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Eitner ©June 2000|
Don's Homepage: The 13th Floor - http://www.tstonramp.com/~freiheit/
Author: Takayuki 'January June' Suwa:firstname.lastname@example.org
A bit of history - I bought my first 10X IDE CD-ROM in 1996 and discovered that
OS/2's bundled CD Player application was capable of producing crystal clear sound
using "Digital Transfer". However, I discovered that my drive was of too
poor quality to maintain this mode for more than a few seconds, at which point the
audio would begin to skip and jitter like mad.
In desperation to get that higher-than-ordinary CD audio output I upgraded to
a nice Teac 532S 32X SCSI CD-ROM in the hopes that it would be good enough to allow
Digital Transfer in OS/2's CD Player. I was disappointed to find that the option
for Digital Transfer was now grayed out in CD Player as if the drive was reporting
it did not support this mode. What confused and confounded me even more was that
other people were using the same drive under OS/2 to perform full CD-DA grabs (using
the same method as Digital Transfer but with the purpose of getting the audio file
onto one's hard drive rather than merely listening to it at full CD quality). The
only difference I could find was the SCSI adapter card being used. Mine was a good
but inexpensive Symbios 875 Ultra-Wide SCSI while others were using the much more
expensive Adaptec 2940 Ultra-Wide SCSI adapter.
I settled on the notion that my SCSI card or its driver was somehow incapable
of supporting CD-DA mode. But then I got my hands on BeOS r4.5, an alternative operating
system with a lot of resemblance to OS/2 as well as Linux, MacOS and even WinDOS.
BeOS was able to grab CD audio using the same Symbios SCSI adapter and Teac CD-ROM.
So what was wrong with OS/2?!
It turns out the Teac drive supports a specific (Sony) version of CD-DA which
was not being supported by my OS2CDROM.DMD. I know this because I discovered a handy
new replacement driver on http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/
called JJSCDROM.DMD whose documentation specifically mentions the ability to
force CD-DA mode on many drives. I added a line for this driver to my CONFIG.SYS
file, rebooted, and suddenly both my Teac 532S CD-ROM and my Yamaha 6416S CD-RW
(CD Rewriteable) drives are capable of grabbing CD Digital Audio under OS/2, as
well as using the CD Player's Digital Transfer mode.
So, for the first time in five years, I am able to listen to ultra-high quality
audio and use programs such as leech,
and PMCD2WAV to grab audio CD tracks to my hard drive as WAV or MP3 files! For those
unfamiliar with CD grabbing (also called ripping) it is the
process of taking the digital audio stored on the CD and copying it bit-for-bit
to a hard drive so that no audio quality is lost. This results in far superior sounding
audio than simply recording from CD to cassette tape or CD to hard drive using more
conventional "analog" recording techniques. CD grabbing is no different
than copying data files from a data CD, just that these particular data files store
Interestingly, I have also discovered that my 16X-read CD-RW drive grabs CD-DA
faster than my 32X CD-ROM. I haven't been able to clock the actual grab time but
I know from using BeOS that my 32X grabs CD-DA at just over 4X speed and the Yamaha
CD-RW seems to grab at least twice as fast. For those using WORM (Write Once Read
Many) drives (typically the magneto-optical predecessors of CD-R) JJSCDROM.DMD also
claims to support using these drives as if they were normal CD-ROM drives.
Some additional features I have had neither the need nor the means to test include:
the ability to give only a single drive letter to CD changers; support for discs
recording using the CD-XA format; and ignoring a drive on bootup so that it gets
no drive letter assignment, which the author claims is useful when using special
CD writer packages such as RSJ and Pegasus-OFS.
Author: Takayuki 'January June' Suwa (email@example.com)
Currently Available From: ftp://hobbes.nmsu.edu/pub/incoming/jjscdrom_20000508.zip
Cost: Apparently free. I can find no mention of any cost nor any licensing (such as GPL or other open-source).