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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:58 pm 
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Daemon Tools does exist for Windows 7, though, even 64-bit. It exists even for Windows 10. :p

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Battler wrote:
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.


In this site GL1zdA conclusion doesn't make sense, as Betaachive wants to save practically a "photocopy" of the CD/DVD media, with all the data you can extract, BEING IT WORTH OR NO.

Just as a photographer has master versions of all his/her files, and then him/her produces versions suitable for all uses and purposes, in all the recognizable formats the client asks, here in betaarchive the main purpose is keep the most close to the main source, which physical CD/DVDs are. Then you users can download them, shrink down, convert to iso, extract them to folder and ZIP the folder etc, etc, etc, being that your own decision, and no affecting those who want to keep and use the master file for any purpose they want.

Anyways, MDF is the official format of the site, and i don't think this will change anything soon. If you guys want convenient lesser versions, you always can go and find them in WinWorld site. The choice is yours :-P.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:54 pm 
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Battler, the problem with your conclusion is: Who is to decide what we should store or not? Should every dumper dump stuff in every format available and then make an educated guess? or should every title be stored at the lowest format possible and then re-dump it until it "works"? This is why we want to avoid all the different formats: We want a single format that works with everything. One tool, one format to bother with, and just make it as simple as possible. Then any member can downgrade their formats to their hearts desire if they want an ISO, CDR, BIN, IMG, DMG, NRG, CCD or whatever they want. Even your own tests showed that A120 seems to be able to do the best copy possible. Sure an MDF dump may be excessive for a Windows ME disc, but why bother with all the formats? Let's have it in a single format and be done with it, and let the members convert it to whatever they want. Sure there are some exceptions, such as if you're on an Linux or OSX platform only. But if you're on a Windows platform I don't see any reason to allow other formats than the one made by A120.

KISS. Keep it stupid simple. One program that dumps all data, is able to recreate it, virtualize it, create a log and even detect and manage copy protections. Why dumb it down and create circumstances where we may lose data because someone decided to use a lesser format? Then we need a fresh redump and time is wasted for both me and the owner of the title.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:46 pm 
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Quote:
Battler, the problem with your conclusion is: Who is to decide what we should store or not? Should every dumper dump stuff in every format available and then make an educated guess? or should every title be stored at the lowest format possible and then re-dump it until it "works"? This is why we want to avoid all the different formats: We want a single format that works with everything. One tool, one format to bother with, and just make it as simple as possible. Then any member can downgrade their formats to their hearts desire if they want an ISO, CDR, BIN, IMG, DMG, NRG, CCD or whatever they want. Even your own tests showed that A120 seems to be able to do the best copy possible. Sure an MDF dump may be excessive for a Windows ME disc, but why bother with all the formats? Let's have it in a single format and be done with it, and let the members convert it to whatever they want. Sure there are some exceptions, such as if you're on an Linux or OSX platform only. But if you're on a Windows platform I don't see any reason to allow other formats than the one made by A120.

Any dumping program, including Alcohol 120%, will tell you how many sessions the disc has. If it only has one session and it's ISO 9660, dump it into ISO, then mount it while removing the real disc from the drive. Try installing and running the software. If the software doesn't run, the disc is copy-protected, so redump in MDF/MDS with DPM enabled. If the software runs, then the disc isn't copy-protected.
If it has multiple sessions or audio tracks, do the same, except use CUE/BIN instead of ISO.
That way time is actually saved for the uploader as they don't need to go and find Alcohol 120% if it turns out to be unnecessary, and in case of things that can be dumped to simple ISO's, they save even more time as they need to upload a smaller file. Which also ultimately reduces the cost of running BA as due to a lack of redundant data, things are going to take much less space.

Quote:
KISS. Keep it stupid simple. One program that dumps all data, is able to recreate it, virtualize it, create a log and even detect and manage copy protections. Why dumb it down and create circumstances where we may lose data because someone decided to use a lesser format? Then we need a fresh redump and time is wasted for both me and the owner of the title.

