DDP or Redbook for CD replication?

This question is occasionally raised by mastering houses whether it is better to submit the master in DDP format or in Redbook CD format.  The answer is: either way, the result will be the same.

DDP is the acronym for Disc Description Protocol.  It is the native format used by many equipment in the disc replication industry.  According to Wikipedia, DDP is a format for specifying the content of optical discs, including CD’s and DVD’s.  It is commonly used for delivery of disc permasters for duplication.

Some replicators, especially many brokers, will refuse to accept DDP format because they don’t have the equipment to reverse the DDP to a physical copy.  These replicators will only accept Redbook CD as master.  Well, there is nothing wrong with that because by it’s digital nature a copy of a Redbook CD should be exactly the same as the master. There is one catch though.  The equipment used to make the copy has to be compatible with the Redbook standard.  Otherwise not all the information will be carried over to the new copy.  For example, some CD-ROM drive cannot copy CD-Text and CD+G information.  In that case, supplying a DDP image will be safer.  So to eliminate such possibility, we encourage the submission of DDP if all possible.

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