Sony's CD-R File System for Packet Writing

by Katherine Cochrane


March 11, 1996. In an interview today with Dirk Peters, Product Manager for Sony Write-Once, we learned that their new packet writing software, called "CD-R FS," will be going into beta test during the 2nd quarter of this year. The Windows 95 version will be released to beta in May, the Macintosh version in June, and other operating systems (WinNT, UNIX, OS/2) will follow. There are no plans to support Windows 3.1x, however, because of multitasking requirements 3.1x cannot meet. The program will initially support Sony's 920 Spressa and the Philips 2000/HP Surestore 4020i recorders, with other platforms to come later.

Peters described the new package as being integrated into the operating system rather than a standalone application like current premastering programs. "You will just have to load drivers, not an application," which means that to write to a CD-R all a user must do is format the disc with a provided utility, then use the "Save As..." function from any application and choose the CD-R as the output device. The disc in progress may be used immediately to read information using the CD-Recorder, but it must be "frozen" to play it on an ordinary CD-ROM reader, in the same way that current multisession CD-Rs are used.

As well as eliminating the necessity to run a special program to record discs, packet writing has the advantage of not using large areas of disc space between sessions, as is now the case with multisession writing. In multisession recording a "link block" is recorded between sessions when the recorder is stopped and started again, using 40 kilobytes of space for each session.

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