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CD-Audio To DVD

Discussion in 'High resolution audio' started by A_Klingon, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not really sure what forum to place this in! But I'm sure this question has been asked before.

    I wonder how one might put uncompressed cd-audio (ie wave files) onto a DVD-R for playback in a standard set-top dvd player?

    I know that cd audio is inherently 44.1K sampling, and dvd audio is 48K. Without upsampling (and all of the distortions which that creates), I don't see how it can be done. I'm not much interested in simply creating a data disc of .wav files, because they would only be playable on a computer.

    It's a shame when you think about it. With DVD-R prices finally coming down to earth now, and having seven times the capacity of a CD, it seems that a single $3 disc holding (say) ten complete, uncompressed, full-fidelity cd-audio albums, would be an awfully nice thing to have. 4.36 gigs means audio compression (any format) wouldn't be necessary, and one could have extended-play, uncompromised high-fidelity from an inexpensive blank.

    (What about that pesky 'AUDIO_TS' folder?) Manufacturers never seem to use it.

    Even if I ripped a music cd to wave files and then upsampled them to 48K, I wonder how I would author the dvd (I have Nero and Prassi Primo), without including any associated video?

    It's such a shame because a set top dvd player can (and does!) easily handle both sampling frequencies with ease. Trouble is, if the player detects cd media, it's circuitry defaults to looking for either red-book audio, .mp3 files, or s/vcd. If it detects dvd media, it insists on .vob files only. So, I [bold]guess[/bold] I would have to convert the waves into vob files (without video?), then use ifoedit or something to create the .ifo's and .bup's.

    (Such a silly complication). Is there an easier way?

    (Thnx).
     
  2. tigre

    tigre Moderator Staff Member

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    Besides your idea there are two more possibilities:

    1. Get/build a (silent) entertainment PC (DVD drive, decent soundcard, TV out ...) and connect it to your Hifi.

    2. Create DVD audio disks from the CDs. There have been some threads about DVD audio authoring recently, but it seems like there's no cheap sollution out there right now.

    Sounds like a good idea. As I don't have a DVD burner I haven't tried this yet and don't have much knowledge about it either, but I have some thoughts about it that might be helpful:

    - For converting to 48kHz you might want to use foobar2000's diskwriter, resampler set to "slow mode", dithering enabled. Using the replaygain feature is a good idea too IMO to avoid clipping (and adjust the perceived loudness of the albums you put on the DVD if wanted)

    - IIRC the video part of DVD can be compressed at different quality settings. If you choose the highest possible compression for the dummy video stream I hope you can put more than 1 CD on a DVD-R. BTW: Me=curious - Do you know what's the lowest possible data rate for a DVD video stream?

    - If you have to put a video stream into the VOB files anyway: Here's some inspiration what you could use: http://www.rathergood.com ("Kittens" section). ;)


    If you succeed please drop a note here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2003
  3. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know what the minimum bitrate could be for a video stream to still meet dvd spec, but I imagine it not be very high. In fact, one might be able to get away will still frames (with the music playing as 'background'). The still could be a cover scan, for example, of the cd music cover. (Something that can be done with vcd).

    But I was trying to think along the lines of something simpler (and cheap!) like maybe trying to 'fool' the dvd player into thinking it was simply looking at an oversized music cd or something. With TMPGEnc, you can fool a player into thinking that it is playing a vcd when in fact the video is in svcd form, simply by changing the mpeg header info. (So I'm told - I tried it and failed) -- so why couldn't we (assuming we can find a burning program that will let us overburn past 700 MB) burn a dvd as a standard red-book audio-cd and have the dvd player accept it as such?

    The overall bitstream throughput would be a breeze for a dvd player. The technology and capability is already sitting in every dvd player made.

    You know, I figure it's just a matter of time before someone does this (optimistic me, huh?). It would be the perfect solution - no resampling, no re-encoding. Someone might make a bit of money writing a burning program that could do that.

    I've just ripped about 950 megs-worth of .wav files and I'm going to see if I can't twist Nero's arm into burning a great big fat cd for me. (Probably won't work).