Time is actually saved for the owner of the title because they spend less time uploading and don't need to go out and seek a specific piece of software unless it's actually needed. And in the end, it would result in the uploading process becoming at least a bit less bureaucratic which would only make people more willing to upload stuff, not to mention it would make processing things faster for you as there would be less guidelines to check every upload against. And ultimately, the public perception of BA would only improve if BA were to adopt widely established archival standards.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Battler wrote:
Time is actually saved for the owner of the title because they spend less time uploading and don't need to go out and seek a specific piece of software unless it's actually needed.


You don't need search for anything, since BA offers an stripped down Alcohol 120% version for the only purpose of dumping the media, and also converting the format to ISO if they want after. If people want to go and test other versions, like 52% with adware, that's they choice, but they aren't forced to do it.

Battler wrote:
...if it turns out to be unnecessary, and in case of things that can be dumped to simple ISO's, they save even more time as they need to upload a smaller file.


And the same can be done with just copying files to any folder and zipping/RARing/7z-ing it. But then what is the whole purpose of BA? Just being a warez warehouse for any bad quality dump you can find in the net? what is the purpose of even storing the scans of the media/manual and boxes, if the main part will be just a bad quality dump?

As i said before, anyone who want more "convenient" formats, or even warez, can go to Winworld site. Is their choice.

Battler wrote:
And in the end, it would result in the uploading process becoming at least a bit less bureaucratic which would only make people more willing to upload stuff, not to mention it would make processing things faster for you as there would be less guidelines to check every upload against. And ultimately, the public perception of BA would only improve if BA were to adopt widely established archival standards.


I don't see where is that bureaucracy, since BA already provides all the necessary tools to summit contributions.

There aren't really such "archival (open) standards" for optical media. Was already told so many times why cue-bin/iso9660/ccd (ccd being also closed source btw) aren't valid for that specific purpose.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Hyoenmadan86 wrote:
You don't need search for anything, since BA offers an stripped down Alcohol 120% version for the only purpose of dumping the media, and also converting the format to ISO if they want after. If people want to go and test other versions, like 52% with adware, that's they choice, but they aren't forced to do it.

But they might have legitimate reasons for being unable to use it, such as parents forbidding them from installing anything on the PC and so on.

Quote:
And the same can be done with just copying files to any folder and zipping/RARing/7z-ing it. But then what is the whole purpose of BA? Just being a warez warehouse for any bad quality dump you can find in the net? what is the purpose of even storing the scans of the media/manual and boxes, if the main part will be just a bad quality dump?

That's a slippery slope argument which is a logical fallacy. I clearly started the goal should be loss of no useful data (and yes, the ISO 9660 track in its entirety is useful so that at minimum should be stored). You haven't even said how BA benefits from storing redundant/useless data such as subchannel data of CD's that have standard values there.

Quote:
As i said before, anyone who want more "convenient" formats, or even warez, can go to Winworld site. Is their choice.

Noone here mentioned warez, however convenience is important. That's not to say it should be convenience above all else, of course. I do think less convenient formats such as MDF/MDS, should be used where necesary. We already have a mix of formats, so how exactly would going from "MDF/MDS for everything" to "use the most appropriate image format for the specific disc" make BA worse?

Quote:
I don't see where is that bureaucracy, since BA already provides all the necessary tools to summit contributions.

There aren't really such "archival (open) standards" for optical media. Was already told so many times why cue-bin/iso9660/ccd (ccd being also closed source btw) aren't valid for that specific purpose.

1. The bureaucracy is in the sheer amount of requirements any upload must fulfill before being accepted. I simply feel it's too much for the community in its current state. Maybe in the future when our userbase in general has improved, then yes, we should impose stricter standards, but until then it simply gives mrpijey more work to do as the community is still not ready for such standards and therefore seems to fail to follow them. :p
2. There are established archival practices. GL1zda mentioned them, and Archive Team stand by them too.

Edit: And to make it clear, before I get called "lazy" and whatnot, *I* have Alcohol 120% installed, as well as Daemon Tools, Nero 6, CloneCD, CD Burner XP, and PerfectRip, and I personally strive to upload everything in MDF+MDS (and from now on, I am going to make sure to enable DPM too to get even better dumps), however, there's people even on Windows, that might have legitimate reasons for being unable to use Alcohol 120%. For example, we have a lot of minors who might have all sorts of parent-imposed restrictions on what they may do with their PC's.
In the end, no solution is perfect, but we must strive to find one which gives mrpijey the least work possible while at the same time allowing the community to contribute as fast and smoothly as possible without losing any data in the process. Just that.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Battler wrote:
But they might have legitimate reasons for being unable to use it, such as parents forbidding them from installing anything on the PC and so on.


