Drive to Write CDs. Article Q261461

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition


When you are using a Universal Serial Bus (USB) CD-R/RW drive to write (burn) CDs, you may receive buffer underrun errors, and/or the write process does not succeed.


There is no USB mechanism to reserve bulk transfer bandwidth. Other USB devices that are present, including network adapters, reduce the bandwidth that is available to the CD-R/RW drive, which results in buffer underruns during the write (burn) process.


When you are using a USB CD-ROM drive to write (burn) CDs, disconnect all other USB devices that are sharing the same bus as the CD-R/RW.

Additional query words:

Keywords : kberrmsg kbhw kbWinME
Issue type : kbprb
Technology :


Last Reviewed: January 16, 2001


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8-0-3: Sessions:

A session is a single recorded segment on a CD which may contain, data, audio, or images. Each session on the disc begins with a lead-in, which provides space for a table of contents for the session, and is fixed at 4500 sectors. This is equivalent to1 minute of audio or 9 MB of data which is left blank and is filled in only when you close the session. The last session, lead-out, contains no data but only signals to the CD player that it reached the end of the active data area. The first lead-out is 6750 sectors, 1.5 minutes or 13 MB of data. Any subsequent lead-outs on a single disc lasts for 2250 sectors, about half a minute or 4 MB of data.

8-0-4: Addressing:

The track is the basic addressing scheme of the CD, but they are not the same as hard disk tracks. They are similar to the cuts on a phonograph record. The CD standard allows up to 99 tracks. The tracks are contiguous and sequentially numbered and consists of at least 300 large frames. Part of each track is a transition area called pre-gap and post-gap areas ( for data discs ) or pause areas ( for audio discs ).

8-0-5: Track at Once:

The TAO process writes an entire track in a single operation. The track can be in any format that your CD/RW can write, a CD-ROM compatible disc or a CD-DA disc for your home stereo system. The requirements are that the track must be larger than 300 blocks and smaller than the total capacity of the disc minus the overhead and that you designate what files you want to put on the disc.

Originally, the big limitation of track-at-once writing was that you could write only one track on a disc in a single session. Consequently, unless you had a lot to write at one setting you could waste a great deal of disc space. Newer models / software allow you to add one track at a time within a single session. Each track has an overhead totaling 150 blocks of overhead for lead-in, lead-out, pre-gap, and linking. CD standards allows 99 tracks per disc.

8-0-6: Disc at Once:

Typically to make a CD using Disc-at-Once writing, you will prepare an exact image of the CD and store this on your hard drive. The drive must be A/V rated so that it does not interrupt the data stream for thermal calibration or other "house-keeping" to prevent " buffer underruns". The DAO process must be totally free from interruption from the beginning of the lead-in area to the completion of the lead-out area. The Table of Contents, all tracks and the Q channel must all be prepared before the writing process begins. The entire disc will be written in one swoop in the order that the formatting data appears on the disc. Think of DAO as a combination of TAO and multi-session writing that simply extends across the entire CD.

8-0-7: Track Multi-Session

TMS writing allows you to add to the discs as you have the need for it by dividing the capacity of the disc into multiple sessions, up to about 50 of them. Each session has many of the characteristic of a complete CD, including its own lead-in and lead-out areas as well as Table of Contents. The one draw back is that each session requires about 13.5 MB of additional space. Most modern CD/RW drives allows you to write more than one track in a given session. The advantage of this technique is the elimination of most of the 13.5 MB session overhead. Instead of lead-in and lead-out tracks, each pair of tracks is separated by 150 blocks (Two Seconds) of pre-gap---overhead of only about 300 KB. The entire session must be framed by its own lead-in, lead-out, and Table of Contents areas.

In multi-session discs, the drive writes to the lead-in area after it finishes with the data on the disc. The lead-in contains the table of contents for the session as well as an indication of the remaining writeable area on the disc. The lead-in of the last session on the disc indicates that no more sessions are present, closing the disc.

8-0-8: Packet Writing

Think of PW in terms of a big floppy or like your hard drive, you add data to the disc simply by saving a file. With the appropriate software, you can drag and drop files to the CD/RW as in Windows Explorer. A packet is a block of data smaller than a track. Your drive accepts the packet and write it to the disc, identifying it with 4 blocks of lead-in information, two blocks of lead-out and a link block. Each packet thus suffers seven blocks or about 15 KB of overhead in addition to that required for directory information. Packet writing requires drives and software that follow the UDF (Universal Data Format) system.


