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When it comes to simple CD ISO images it is possible to burn them to a DVD+/-R, but what about the more general case? Is it possible to copy a CD with audio tracks to DVD+/-R? What about mixed mode CDs that contain a data track? What about those old hybrid CD that contain also a Mac filesystem?

Using the DVD in a CD-only drive will of course not work, but would it be possible to make it work in a PC that contains a DVD drive? How compatible are CD-R and DVD-R in general? What things does one support that the other doesn't (aside from one having 700MB and the other 4.7GB)? Basically what are the use cases for which one would still need a CD-R in these days and couldn't use a DVD-R as replacement?

Edit: And an additional question: Who decides if a CD is an audio-CD or data-CD, is it the OS that interprets the data one way or another or does that difference already happen in the drives firmware?

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2 Answers 2

audio CDs are whole different animal from data cds - in terms of data format. You could use the first track on an audio cd for data (the old C&C games came like that). You cannot burn an audio cd/redbook format on anything but a cd.

The moment you're using a DVD, some lossless, or suitable lossy format would make sense - even uncompressed wav.

I can't think of any usecase that dosen't involve the unavailability of a DVD drive that a CD would solve, outside specific formats like redbook.

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I once needed to write an ISO image of an operating system to a CD to boot from. The image was <700MB. I didn't have a CD-R to hand to write it to, but I thought I'd experiment and try a DVD instead. It worked perfectly.

Structurally there is no difference between a CD sized ISO image and a DVD sized ISO image other than the size.

DVD does introduce a few new data formats (like UDF) which provide support for bigger file sizes than CD (ISO is limited to a 2GB file size maximum) which may or may not work on a CD-R depending on what your operating system thinks of it.

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you can use UDF on CD roms on OSes that support UDF, i believe - it also has some advantages such as the ability to use packet writing without additional software en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Disk_Format –  Journeyman Geek Apr 3 '11 at 12:52

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