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 PostPost subject: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:40 pm 
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I've been testing various tools to image discs properly and come to different results. At the time being we do prefer Alcohol120% but I do understand the issues with it (as the official release comes with Smart File Advisor which should be treated as adware. We have a portable lite version made that comes without it, but lacks the emulation features, so if you use the portable version you need to use Daemon Tools etc to virtually mount the image if you want to use it. I know this testbed isn't the most scientifically best way to test these softwares, but I wanted to get an overview of what formats and results these titles support and ge

Opt-out here means that you must actively decline the offer to install the extras. Unfortunately the official Alcohol120% installer doesn't offer any opt-out of Smart File Advisor, a complaint that is also public at their forums.

All tools were tested on Windows 8.1 Professional, 64bit Edition using an external USB2 connected DVD Burner (TSScorp CD/DVDW SH-S182M). I've underlined the supported image formats BA requires for a proper dump. The CD-ROM title I chose to use is "Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure", a MS-DOS title which contains both a data track as well as audio tracks. All supported formats in each tool was used to dump the disc so I can compare the size, contents and files generated by each dump session. All dumps were made at maximum supported reading speed (40x). All settings were unchecked except for the ones specified below.

These are the tools I tried:

----
Daemon-Tools Lite 4.49.1.0356

Supported OS: Windows, Mac OS X
License: Free
Unwanted extras: wajam (opt-out), Istartsurf (opt-out)
Supported formats: mdx, mds, iso (not supported with multisession discs)
Settings: All checkboxes unchecked.
Comments:

----
Alcohol 120% Thin Lite Portable 2.0.2.5830
(custom redist made by jagotu, based on the Free Edition of Alcohol120%)

Supported OS: Windows
License: Free
Unwanted extras: None
Supported formats: mds, ccd
Settings: [x] Skip reading errors, [x] Fast skip error blocks, [x] Advanced Sector Scanning, [x] Read Sub-Channel Data...
Comments: This version comes without the virtual drive support, it's only for disc dumping.

----
CloneCD 5.3.1.4

Supported OS: Windows
License: Trial
Unwanted extras: None
Supported formats: ccd
Settings: Profile: Data CD, [x] Create "Cue-Sheet"
Comments:

----
ImgBurn 2.5.8.0

Supported OS: Windows
License: Free
Unwanted extras: None
Supported formats: bin, img, iso (?)
Comments: In the settings I've set it to create CCD, CUE and MDS image layout files. SPTI interface was used.

----
PerfectRip 1.00b34

Supported OS: Windows
License: Free
Unwanted extras: The GUI... :/
Supported formats: cue (?)
Settings: Sub-channel: full sub-codes (raw mode), output track format: 2448, everything else default
Comments: Absolutely horrible GUI! Settings are many and undocumented.

----

CDBurnerXP 4.5.4.5306

Supported OS: Windows
License: Free
Unwanted extras: wajam (opt-out)
Supported formats: iso, mds
Settings: Everything default
Comments:

----

All tools except for PerfectRip generates a single file for all the disc data. Each tool generated additional index, subchannel or cue-sheet files, but all data remained in a single file.

I have yet to analyze all the images and info, but I've summarized the results below with filesizes, generated files and formats. You should probably save this file before browsing it as it's extensive and doesn't fully fit onscreen.


Code:
Table of CD/DVD imaging format comparisons.
-------------------------------------------
Generated 2015-02-23 by mrpijey