    -- Mike --
     
  4. boogschut

    boogschut Member

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    Any thoughts on this yet? I also want to do exactly this.
     
  5. tigre

    tigre Moderator Staff Member

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    I know it's a bit boring to go for veeeeery good & easy if you can have perfect, complicated & 1337 but you could just create mp3 CD-Rs - plain and simple:

    lame --alt-preset standard: 7-10 CDs on one CD-R
    lame --alt-preset insane: 5-7 CDs on one CD-R.

    Using MP3Gain after encoding could even lead to a better sounding result (not-so-decent hardware + overcompressed, loud source CD required) as distortions/clipping due to too high volume can be avoided.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2003
  6. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    (No of course not - Nero wouldn't work). It accepted the 950 MB of waves, but told me I had the wrong media type inserted, then promptly ejected my blank dvd. (Hey, it was worth a shot). :)

    tigre - I can already do mp3 on cd; now I wanna do music cd on dvd.

    I wanna, I wanna...... waahhhh!!!! sob!

     
  7. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    The basic problem is the fact that there are 2 different ways of getting CD quality audio onto DVD. You can either use DVD-Video - which if your player is looking for a VOB set heavily implies that this is what you have, or DVD-Audio. If using DVD-Audio, you firstly need a player capable of recognising the Audio_TS directory, plus an authoring application that can write this type of directory. The Cheapest one that I know of is Minnetonka Audio's discWelder Steel. Check out www.discwelder.com for details. Unfortunately, this is about $500.
    As far as sample rates and wordlength goes, in the DVD-A specs you can use anything from 16/44.1 up to 24/96 for multichannel, and up to 24/192 for stereo. If you also include MLP encoding - a lossless compression codec that works by rearranging the "packing" of the wave files, you can get up to 12 hours of CD quality audio at 16/44.1 on a single DVD-R.
    The problem with using the DVD-Video option is not so much the authoring - there are several very cheap options out there that will do the job, but the fact that you have to have a video component. Admittedly, this can be a simple thing such as a still, but you cannot just dump down audio files as the format requires everything to be multiplexed together, which is why your settop player is looking for a VOB file.
    As far as the oversize CD burned to a DVD goes, I really don't know if this is possible or not. However, WaveLab now has an option to burn DVD discs as well as CD's, but don't know for certain if this will extend into the Audio CD section. I will try this out this week and post back with my results, or lack of them.
    Unfortunately, making a DVD is far from being a walk in the park, but this situation can only improve as time goes on. Remember how difficult and expensive burning Audio CD's used to be?
    I will also have a good poke around to see if I can come up with any other solutions to your dilemma, and keep you posted.
    BTW - you can download a 14 day demo of discwelder. If you really want to do this, you won't beat it on price at the moment. The Steel version unfortunately does not recognise MLP, but that will still leave you with 6 hours at 16/44.1 on a single disc. Just make sure your player actually supports DVD-Audio. A good clue is looking for 6 analogue outputs from the player as well as the digital outputs.
    The Limit DVD9900SE is a superb player. Cost is around £200, but it does DVD-A, DVD-V. CD, MP3, JPEG, CD-R, CD-R/W, DVD-R and DVD-R/W so all forms of media are supported. It also has built in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders too!
    Hope this helps
     
  8. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you for the reply wilkes.

    There seem to be only expensive and/or incredibly complex methods of accomplishing what should in essence be such a simple thing.

    It would not be worth it to me to pay $500 for software which _might_ allow me, after much encoding or whatever, to play 2-channel 16/44.1 cd audio from a dvd disc. (But that's just me). I'd probably just stick to .50c cdrs and copy the originals in a few minutes with my eyes closed.

    If you want to know the truth, I don't think one [bold]can[/bold] play 44.1k audio from a dvd, because the official dvd spec calls for 48K audio, regardless of the number of channels. If I upsample to 48k to make the audio meet dvd-spec, I'm going to suffer a degradation in sound quality.

    Creating a simple "oversized music cd" on a dvd may indeed be a physical impossibility.