They don't need install anything. If i remember well, mrpijey's BA Alcohol 120% package is a portable version of the application, with no mount capability. Which is enough to dump media and upload it to BA, and convert MDS/MDFs to ISO if the user want to do it for X purpose.

Also, I wonder why would a kid upload anything to ftp which he/she has no permission to share it in the first place :-P.

Battler wrote:
That's a slippery slope argument which is a logical fallacy. I clearly started the goal should be loss of no useful data (and yes, the ISO 9660 track in its entirety is useful so that at minimum should be stored). You haven't even said how BA benefits from storing redundant/useless data such as subchannel data of CD's that have standard values there.


Let's put it simpler. MDS/MDF dump == An exact copy source media as how it was was pressed, including press date fingerprints. Anything burned from this will be equal to the media source, except maybe media with copy protections which rely in physical modifications at press time, like DPM. ISO/CUE/BIT/whatever else == Just the data. Else my comparation to just copy disc data to folder and ZIP it. You will get smaller archives, and there are ways to keep file's DATE attributes intact, but them will be a lesser quality dump.

Battler wrote:
Noone here mentioned warez, however convenience is important. That's not to say it should be convenience above all else, of course. I do think less convenient formats such as MDF/MDS, should be used where necesary. We already have a mix of formats, so how exactly would going from "MDF/MDS for everything" to "use the most appropriate image format for the specific disc" make BA worse?


Goal is go all for quality dumps, with scan of materials and if possible, boxes. Optical media dumps can be only made with Alcohol 120% right now, as mrpijey explained. If there's an ISO in FTP, and X person submit a MDS version of it, ISO will be replaced by MDS version, as it is higher quality. That's why even now is possible to contribute and get FTP access by posting MDS versions of any disk which is already in the FTP, proving your dump is better quality than the existent one.

Said that, take it easy bro. People wanting to archive and preserve magnetic floppy media has it harder to do it, specially if they need something like a Kryoflux because their discs are copyprotected/non-standard format. "Inconveniences" with Alcohol 120% are easy-peasy compared to that hell.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:58 pm 
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- Hyoenmadan86: While I generally agree with what you said, let's remember that BA is somehow surviving easily with most floppy stuff being contributed in IMG format. It isn't feeling the need to tell people to get Kryoflux, though mrpijey expressed a desire to have everything Kryofluxed, and even there I proposed a three tiered system (IMG for standard floppies, an intermediate format for floppies with unusual sector layouts or data in gaps but a single bit rate per track, and Kryoflux for the extreme cases).

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lso, I wonder why would a kid upload anything to ftp which he/she has no permission to share it in the first place :-P.

No, a kid might have permission to share a CD but not to install Alcohol 120%. :p

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:44 am 
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Battler, even if I agree with you (to some extent) that convenience is important I still don't see why it's more convenient for members to dump something to ISO when it's just as convenient to dump it to MDF? Windows doesn't have a native ISO dumper anyway so the member has to go out and find a tool to dump it to ISO anyway. We have a portable version that allows proper MDF dumps, we have guides for it. And as we have said so many times before, if members want quality dumps they have to provide a quality dump themselves.

Also, how is your process of the user checking the contents, checking if it works etc in any way convenient? That would require the member to know about copy protections, how to recreate the dumps and also go through the entire process of elimination (copy protection? Check. Multisession? Check. Non-standard sector layout? Check. Non-standard file system? Check). Why not just use a tool that handles it all and be done with it? You mention convenience yet you suggest every member goes through an extensive process of format and capabilities elimination to determine the "best" format? Just use the best format there is, period. Saves the member a lot of trouble, and saves us a lot of trouble too worrying if the format chosen is the right one.

