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cdrdao - reads and writes CDs in disc-at-once mode


cdrdao {show-toc|read-toc|read-cd|read-cddb|show-data|read-test|disk-
info|msinfo|unlock|simulate|write|copy|blank} [--device device] [--source-device device]
[--driver driver-id] [--source-driver driver-id] [--simulate] [--speed writing-speed]
[--blank-mode mode] [--datafile file] [--read-raw] [--read-subchan [--no-mode2-mixed]
mode] [--tao-source] [--tao-source-adjust link-blocks] [--fast-toc] [--buffers buffer-
count] [--multi] [--overburn] [--eject] [--swap] [--session] [--force] [--reload]
[--keepimage] [--on-the-fly] [--paranoia-mode mode] [--with-cddb] [--cddb-servers server-
list] [--cddb-timeout timeout] [--cddb-directory directory] [--tmpdir directory] [--keep]
[--save] [-n] [-v verbose-level] toc-file


cdrdao creates audio and data CD-Rs in disk-at-once (DAO) mode driven by a description
file called toc-file. In DAO mode it is possible to create non standard track pre-gaps
that have other lengths than 2 seconds and contain nonzero audio data. This is for example
useful to divide live recordings into tracks where 2 second gaps would be kind of

Instead of a toc-file a cue file (used by a famous DOS/Windows mastering tool) may be
used. See the CUE FILES section for more details.


The first argument must be one of the following commands:

Print out a summary about what will be written to the CD-R.

Analyze each track of the inserted CD and create a toc-file that can be used to
make a more or less exact copy of the CD. This command does not read out the audio
or data tracks, use read-cd for this purpose.

You can specify a filename for the data file via the --datafile option.

Copies all tracks of the inserted CD to an image file and creates a corresponding
toc-file. The name of the image file defaults to "data.bin" if no --datafile
option is given.

Tries to retrieve title and artist data from a CDDB server for the CD represented
by the given toc-file. The retrieved data is added as CD-TEXT data for language 0
to the toc-file. Existing CD-TEXT data for language 0 will be overwritten.

Print out all samples that would be written to the CD-R. Each line contains the
sample number (starting at 0) and the decimal sample value for the left and right
channel. Useful to check if the byte order of audio files is correct.

Check if all data can be read from the audio files that are defined in the toc-
file. This will also check the communication with the slave process that is
responsible for writing the audio data to the CD-recorder. Mainly used for testing.

Shows information about the inserted CD-R. If the CD-R has an open session it will
also print the start of the last and current session which is used by mkisofs to
create an image for a second or higher session.

msinfo Shows information required for creating multi session disks with mkisofs. The
output is meant for processing by scripts.

unlock Tries to unlock the recorder device after a failed write or simulation run. If you
cannot eject the CD after a cdrdao run try this command.

blank Blanks a CD-RW. The CD-RW is minimally blanked by default. Use option --blank-mode
to select another blanking mode. Sometimes the blanking speed must be manually
reduced for a successful blanking operation. Use option --speed to select another
blanking speed.

Like write but laser stays cold. It is a shortcut for write --simulate.

write Write the CD-R according to the specifications in the toc-file.

copy Performs all steps to copy a CD. The device containing the source CD must be
specified with option --source-device and the recorder device with option --device.
If only a single device is available the option --source-device must be omitted and
cdrdao will prompt to insert the CD-R after an image of the source CD was created.

The image file with name "cddata<pid>.bin" will be created in the current working
directory if no --datafile option is given. The created image will be removed after
it has been written.

If option --on-the-fly is given no image file is created and the data will be
directly piped from the reading device to the CD recorder.


--device [prot:]bus,id,lun
Sets the SCSI address of the CD-recorder in form of a bus/id/lun triple, e.g.
'0,2,0' for the logical unit 0 of SCSI device with ID 2 on bus 0. ATAPI devices can
be specified by using the prefix 'ATAPI:', e.g. 'ATAPI:0,0,0'. On some systems a
device node may be specified directly, e.g. '/dev/sg0' on Linux systems. Linux 2.6
users may also try the newer ATAPI interface with the 'ATA:' prefix.

--source-device [prot:]bus,id,lun
Like above but used for the copy command to specify the source device.