    I don't know whether my simple, inexpensive set top Sony DVD DVP-NS315 player recognizes the AUDIO_TS directory (I simply cannot image why not), and I'm assuming that *all* dvd set top players do so. Even though 99.99% of commercial dvds never use the AUDIO_TS folder, is that not also a necessary and standard requirement of the dvd spec?

    No wilkes, there's gotta be an easier answer to all of this. I look at it in this (perhaps) over-simplified way: Any modern dvd player can play 44.1 or 48k audio. The circuitry is there. They can all also play dvd-r and cd-r media.

    The damnedly complex trick is to bring those two capabilities together. If I have to upsample the ripped audio to 48k and manually insert some video-or-other just to create a set of dvd compliant vob files, to me it's not worth the trouble.

    Ah well........

    8 full-fidelity music cds (unmodified audio) on a single dvd blank would have been a delight.

    -- Klingy --
     
  9. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    Sorry to be picky, but the 48KHz limitation only applies to audio in the DVD-Video spec. DVD-Audio allows for any combination of 16/20 or 24 bits at 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4 or 192 KHz.
    It's a much more forgiving sort of thing, as it's dedicated to audio.
    I don't think the Sony can read DVD-A either - most of the Sony players I've seen are SACD/DVD-V compatible. Panasonic do one for about £150, can't remember it's model number.
    The "only" way to get 16/44.1 Audio onto DVD without using the video_TS and the inevitable multiplexing to the VOB files is to use DVD-A.
    It really isn't that much money when you stop to think about it. It really gets expensive if you want the 24/96 multichannel, as MLP encoding becomes mandatory at that point or you exceed the available bitrate. Then we're talking at least $5000, and up to $15000 if you go the Sonic Solutions route. Still, could be worse - if you want the Pro quality DVD-V authoring, until Adobe Encore DVD hits the shelves, we're talking Sonic Scenarist, and that's a mindblowing £25000 a throw!!!
    Alternatively, I could do the discs for you, all you'd need is the Player.
    Sorry, but at the moment that's the way it is.
     
  10. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    (Much obliged for the info, wilkes).

    Isn't it funny? I was an 'early adopter' of dvd. (1996) And up until your post (above) I've never even checked the specs of any set top dvd player to see if it played DVD-A. (I'm not talking about SACD which is a whole 'nother ball of wax of course). All the owner's manuals I've ever read, make no mention of DVD-A, so I will just assume that if it isn't mentioned, the player must not be compatible with it.

    I must make a note to purchase a straight DVD-A disc sometime, to examine it's file structure. It would be interesting to pull some audio off it to see how it sounds on my computer.

    Assuming I could find a dvd set top player that IS DVD-A compliant (such as the Panasonic model you mention, or something equivalent), then I think your comments are good news!!

    Since cd-audio-spec (16/44.1) *does* fall into the realm of DVD-A spec, would it be safe to assume that I could burn such content to my own DVD-R discs?

    <more dumb questions> - Does a commercial DVD-A disc just have an AUDIO_TS folder? If not, could a person 'get away' with creating a home-made DVD-A disc with just the AUDIO_TS folder?

    And of course, I imagine whatever burning software I would use would have to burn in the correct DVD-A format. (Red-book format would be useless).

    (Are we getting any closer to putting those 8 music cds onto a $3 dvd blank yet?) :)

    I know I tend to over-simplify matters somewhat, wilkes, but if nothing else, I will be looking at information on DVD-A compliant players in the future, especially if there is some <relatively> easy way to transfer over music cds. Also, as you know, there are a lot of commercial DVD-A discs out there. Funny I never thought about those before.

    (Much obliged) -- Klingy --

     
  11. Ripster

    Ripster Member

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    Have a look at DVD Architect from Sonic Foundry. As well as allowing you to author "standard" DVDs it let's you create what it calls Music Compilations to which you can add sound files (WAV and mp3 both work). You can have a still (say an album cover) and the song title show while the DVD is playing the track.
     
