Making Enhanced CDs        

1  Making Enhanced CDs
2 What's an E-CD?
3 The Content
4 Encoding the CD
5 Autorun
6 Burn It, Test It, Press It

  Making Enhanced CDs

Page 1

Being a rock and roll star isn't always the glamorous, sordid existence that you might think. I mean sure its fun at first, but after the loud music is over, a band just goes back to a Motel 6 room, where they read books, plug in the computer, and fight over who goes online first.

Yep, any band, like most indie bands, is filled with geeks.

Back in 1994, bands were just starting to add data to their music CDs, and most of those CDs were lame and expensive. It will be soon that your label rep asks you, "Hey, you guys are technically adept. How would you like to make an Enhanced CD?"

Now your guitarist and bass player had been assembler-language programmers before they quit their jobs and became full-time rock slackers, but they hadn't touched computers for the past four or five years. So you figure that if you agree to make an E-CD, the label would supply you with the programmers and you'd sit back, eat M&Ms (with the brown ones removed), and take care of the Rock Talent end of things.

So you say , "Sure, we'd LOVE to make an Enhanced CD!" To which Mr. Label Rep replied, "Great, go ahead and do it! You know how, right?"

Stunned, but wanting to preserve our geek egos, we replied, "Why, um ... of course we do."

Then you quickly and quietly set about learning Macromedia Director.

Once you finally figure out how to build an enhanced CD (E-CD), you realize that it is actually a unique opportunity to reach out to your fans and connect them with your website, which you've been building and rebuilding since the birth of the band. No longer will your band's CD be just a static piece of information — it will be a doorway to your ever-changing world on the Web.

So making an E-CD turns out to be a great thing for your band. And, whether you have a band of your own, or just a portfolio site you want to move onto a CD for easy distribution and viewing, E-CD know-how might just be an excellent addition to your Web-dev arsenal.

In this article, I'll discuss the ins and outs of making enhanced CDs, from the types of content you can include to the burning and pressing of the disc.

First let's look at what makes up an E-CD.

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