And frankly, BA has survived not because of img dumps, but rather an extensive library of as-good-as-possible dumps. Yes if we can get KF dumps we want it, but naturally we don't enforce it since it requires a third party hardware tool that costs money. Downloading our portable A120 doesn't. That's why we don't enforce KF dumps, but we enforce A120 dumps. One requires money and experience, other does not. If you can download, install and manage an ISO dumper then you surely can download, unpack and run A120 as well. And if they download it from the official site and install it as a demo, or if they install our portable version is irrelevant, as long as we get the best possible dump. Otherwise we can just throw our entire collection out the window and populate it with ISOs from Pirate Bay and whatnot and call it "original".

And a kid may not have permission to install A120, but then it may not have the permission to install an ISO dumper either, so that point is invalid :).

And I am sorry Battler, but your fight for making ISO a legit format for archiving our releases is fruitless as we will never accept it as a proper format to archive discs into. Regardless of what the disc contains. I don't see really why you bring this point up every time there's a discussion about formats when you very well know what we try to accomplish here. And as other members has said before, if the new member doesn't want to make the effort making a valid contribution then there are alternatives. Others may not require MDF dumps to put up their stuff on the net, but others also don't aim for the same goal as we do. But we have provided the tools and the guides, the rest is up to the member.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:05 am 
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Reading thru the thread, I understand the desire to use an accurate ripping tool.

Alcohol presents some depth here, and the lite version is, well, free.

But I have to ask: has not Jeff Arnold's GoldenHawk CDRWin been given consideration? After all, he is the one who pioneered accurately ripping copy-protected ISOs like Playstation introduced.

Everything since has been simply reinventing the wheel.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:12 am 
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There's been a lot of new development since the old Playstation days and CDRWin is no longer viable as a all-around copy and preservation solution. A120 supports more features and does a better preservation job than CDRWin which is why it was chosen as the primary software.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:31 pm 
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THX & Gotcha. Came to this thread after looking at some ISO files that have "PowerISO" and even one that had "UltraISO" written into them.

Realizing that even on MS stuff where a straight up ISO would do the job, the imaging software leaves a signature and other "dirt".

It's going to take some work on my part to clean them up.(sigh)


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:58 am 
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Very informative post. That's correct. The mdf/mds file generated by A120 Lite completely skipped the 150 sectors postgap. Post-gap is filled with binary zero only to indicate to the drive that the current track is ended. It's perfectly safe to ignore postgaps.

The hidden "audio tracks" are always embedded in pre-gaps, not post-gaps. No need to worry about lost data if postgaps are ignored.

I think the image file with size 520,513,344 preserves most information from the targeted disc. But the general ISO is more than sufficent for discs without copy-protection.

If you have enough disk space and tons of new unused hard drives and would like to preserve all the disc contents including control data like pregaps and postgaps, use A120 Lite to generate CCD files, or use CDBurnerXP/CloneCD to generate MDF/MDS files.

ezpz2077 wrote:
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: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:07 pm 
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Also I suggest avoiding the use of ImgBurn to dump disk images. As I have noticed images dumped by ImgBurn have their ISO9660 Volume Descriptor modified by ImgBurn. As collectors know, Microsoft released original ISO always have the Application Identifier field in the Volume Descriptor set to "CDImage X.XX (MM/DD/YYYY) TM" This field was modified by ImgBurn to " ImgBurn X.X.XX" So for archive purposes ImgBurn should not be used.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:33 pm 
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Hi. Dumping disc to ISO greatly saves the disk space because useless control data like subchannel and gaps are lost. :)

For ordinary discs without copy-protection, ISO is good enough and saves members uploading time. This is especially convenient for members like me who are located outside UK and have not-so-fast Internet access. The FTP upload/download speed is really slow here that I rarely download anything from BA's FTP.
mrpijey wrote:
Battler, even if I agree with you (to some extent) that convenience is important I still don't see why it's more convenient for members to dump something to ISO when it's just as convenient to dump it to MDF? Windows doesn't have a native ISO dumper anyway so the member has to go out and find a tool to dump it to ISO anyway. We have a portable version that allows proper MDF dumps, we have guides for it. And as we have said so many times before, if members want quality dumps they have to provide a quality dump themselves.

