Pro Pro 8 v1.1.317 - Page 1
Prassi Europe SARL was founded on September 23, 1999 in Le Mans, France. The
company was established to provide a worldwide freedom of choice in easy to
use yet remarkably advanced CD and DVD recording software. In October 1999,
Prassi Europe released its first product, a professional CD Mastering and Duplication
software package called PrimoCD Pro. PrimoCD Pro is the first truly simultaneous,
multitasking CD Mastering application capable of preparing and executing many
different jobs at once.
PrimoCD Pro is a professional mastering software designed for CD and DVD Recorders,
Towers and Autoloaders. It performs direct disc copy, perfect disc imaging to
file, ISO and UDF mastering, Audio disc from Wave MP3 and WMA files. Several
recording jobs can be prepared and run simultaneously, or queued and run in
If the autoloader is equipped with a printer, this
application takes care of handling the disc printing as well. A complete activity
log, full error code return, sophisticated verify, beside being suited for a
fast computer equipped with several SCSI boards and many recorders (virtually
up to 64), make this application the ideal tool for the professional in disc
mastering and replication. However, even the advanced power-user with 2-3 cdr's
will see several unique benefits too.
What PrimoCD Pro can do ? (Source Prassi PrimoCD
Pro On-line Manual)
- Direct Disc Copy / Stream Job: Direct copy from a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM to the
target recorders can be made. When running an Autoloader, the "Stream Mode"
Job is available, where the source discs are put on the top and in the middle
of the input stack, thereby minimizing user intervention.
- Global Image: A disc can be completely copied to a .GI (Global Image) file
where all the information and the disc geometry are stored. This .GI file is
one you can save or send over a network to recreate later or elsewhere the exact
source disc. The Global Image stores also disc printing and user information.
- Audio Mastering: An audio disc can be made with Wave or MP3 files with pre-gap
editing. The MP3 files are decompressed on the fly. It is possible to make an
audio compilation from MP3 files directly, without any conversion on disk, Disc
at Once, at 8x recording speed using 8 recorders simultaneously, with just a
What is this "job" and why is important
Every Job is a file and the application is MDI based. Therefore you can create
and open several jobs at once, may be even prepare a new one while another is
already running. The jobs can run simultaneously (the application will alert
you if you try to use the same drives or if the same bus is engaged) or queued-up
for sequential operations. A set of opened jobs along with their sequence and
position in the main window, is called Workspace, and you can save and reload
several jobs at once just saving or loading one of the 8 available Workspaces.
The log will list in different colors the different Jobs for better control
of simultaneous long operations.
PrimoCD Pro comes as a single exetutable. After you click on it, a nice message
pops up and the installer is checking setup files for corruption and possible
virus infection. During the installation procedure you will be asked to choose
the installation directory. After that PrimoCD Pro setup gives you a detailed
report about installation files and where they are keeped. You will notice that
"PxHelper.vxd" installed into \WINDOWS\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS\ folder.
Actually PrimoCD can be work with WinASPI layer
but Prassi says "..Under both Windows 95/98 or Windows NT, the PxHelper
drivers maximize the SCSI performance and perform the File System blocking while
recording..". It enables several other possibilities to PrimoCD as changing
CDRom-CDR/W Windows settings inside PrimoCD...
had problems with "PxHelper.vxd" cause it my Teac 532E-A showed 2
times into PrimoCD so i decided to work with WinASPI. It also screwed up the
aspi layer in our Win2000 pro installation, but that was easily fixed by the
OS itself after the reboot...
I started PrimoCD and i got a message that PxHelper
did not load and Prassi PrimoCD could work without it (could be nice to make
that screen not apear every time you run PrimoCD with WinASPI layer..).
After pressing ok you see the main window of Prassi's
PrimoCD Pro which is devided into 3 main windows. The Drives window, the Jobs
window and the right window into which all jobs take place. You can also add
the log activity window to monitor all current activities. This log records
all user actions and system responses during the recording process by time of
occurrence. You can see all possible Error Codes and then figure what was the
problem. PrimoCD manual has a full list of possible error codes so if something
come up you can see what the cause of the problem is...
