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CD / DVD Glossary

CD / DVD Glossary

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Access Time

Access time is the time it takes to access data when moving from one track to another. Generally speaking, it can be regarded as a measurement of optical drive performance (the shorter, the better).


BURN-Proof or "Buffer Underrun Proof" in full is a technology used to prevent buffer underrun errors and to decrease disc burning failures.


The cache is used to store data temporarily in order to help improve optical drive reading performance and writing stability. Currently most burners come with about 2MB cache, while some others may offer larger cache capacities.


DAO, short for Disc-At-Once, is a burning process capable of writing all the data on a recordable/rewriteable disc at one time without adding gaps between tracks.

ISO 9660

ISO 9660 (International Standards Organization 9660) is a standard file system for data discs that can be read by any computer operating system.

ISO 9660 Level 1 limits filenames to 8 characters with a 3-character extension (as in DOS) and sets a maximum 8-level limitation to directory tree depth.

ISO 9660 Level 2 and Level 3 allow filenames with up to 32 characters, but limit the directory tree depth to eight levels as well.


Joliet, hailing from Microsoft, is a superset of the ISO 9660 standard. It allows filenames of up to 32 characters, but it is only compatible with Windows 95 or later operating systems.


TAO, short for Track-at-Once, is also a burning process. Unlike DAO (Disc-At-Once), the TAO process leaves gaps between tracks allowing them to be written separately.

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