--driver driver-id:option-flags
Force usage of specified driver instead of the automatically determined driver.
Available driver IDs:
cdd2600, plextor, plextor-scan, generic-mmc, generic-mmc-raw, ricoh-mp6200, yamaha-
cdr10x, teac-cdr55, sony-cdu920, sony-cdu948, taiyo-yuden, toshiba.
Specifying an illegal driver ID will give a list of available drivers. Option
flags may be used to modify the behavior of some drivers. See README for details.

--source-driver driver-id:option-flags
Like above but used for the device specified with option --source-device.

--speed value
Set the writing speed to value. Default is the highest possible speed.

--blank-mode mode
Sets the blanking mode. Available modes are full and minimal. Please consider that
the data of minimally blanked disks may be easily recovered. Use the full blanking
mode for completely erasing all data. The default blanking mode is minimal.

--datafile file
Used for read-toc, read-cd and copy. Set the default data file placed in the toc-
file by read-toc. Use "-" to indicate STDIN. For commands read-cd and copy it
specifies the name of the created image file.

Only used for commands read-cd and read-toc. All data sectors will be written as
2352 byte blocks including the sector header and L-EC data to the image file. The
track mode will be set to MODE1_RAW or MODE2_RAW in the created toc-file.

--read-subchan mode
Used by commands read-cd, read-toc and copy. Specifies the type of sub-channel
data that is extracted from the source CD and written to the track image or copied
to the destination CD. Mode may be rw for reading packed R-W sub-channel data (de-
interleaved and error corrected) and rw_raw for reading raw R-W sub-channel data
(not de-interleaved, not error corrected, L-EC data included in the track image).
If this option is not specified no sub-channel data will be extracted.

Only used for commands read-cd and read-toc. If we have MODE2_FORM1 or
MODE2_FORM2, don't extract it as MODE2_FORM_MIX. toc-file.

This option indicates to the commands read-toc and read-cd that the source CD was
written in TAO mode. It will be assumed that the pre-gap length between all tracks
(except between two audio tracks) is the standard 150 blocks plus the number of
link blocks (usually 2). The number of link blocks can be controlled with option

Use this option only if read-toc or read-cd give error messages in the transition
areas between two tracks. If you use this option with pressed CDs or CDs written in
DAO mode you will get wrong results.

--tao-source-adjust link-blocks
Specifies the number of link blocks for tracks written in TAO mode. This option has
only an effect if option --tao-source is given.

Only used for command read-toc. This option suppresses the pre-gap length and
index mark extraction which speeds up the read-toc process. Standard 2 second pre-
gaps (but no silence!) will be placed into the toc-file. The resulting CD will
sound like the source CD. Only the CD player's display will behave slightly
different in the transition area between two tracks.

This option might help, too, if read-toc fails with your drive otherwise.

--buffers buffer-count
Specifies the number of buffers that are allocated to avoid buffer under runs. The
minimal buffer count is fixed to 10, default is 32 except on FreeBSD systems, on
which default is 20. Each buffer holds 1 second of audio data so that dividing
buffer-count by the writing speed gives the maximum time for which reading of audio
data may be stalled.

If this option is given the session will not be closed after the audio data is
successfully written. It is possible to append another session on such disks, e.g.
to create a CD-EXTRA.

By default cdrdao will not allow to write more data on a medium than specified by
the current medium. This option allows one to ignore this condition.

Eject the CD-R after writing or write simulation.

--swap Swap the byte order of all samples that are send to the CD-recorder.

--session session-nr
Used for read-toc and read-cd to specify the session which should be processed on
multi session CDs.

Indicates that the tray may be opened before writing without prompting the user to
reset the disk status after a simulation run.

Forces the execution of an operation that otherwise would not be performed.

--paranoia-mode mode
Sets the correction mode for digital audio extraction. 0: No checking, data is
copied directly from the drive. 1: Perform overlapped reading to avoid jitter. 2:
Like 1 but with additional checks of the read audio data. 3: Like 2 but with
additional scratch detection and repair.

The extraction speed reduces from 0 to 3.

Default is the full paranoia mode (3).

If a CD is copied with command copy this option will cause that the created image
is not removed after the copy process has finished.

Perform CD copy on the fly without creating an image file.

