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TOBIAS-FL wrote about "cd audio specification" (Wednesday, December 13, 2023)

CD Audio Specification

CD Audio Specification

The Compact Disc Digital Audio, commonly known as CD, revolutionized the music industry when it was introduced in the early 1980s. CDs provided a superior audio quality compared to conventional analog formats by utilizing a standardized digital audio specification.

Technical Details

The CD audio specification is defined by the Red Book, a document published by Sony and Philips in 1980. It establishes the physical characteristics, audio encoding format, and error-correction mechanism for CDs.

Physical Characteristics:

  • CDs are 12cm in diameter and 1.2mm thick, enclosed within a protective plastic case.
  • They have a capacity of 74 minutes (650-700MB) of audio, spread across a single spiral track.
  • The spiral track starts from the center of the CD and extends towards the outer edge.

Audio Encoding:

  • CD audio uses a 16-bit linear pulse-code modulation (PCM) encoding at a sample rate of 44.1kHz.
  • This encoding scheme allows for a dynamic range of 96 decibels and a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.
  • The audio is stored as a series of pits and lands on the CD's reflective surface, which are read by a laser beam for playback.

Error Correction:

  • The CD audio specification incorporates a robust error-correction mechanism called Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Code (CIRC).
  • CIRC corrects errors caused by scratches, dust, or manufacturing defects, ensuring high-quality audio playback.
  • It also includes a third error detection layer known as C2, which allows for additional error correction capabilities.

Advantages and Impact

CDs quickly gained popularity due to their superior audio quality, durability, and convenience. The digital format eliminated the limitations associated with analog mediums, such as tape hiss and degradation over time. Additionally, CDs allowed for skipping between tracks, random access, and playing on various CD players.

The CD audio specification laid the foundation for subsequent digital audio formats, such as MP3 and streaming services. It revolutionized the music industry, enabling the distribution of music in a compact, standardized, and easily reproducible format.

Conclusion

The CD audio specification, as established by the Red Book, set the standard for digital audio representation and playback. Its technical details, including physical characteristics, audio encoding, and error correction, ensured high fidelity and accurate reproduction of sound. The introduction of CDs reshaped the music industry and paved the way for further advancements in digital audio technology.

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