Into Drives window (left top) you can see all possible CD Rom, CDR/W, DVD
Rom devices that are present in the system. If you right click on them you can
choose from: Disc Explore and drive properties, Open/Close Tray and select/deselect
reader & recorder. (Note : select/desect reader & recorder apear only
when a job is started otherwise it stays grayed out.)
Pro Pro 8 v1.1.317 - Page 2
PrimoCD offers a wizard for making various jobs more easy. It will be enabled
not at start (why not?) but after you select a job and start it..You can find
it under File>PrimoCD Starter. However no advanced options are located here..(Verify
after burn, burn method : TAO,DAO,SAO..)
After you select it the main screen comes:
From there you can select PrimoCD standard jobs (Disc Copy, Data Disc, Audio
Disc) and select Recorder.
From here you can copy a CD. Select Reader, Recorder, Burning speed, Burning
method and press RED button!..That simple!
Add folders and file, select Burn
How make Audio CDs with PrimoCD ? Very simple..Add tracks (wav, wma, mp3) and
burn!..No advanced options here. (pre-gap lenght..)
3. Recording options
Pro Pro 8 v1.1.317 - Page 3
Make a Data CD
PrimoCD go to File > NewJob > Data Disc. The Data CD Job window opens.
Now you can add folder and files by brownsing into local and network HD or CDs
( you cannot select both files and folders..). You can also add files and folders
with Windows Explorer by drag & drop them into Data Job window.
When you add a folder PrimoCD gives you the following
options : You can select from moving all files (*.*) from root ( \*.*), partial
path (\emulators\*.*) and original full path (\test\emulators\*.*).
From Data Job window you can select : Number of
copies, writing speed, burn method. After selecting recorder from drives window
you can check file names for possible violation of the System Format (changing
name of the file should be added here..). After that all are set to go.
Press the red button and the burn will start..After burn is finished
,if you had selected verify option, verify will begin and compare the data from
source and CD if they are identical. You will get a full report about verify
and possible problems occured. Only problem with Data Job is when inserting
files and folders. PrimoCD should had Window Explorer for adding folders and
files more easily. With current status you cann't add a folder and select specific
file(s) to burned or add several files from another folder to other easily..
You can do it but manually and not with drag&drop as in others CDR Software..
- Enable Pre-mastering cache:
This option is very important especially when you have to write a lot of
small sized files. You can select from: No cache (default), Cache all files,
Smaller than xkb (drag ruler from 1kb to 100kb)
- Recording Type:
Here you can select from 4 different recording options :
Track at Once (TAO), closed / Track at Once (TAO), not closed / Disc at Once
(DAO), closed / Disc at Once , Not closed (Session at Once)
- Mode Option:
Mode 1 and Mode 2 XA are avaible. For a single closed session, it does not
matter which one is chosen. However, if the session to be written will be appended
to existing sessions, the mode of the new session must be the same as the existing
ones. Mode 1 is generally the preferred mode for multisession due to better
- File System Type:
can select from 4 different options. For most user Microsoft Joliet option is
- File data and time:
"Original file date and time" or "All files set to the mastering
date and time"
- Publisher ID, Data Preparer and Application ID.
Other Type of Data CDs which can be made with PrimoCD Pro:
- Mixed Mode CD:
PrimoCD can also make Mixed mode CDs (one track of CD-ROM data followed
by n tracks of audio in a single session). Just into 1st track insert an image
(ISO) track from HD and then desired audio tracks. You can modify, for each
track, the pre-gap, the Indexes and the ISRC. These functions are available
via the Edit menu (or right-clicking on the track).
- CD Extra CD:
A CD Extra (also called Enhanced CD) is a special Audio CD that contains
also an additional data session. This disc is quite useful when you want to
carry on a single disc some standard audio CDDA tracks and also a CD-ROM content.
A CD Extra contains a first session, closed audio, with the CDDA audio tracks.
Then, there is a second session, usually closed XA, with a Mode 2 XA data track
- Create an Audio Job, with all the required Wave (or MP3) tracks.
