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Home > Essays > Optical Storage

Monday, February 18, 2002

1. OverBurning


What is OverBurning ?

Overburning (or over-recording) is the common term referring to putting on a Recordable disk more audio or data than those that would fit in it according to its nominal (reported) capacity.

How is it achieved ?

By recording on the disk surface that was originally intended for storing the lead-out 1st session track, and (possibly) on (a part of) the space that was designed by the disk manufacturer for being left unrecorded.

How much more audio or data can I put on a 74 minute labeled disk by over burning ?

In practice, you can safely store at least 2 minutes of audio, or the equivalent data (20MB) or a mixture of both. In some cases you might be able to put even over 78 minutes of audio, or the equivalent in data, on a plain 74 minute Recordable disk.

Can I overburn an erasable disk ?

Yes. Just as with a non-Rewritable disk. But I challenge any advantage of doing so as it might be the case that your recorder (and/or reader) might then be unable to recognize and erase it!

What recorders support this feature ?

The Yamaha's (400, 401, 200, 201, 4001, 4260, 4261, 4416).
The Plextor's (PlexWriter, 8/20).
The Teac's.
There is also a rumor that Panasonic 75x2 support over burning. But only in TAO mode (under CDRWin).

What software will allow me to overburn ?

- CDRWin : Just ignore the warning message for the disk being over 74 minutes before the recording is about to start
- DiscJuggler : Configure it for images of longer than 74 minutes long
- Prassi CD-Rep : Similar to the DJ case
- Nero : You can enable the overburning-feature under 'file'->'preferences'->'expert settings'
- Feurio : I do not use it, so I do not know the details

What recording mode should I use for over burning a disk ?

You must burn in DAO (disk-at-once) mode, strictly.

How can I know if a particular disk will hold the amount of extra data/audio I want to put in it ?

Just do a test-burn. Watch for any error messages that might appear after the testing phase ends. If there is none of them continue in the actual recording phase!

So is it possible to overburn with Panasonic 7502B & CDRWin 3.5x or 3.6x ?

You can do overburning, but ONLY write an ISO image, and only in track-at-once mode. Here is the trick :

- make the ISO image with any CDR software ( I used WinOnCD, for correct Win95 Juliet and DOS 8+3 names, 79:15:21 long )
- open CDRWin and choose record tools.
- specify that you want to record an ISO image ( all ISO recording in CDRWin are made in TAO mode )
- locate your ISO image, uncheck write postgap for maximize available size :).
- start recording ( I used Phillips blank CDR with 74:43:00 capacity )

Any other method will end up in ejecting blank CD with "not enough free space on disc" or "cuesheet was rejected by the recorder". It will NOT work if you try to write a cuesheet for the ISO image.

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