Also, how is your process of the user checking the contents, checking if it works etc in any way convenient? That would require the member to know about copy protections, how to recreate the dumps and also go through the entire process of elimination (copy protection? Check. Multisession? Check. Non-standard sector layout? Check. Non-standard file system? Check). Why not just use a tool that handles it all and be done with it? You mention convenience yet you suggest every member goes through an extensive process of format and capabilities elimination to determine the "best" format? Just use the best format there is, period. Saves the member a lot of trouble, and saves us a lot of trouble too worrying if the format chosen is the right one.

And frankly, BA has survived not because of img dumps, but rather an extensive library of as-good-as-possible dumps. Yes if we can get KF dumps we want it, but naturally we don't enforce it since it requires a third party hardware tool that costs money. Downloading our portable A120 doesn't. That's why we don't enforce KF dumps, but we enforce A120 dumps. One requires money and experience, other does not. If you can download, install and manage an ISO dumper then you surely can download, unpack and run A120 as well. And if they download it from the official site and install it as a demo, or if they install our portable version is irrelevant, as long as we get the best possible dump. Otherwise we can just throw our entire collection out the window and populate it with ISOs from Pirate Bay and whatnot and call it "original".

And a kid may not have permission to install A120, but then it may not have the permission to install an ISO dumper either, so that point is invalid :).

And I am sorry Battler, but your fight for making ISO a legit format for archiving our releases is fruitless as we will never accept it as a proper format to archive discs into. Regardless of what the disc contains. I don't see really why you bring this point up every time there's a discussion about formats when you very well know what we try to accomplish here. And as other members has said before, if the new member doesn't want to make the effort making a valid contribution then there are alternatives. Others may not require MDF dumps to put up their stuff on the net, but others also don't aim for the same goal as we do. But we have provided the tools and the guides, the rest is up to the member.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Perhaps, but if you upload an ISO then you would have wasted a lot more time and bandwidth as in 99% it won't be acceptable :). The extra data is not that much, and if you can't spare that extra data to make sure you make a good preservation then probably 95% of our releases are out of your reach anyway due to your low bandwidth.

It doesn't really matter if "ISO is good enough" for you. For your home usage perhaps, that's entirely up to you how you store your ISOs, but here we work with preserving as much data as possible, which also includes that extra "useless" data...

So far I've not had any issues with members complaining that the extra data is too much to upload, not even from those that needed several days to upload their releases. So I don't see it as an issue or reason to accept ISOs or abolish the MDF/CCD requirement.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:04 pm 
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sdawncl wrote:
Hi. Dumping disc to ISO greatly saves the disk space because useless control data like subchannel and gaps are lost. :)

If by "greatly saves disk space" you mean "saves about 5% disk space" then yes, you are right.... Sorry, but I don't buy that "it wastes time/bandwidth" statement anymore. It's not 1995 anymore people... And apparently your definition of "great" is different from mine ;)

Who are you to decide that subchannel data is useless? It might be for you, but probably not everyone agrees with you there?

sdawncl wrote:
For ordinary discs without copy-protection, ISO is good enough and saves members uploading time. This is especially convenient for members like me who are located outside UK and have not-so-fast Internet access. The FTP upload/download speed is really slow here that I rarely download anything from BA's FTP.

Again, if you have a slow upload then it might take you an hour to upload an ISO. 5% of that is about 3 minutes (and that doesn't even include compression), and I would really appreciate the additional 3 minutes spent uploading as opposed to having a potentially incomplete dump. No matter if there's actually any end-user data in the subchannel or the gaps or not.

It's like saying we don't need to preserve the 81st track of a floppy disk because it only contains Tracer data that is not of interest anyway. But it might tell us interesting things later on, if we really want to analyze it. It would be a shame if we would have to say "hey, sorry, we don't have that data because sdawncl wanted to cut 3 minutes off from his precious upload time"

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:02 am 
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This post by Raymond Chen says it all:
Raymond Chen wrote:
Windows Confidential History Taking Up Space
Raymond Chen