- Select Job Options in the Edit menu and, in the field Recording Type, choose
Disc At Once (DAO) Not Closed (Session at Once).
- Record the Audio Job on a blank disc.
- Make a Data Job with the required files. In the Job Options, this time, select
to close the disc and the Mode as Mode 2 XA.
- Record the Data Job on the same disc
I think making CD-Extra CDs with PrimoCD should be more easy (maybe
add a wizard ?..)
4. Disc Copy - Audio CD's
Pro Pro 8 v1.1.317 - Page 4
Disc Copy Job
You can copy a disc directly from another drive,
either a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or an unused recorder. If you do not want to copy directly
because a reliable and fast source CD drive is not available you may go via
file image. PrimoCD Pro supports up to 8, 16, 32, 64 CDR-W drives working at
the same time!
- Verify option:
It is recommended that verification be included in all job setups, since
recording on CD-R discs is a "blind" process (there is no check on
the data after it is written by the laser). Serious media defects that cause
the writer to lose track of the guide groove will cause a disc to be rejected.
However, less serious defects (fingerprints on
the media, for example) may not cause a failure during writing, but the disc
may not be readable on many reader drives (8X recording are more susceptible
since the laser power is weakened by the defect). Read-after-write verification
provides a means of determining that the written disc is readable and is the
only quality-control method available with commercial CD-R drives.
- Stream job:
The stream job is available only when using an autoloader. Stream job is
useful when it is needed to minimize the user intervention and to do multiple
masters replication in a batch mode.
Missing features (or not ?): PrimoCD hasn't any
advanced option like : "Ingore Read Errors", "Raw read/write",
"Scan gap/indexes", "Ignore illegal TOC" or even select
reading speed of CD Rom. What this mean ?...Forget PSX & Game <backups>..
For testing this i tried to backup an advanced protected CD (Bleem!) but PrimoCD
had another opinion. After inserted the CD into Drive properties the drive was
not ready (meaning couldn't see it..)
However all the above <desired> options
are not a real problem for mastering use. All those CDs have no protection.
The most important thing there is the reliablity issue (and PrimoCD is able
to verify the burned CD) according to Prassi.
Make and record a Disc Image Job
procedure is useful when you need to make several copies of the same disc and
you do not want to read from the source drive every time. Also, by having the
Global-Image file stored on the hard disk allows you the possibility to return
immediately the source.
After insert the master disc into a drive right-click
on it (from drives window) and select "Disc Explorer and Drive Properties".
Press "Global-Image Panel" button and enter the name of the disc image
(.GI extension) and then press "Build".
You can record image from File > New Job > Global Image or Other Image.
Browse or search from local HD for an image. Then select copies, burn speed,
action (Test,Verify..) and of course recorder. Press red button to finish action.
PrimoCD can make AudioCD from wav and mp3 files. We tested with all the main
wav/mp3/wma sample-rates, and also with some tiny 2kbyte sized wav/mp3's. Some
programs have problems with really small audio files, but this is not the case
here. Decompression was also a little faster than Adaptec's EazyCD 4.0, although
both programs seem to use the same codecs for the task. Mixing various compression-rates
& formats as source for the same audioCD is also painless.
Making AudioCDs with PrimoCD is quit easy. Select
from File Menu >NewJob>AudioCD Job and the AudioCD Job window will
apear. You can add files (wav,wma or mp3) and PrimoCD will display the pre-gap
time, start and length time.
You can move files up and down (in order to make
the track list). PrimoCD can also search on all local HDs for audioCD files.
From the options menu you can select the burn method (TAO,DAO,SAO), UPC and
pre-emhasis. If you press right click on a file you can select also the pre-gap
(sectors/second). Final you can select the burn speed, and burn method..
PrimoCD supports CD-Text (as mensioned on Homepage).
Since Yamaha 4416s doesn't support it, CD-Text option didn't apear on any menu..
5. Drive Tuning
Pro Pro 8 v1.1.317 - Page 5
The Drives Tuning option under the Tools menu provides you with a means
of easily modifying the settings of all of your CD-R and CD-ROM drives simultaneously.