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tool:            | A120 Lite 2.0.2.5830         | CDBurnerXP 4.5.4.5306        | CloneCD 5.3.1.4              | DaemonTools Lite 4.49.1.0356 | ImgBurn 2.5.8.0              | PerfectRip 1.00b34           |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Format:          | CCD               : Filesize |                              | CCD               : Filesize |                              |                              |                              |
-----------------|------------------------------|                              |------------------------------|                              |                              |                              |
Generated files: | image.ccd              2 558 |                              | image.ccd              2 491 |                              |                              |                              |
                 | image.img        500 101 056 |                              | image.img        500 101 056 |                              |                              |                              |
                 | image.sub         20 412 288 |                              | image.sub         20 412 288 |                              |                              |                              |
                 |                              |                              | image.cue                421 |                              |                              |                              |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Format:          | MDS               : Filesize | MDS               : Filesize |                              | MDS               : Filesize |                              |                              |
-----------------|------------------------------|------------------------------|                              |------------------------------|                              |                              |
Generated files: | image.mdf        520 146 144 | image.mdf        520 513 344 |                              | image.mdf        469 589 328 |                              |                              |
                 | image.mds              1 292 | image.mds              1 412 |                              | image.mds                960 |                              |                              |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Format:          |                              |                              |                              | MDX               : Filesize |                              |                              |
-----------------|                              |                              |                              |------------------------------|                              |                              |
Generated files: |                              |                              |                              | image.mdx        469 590 288 |                              |                              |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Format:          |                              |                              |                              |                              | BIN/IMG           : Filesize |                              |
-----------------|                              |                              |                              |                              |------------------------------|                              |
Generated files: |                              |                              |                              |                              | image.ccd              2 556 |                              |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              | image.cue                465 |                              |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              | image.img        500 101 056 |                              |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Format:          |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | CUE/RAW (/BIN?)   : Filesize |
-----------------|                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |------------------------------|
Generated files: |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | cd.bin.cue               846 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 01.-cd.track.bin 243 225 936 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 02.-cd.track.bin  35 309 952 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 03.-cd.track.bin  33 092 064 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 04.-cd.track.bin  27 970 848 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 05.-cd.track.bin  30 817 872 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 06.-cd.track.bin  30 656 304 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 07.-cd.track.bin  18 090 720 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 08.-cd.track.bin  40 600 080 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 09.-cd.track.bin  17 576 640 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              | 10.-cd.track.bin  43 172 928 |
                 |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |                              |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On a quick glance there seems to be quite noticable differences how the various tools handle both MDF/MDS format as well as CCD formats... Since I don't have any current specs on how the format look like I can't make a scientific conclusion of why the filesizes differ so much. There are subchannel variances between the dumps (which also occur when doing a re-dump using the same disc and tool), but beyond that there shouldn't be any differences in size or contents.

At this time I don't know what tools I would actually recommend, so for now our primary recommendation is still Alcohol 120%, and only secondary CloneCD. I wouldn't recommend any of the others as they generate too different results, and they also lack proper log options which are required.

But check the tables and info above and try to make your own conclusions. I still have all the image files dumped so if anyone wants them I can make them available for you. If you got suggestions for additional tools to test let me know and I'll try to add them to the table. It's sad there isn't a good open source universal format that supports all the advanced information about the image, but the reality is that each tool maker interprets the data differently, and in the case of AlcoholSoft they clearly don't want to share their format widely (which is quite odd since there are two tools already that supports it, to some extent at least considering the data above).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:52 pm 
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I haven't played with A120 much due to the fact that it's not really a standardized format and maybe because I'm using CloneCD since the early days for CD's with copy protection, but now i'm using it to archive all my CD's.

What I like about CloneCD - or more specific, the CCD format - is that if you take the cue and img files you have a standard cue/bin combination which every visualization software can actually use. So you got a format which is future-proof, in my opinion.

About your table, when you combine the filesizes of the IMG and SUB from a CCD format you got the same filesize CDBurnerXP made for a MDS file. So an MDF file is the actual image and subchannel combined perhaps?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Just a comment about SFA with Alcohol 120% -- I've found that if you navigate to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Smart File Advisor" and simply rename all the *.exe to *.junk, SFA totally stops popping up... that way you can keep the virtual drive functionality that comes with A120%. Problem solved.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:17 am 
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I just deleted the whole folder... be done with it :).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:57 am 
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A real shocker, but I'm surprised nobody has suggested the other solution of actually buying a licence of Alcohol 120% :evil:


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:29 am 
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Threat wrote:
A real shocker, but I'm surprised nobody has suggested the other solution of actually buying a licence of Alcohol 120% :evil:


Well... Which would you rather do?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:37 am 
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lol

I own 2 licenses for Alcohol 120% :OD


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:18 am 
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I disabled my internet connection while installing A120, I don't have any trace of Smart File Adviser directory to delete. :D


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:05 pm 
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RubyTuesday wrote:
I disabled my internet connection while installing A120, I don't have any trace of Smart File Adviser directory to delete. :D

Yeah that what I did and it didn't install SFA. I think you should always be allowed to opt-out of installing third party programs tho


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:59 pm 
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Well , someone could create an A120 installer with SFA renamed as junk..(is it possible , I do not know)
Or one which automatically disables A120 from accessing the internet?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:12 pm 
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It would be fairly easy to make a script that adds the installer to the firewall temporarily, and then removes the block after install. That way it won't get access to Internet during the installation... But then again, it would be equally easy to make a script to remove all traces of SFA once it's installed too.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:07 pm 
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x010 wrote:
Well , someone could create an A120 installer with SFA renamed as junk..(is it possible , I do not know)
Or one which automatically disables A120 from accessing the internet?

Just go to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Smart File Advisor and rename all the .exe extentions to .ex.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:10 pm 
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...or just remove the entire folder and be done with it...