Remember Microsoft Bob? It was intended to be a friendly user interface on top of Windows® 3.1, but instead it flopped infamously (earning the dubious distinction of being named one of the worst technology products of all time by PC World). In the years that have passed since Bob's demise, the product has been relegated to the status of a running joke with the mere mention of its name drawing snickers.
Incidentally, Microsoft® Bob's internal code name was "Utopia"—an ambitious name to be sure, but at least one that had some snap and pizzazz. When we learned that the marketing folks had decided to name the product Bob, we all shook our heads in disbelief.
But there's more to Bob's legacy than you might know. It turns out Bob was actually more useful dead than alive.
When you intend to distribute your software on a CD, one thing you have to worry about is making sure your product actually fits on a single CD. Fortunately, it so happened that even after taking into account the disk space required for translations, support tools, and the other stuff that has to go onto the Windows XP CD, there was still about 30 megabytes of storage capacity remaining. The people who worry about these sorts of things figured, well, we already paid for all that storage capacity on the CD so we might as well use it, right?
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Microsoft Bob's internal code name was "Utopia"—an ambitious name to be sure, but at least one that had some snap and pizzazz. (Click the image for a larger view)
The result was a rather feeble attempt to slow down the people who like to make illegal copies of Windows. Somebody decided to fill that extra capacity on the CD with dummy data and to have the Windows Setup program verify that the dummy data was still there. This, the logic went, would force people downloading a copy of the CD image to download an additional thirty or so megabytes of data. Remember, this was back in the day when "broadband" hadn't yet become a household word and mainstream users were using dial-up connections. Having to transfer an additional thirty megabytes of data over a 56Kb modem was a bit of an obstacle to slow users down—not that it would slow them down much by today's standards.
The person who was asked to implement this check needed a source for the dummy data. Now, he could have just called the CryptGenRandom function to generate 30 megabytes of cryptographically random bytes, but where's the fun in that? Instead, he dug through the archives and found a copy of Microsoft Bob. He took all the floppy disk images and combined them into one big file. The contents of the Microsoft Bob floppy disk images are not particularly random, so he decided to scramble up the data by encrypting it. When it came time to enter the encryption key, he just smashed his hand haphazardly across the keyboard and out came an encrypted copy of Microsoft Bob. That's what went into the unused space as ballast data on the Windows XP CD.
In the end, Windows XP became the most effective Microsoft Bob deployment tool ever developed. And if you go way back into your closet, dig out your copy of Windows XP, and can somehow channel the right spirits to mash your hands on the keyboard in exactly the right way, then out of your encryption program will come a copy of Microsoft Bob.

LINK ("Raymond Chen discusses Microsoft Bob"): https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2008.07.windowsconfidential.aspx

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Yes. That's true. Subchannel data is useful for some copy-protected discs and audio discs with Philips-stype CD-TEXT or CD+G discs. General software discs can well be preserved only with ISO.

Also please note many drives nowadays don't have support for reading R to W subchannel data. Only P and Q subchannel data. So even if your true intention is to dump as much information as possible from the target disc, the result might not be that good than you think is. Even if you tell the dumping software to read all subchannel from P to W, only P and Q subchannel is read, the others are all filled with binary 0 by the dumping software becasue the drive is incapable of returning full subchannel data.

You cannot guarantee that all the members here have a "blazing fast modern" Internet access as you said, nor can you guarantee that they have optical drives that support reading the full subchannel.
All in all my opinion is that it's useless to dump garbage control data from most discs to waste space. The more, the better is not always true.

Darkstar wrote:
sdawncl wrote:
Hi. Dumping disc to ISO greatly saves the disk space because useless control data like subchannel and gaps are lost. :)

If by "greatly saves disk space" you mean "saves about 5% disk space" then yes, you are right.... Sorry, but I don't buy that "it wastes time/bandwidth" statement anymore. It's not 1995 anymore people... And apparently your definition of "great" is different from mine ;)

Who are you to decide that subchannel data is useless? It might be for you, but probably not everyone agrees with you there?

sdawncl wrote:
For ordinary discs without copy-protection, ISO is good enough and saves members uploading time. This is especially convenient for members like me who are located outside UK and have not-so-fast Internet access. The FTP upload/download speed is really slow here that I rarely download anything from BA's FTP.