Enables the automatic fetching of CDDB data for use as CD-TEXT data for commands
copy, read-toc and read-cd.

--cddb-servers server-list
Sets space or ',' separated list of CDDB servers used for command read-cddb or for
commands where the --with-cddb option is active. A server entry may have the
following forms:

Connect to <server>, default cddbp port (888), use cddbp protocol.

Connect to <server>, port <port>, use cddbp protocol.

Connect to <server>, default http port (80), use http protocol, url: <cgi-bin-

Connect to <server>, port <port>, use http protocol, url: <cgi-bin-path>.

Connect to <proxy-server>, default http port (80), use http protocol, url:

Connect to <proxy-server>, port <proxy-port>, use http protocol, url:

The <cgi-bin-path> is usually "/~cddb/cddb.cgi".

All servers of the server list will be tried in the given order until a successful
connection can be established. For http proxy servers the first successful
connected http proxy server will be used independent of the ability to connect to
the target http server.

Example: freedb.freedb.org:/~cddb/cddb.cgi

--cddb-timeout timeout
Sets the timeout in seconds used for connections to CDDB servers.

--cddb-directory directory
Specifies the local CDDB database directory where fetched CDDB records will be
stored. If this option is not given a fetched CDDB record will not be stored

--tmpdir directory
Specifies the directory in which to store temporary data files created from
decoding MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files. By default, "/tmp" is used.

--keep Upon exit from cdrdao, do not delete temporary WAV files created from MP3 and Ogg
Vorbis files.

--save Saves some of the current options to the settings file "$HOME/.cdrdao" and exit.
See section ´SETTINGS´ for more details.

-n Suppresses the 10 second pause before writing or simulating.

-v verbose-level
Sets verbose level. Levels > 2 are debug levels which produce a lot of output.


The toc-file describes what data is written to the CD-R and allows control over
track/index positions, pre-gaps and sub-channel information. It is a simple text file, use
your favorite text editor to create it.

A toc-file contains an optional header and a sequence of track specifications. Comments
starting with '//' reaching until end of line can be placed anywhere.

CATALOG "ddddddddddddd"
Specifies the optional catalog number of the CD. The string must contain exactly 13

The following flags specify the type of session that will be created. It is used to create
the correct CD-TOC format and to check the consistency of the track modes for the desired
session type. If multiple flags are given the last one will take effect.

CD_DA The disc contains only audio tracks.

CD_ROM The disc contains just mode 1 tracks or mode 1 and audio tracks (mixed mode CD).

The disc contains mode 2 form 1 or mode 2 form 2 tracks. Audio tracks are allowed,
too. This type must be used if multi session disks are created (option --multi).

CD_TEXT { ... }
Defines global CD-TEXT data like the album title and the used languages. See the
CD-TEXT section below for the syntax of the CD-TEXT block contents.

Track Specification
TRACK <track-mode> [<sub-channel-mode>]
Starts a new track, the track number is incremented by 1. The length of a track
must be at least 4 seconds. The block length of the input data depends on the
<track-mode>: AUDIO: 2352 bytes (588 samples), MODE1: 2048 bytes, MODE1_RAW: 2352
bytes, MODE2: 2336 bytes, MODE2_FORM1: 2048 bytes, MODE2_FORM2: 2324 bytes,
MODE2_FORM_MIX: 2336 bytes including the sub-header, MODE2_RAW: 2352 bytes. The
<sub-channel-mode> is optional. If given it specifies the type of sub-channel data
for each sector. RW: packed R-W sub-channel data (96 bytes, L-EC data will be
generated if required), RW_RAW: raw R-W sub-channel data (interleaved and L-EC data
already calculated, 96 bytes). The block length is increased by the sub-channel
data length if a <sub-channel-mode> is specified. If the input data length is not
a multiple of the block length it will be padded with zeros.

The following flags may follow the track start statement. They are used to set sub-channel
information for the current track. Each flag is optional. If not given the following
defaults are used: copy not permitted, no pre emphasis, two channel audio, no ISRC code.

Sets or clears the copy permitted flag.

Sets or clears the pre emphasis flag (only for audio tracks).

Indicates that track contains two channel audio data (only for audio tracks).

Indicates that track contains four channel audio data (only for audio tracks).