This screen is arranged into 4 columns. The first
column indicates the drive by its name, SCSI Host ID, SCSI Drive ID, and Drive
Letter. The second column lists the status of the Disconnection Option for each
drive. The third column lists the status of the Synchronous Data Transfer Option
for each drive. The final column lists whether Auto-Insert Notification is enabled
You may handle each drive individually in this screen by clicking
on the drive and selecting the ON or OFF button for each option, or you may
select multiple drives by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on each drive.
You may also click the first drive, hold down the Shift key, and then click
the last drive, and all drives between will be selected. While the drives are
selected, if the ON or OFF key is clicked for any option, it will be applied
to all selected drives. When you have completed your changes, you may select
the Save Changes, Reboot Now option, or the Save Changes, Do Not Reboot option.
Your changes will not go into effect until the system has been rebooted.
From drives window when you press right click you can choose from various
If you select "Disc Explorer and Drive Properties" you
can see detailed Drive properties,CD Media Properties and CD contents.
The Disc Explorer provides detailed information about a disc inserted
into a selected drive. It can be used with either a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROM or a recorder.At
the completion of the analysis the Disc Explorer panel will present the following
disc and drive information:
- Drive Properties
- Session/Track list
- Visual diagram of the disc:
> Yellow - If the outer ring of the diagram is yellow the disc is appendable
> Green - The inner ring of the diagram shows the portion of the disc that
is recorded on an appendable disc
> White - If the outer ring of the diagram is white the disc is not appendable
> Grey - The inner ring of the diagram shows the portion of the disc that
is recorded on a non-appendable disc
> Blue - The disc is a rewritable format. Use only as a copy source
> Red - The disc is DVD format. Use only as a copy source
From there you can extract image of CD or specific tracks of CD.
Press Global Image button, select name of image and extraction speed and press
"Build". PrimoCD give details about extraction speed (instand and
overall) and progress bar. Extraction file is at *.gi format (only read by PrimoCD).
Same way work Track extraction. You select the desired track of
CD and after choosing file name you press "Extract". Here extractioned
file has either ISO or wav file extension. Bad thing here is that on IDE devices
(aka Teac 532E-A) you couldn't select extraction speed (only max was avaible).
This could cause problems since Teac can't do perfect DAE above 6x...
You can also do various tests to see how your drive performs on
Data and DAE extraction. PrimoCD results : Teac (15.2x Data & 16.4x DAE
98% correct), Plextor (19.0x Data & 18.3X DAE 100% correct) and Yamaha 4416s
(9.3x Data & 7.4x DAE speed..NO % of how much it is correct). From this
menu default blank size can be inserted and print the layout of CD.
From Tools>>Options you can select:
The General Tab gives you the standard options for the application
and it's default settings.
You can modify default speed of the recording, default type of
If you select one of the radio buttons which will automatically
select a recorder or multiple recorders which will be selected by default for
your recording job. The General Tab also provides you with the ability to set
the length of the Log Panel's Log. You may select to save 500 entries, 1000
entries, 5000 entries, or 10000 entries. The option to use a small font for
the log panel is also found here.
The first option on the View Tab is the Refresh While Adjusting The Windows
Split tab. When this is checked, the screen status will be updated when you
modify the column and row borders. You may also select to use Flat Toolbars
from this screen. The next option is for Guidelines in the List Views. When
this is checked, and screen which is divided into columns and rows will have
guidelines displayed. The View Tab also allows you to configure the picture
which is displayed by default on your desktop. You may also select to not display
a graphic, or to display another graphic (.bmp, jpg, and .gif images.).
The Data Job Tab allows you to set the default Path for your data files
when added to a Data Job. The default setting is set to Ask. Whenever you add
a file to a data job, the program will prompt you to select the destination
folder on the CD for the selected files. You may change this option to automatically
remove the directories from which the file or directory is nested under (No
Path), or you may select it to automatically use the full directory path for
the file (Full Path).
The Temporary Tab allows you to select the directory which the application
will use when creating temporary files or temporary images.