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8-0-9: Term "On the Fly" by Mark A

Here is a Quote from Mark that explains this very nicely: There a basically two ways to copy information (data, music, pictures - all are just digital info) to a recordable CD disk.

"On the Fly" is one way. You tell the "burning" software (this is the copying program that should come bundled with your CD/RW drive) to use your old CD-ROM drive to copy the source disk in it directly to the blank disk that is in the cdrw drive. While this is the fastest and easiest way to make a copy, it is prone to something called "buffer underruns" that will ruin the blank disk if they occur. A buffer underrun happens when the old CD-ROM drive can't send the data to the cdrw drive fast enough or steadily enough. Your cdrw drive needs a fast and steady stream of data flowing to it during copying ("burning"). This is because the burning process cannot be slowed or paused once it is started.

The second way to make a copy is to move all the source information to your hard drive first and then start the burn process. Your hard drive will have no problem sending that fast and steady data stream to the cdrw, but you may need to stop using your PC for other things while a burn is in process so that the hard drive and processor can concentrate on the burning task and not be interrupted.

You do not need to have both a CD-ROM drive and a cdrw drive unless you want to burn on the fly. When you only have a cdrw drive, you can use it to copy the source CD to your hard drive. Once it is moved onto the hard drive, you simply remove the source CD from the cdrw drive and replace it with a blank and then burn. I do my copies this way even though I have a CD-ROM drive that came with my Dell. That is because my CD-ROM drive is a bit older and is not good at extracting audio as my cdrw drive does a better job of copying music to the hard drive.

Once you get your cdrw, read the manual that comes with it. It should tell you in more detail how to use the burning software that they have provided.

8-0-10: Fixation

Before a CD that you write can be read by a CD-ROM / DVD drive or the audio CD player in car or your stereo system, it must have an overall table of contents that follows the ISO 9660 standard. The process of finishing the disc for reading is termed fixation. You must close the disc which in turns writes an overall absolute lead-in area and absolute lead-out area for the entire disc.

Multi-session drives also can create discs that are fixated for appending. The individual sessions each have their own table of contents that reflects the session actually written on the disc, but the disc lacks the overall lead-in and lead-out areas. When you've added the last session to the disc, the finalization process writes an indication on the disc that no further sessions are present and then writes the overall disc lead-in and lead-out areas, completing a table of contents compatible with the ISO 9660 standard. Most CD mastering programs refer to this as Closing the disc.

8-0-11: Nero & MP3

Burning MP3 files (.mp3) with Nero.

MP3 audio files (extension .mp3) have become one of the most common file formats of the Internet community if compressed audio data is to be transmitted. That’s why Nero now supports burning of MP3 files. These files can now be dragged and dropped into Nero audio compilations just like wave files (.wav) or audio tracks (.CDA).
Nero is able to burn MP3 files on the fly, which means that you do not have to convert them first in wave format, or to store the uncompressed audio data into a cache file before burning them. The maximum burning speed for MP3 files depends highly upon the speed of your processor, since uncompressing MP3 files requires a great deal of floating point operations. As a rule of thumb, a 100 MHz Pentium processor is capable to uncompress MP3 data at about 2x speed. A faster 250 MHz Pentium II processor should be able to decode MP3 data at 4x or even faster. MP3 files can currently only be played under Windows 95, 98 and NT.

MP3 files from the Internet may be sometimes damaged. These problems might cause crackling noises. If such damaged MP3 files are dragged into a Nero audio compilation, Nero will then display a warning. There will be another warning in the Nero’s log file telling, that Nero lost synchronization within the MP3 file. There might also be MP3 files (extension .mp3) that cannot be decoded by Nero at all. Such files are probably either severely damaged or contain another audio file format like MPEG 2.0 or any other unsupported sound format. Nero’s MPEG3 library currently supports only standard MP3 files (that means ISO MPEG 1.0 layer 3, 44.1 kHz, 16 bit, stereo).