Sets ISRC code of track (only for audio tracks).
C: country code (upper case letters or digits)
O: owner code (upper case letters or digits)
Y: year (digits)
S: serial number (digits)

An optional CD-TEXT block that defines the CD-TEXT data for this track may follow. See the
CD-TEXT section below for the syntax of the CD-TEXT block contents.

CD_TEXT { ... }

At least one of the following statements must appear to specify the data for the current
track. Lengths and start positions may be expressed in samples (1/44100 seconds) for audio
tracks or in bytes for data tracks. It is also possible to give the length in blocks with
the MSF format 'MM:SS:FF' specifying minutes, seconds and frames (0 <= 'FF' < 75) . A
frame equals one block.

If more than one statement is used the track will be composed by concatenating the data in
the specified order.

SILENCE <length>
Adds zero audio data of specified length to the current audio track. Useful to
create silent pre-gaps.

ZERO <length>
Adds zero data to data tracks. Must be used to define pre- or post-gaps between
tracks of different mode.

[ FILE | AUDIOFILE ] "<filename>" <start> [ <length> ]
Adds the audio data of specified file to the current audio track. It is possible to
select a portion of an audio file with <start> and <length> which allows non
destructive cutting. The first sample of an audio file is addressed with <start> =
0. If <length> is omitted or set to 0 all audio data from <start> until the end of
file is used.

Audio files may have raw or WAVE format with 16 bits per sample, 44.1 kHz sampling
rate, stereo. Raw files must have the layout 'MSBLeft LSBLeft MSBRight LSBRight
...' (big endian byte order). WAVE files are expected to have little endian byte
order. The option --swap reverses the expected byte order for all raw and WAVE
files. Only filenames with a ".wav" ending are treated as WAVE files, all other
names are assumed to be raw audio files. Use tools like sox(1) to convert other
file formats to supported formats.

Specifying a "-" as filename causes data to be read from STDIN. Currently only raw
files are supported from STDIN.

If you are unsure about the byte order of your audio files try the command 'show-
data'. If the byte order is correct you will see a sequence of increasing or
decreasing numbers for both channels. Otherwise numbers are jumping between very
high and low values - high volume static.

DATAFILE "<filename>" [ <length> ]
Adds data from given file to the current data track. If <length> is omitted the
actual file length will be used.

FIFO "<fifo path>" <length>
Adds data from specified FIFO path to the current audio or data track. <length>
must specify the amount of data that will be read from the FIFO. The value is
always in terms of bytes (scalar value) or in terms of the block length (MSF

Defines the length of the pre-gap (position where index switches from 0 to 1). If
the MSF value is omitted the current track length is used. If the current track
length is not a multiple of the block length the pre-gap length will be rounded up
to next block boundary.

If no START statement is given the track will not have a pre-gap.

This is an alternate way to specify a pre-gap with zero audio data. It may appear
before the first SILENCE, ZERO or FILE statement. Either PREGAP or START can be
used within a track specification. It is equivalent to the sequence
for audio tracks or
for data tracks.

Nothing prevents mixing 'DATAFILE'/'ZERO' and 'AUDIOFILE'/'SILENCE' statements within the
same track. The results, however, are undefined.

The end of a track specification may contain zero or more index increment statements:

Increments the index number at given position within the track. The first statement
will increment from 1 to 2. The position is relative to the real track start, not
counting an existing pre-gap.

CD-TEXT Blocks
A CD-TEXT block may be placed in the global section to define data valid for the whole CD
and in each track specification of a toc-file. The global section must define a language
map that is used to map a language-number to country codes. Up to 8 different languages
can be defined:

LANGUAGE_MAP { 0 : c1 1 : c2 ... 7 : c7 }
The country code may be an integer value in the range 0..255 or one of the
following countries (the corresponding integer value is placed in braces behind the
token): EN(9, English)
It is just necessary to define a mapping for the used languages.

If no mapping exists for a language-number the data for this language will be ignored.

For each language a language block must exist that defines the actual data for a certain

LANGUAGE language-number { cd-text-item cd-text-data cd-text-item cd-text-data ... }
Defines the CD-TEXT items for given language-number which must be defined in the
language map.