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:49 pm 
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MBaNL wrote:
There are subchannel variances between the dumps (which also occur when doing a re-dump using the same disc and tool)

Why? Subchannels should be blank on a normal CD, they might contain data when the CD is copy protected or it is a special CD like a CD+G Karaoke CD.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:59 pm 
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Data discs can use the subchannel for error correction data as well, it's not only reserved for Audio or CD+G etc.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:47 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
Data discs can use the subchannel for error correction data as well, it's not only reserved for Audio or CD+G etc.

Actually, it's no quite like that. Common data CDs use a dedicated block for error correction. A MODE1 CD has 2048 bytes of data in a sector with 276 bytes of data for error correction (the whole sector is 2352 bytes long). Subchannels are additional 96 bytes of data per sector for a total of 2448. These subchannels are never used for a standard CD-ROM. Audio CDs use 2 of the 8 subchannels, the rest if they contain CD-TEXT, PlayStation CDs use 2 of the 8 subchannels for copy protection, old Securom version use them for copy protection. Thats why you have different images depending on what you're trying to archive:
COOKED DAO - 2048 byte sectors - these are standard data CDs (rarely 2336 bytes for the MODE2 disks without error correction)
RAW DAO - 2352 byte sectors (data + CRC + other data) - for SafeDisc and disks with bad sectors based copy protection
RAW DAO16 (like RAW DAO but with 2 subchannels: P and Q) - for PlayStation disks
RAW DAO96 (like RAW DAO but with all subchannels: P through W) - for Securom protected disks, CD+G disks
There's another layer of error correction, which is used on all CD-ROMs, but is not dumped (such sector would be 3234 bytes long, or, if you really wanted to do something like the KryoFlux for floppies you would have to add the EFM modulation (makes 14 bits out of every 8 bits) and merging bits).

The conclusion is, it's pointless use anything more than ISO for imaging regular disks, because you store redundant data, that would be added by the virtual drive software you are using or the CD-Recorder if you record such CD. For multi-session CDs the BIN/CUE combination is enough. Only for copy protected CDs using MDF+MDS/IMG+CCD+SUB/BWT+BWI makes sense.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Should've looked here before I bought the recommended A120... forgot I already had daemon-tools installed... I must be getting old.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:06 am 
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Didn't know Daemon Tools Lite could make disc images. Perhaps I should try it. From the table it looks like the generated filesize is the smallest among the various tools as well.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:29 am 
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The smaller generated filesize can also indicate that it doesn't include critical data the others do, which would technically invalidate the tool as a proper one for making disc images. That's why we recommend Alcohol120%.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:39 pm 
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I did some research a while ago for the Daemon Tools issue (significantly smaller file size) so I thought I'd share it in this topic.

From mrpijey's paste (specifically the PerfectRip output) you can deduce the size of each track (*):
Code:
1.  99357
2.  14424
3.  13518
4.  11426
5.  12589
6.  12523
7.   7390
8.  16585
9.   7180
10. 17636


Now a reasonable guess is that the first (largest) track is a data track and the rest are audio track. Data tracks typically have a 150 sector (=2 second) long post-gap. So in total we have 212628 sectors:
- 99207 data sectors
- 150 gap sectors
- 113271 audio sectors

Now let's look at what the particular software packages are doing:

CloneCD
img file: 212628 * 2352 = 500101056
sub file: 212628 * 96 = 20412288

So basically these are all the sectors on the disk, split in two files.

Alcohol 120%
For the ccd format Alcohol seems to be doing exactly the same as CloneCD. The mds/mdf files look more interesting. It turns out that the mdf file contains both the data and the subchannel in one file (2448 bytes per sector), but the 150 gap sectors are completely skipped.
mdf file: 212478 * 2448 = 520146144

CDBurnerXP
I haven't tested this one myself, but interestingly it looks like it doesn't skip the gap sectors. The total file size is the same as for the CloneCD generated img+sub pair
mdf file: 212628 * 2448 = 520513344

PerfectRip
It looks like it's storing all the data+subchannel (even for the gap sectors). The total file size is exactly the same as the CloneCD img+sub pair.
One caveat is that it seems to store tracks using 2448 bytes/sector, which I haven't seen before in the cue/bin format (I have only seen 2048 or 2352). It's worth testing whether this is supported by virtual drives.

ImgBurn
This one just seems to be skipping the subchannel completely, otherwise the output sizes look like CloneCD's

Daemon Tools
So WTH is going on with Daemon Tools' mdf file? Its size is not divisible by any common sector size (2048,2352,2448)...
As it turns out it stores the data part of the image (= the first track) using 2048 bytes/sector and the audio using 2352 bytes/sector. It also skips the 150 gap sectors at the end of the data track.
mdf file: 99207 * 2048 + 113271 * 2352 = 469589328

The mdx file seems to just combine the mds and mdf files, I would generally avoid it given that it's not very widespread.