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8-0-12: "Jitter" Problems ( quote from Andy McFadden`s page)

The first thing to know is that there are two kinds of jitter that relate to audio CDs. The usual meaning of "jitter" refers to a time-base error when digital samples are converted back to an analog signal; see for a discussion. The other form of "jitter" is used in the context of digital audio extraction from CDs. This kind of "jitter" causes extracted audio samples to be doubled-up or skipped entirely. (Some people will correctly point out that the latter usage is an abuse of the term "jitter", but we seem to be stuck with it.)

"Jitter correction", in both senses of the word, is the process of compensating for jitter and restoring the audio to its intended form. This section is concerned with the (incorrect use of) "jitter" in the context of digital audio extraction.

The problem occurs because the Philips CD specification doesn't require block-accurate addressing. While the audio data is being fed into a buffer (a FIFO whose high- and low-water marks control the spindle speed), the address information for audio blocks is pulled out of the subcode channel and fed into a different part of the controller. Because the data and address information are disconnected, the CD player is unable to identify the exact start of each block. The inaccuracy is small, but if the system doing the extraction has to stop, write data to disk, and then go back to where it left off, it won't be able to seek to the exact same position. As a result, the extraction process will restart a few samples early or late, resulting in doubled or omitted samples. These glitches often sound like tiny repeating clicks during playback.

On a CD-ROM, the blocks have a 12-byte sync pattern in the header, as well as a copy of the block's address. It's possible to identify the start of a block and get the block's address by watching the data FIFO alone. This is why it's so much easier to pull single blocks off of a CD-ROM.

With most CD-ROM drives that support digital audio extraction, you can get jitter-free audio by using a program that extracts the entire track all at once. The problem with this method is that if the hard drive being written to can't keep up, some of the samples will be dropped. (This is similar to a CD-R buffer underrun, but since the output buffer used during DAE is much smaller than a CD-R's input buffer, the problem is magnified.)

Some CD-ROM drives, e.g. most of the Plextor models, include special circuitry that enables them to accurately detect the start of a block.

An approach that has produced good results is to do jitter correction in software. This involves performing overlapping reads, and then sliding the data around to find overlaps at the edges. Most DAE programs will perform jitter correction.


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8-0-13: How to Burn an MP3 CD ( from Music Center )

How to Burn an MP3 CD
CD burners are one of the hottest selling pieces of hardware right now and for good reason. The drives are cheap, as are CD-R/RW discs, if you know where to look. Burning MP3s to CD makes sense, considering discs can hold up to 650MB, even though you won't be able to play the thing on most stereos. (Certain CD players are capable of playing MP3 CDs; see the Next Steps section below.)

Note: This page shows you how to create a CD full of MP3s for playback on your computer or special players that handle MP3 CDs (console or portable). To turn MP3s into a CD that can be played on a normal stereo, read this other tutorial.

   Before you start, you'll need to gather these elements:

Follow These Simple Steps


Step One
Purchase and install a CD-R/RW drive. You'll also need to get your hands on either a CD-R or a CD-RW disc. The difference between the two is simple: CD-R means permanent, whereas CD-RW means rewriteable. Both can be created with the same CD-ROM drive, but only CD-Rs will play on a standard stereo. For this project, we recommend CD-RW, since the goal is computer playback.

Step Two
Collect the MP3s you want to use in one folder, then right-click the folder and choose Properties. Make sure the file size is under 650MB, which is the most music you can fit.

Step Three
Save a playlist that contains every song in the folder into that same folder (in Winamp, hit the PL button, choose Add Dir, and select the folder you want to put all the MP3s in). You might then randomize the playlist (in Winamp, go to PL/Misc/Sort List and select Randomize List). For more information on creating playlists with other programs, see the help file that comes with your MP3 player software. However you create the playlist file, make sure you burn it on the CD along with the MP3s.

Step Four
Open the software that came with your CD burner and choose data CD, not audio CD, as the style of burning, since you're creating a CD full of MP3s to play on your computer rather than a RedBook audio CD.

Step Five
Select everything in the MP3 folder in question (including the playlist or M3U file that you created) to be burned.

Step Six
Commence burning and step away from your machine; it's got to do all the work now. Pressing buttons or using another application will only help screw things up. When it's finished churning, delete those now-archived MP3 files from your hard drive to create more space, and label the CD case so that you know what the thing is.

For the complete article follow this link:

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8-0-14: Dell`s User Guide for Easy CD 4.02

This is too long for me to add here, please follow the link below.

Adaptec CD-Recording User's Guide 4.02

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