The cd-text-data may be either a string enclosed by " or binary data like
{ 0, 10, 255, ... }
where each integer number must be in the range 0..255.
The cd-text-item may be one of the following:

TITLE String data: Title of CD or track.

String data.

String data.

String data.

String data.

String data. Message to the user.

String data: Should only appear in the global CD-TEXT block. The format is usually:

GENRE Mixture of binary data (genre code) and string data. Should only appear in the
global CD-TEXT block. Useful entries will be created by gcdmaster.

Binary data: Optional table of contents 1. Should only appear in the global CD-TEXT

Binary data: Optional table of contents 2. Should only appear in the global CD-TEXT

String data: This item should only appear in the global CD-TEXT block. Was always
an empty string on the CD-TEXT CDs I had access to.

ISRC String data: ISRC code of track. The format is usually: CC-OOO-YY-SSSSS

Binary data: Contains summary about all CD-TEXT data and should only appear in the
global CD-TEXT block. The data will be automatically (re)created when the CD-TEXT
data is written.

is defined for at least on track or in the global section it must be defined for
all tracks and in the global section. If a DISC_ID item is defined in the global
section, an ISRC entry must be defined for each track.

Simple track without pre-gap with all audio data from WAVE file "data.wav":
FILE "data.wav" 0

Standard track with two second pre-gap, ISRC code and CD-TEXT:
0 : EN

TITLE "CD Title"
PERFORMER "Performer"
DISC_ID "XY12345"

ISRC "DEXXX9800001"
TITLE "Track Title"
PERFORMER "Performer"
ISRC "DE-XXX-98-00001"
PREGAP 0:2:0
FILE "data.wav" 0

Track with 10 second pre-gap containing audio data from raw file "data.cdr":
FILE "data.cdr" 0
START 0:10:0

Composed track with data from different files. Pre-gap data and length is taken from
"pregapdata.wav". The first minute of "track.cdr" is omitted and two seconds silence are
inserted at '2:0:0'. Index will be incremented after 2 and 4 minutes past track start:
FILE "pregapdata.wav" 0
FILE "track.cdr" 1:0:0 1:0:0
FILE "track.cdr" 2:0:0
INDEX 2:0:0
INDEX 4:0:0

Mixed mode CD with a data track as first track followed by two audio tracks.
DATAFILE "data_1"
ZERO 00:02:00 // post-gap

SILENCE 00:02:00 // pre-gap
FILE "data_2.wav" 0

FILE "data_3.wav" 0


Cue files may be used wherever a toc-file is expected. The corresponding bin file is not
taken from the FILE statement of a cue file but constructed from the cue file name by
replacing ".cue" by ".bin". The cue file must have exactly one FILE statement.

Currently, following track modes are supported: MODE1/2048, MODE1/2352, MODE2/2336,
MODE2/2352. The CATALOG, ISRC and POSTGAP statements are parsed but not evaluated, yet.


Some of the command line options can be stored as settings at following locations. The
files will be read on startup of cdrdao in that order:

1. /etc/cdrdao.conf

2. /etc/defaults/cdrdao

3. /etc/default/cdrdao

4. $HOME/.cdrdao

Command line options will overwrite the loaded settings. The settings file contains name
- value pairs separated by a colon. String values must be enclosed by ". The file is
automatically written if the command line option --save is used but it is also possible to
modify it manually. Following values are defined:

Device used for operations simulate, write, copy, blank, disk-info and unlock.
Corresponding option: --device

Driver (including driver options) that is used for operations simulate, write,
copy, blank, disk-info and unlock. Corresponding option: --driver

Specifies writing speed. Corresponding option: --speed

Specifies fifo buffers used for recording. Corresponding option: --buffers

Device used for operations read-toc, read-cd and copy. Corresponding option:
--device or --source-device

Driver (including driver options) used for operations read-toc, read-cd and copy.
Corresponding option: --driver or --source-driver

Paranoia mode used for operations read-cd and copy. Corresponding option:

CDDB server list for read-cddb. Corresponding option: --cddb-servers

CDDB connection timeout in seconds used by read-cddb. Corresponding option:

Local directory where fetched CDDB records will be stored, used by read-cddb.
Corresponding option: --cddb-directory

Directory where temporary WAV files will be created from decoding MP3 and Ogg
Vorbis files. Corresponding option: --tmpdir

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