  12. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    Klingy - I'll knock up a DVD-A disc this afternoon and let you know the file structure.
    Ripster - As far as Sonic Foundry's DVD Architect goes, it only authors DVD-Video compatible discs, and the PCM mode is 16/20/24 bit at 48KHz or 96KHz in stereo only. Nothing at 44.1 KHz is supported.
    The best bet for a set top player would be one that supports both formats, hence the Limit player I mentioned earlier. For £200 you can't go wrong.
    You do need compliant authoring software for DVD-A disca, and the minnetonka steel is the cheapest option for writing "legal" DVD-A discs.
    It's a bit of a bugger getting your head around the various formats, but the general rule of thumb is DVD-V is video based but with enhanced sound, and DVD-A is Audio based with full range uncompressed multichannel audio, or extremely high res stereo audio.
    For 8 CD's on a DVD-R, the DVD-A spec is best otherwise we head off rapidly into resampling territory.
     
  13. tigre

    tigre Moderator Staff Member

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    @wilkes

    One thought: As PC soundcards show (e.g. Creative) it's easier (or cheaper, dunno) to build a D/A converter that uses fixed sampling rate (e.g. 48kHz) and resample signals with other sampling rates before D/A conversion.

    Are you sure that DVD-A players don't do the same (maybe their D/A converters are fixed to 24/96)? At least the digital out is resampled to 48/16 IIRC from the other thread unless it's some non-standard output.

    And what about video DVD players when playing back mp3s or audio CDs ...?

    In this case it would be good to resample always if your source is CD audio, no matter if you create a "dummy video DVD-A" or a real DVD-A. Using good software like SSRC (-> foobar2000), CoolEdit or ... you can be sure that resampling is done in a decent way.

    Resampling to higher frequencies shouldn't cause noticable quality loss anyway if it's done the right way.
     
  14. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    Tigre, you may be right, but I can see no logical or practical reason why a DVD-A compatible set top would automatically upsample 44.1 cd-audio to 48 with its internal converters. Regardless of how transparent or unaffected the audio might seem to be, it would be defeatist in nature, especially since ordinary 44.1 decoding is such a de-facto standard anyway.

    Using either the coaxial or optical outputs, are the digital streams of ordinary music cds not output at 44.1? Even with the analogue outputs, there would zero advantage, methinks, for the internal converter to do any upsampling.

    Wilkes - ... I'll knock up a DVD-A disc this afternoon...

    That'd be great! That might answer a lot of questions we've been asking. If this works out (and it doesn't cost a bloody fortune for authoring software), I will have to ensure that my next set-top includes DVD-A playback capability. It might even convince me to start my own small collection of commercial DVD-A discs. (I'd like to have, for example, Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" DVD-A disc.)

    Putting ordinary music cds onto a dvd has been a recurring theme in these (and other) pages for as long as I can remember. The question keeps cropping up over and over. No wonder! With blank media prices falling as they are, and with dvd's inherent data capacity, it makes a lot of sense (to me) to be able to archive unmodified (full-fidelity) music cds onto a perfectly-playable disc!

    -- Mike --
     
  15. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    Klingy - Just dropped a quick DVD-A to disc, and as promised here's the details of what is on it.
    AUDIO_TS - ATS_01_0.BUP 4Kb
    ATS_01_1.AOB 181944Kb
    AUDIO_TS.BUP 8Kb
    AUDIO_TS.VOB 12Kb
    ATS_01_0.IFO 4Kb
    AUDIO_PP.IFO 128Kb
    AUDIO_TS.IFO 8Kb

    VIDEO_TS - Empty

    The big surprise for me is the inclusion of the Video_TS directory. Thinking about it though, maybe not such a surprise, as all DVD-V authoring applications include an empty Audio_TS directory.
    The app I used was Minnetonka's DiscWelder Chrome, which is capable of including a pre-authored Video_TS directory for compatibility purposes, even though it cannot write the contents of this directory itself. Just dropping Dolby Digital or Wave files into a Video_TS will not work, as all the files need to be multiplexed into a .VOB file anyway.
    I've said it before, and I'll repeat it again:- Writing DVD's is far from being a walk in the park. It's way more complex than CD's, and will in all probability never get much cheaper because of all the licensed technology involved.
    A lot of people spent a staggering amount of money to develop this, and they ain't about to let it all end up as shareware/freeware.
    Sorry, but there you have it. Writing DVD's is about as cheap as it is going to get in the next ten years at least.
     
