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A Guide to
 

CDR






12-04-00: I have decided to craft yet another 'how to' guide. The primary focus of this guide is to help new users get their systems configured for 'flawless' digital audio extraction for CDR cloning. It is my strong suggestion that CDR traders use EAC - Exact Audio Copy (Beta) by Andre Wiethoff for digital audio extraction. The bulk of this 'how to' guide is focused on configuring and testing EAC.

     Many thanks to Eddie Burks, whos applied DOS/Windows/NT programming knowledge has made our prescribed process of configuring Windows/NT to handle Shorten & MD5 quick and painless. I highly recommend ebshn.exe (shorten & md5sum configuration utility for Windows 9x & NT) for new users, or as an upgrade for other 'buggy' configurations. This is still a beta version, so check back for updates. Comments & bug reports are welcome & encouraged.

 
Win 95, 98, & NT (were used) for the creation of this guide, so I hope any differences between these operating systems won't confuse anyone. Some of the file commands might have slightly different names.

 
Adam's notes on 'how to' copy CDs (both audio & SHN).
-----------------------
How to extract WAV's from audio CD's:
-----------------------
To best use this guide, you will first need to download and install the
following software on your machine:

  EAC - Exact Audio Copy (Beta) by Andre Wiethoff
  ebshn.exe by Eddie Burks


If you have already installed the necissary software:

1.  Insert audio disc you wish to make a copy of into your
    CD Rom (reader) drive.

2.  Open EAC (Exact Audio Copy).

*If you haven't already, be sure to run the system tests.*

A.  EAC Configuration (you only have to do this when you first install EAC.
     If you have already configured EAC for your system, skip to section B) 
     There's a BUNCH of stuff in these, most of which you don't need to
     change, but to make sure, I have gone into quite a bit of detail.
    I  Drive Options 

        a.  Extraction method 

            1.  Click on Detect Read Features (be sure to have an audio CD in
                the drive). 

*The rest of this guide is subject to the results of the EAC Read Feature
 tests* 

(select the highest-quality settings your drive will support)  Suggested: 
SECURE MODES:  Secure mode with the following drive features - selected 
Drive has 'Accurate Stream' feature - selected 
If unable to select Secure mode, next preferred is 'Syncronized' 

        b.  Drive 

            1.  Click 'Autodetect read command now'.  None of the rest of the
                checkboxes on this menu should be filled. 

        c.  Offset/Speed 

            1.  Click 'Detect sample offset...' 

            2.  Overread into Lead-in and Lead-Out - checked 

            3.  Speed selection- Actual 

            4.  Allow speed reduction during extraction - checked 

            5.  CD-Text Read capable drive - subjective 

        d.  Gap Detection 

            1.  Gap/Index retreival method:  (skip it, it should be
                autiomatic) 

            2.  Detection accuracy:  Accurate 

        e.  Writer (skip it. Use your usual writer software) 

    II. EAC Options 

        a.  Extraction 

            1.  Fill up missing offset samples with silence - unchecked 

            2.  No use of null samples for CRC calculations - checked 

            3.  Syncronize between tracks - checked 

            4.  Delete leading and trailing silent blocks - checked 

            5.  Retreive UPC / ISRC codes in CUE sheet generation - unchecked 

            6.  Use CD-Text information in CUE sheet generation - checked 

            7.  After each (X) mins of extraction, cool down the drive for
                (X) min - unchecked 

            8.  Lock drive tray during extraction - checked 

            9.  Extraction and compression priority - Normal 

            10.  Error recovery quality - High 

        b.  General 

            1.  Use alternate CD play routines - unchecked 

            2.  Disable 'CD Autostart' for audio and data CDs while EAC
                running - checked 

            3.  On unknown CDs...  - unchecked 

            4.  Display times using Frames - unchecked 

            5.  Ask before overwriting files - checked 

            6.  Correct bug of wrong filename order in Windows multiple
                file dialog - checked 

            7.  Show status dialog after extraction - checked 

            8.  Beep after extraction finished - checked 

            9.  Eject CD after extraction finished - unchecked 

            10.  After extraction finished,... - unchecked 

        c.  Normalize 

            1.  Normalize - unchecked 

        d.  Filename 

            1.  COnstruction of save filenames - %T 

            2.  Replace spaces by underscores - checked 

        e.  Catalog (skip it) 

        f.  Directories 

            1.  Ask every time (default showing last used
                directory) - selected 

        g.  Write 

            1.  CD Text options:  Upper all characters.. - checked 
            2.  Include artict in the CD-Text.... - unchecked 

        h.  Interface (skip it... it should be automatically set by EAC)  

Once you've gone through those ordeals, and clicked 'OK', you're ready to
extract audio data from a disc for testing. 

B.  EAC Extraction 

        I.  Edit 

            a.  Select all 

        II.  Action 

            a.  Copy selected tracks 

        III  Save Waveform 

            a.  Select the destination directory for your waveforms.
                (for simplicity sake, I use the same directory used for
                 decompressing SHN files  C:\burning) Click 'Save'

(this will begin the extraction process.  See how long it will take, and
 go do something else for a while :) 

            b.  When finished. Click 'OK' 

        IV.  Status & Error Messages 
               (if any errors occurred, it will tell you on this screen) 

            a.  Click on 'Possible Errors' 

                1.  If it only lists the tracks, and does not 'pull out' any
                    suspicious positions, it means everything went well.
                    If errors were detected, this screen will show you where
                    they were, and you will know which track(s) you will need
                    to re-extract before continuing.  Return to the main EAC 
                    screen, and select the affected tracks, and then follow
                    the directions in section B again.    If everything
                    copied correctly, you are ready to close out of EAC, and
                    move on to the next step. 