The Advanced Tab allows you to select the type of error reporting (command,
sense, ASC, and ASCQ codes) of the failure when your recording fails. The Advanced
Tab also allows you to select the mix for the CD-R drives. The nice here is
that you can mix different models of CDR-W drives!..However PrimoCD suggests
to use only default option (same model and same firmware).
The Job/Round Tab allows you to set the various options for use when doing
multiple job or round recorders. The first option available is to "Compute
the discs still to go, count only the good ones". When this option is checked,
it will only count the discs recorded successfully as being completed.
The Job Start box allows you to select the default setting for
when a recording begins. You may have the recorders automatically check to see
if the blank discs are inserted (default), or you may have the recorders eject
their trays for loading. The End of Recording option gives you different options.
You may also select how the recorders will treat the discs once they have been
completed. You may select to have the drives Eject All Discs whether the recording
completed successfully or not (default), have the drives Eject Only Good Discs,
or to not eject the discs when the recording completes.
The Blank Size Tab allows you to input the default size of your blank recordable
media. As you might understand from this menu you can select the overburning
feature by inserting not the actual size (ex. 74min) but the max size of CD
(ex. 76min). CD size is inserted into sectors and also you can see size &
time of inserted sectors.
Pro Pro 8 v1.1.317 - Page 6
As you will read below I made several tests to
test Prassi capabilities for multitasking Jobs. Since I had only 2 CDRW I made
all possible compinations:
- 1 CDR Test :
Target: Data CD from HD D: (4440 Folders, 6764 files)
Recorder: Yamaha 4416s (frimware 1.0f)
Cache all files below 30k, 4x, SAO burning method, Record and Verify
And at the same time with PrimoCD I made 2 Disc
Images on other HD (C:) with 2 readers:
1st Reader: Teac 532E-A (firwmare 3.0a) - Extract track from CD (649.9MB) to
HD C: , read speed max
2nd Reader: Plextor 40x (firwmare 1.01) - Extract track from CD (640.4MB) to
HD C: , read speed max
Propose: Test PrimoCD stability & multitasking
capability..After Data Job started I started also making at the same time images
from both readers. Burn and images tests ended ok!. We also used PrimoCD for
making AudioCDs from Mp3+Wav files and all produced CDs were ok.
- 2 CDRW Tests:
This time I tested PrimoCD Pro with 2 CDRW (Yamaha 4416s & 8424s).
1st Test: I Made a CD Copy from Plextor40x to both
Yamaha CDRW at 4x. Same time I started making Image of an CD from Teac 532E-A
to HD.Test ended ok!
Test: I started a Data Job to 4416s (big files above 3mb). After this I started
an Audio Job from Mp3 (same HD!). Both jobs burning speed was at 4x.
When I pressed the red button for the 2nd Audio
Job I got a warning message had 2 options. Either Queue the Audio Job and start
it when Data Job finishes or Start now even Data Job was in progress..I decided
to select 2 option..Start the Audio Job ..Now both jobs ran simultaneous. Both
Job ended ok!!
3rd Test: Decided to go even further for the most
difficult test..I was going to start an Data Job into 4416s..(a LOT small files..cache
limit 30k..DAO burn mode..from both (C:),(D:) HDs)..After Data Job recording
started I opened an Audio Job (source :Mp3 (C:) HD) and in the same time start
making images from BOTH CD Roms into ((C:)..Sounded kind difficult.. ;)..However
both Images and CDs produced ok!
| - No problems
in Both Win98 & Win2k with existing programs
- Easy interface
- Data verify after burning
- Section At Once (SAO) support
- CD-Text Support
- Support for 8 CDR-W
- Can mix different models of CDR-W drives!
- Several recording jobs can be prepared and run simultaneously, or queued
and run in sequence
- On the fly decoding Mp3 with 8x recording speed using 8 recorders simultaneously,
with just a 400MHz PC (as Prassi claims..)
| - No full On-Line
- No AutobootCD support
- No HybridCD (MAC) support
- No Read speed selection
- Adding data needs improving