Pressing plant wants ISO image?

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Pressing plant wants ISO image?

Postby Julian Nichols » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:01 pm

I'm helping out a client who has a CD that he's getting manufactured in Europe. He's mastered the individual tracks himself, it's all sounding good, but the snag seems to be that the pressing plant wants the disc image delivered in either .ISO or .NRG format.

I'm no mastering engineer but I'm a bit confused as to why the plant wants .ISO rather than a DDP image which seems to be far more of an industry standard.

Anyhow, by the looks of it I am going to be doing a fair bit more work getting releases ready for this particular manufacturer, so what I need is some software that will let me author a CD and export it to an ISO file. Most of what I can find online seem to be free programs that reportedly come loaded with malware, so I'm a bit lost. What's a semi professional solution to this problem? I have no interest in going into the audio side of mastering, I just need something that will let me author CDs in this format.

I'm not afraid to spend a moderate amount of $$$ for some software that will do this without too much hassle.

Any advice appreciated :)
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Re: Pressing plant wants ISO image?

Postby Tone Master » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:47 pm

Hi Julian, I found this on the GS forum:
"I think, this is a misunderstanding: .iso and .nrg are image formats which describe CD-ROMs (Yellow Book) or DVD-ROMs, they can not describe CD audio (Red Book).

I'd recommend checking with your plant which CD audio image formats they accept. Formats I've seen and worked with include:
DDP filesets
CDRWin cue sheets (many flavors: .cue+.wav, .cue+.aiff, .cue+.bin etc.)
Pyramix CD images (.pmi) (regular wave files with embedded PQ data
Nero CD audio image (.nra)
Global Image Format (.gi)
Samplitude/Sequoia Wave Project (.hdp+.wav)
cdrdao table of contents (.toc+.wav, .toc+.bin)

One more comment: I don't think it is usually a good idea to create a CD audio image from an existing "Master CD", better have your audio workstation export some sort of CD image and then burn a CD from that if that's more convenient for you to listen to. Once proofed, send the image to the plant. If the plant wants a different image format than your DAW can export, you are of course in trouble and need a software for conversion - and this software must do this as accurate as copying a file (of course, but I'd generally check if a software really does that by either doing null-tests or using checksums on the audio, plus comparing the PQ data manually)."

I think you should double check with the plant what other file formats they will accept and be clear that it is an audio cd they are duplicating.

Good luck.
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Re: Pressing plant wants ISO image?

Postby Julian Nichols » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:06 pm

Thanks for that, I found that post on GS a while back as well. But here's the thing - this label has been using these guys for the last 20 or so releases that they have done over the last year or so, and never had a problem. I've got every CD that they have released and they all sound fine. So I know that it's possible to send an ISO file as a red book CD image, it's just very strange. I might have to talk to their previous mastering guy and ask him what he used to do it. I'm new to CD authoring (I never master my own work), I use REAPER which can export to DDP fine, but ISO is proving to be a headache.
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