C.  DAE Verification (If you have already verified your DAE, skip ahead to
    section F) 

    I.  This is done with MD5sum.  As I said before, it does not need to be
        done every time you burn a CD, but should be done at least the first
        time you burn a disc, or change software. (more notes about MD5,
        Shorten, and what they're for can be found here.)

(I am basing this portion of this guide on my knowledge of ebshn.exe.  If you
are using different software, your commands may be different from these).
You will need to browse to the directory where your new WAV files are stored. 

             Right click on one of the WAV files and select "Create WAV MD5".
             Your computer will crunch for a couple minutes, and will
             ultimately create a file in the directory with your WAVs
             called '~nameme~.md5'  This is a signature file for your WAVs.


    II.  Re-extraction.  This is done so you can compare the MD5 signature
         you have created with a new set of WAV files that you will extract
         from the same disc.  You will need to delete the original WAV's, and
         repeat section B of this guide. 

             Once extraction is completed a second time, return to the
             directory with the new WAV files, and, right-click on the
             ~nameme~.MD5 file you generated from the original WAVs,
             and select "Check MD5".  Your computer will crunch for a few
             minutes again, and in the DOS window, you will see the results
             of the MD5 check as it progresses.  If the new WAV files match
             the original ones, you will see something like this: 

             track01.wav OK 
             track02.wav OK 
             track02.wav OK 
             ...(etc.) 

             If any of the new WAV files do NOT match the original signature,
             you will see something like this: 

             track01.wav OK 
             track02.wav Failed 
             track02.wav OK 
             ...(etc.) 

             Warning, 1 of X files did not pass the MD5 signature check. 

             If you go through this process, and your second batch of WAV
             files passes this test, it
             means you have now verified your DAE.  If it does not pass this
             test, it means that there has been an error in your extraction
             process somewhere.

D.  How to check your shorten discs vs. an MD5 signature:

(more notes about MD5, Shorten, and what they're for can be found here.)

I.  Insert the SHN disc you wish to check into your CD Rom
    (reader) drive.
II.  In windows explorer, browse through the shorten disc,
    until you find the MD5 & SHN files you wish to check.
III.  Right click on the MD5 signature, and select 'check MD5'.

    This will bring up a DOS window, and each associated SHN
    file will be checked vs. the information in the MD5 file.
    Each file that passes the MD5 check will be noted with 'OK'.
    Any file that does not pass the MD5 check will be noted as
    'failed'.
    If you encounter a 'failed' SHN file, this means there was
    an error in copying the data to its current form, and needs
    to be replaced.
    If all checksums come out 'OK', you're ready to move on to
    the extraction process.
IV.  Press any key to continue.


E.  How to extract audio (WAV) files from shorten (SHN) discs:


I.  Insert the SHN disc you wish to extract from into your
    CD Rom (reader) drive.
II.  In Windows Explorer, browse through the shorten disc,
    until you find the SHN files you wish to decompress.
III.  If you wish to decompress all of the SHN files to your
    hard drive, right click on the first (or any) SHN file
    in that directory, and select 'Extract All'

    This will bring up a DOS window, prompting you to select
    which drive you wish the decompressed wave (WAV) files to
    be written to.  If your hard drive is C:, then type 'c'.

    At this point, each SHN file in the current directory will
    be decompressed to the specified drive, into a folder named
    'burning'.

    If you encounter a SHN file that does not decompress properly,
    it will tell you so.  This means there was an error in copying
    the data to its current form, and needs to be replaced.  Return
    to the previous step, and run an MD5sum check.
    If all files decompress properly, you're ready to move on to
    the burning process.

F.  Burning 

    I.  Congradulations on making it through this.  From now on, CDR will be
        a breeze.  Your software is configured, your DAE is verified, and
        you're ready to burn error-free discs.  It is difficult for me to
        write up a specific 'how to' on the burning process, because of the
        various software people use.  There are a few things that need to
        be mentioned though.

		1.  Don't burn audio discs 'on the fly'.  There is too much
                    opportunity for 'bad burns' to go undetected.  Instead,
                    copy the audio data you wish to burn to your hard drive
                    first, (as described above in section B) then burn your
                    audio discs from the resulting waves.  This eliminates a
                    good deal of the possibility of bad burns, including read
                    errors, syncronizing errors, etc.  

		2.  The only hazard of burning from WAV data is, you may
                    accidentally shuffle the track order.  Just be sure that
                    all tracks appear in proper order before committing to
                    the burn.

		3.  If you are burning live concert recordings, chances are,
                    they're DAO (Disc At Once) which means there is no gap
                    between audio tracks. When burning DAO, the lazer never
                    turns off during the entire write process, and each track
                    should flow seamlessly to the next.  Always enable DAO
                    when copying live concert recordings.

		4.  When you're done making as many copies as you want from
                    the WAV's you have stored on your hard drive, you can go
                    ahead and delete them, and start on your new batch.

		5.  Be sure to burn at a speed that is acceptable to the
    	            certification of the media you are using (ie. do not burn
                    at 12x speed with media that is only certified up to 6x). 
 

Designed & Maintained by Adam Fox
Copyright (c) 1997-2000, Adam Fox, All Rights Reserved.