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CDVDBurn - CD and DVD writing for your RISC OS machine

Introduction

Since the first CD-ROM saw the light of day, the medium that was once devised for holding high quality audio recordings has become the standard medium for nearly every software distribution.

It was around 1996 when the first CD writers became available at affordable prices. Suddenly, the medium that was only available when producing around 1000 CDs at a time became popular for a wide variety of use - custom Data and Audio CDs were just the first step.

CDBurn, introduced at Acorn World 1997, was the first CD mastering solution for RISC OS that was affordable and was available without a bundled drive.

In 2005, the next logical step was introduced - CDVDBurn, which is capable of writing DVD media.

The preferred DVD writer is currently the Lite-On SOHW-1673S.

Restrictions

Unfortunately, due to hardware, operating system and software issues, there are a number of restrictions to the use of CDVDBurn for DVD writing that every customer should be aware of before deciding whether to buy CDVDBurn.

CDFS

When reading back DVDs on RISC OS, many customers will rely on "good old" CDFS. This is where the trouble begins. While in general CDFS is happy to read the DVDs written with CDVDBurn, there is one annoying restriction that has surfaced only recently. As soon as the size of the medium is beyond 4 GB, CDFS is no longer able to read directory data properly, resulting in a garbage directory display and non-accessibility of files beyond the 4 GB barrier.

The most obvious solution to this annoying problem is to use CDROMFS.

It is currently investigated whether there is a chance to get CDFS fixed, or if changes in the ISO formatter of CDVDBurn can be done to avoid the problem.

Speed

RISC OS machines have been traditionally weak in the area of I/O power. While the latest machines (IYONIX pc and Omega) show good performance in the area of harddisc speed, they are still rather slow when talking to CD/DVD devices. The Risc PC is rather slow in both departments, even when a comparatively high performance third party podule is involved.

This has important consequences for the usability of RISC OS machines for DVD production. First of all, typical DVD writing speeds are nowadays 4x speed or 8x speed, which translates to 4,5 - 9 MB/s - this is not currently doable on any RISC OS machine. In the days of BURN-Proof, you might think that this is not a real problem - and up to a certain point, this is correct. Unfortunately, a continuously running BURN-Proof mechanism means that the resulting DVD burning quality is not really optimal. Luckily, the "+" formats don't need the BURN-Proof mechanism at all, since both the +R and the +RW media have a specific "link" area available to help the drive recovering from a buffer underrun. So for the Risc PC, using the "+" formats is a must - the "-" formats are not recommended.

Another important point to consider is the overall time needed to write a DVD. With the maximum speed available on a Risc PC, creating a 4 GB image takes at least 70 minutes - if you have many small files, it takes a lot longer. Writing that image to the DVD again takes at least an hour, so we're talking about real time consuming processes here. At least, CDVDBurn uses multitasking operation for both image creation and DVD writing.

Features

CDVDBurn is able to produce both Data CD/DVDs and Audio CDs with a minimum amount of user interaction. While easy to use, it has some very powerful features not found anywhere else. CDVDBurn supports CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD-RW media.

CDVDBurn works together with a wide variety of CD-R/RW and DVD+-R/RW writers. A summary of all supported and partly-supported drives is available here. CDVDBurn supports SCSI and IDE writers (on most RISC OS computers/podules).

Some of the feature highlights for Data CD/DVD creation:

  • ISO9660-compliant data formatter
  • full support for Joliet extensions - allows you to write CDs/DVDs with very deep directory structures and long, case-preserving filenames (ideally suited for making backups in conjunction with CDROMFS)
  • full multisession capability for CDs - enables a step-by-step writing process to make full use of the available CD capacity
  • full drag and drop filer-like Image creation
  • support for RISC OS CDFS extensions - enables you to retain filetype and date/time information in an ISO9660 compatible way for true platform independence
  • very flexible, user-definable ISO filename translation - enables you to enforce full ISO9660 compliance, or to create a CD/DVD which fully exploits the capability of a specific platform

CDVDBurn's Audio CD capabilities are also very powerful:

  • Extraction of Audio tracks from nearly every CD/DVD-ROM or CD/DVD writer
  • Very easy-to-use track editor
  • uses either raw or WAVE format for audio
  • Audio Disc at once capability - allows you to record true live CDs, no more pauses between tracks (this feature is only available for some drives)
  • Audio CD database feature - identify your Audio tracks by name, not by track number

Other highlights:

  • easy-to-use Copy CD feature
  • widely configurable to suit your taste
  • mixed-mode CD creation (first track data, other tracks audio)
  • support mailing list available free of charge
  • bugfixes available free of charge

Where to buy

You can order your copy of CDVDBurn online.

You can also buy CDVDBurn from the RISC OS dealer of your choice. Many of them will also provide the possibility to buy a drive + software bundle.

The Future

CDVDBurn is under constant development. It is a very user-driven program, with many features already built in because of user requests.

Of course, there are always new features in the pipeline. For the near future, the following is planned:

  • support for more DVD media
  • support for more DVD formats
  • CD/DVD Extractor
  • MP3 integration
  • Disc at once for more IDE drives
  • Copy CD with only one drive
  • support for interactive help
  • better control over audio sampling process
  • allow only parts of tracks to be used
  • user-defined fade-in and fade-out for audio tracks
  • saving of ISO directory tree
  • changing the volume of audio tracks

There are also some long-term plans:

  • CD Text support
  • better GUI integration of mixed-mode and CD Extra creation
  • better Copy CD routine to cope with strange CDs
  • MSN and ISRC support
  • full indexing capabilities for audio CDs
  • better support for multi CD-ROM and CD writer operation
  • anti-jitter routines for audio extraction
 
     

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