  16. tigre

    tigre Moderator Staff Member

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    A_Klingon, you might find this thread intersting:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?threadid=163722
     
  17. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    All fine & dandy, just as long as you don't want to play them on anything other than a PC hooked up to a separates system.
    You will Still need a DVD-A Authoring application to get these files onto a DVD-R.
     
  18. A_Klingon

    A_Klingon Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Wilkes!

    I have logged the disc-structure onto paper to examine later on. On the surface at least, I think you have finally solved the mystery to that age-old question, "How do I get my cds onto a dvd?"

    The disc-structure you report - now [bold]that[/bold] looks like a bonafide, honest to god dvd-a! (What a hoot - a total 'flip-flop' - the audio_ts folder full, and the video_ts folder empty).

    Yes, it would appear that it's all in the authoring software. Did you use standard, ripped music-cd wave files as your input? As far as you can tell, does the resultant playback sound identical to the original cds? Nothing was upsampled to 48k was it?

    ...just dropping Dolby Digital or wave files into a video_ts directory will not work, as all the files need to be multiplexed into a .VOB file anyway.

    Yep, understood. (But don't you mean, multiplexed into the ATS_01_1.AOB file?) There IS a short 12Kb AUDIO_TS.VOB file there, but the bulk of the dvd-a has to be the 181,944 Kb's-worth of music contained in .AOB file.

    Thanks again for the disc-structure. The .AOB file is the new term for me (most of us are already familiar with .ifos and .bups). I will assume ".AOB" to be an "<A>udio <O><B>ject File".

    tigre - with proper authoring software such as wilkes mentions, the ability to rip uncompressed 24bit/96Khz audio from a commercial DVD-A could be useful in compiling a homemade dvd-a from *that* source. But that's sort of like 'icing-on-the-cake' for the moment, because my first and major concern was/is getting traditional 16/44.1 content on the disc.

    Thank You All!!! -- Klingy --
     
  19. tigre

    tigre Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry ... I was in a hurry when writing (pasting) my last post. My point was that "dummy video audio DVDs" already exist, similar to the idea from your 1st post:
    I thought there could be something helpful in the thread I mentioned for creating your own ones.
     
  20. wilfredh

    wilfredh Member

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    Discwelder STEEL makes the DVD-A discs correctly, it adds slides showing the Album name and Track names as you enter them--- the slides occupy the video_ts space, thus making the DVD "legal" format.
    Very few DVD-A players are out there in the market, my local Fry's had 5 machines in the displayed 50. Look VERY carefully at the DVD logo on the front--- the player you want says "DVD/Audio-Video", most machines say "DVD-Video"--- these only output DTS and Dolby 5.1 audio, and will display "no disc" when you load your DVD-A disc in it. The "good" machines will automatically begin playing your DVD-A disc instead.
    My finding is that the Coaxial Digital Audio output is far better than the Optical Digital Audio Out, as the RIAA has spec'd the Optical link to be 16/44 so no-one can take it to a DVD Recorder to re-record the audio in a higher quality mode. The Coax Audio doesn't suffer this limitation, but of course the Audio_ts and Video_ts and Group tracks won't come out of that output.
    *Maybe* a DVD cloner could solve that problem, duping the disc as raw digital data onto a blank DVD in Disk-At-Once mode.
    The copying of many audio CDs to 1 DVD sounds like an interesting challenge worth solving, even for storage space reasons alone. If you offload the (many) CDs WAV files onto your hard drive, then use DWelder to assemble these into a DVD burning project list (each in their own Group), you could create a manyCDs on 1 DVD-A that way. The video slides it creates will show those Group names (the CD name) with the Track names (ie songs)in a nice TV-like clickable hierarchy. A "good" DVDA player's remote will forward/reverse "chapter to chapter" (song to song) and Group to Group (CD to CD) just fine.
     

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