Digital audio CD-R, distinguished by the CD-DA logo, is a recording format primarily intended for consumer standalone CD-R recorders, also sometimes referred to as music only CD-R.
Contrasted with your typical computer burner, a consumer unit cannot use regular data CD recordable discs you would normally use on your computer.
Consumer standalone CD recorders were built with Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) technology, basically a security feature designed to prevent people from pirating music. The SCMS standard was created as a compromise between electronics manufacturers and the RIAA. Electronics manufacturers wanted to make digital audio tape (DAT) machines available for sale in the United States. The RIAA, representatives of the music industry who previously threatened them with lawsuits, felt that consumer digital recorders would cause widespread piracy if readily available in a digital format. This was during a time when audio cassette and LP were still relatively popular formats. CDs were becoming popular and the RIAA thought that the emergence of CD recorders would spark users to copy their CD collection digitally on CD-R and DAT much the same way that people were copying LP onto cassettes to listen in their car, etc.
In the end, the compromise made was to include SCMS technology into consumer-grade recorders and legislation was passed in the US. The legislation still stands for consumer recorders sold in the US. SCMS, the acronym for Serial Copy Management System, was developed and served 2 purposes. It meant that every digital audio CD-R made with SCMS paid a royalty and also prevented digital copies of a digital source through the digital output.
SCMS copy protection uses the table of contents or ATIP section of the blank CD-R. Different sequences would distinguish material with copyrights from that of original recordings. The reason why standard CD-R media will not work in consumer CD recorders is due to the fact that they are not setup to use the “authorization bits” as defined by the SCMS standard.
So what does this mean if you have a consumer CD recorder?
It means you need to use blank CD-R that has the CD-DA logo or purchase discs that clearly state they have SCMS. MAM-A, Mitsui Advanced Media of America is one of the 3 remaining manufacturers that still support digital audio CD-R with SCMS. MAM-A has no intention to discontinue manufacturing digital audio CD-R with SCMS, they also manufacture gold digital audio CD-R which has improved data storage lifespan. At present the other 2 manufacturers are Verbatim and Prodisc. Prodisc makes a digital audio CD-R. We have heard reports that Prodisc digital audio CD-R has compatibility issues with Sony standalone CD recorders.
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