Conclusion
So it looks like Daemon Tools and ImgBurn are ignoring the subchannel data completely. It might be that there is nothing interesting there (for data/audio CDs the subchannel basically only flags the start of a track and can be deterministically generated from the table of contents) and they just skip it to save space. It would be interesting to see how they behave on a disc that has nontrivial data in the subchannel (copy protected PS1 disc or a CD+G).
A second minor thing is whether the 150 sectors in the gap between data and audio might contain data. I seem to remember that gaps can be used for 'hidden' audio content that can only be accessed by rewinding past the beginning of the track. If this is the case then mdf-s generated by Alcohol 120% and Daemon Tools might not capture this as well.

(*) you just need to guess the sector size, which almost always is 2048, 2352 or 2448. In this case it's 2448, which means PerfectRip includes the full subchannel data


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:24 am 
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So it seems like CloneCD, CDBurnerXP, and PerfectRip are the way to go, as they store more information than Alcohol 120%.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:07 am 
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And how do you come to that conclusion? None of you have yet presented any information on how correctly the data is being dumped. Because the end dump size is larger doesn't have to mean it stores more data. What you need to do is dump a copy protected disc, mount it/reburn it and then compare the copy to the original. Because the more important thing is how well the dump is made, not who makes the largest img/mdf/bin/whatever.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:10 am 
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- mrpijey: I might do that. I have the Italian edition of "Who wants to be a millionaire?" for Windows, which is copy-protected. I'm going to do some tests with it.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:11 am 
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I just dumped the CD with PerfectRip, Alcohol 120%, and CD Burner XP, and only the MDF+MDS produced by Alcohol 120% was, when mounted, recognized by the game and the game proceded. The MDF+MDS produced by CD Burner XP have identical size but the game refuses to start with them. And PerfectRip produces a mishmash of different files, none of which is ultimately liked by the game. CloneCD is next though.

Edit: Does Alcohol 120% actually store the subchannel data it reads? Because I just did a calculation and it shows me 2048 bytes per sector.

Edit #2: It's actually 2448 bytes per sector which is correct. Also, the disc is only data, no audio... maybe gap sectors are only relevant when audio is present?

Edit #3: Tried CloneCD, the game also doesn't recognize what it produced, and therefore, it refused to start.

So the verdict is, Alcohol 120% wins hands down. It's literally the only thing that managed to produce something the game recognizes.

Edit #4: Now the game suddenly refuses to recognize even the image produced by Alcohol 120%.

Edit #5: Fixed that by redumping the disc, this time with DPM (data position measurement) enabled, which is something only Alcohol 120% can do. So again, Alcohol 120% wins hands down.

Edit #6: However, I still support the conclusion of GL1zdA:
GL1zdA wrote:
The conclusion is, it's pointless use anything more than ISO for imaging regular disks, because you store redundant data, that would be added by the virtual drive software you are using or the CD-Recorder if you record such CD. For multi-session CDs the BIN/CUE combination is enough. Only for copy protected CDs using MDF+MDS/IMG+CCD+SUB/BWT+BWI makes sense.

In short, it's pointless to preserve parts that are not worth preserving. For example, for a standard single-session ISO 9660 disc that is not copy-protected, you really lose nothing by storing it as ISO. For anything with audio that isn't copy-protect / does not have unusual features, I'd go for CUE/BIN, and for anything copy-protected, Alcohol 120% MDF+MDS with DPM (data position measurement) enabled. In short, for each disc it should be determined what format is it in, how many sessions, whether it is or is not copy-protected, etc., and based on that, decide what format to use.
I remember having advocated doing the same for floppies too, as in the cause of floppies, too, not all floppies have something worth saving between the sectors, on most in fact, a sector dump stores all there's worth saving, otherwise an intermediate format should be developed that stores the raw track data (with gaps, etc.) as direct bytes, and only in cases of weak sectors or multiple bit rates in a single track, do Kryoflux streams make sense.
The same goes for CD's. That way you preserve all data it is worth preserving, while only relying on highly complex and possibly proprietary formats where strictly necessary.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:16 am 
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Battler wrote:
For anything with audio that isn't copy-protect / does not have unusual features, I'd go for CUE/BIN

Surprisingly many disc mounting software don't actually support these kinds of BIN/CUE files because apparently it uses some sort of nonstandard format. I learned that the hard way with my dumped Worms 2 CD when I switched from 32-bit Windows XP (where I had Daemon Tools which supported that just fine) to 64-bit Windows 7 (where I only have WinCDEmu and it gives an error message when trying to mount the bin/cue). Mounting the same disc as MDF/MDS works perfectly fine.


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