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Old 11-21-2003, 09:20 AM
hokiefan's Avatar
hokiefan hokiefan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 19

Being a long-time trader with several other communities, I've noticed a majority of this community is not familiar with burning practices that are widely accepted throughout the trading world.

I've noticed several threads that ask questions about the difference between TAO and DAO. DAO is a burning standard. It allows the listener to listen to a show as if he/she were there. In addition, DAO virtually eliminates burning errors (more to come). These errors can snowball when copied/burned again.

CDR's burned Disc at Once (DAO) or Track at Once (TAO) are a function of both the CDR recorders capabilities based on its firmware and the particular software package your using to burn the CDR's.

Track at Once (TAO) - the laser turns on an off either between tracks or between the T.O.C. (Table of Contents) and the first track during the burning of the CDR. The laser turns off and run-out blocks are written. When the laser turns on prior to the new track a link block and run-in blocks are written. Data CD's are not effected since the laser never reads between tracks. Audio CDR's that are burned track at once have higher error rates. Although they may sound fine the error created can be manifested on copies as either pops, clicks, and even misplaced I.D.'s. The resulting audio disc is ONLY acceptable as a REFERENCE copy, not a master.

Disc at Once (DAO) - the laser never turns off either between tracks or when the T.O.C. is created. The laser turns on and burns the lead-in, audio tracks, and the lead out then the disc is closed. Since there are no run-in, run-out, or link blocks created, the errors in CDR's created Disc at Once are much fewer and do not result in pops or clicks. These disc are acceptable for masters.

The normal setting on most CD burning software gives you a 2-second gap (TAO) between tracks when you're burning in "normal mode" (track-at-a-time, or track-at-once). So be careful to remove this feature.

If you burn "disc-at-once" aka DAO, you will not get any added gaps between the tracks, so if you want time between the tracks you have to add your own silence before and after.

You will always get track markers whenever you have separate tracks identified in the software, so that you can jump directly to any track you wish.

If you have a TAO show, be truthful. Most traders just want to hear the music, but inform them before the trade is made. But over time, that TAO will accumulate errors as it is copied and who knows what generation of copy you will get. For more information on TAO and DAO, visit your burning software's website. Most have the same information I am providing.

Sure there are a lot of NC shows out there that are TAO, but they had to come from somewhere. Chances are, all these shows have been recorded in a DAT format. These DAT originals can easily be converted to SHN. These SHNs sound are as close as you can get to the original recording. Many communities trade SHN files that can be burned into a DAO show. SHN's are a whole other thread.

The shows that this community trades are available in a better medium. Let's find them!

Turns out not where but who you are with that really matters.

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Old 11-21-2003, 02:23 PM
yairiwy1sb yairiwy1sb is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 23
Nice thread, Hokiefan, great explanations!
I encourage everyone to heed the call here, as there are many nice recordings in the community.....lets do our part to maintain the quality and sound as they originated.

I too trade in other groups, and frankly, many would shudder at the thought of a TAO disc floating around.
Feel free to PM me if you have a question, and I'll do my best to help you.

I'll bet Hokiefan would do the same!

SHN is definitely a better medium for trading and maintaining the integrity of the original recordings, and deserves it's own thread for explanation.

Thanks for starting this thread Hokiefan....bring on the ??? folks!

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Old 11-21-2003, 05:53 PM
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SmileyJo SmileyJo is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Washington, DC / New Orleans, LA
Posts: 57
So, what program should we use to burn in this format? I know lots of people reccommend EAC, but I can't figure how to get it to work since it's a beta with no good user manual. Plus, it seems to be made for people with a burned and CD drive seperate, but mine is combined.
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Old 11-21-2003, 10:17 PM
yairiwy1sb yairiwy1sb is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 23
.shn is an abbreviation for Shorten, a lossless audio compression format developed a few years back in the UK. Here is a link
to a very informative page that will answer many questions.

Basically after a .wav file has been compressed to .shn, it's simply a data file, and any burning program such as Nero or Roxio EZ CD
creator can be used to burn the .shn files to disc. .shn files are smaller than .wav files, so a (2) audio disc performance, can usually fit onto (1) 700 mb CD-R.

I've been extremely brief....please click on the link above for all the details!

Basically, the taper, or person who transfers the DAT tape to a computer, then adds track markers, will then convert the .wav files to an archive .shn file. It's then a data file that will be uncompressed to a .wav file for burning and listening to on a home or car cd player, a perfect clone of the original recording.
All that you need is a utility program (MKWact) to uncompress
the .shn to .wav

So what have we gained you ask? Seems like a lot of work?
You get an exact clone of the original recording, in a smaller package, to make it easier to share the music. It sounds much more difficult than it really is!!
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