Burning downloaded music onto DVD-A

Burning your downloads onto a DVD is a great way of backing-up your Studio Master download purchase and also provides another source for playing back your downloads.

Please note this section is designed for advanced users of music downloads.

About DVD Audio 
Differences between CD Audio and DVD Audio discs 
Selection of Authoring software 
How to disable all enhancements 
Problems with DVD +/-R or DVD+/-RW ?

 

About DVD Audio

DVD Audio is a DVD disc format. It was conceived when DVD was originally invented but has only relatively recently become viable as a domestic format. The audio is recorded in PCM format; the same format we use when delivering our Studio Quality downloads. When you burn a DVD Audio disc the data has to be formatted exactly as a commercial DVD Audio disc. This is very different from a data DVD which can also contain music but in a format not recognised or playable by a standard DVD Audio player. Note; It is currently not possible to burn a SACD disc so although Linn Records support and will continue to support the release of commercial SACD discs at this time we have no plans to release audio files that could potentially be burned onto a SACD disc.


Differences between CD Audio and DVD Audio discs


The biggest difference between CD and DVD discs is that a DVD disc is capable of storing considerably more information (4,700 Mb as opposed to 700 Mb). This increase in storage capacity allows you to have more recording time, more channels, video and slide shows, web links or greater fidelity. We will concentrate on the "greater fidelity" aspect of the medium. The actual recording options offered are largely dependent on the "authoring" software that you choose. 

DVD Audio content is stored in a separate zone on the disc (the AUDIO_TS directory) whereas DVD video discs store the video along the associated audio in the VIDEO_TS directory. Your player will either automatically or manually select the audio or video that you wish to play and you should refer to the user manual for specific information regarding the selection of the formats.

DVD Audio discs are capable of storing audio in a variety of formats. We suggest that you make no data conversion prior to authoring a disc as it is often impossible to determine what the conversion program actually did to the audio during any conversion. The main point to remember here is that the data never improves and whatever the program says, it is often degraded! This is why the Studio quality downloads we offer are in various formats. We simply make available the original CD master in the original format with no data conversion. This ensures that you get the same quality of audio as was originally recorded.

Selection of Authoring software

Many customers have used Cirlinca DVD Audio Solo successfully and DVD-Audio Solo was recommended in Stereoplay Magazine.  

A CD Audio disc is formatted so that a CD player recognises the audio files and plays them back displaying track and time information. Hitting the "burn" button on your favourite CD Audio burning program performs all this formatting invisibly. Similarly a DVD Audio disc has to be formatted in a particular way in order that a player is able to find and play the audio files it contains. Simply dropping the various files onto a blank DVD disc will not do. This makes a file back up but not a disc that can be played on a standard DVD Audio player.

When burning a CD there is great choice of authoring software. Some of it may not even appear to be authoring software as it is built into the media player on your computer. Windows Media Player and iTunes are both good examples of this. They are able to play and organise all your music but are also able to burn audio CDs. For DVD Audio no such option is possible and you have to select specific DVD Audio authoring or burning software. The choice, due to the more limited appeal of DVD Audio, is consequently more limited. Type "DVD Audio Burning Authoring" into your favourite search engine and you will find a few examples. They tend to fall into two main categories; hobbyist or industrial strength and the prices reflect this.

Beware; many program adverts confuse audio recorded for playback in a standard DVD player with true DVD Audio. Any DVD player can play back audio files that have been formatted for use in the VIDEO_TS directory and many freeware and shareware programmes are available that perform this task. They generally advertise themselves as allowing you to store CD's on DVD and offer huge recording time. The audio they record conforms to the standards in use for DVD video files and are generally compressed in AC3, MPEG or DTS formats. These programs do have an application but they are not suitable for producing true high fidelity DVD Audio discs.

Whatever authoring software you select there are some simple rules that can be applied to all.


How to disable all enhancements

To burn a completely accurate DVD Audio disc which will contain precisely the same data that we uploaded to our servers, you must disable all enhancements in your authoring software. Popular enhancements are:

  • graphic equalisers
  • tone controls
  • volume levelling
  • pitch changing
  • sound effects
  • music speed adjustments
  • cross fades between tracks
  • compression
  • any other audio effects


Every one of these will result in changes to the data you burn on the DVD. How to switch them all off can sometimes be tricky. You may even have to refer to the manual.

No modifications should then be made to the audio when burned on to DVDR.

To maintain bit-accuracy you must disable all 'enhancements' to the music data before burning a DVD Audio disc.



Problems with DVD +/-R or DVD+/-RW ?

When you have successfully burned a DVD Audio disc, it should play perfectly on your player. However, some audio players may have difficulty in playing DVD+/-R discs. This is because a DVDR reflects slightly less laser light than a commercial DVD. DVDRW discs can have even lower reflectivity. The DVD burner built into your computer is designed specifically to deal with these variations in reflectivity. However stand alone audio players are often more limited in their ability to adapt. If the disc doesn't play in your audio player then try it in your computer. If it can be read here then you know that your audio player is unable to "see" the disc. This is not a fault with the audio player, it was probably never designed to be able to play this disc type. If your computer drive supports it then try burning the other disc type, it is possible that your audio player can see +R better than -R, if you initially burned a DVD-R then try a DVD+R. If it plays then you will be able to play back your Linn Studio quality audio files in the highest resolution possible.