Again, if you have a slow upload then it might take you an hour to upload an ISO. 5% of that is about 3 minutes (and that doesn't even include compression), and I would really appreciate the additional 3 minutes spent uploading as opposed to having a potentially incomplete dump. No matter if there's actually any end-user data in the subchannel or the gaps or not.

It's like saying we don't need to preserve the 81st track of a floppy disk because it only contains Tracer data that is not of interest anyway. But it might tell us interesting things later on, if we really want to analyze it. It would be a shame if we would have to say "hey, sorry, we don't have that data because sdawncl wanted to cut 3 minutes off from his precious upload time"


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:10 pm 
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The subchannel data is sometimes useful, like for copy-protected games to store digial signatures. Philips-sytle CD-TEXT and CD+G data are also stored in subchannel. Otherwise these are garbage to end user.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:40 pm 
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sdawncl wrote:

You cannot guarantee that all the members here have a "blazing fast modern" Internet access as you said, nor can you guarantee that they have optical drives that support reading the full subchannel.
All in all my opinion is that it's useless to dump garbage control data from most discs to waste space. The more, the better is not always true.

This is true, but the quality of the preservation won't be compromised to cater to those with slow speeds. That's unfortunate, but true. We focus on proper preservation which means that releases will be of certain sizes to make sure we got all the data needed. And this will not change.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:27 pm 
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sdawncl wrote:
Also please note many drives nowadays don't have support for reading R to W subchannel data. Only P and Q subchannel data. So even if your true intention is to dump as much information as possible from the target disc, the result might not be that good than you think is. Even if you tell the dumping software to read all subchannel from P to W, only P and Q subchannel is read, the others are all filled with binary 0 by the dumping software becasue the drive is incapable of returning full subchannel data.


[citation needed]

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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:08 am 
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Hello. I fully understand that. I also believe BA is a place where everyone's suggestion is respected and people can freely express their opinions. But whether my advice will be adopted or not is up to the moderators here. Rules are rules, I'll definitely follow the established dumping procedure.

mrpijey wrote:
sdawncl wrote:

You cannot guarantee that all the members here have a "blazing fast modern" Internet access as you said, nor can you guarantee that they have optical drives that support reading the full subchannel.
All in all my opinion is that it's useless to dump garbage control data from most discs to waste space. The more, the better is not always true.

This is true, but the quality of the preservation won't be compromised to cater to those with slow speeds. That's unfortunate, but true. We focus on proper preservation which means that releases will be of certain sizes to make sure we got all the data needed. And this will not change.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:34 am 
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The R through W subchannels are used for CD+G and Philips-style CD-TEXT. To get the picture better, you can download a free utility called Nero Infotool. If you see the CD+G in the drive supported read feature checked, then your drive supports reading it. Otherwise your drive is incapable of returning the R through W full subchannel data. From my experience many drives do not have this feature available.

MrFreeman wrote:
sdawncl wrote:
Also please note many drives nowadays don't have support for reading R to W subchannel data. Only P and Q subchannel data. So even if your true intention is to dump as much information as possible from the target disc, the result might not be that good than you think is. Even if you tell the dumping software to read all subchannel from P to W, only P and Q subchannel is read, the others are all filled with binary 0 by the dumping software becasue the drive is incapable of returning full subchannel data.


[citation needed]


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 PostPost subject: Re: Evaluation of CD/DVD imaging software        Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:36 pm 
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CD+G and CD-TEXT titles are pretty rare and applies mostly to pure audio CDs (CD-TEXT) or karaoke discs (CD+G) which displays text of the track or embedded graphics, so those titles on BA are pretty scarce, we don't have any such titles on the FTP at all and I doubt we'll have any of those ever, so the risk of "losing" that kind of data because member don't have a reader that supports it is pretty minimal. But either way, for our purposes any data beyond the "usable" data is just as vital for proper preservation which is why we require dumps that preserve the subchannel data properly.

If all we wanted to just store the actual data without any concerns of preservation then we wouldn't bother with high resolution scans and we wouldn't bother with kryoflux dumps, subchannel data, original dumps or even the stuff being on original media. And then we would have been just like any other software dump site out there like the gazillions of abandonware ring sites that all carry low quality custom folder dumps of MS-DOS games and custom pirate bay ISOs.

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