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Friday, October 12, 2007

DVD / CD format: ISO or UDF

Which DVD / CD format: ISO or UDF?

Brief: An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disk image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 9660 file system images (ISO images) are a common way to electronically transfer the contents of CD-ROMs. The name ISO is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media, but an ISO image can also contain UDF file system because UDF is backward-compatible with ISO 9660. DVDs may also use the ISO 9660 file system. However, the UDF file system is more appropriate on DVDs since it offers better support for the larger media and is better suited for modern operating systems needs. ISO image is an unattached file format (like RAR and ZIP): it merges a series of files into one single file according to a definite format. The most important feature of an ISO image is that it can be burned to a DVD, VCD, or CD by using an ISO image burner, like ISO Maker. It can also be opened using archivers such as 7-zip file manager.

Some users have reported that video DVDs burned on their computers in UDF version 1.5 are not compatible with their set-top video DVD players. These players seem to be only compatible with UDF version 1.02 (that provides both UDF and ISO 9660 directories.) As some popular DVD burning programs default to UDF version 1.5 when burning video DVDs, users have found it necessary to avoid using the software wizard and instead manually configure the burn to version 1.02.

wikipedia Universal Disk Format
DVD Authoring applications:-

Sonic DVD Creator=Download Roxio.Creator.Ultimate.2009 [ - How? ]( In 2003 Sonic Solutions acquired Roxio and moved its Sonic-branded consumer products under the Roxio brand)
Sonic Scenarist
Sony Pictures Entertainment Blu-Print (for Blu-Ray Authoring)
Matsushita MEI Authoring Tool
DVD Lab Pro

Studio Professional

Apple DVD Studio Pro (Mac)
Mediachance DVD-lab PRO
DVD Maestro (no longer available)
Sonic DVDit Pro (formerly DVD Producer)
Sony DVD Architect (Part of Sony Vegas)
Adobe Encore 2.0 and up

Corporate Professional

Adobe Encore
Mediachance DVD-lab PRO
Pinnacle DVD Impression
Sonic DVDit
Sonic ReelDVD
Sony DVD Architect (Part of Sony Vegas)
Ulead DVD Workshop 2 (no longer available)
Astarte DVDirector (now owned by APPLE and incorporated into DVD Studio Pro)


Apple iDVD (for Mac OS)
Arcsoft Showbiz DVD
Cyberlink Powerproducer
Dazzle DVD Complete (no longer available)
GEAR Video
Magix Movies on CD-DVD
Mediachance DVD-lab
Movavi ChiliBurner
Muvee Technologies AutoProducer
Nero Vision
Pinnacle DVD Expression (no longer available)
Pinnacle Studio
Roxio Easy Media Creator
RZ DVD Creator
Roxio Toast (for Mac OS)
Sonic MyDVD
SpruceUp (no longer available)
TMPGEnc DVD Author
Ulead DVD MovieFactory
Windows DVD Maker
WinDVD Creator
Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD
Sony DVD Architect
MuxMan by MpuCoder
DVD Creator for Mac OS X

Free software

Free software implementations often lack features such as encryption and region coding due to licensing restrictions issues, and depending on the philosophy of the DVD producer, may not be considered suitable for mass-market use.
DVDStyler (Windows, Linux)
'Q' DVD-Author uses Qt
KDE DVD Authoring Wizard (KDE)
DVD Flick (Windows only)
VCD Menu Lite (Windows only)
DeVeDe (X11/Windows)
SmallDVD (MacOSX)
ManDVD(Linux only)

Proprietary, but free of charge

These programs can be obtained for free, but are not free software.
GUI for DVD Author
The FilmMachine

Brief introduction to DVD / CD format
The hard drive format is consusing enough: in PC alone there are FAT, FAT32, and NTFS format, then MAC have a complete different format; while DVD / CD format is much simpler, there are still a few different file systems, so how to choose the right DVD / CD format to ensure greatest compatibility by other DVD / CD drive or DVD players become a problem for amateurs. The most widely used format is ISO 9660, UDF file system is also popular in DVD discs, MPV is the latest file system just appearing in the market and are gaining popularity gradually. (A file system is a structure that organizes large numbers of files on some sort of storage medium such as hard disk drive, CD, and DVD)

ISO 9660 have been used as the main CD format for many years now. Most of the CD nowsdays still use this format, the benefit of this format is that it is readable by all CD drive or CD player, and can be shared between PC and MAC. Universal Disk Format (UDF) is a newer file system for CD and DVDdeveloped and managed by the Optical Storage Technology Association as the successor to the ISO 9660 standard. UDF overcomes limitations of ISO 9660 and redirectors such as CDFS. UDF is used to ensure compatibility across platforms, as well as among various CD and DVD applications. UDF is required for DVDs, and is used by DVD to contain MPEG audio/video streams, UDF is also used by CD-R and CD-RW in a process called packet writing that makes CD writing more efficient in terms of the time and disk space required.

Different revisions of UDF
UDF have many different revisions, from revision 1.0, 1.02, 1.5, 2.0, to 2.01, and revision 1.02 is specified for use by DVD drives, difference between these revisions are available from OSTA website. UDF 1.02 is the 'most' compatible file system. When you choose to creat a DVD to play video and choose UDF/ISO, UDF 1.02 will be used ( by the burning software ) to ensure best compatibility. But if you choose DVD-Video mode when you burn a DVD, the default format is UDF 1.5 format, not 1.02, which might cause it not readable by other DVD drives and DVD players.

MPV is the lasted file system developed and promoted by OSTA. MPV enables PCs and consumer electronics products like DVD players to exchange and playback collections of digital photos, video, and music, it supports browsing, playing, and printing multimedia collections. For more info, check out OSTA's website.

If you are creating DVD / CD movie or music for sharing with friends, so you 'd better stick to the most comptiable format: UDF 1.02. If you are just back up the DVD or files, then you can consider other advanced files systems like UDF2.0 or even MPV

Allcam mobile products ltd for provide external DVD burner and DVD player for testing.

by X Zhu (Ph.D.), May., 2003
* Feel free to copy but do keep content complete, author Email:


1. Brief introduction

2. ISO ver UDF

3. UDF versions

4. MPV

5. Conclusion

Related topics

Related Topic:
AnyToISO Converter
Burning Application- ImgBurn
Daemon Tools
Creating a new hybrid installation CD -WinXP Bootable CD

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