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Author Topic: IDEA: CD-RW/DVD-RW emulated drive?  (Read 9401 times)
Carol Haynes
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« on: August 19, 2005, 11:38:26 AM »

Not sure if this is available anywhere else or how hard it would be to produce but I could really use a CD/DVD writer drive emulator.

There are plenty of CD-ROM/DVD-ROM emulators out there (such as DriveImage supplied with Nero) but I haven't seen any equivalent writer/re-writer emulators

Ideally the drive should appear as a normal windows device but allow writing and capturing the output to either a HardDisk folder or an ISO image.

The reason for this is I have a number of programs that burn directly to disk and have no way to save images otherwise - particularly Audio and Video stuff. It would be really useful to be able to edit the output contents before burning a physical disc.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2005, 10:42:51 AM »

 ohmy

Awestruck by the huge response

If no one knows of one of these how hard would it be to produce such a programme ?
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jpfx
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2005, 05:21:13 PM »

I've never seen anything for what you want BUT I would consider using CDRW, copying the iso to hdd and using an iso editor to work on that.
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2005, 05:35:54 PM »

carol, someone pointed me to a thread on the alcohol 120% forum where someone requested this and was told it would be a lot of work to do.
you'd think something like this would be available for testing purposes, but i haven't found anything.
on the other hand with the price and speed of burners, you might just burn it to cd, then make iso file from cd, then throw cd into garbage.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2005, 07:12:25 PM »

I see your point. It isn't stinginess on my part but time but more to do with time.

I listen to a lot of audio books when I drive. I buy most online these days via www.audible.com and the audible app is totally crap. Most books are burnt over numerous CDs (often 8, 9 or 10) and they tend to fade out each disk with an overlap with the next (very irritating).

My car has a CD changer in the trunk (I'll make a concession to American vernacular), but I don't want to have to fill it up with a single book (and then stop the car to reload the cartridge halfway through).

Ideally I want to put the books on a Zen Micro in MP3 or WMA format or make an MP3 disc for a portable player, but there is no way of generating this except for burning to CDs, ripping the CDs and then editing out the overlaps. I have literally dozens of books, so even with cheap media it still works out expensive to burn and chuck discs, and it is incredibly time consuming (even with a fast burner). If I try to save money by using CDRW discs then burning is even slower, plus I have to reformat a lot - even more time.

This isn't the only application which would make this useful for me, but is the main one at the moment.
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2005, 08:15:27 PM »

that's a really good point.. yeah it would be nice to have such a virtual cd/dvd burner.. if anyone finds one i'd like to know too.
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jpfx
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2005, 05:29:17 PM »

Don't know if this might help but dbpoweramp will convert .aa files to whatever you want, then you could squeeze several cd's worth onto a single (providing your player will play them).
http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm
dbpoweramp is a class leading application in it's own right anyway.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2005, 03:46:22 AM »

Thanks for that I will give it a try.

Actually I have been fiddling with it and it seems to work.

Interestingly once you have installed their codec you can play .aa files in Windows Media Player without the Audible plugin!

The other odd thing is that if you play .aa files in Windows Media Player they 'remember' their last played position (which can be useful) but oddly if you try and convert a file that has been played it only converst from the 'remembered' position to the end ???

Weird or what ...
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 11:47:04 AM »


Carol, it looks like a virtual cd/dvd writer actually has emerged. I noticed this app as I was reading the cdfreaks.com news and kinda remembered this old thread

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H+H software has announced what it claims to be the world's first virtual recorder that handles every optical media format....

http://www.cdfreaks.com/n...nveils-Phantom-Drive.html
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mwb1100
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 11:54:09 AM »

Interesting find.  There's also VirtualCD which claims to support a virtual CD/DVD burner function and it has been avaiable for a while (though I have not tried it):

http://www.virtualcd-online.com/

However, it does not claim to be able to support BlueRay or DVD-HD.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 02:16:02 PM »

I have VirtualCD - it sometimes works OK but often the write function is a bit temperamental (or plain just doesn't work).

I actually want to burn discs from things like Windows Media Player and Audible Manager so that I can rip the DRMed stuff back to MP3 (or WAV) without having to burn a disc.

For mounting drives I now use MagicISO (which is free). It mounts just about any format you can throw at it.

I'll give Phantom drive a looksee - thanks for the tip.
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2008, 02:50:38 PM »

I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by a CD/DVVD writer emulator.

Nero allows you to write a a CD or DVD image to your hard disk.  In version 7, which is what I use, you just select Image Recorder as the device to write to.

But a much easier option is UltraISO (http://www.ezbsystems.com/ultraiso/) which costs $29.95 and allows you to create and edit CD and DVD ISO images. You can drag files and drectories to and from ISO images or remove them altogether, create ISO images from or burn them to physical discs, create bootable discs, etc.  It includes a basic CD drive emulator, but the images it creates can be mounted with all such programs that I know of.

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mwb1100
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2008, 03:47:51 PM »

I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by a CD/DVVD writer emulator.

The idea is that there are some applications like iTunes or Media Player that have a built-in burn to CD function, but do not contain an option to write to an image.  So, for example, if you want to convert some of your songs purchased in the iTunes store to MP3 you could burn the song to a CD then rip the CD to MP3's.  If you have a virtual CD writer you can save time and discs.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2008, 04:29:58 PM »

Been looking at Phantom Drive (at least at the website).

What I don't really understand is why the same company produce two competing products (they also sell VirtualCD) and sell the new product with HD formats support for 50% of the price of the other product. Strange ???

I have Virtual CD 8 and found its ability to produce ISO images from apps such as iTunes was a bit hit and miss. Maybe it was my system ??? Strangely the upgrade to VCD 9 costs the same as a new license for Phantom Drive ???
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mwb1100
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 04:54:27 PM »

What I don't really understand is why the same company produce two competing products (they also sell VirtualCD)

You know, I read the article (or at least scanned it) and didn't clue in to that fact. 

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f0dder
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2008, 04:59:01 PM »

Sounds weird about that pricing stuff indeed, carol smiley

I can see how this would be a useful feature to have, especially since burning and then ripping is a pretty slow and tedious process, whereas emulating and just writing an ISO image could be pretty darn fast.

But complicated, yeah. First of all, it requires driver code. And then it requires supporting an even larger subset of the ATAPI commands than a "simple" virtual-cd driver. And possibly supporting different quirks that the various burning applications have.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2008, 02:16:12 AM »

I actually want to burn discs from things like Windows Media Player and Audible Manager so that I can rip the DRMed stuff back to MP3 (or WAV) without having to burn a disc.

Ever tried Tunebite? It plays DRMed stuff in high speed and saves it unprotected.

http://tunebite.com/en/remove_drm/index.html

Quote
Tunebite's up to 27x speed recording process (High-Speed Digital Dubbing) lets you automatically free up to nine music tracks from DRM copy protection simultaneously at turbo speed (actual speed is dependent on your Windows version and PC performance).
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2008, 04:29:44 AM »

I tried Tunebite ages ago but IIRC it doesn't play .AA files (maybe wrong it was a long time ago).
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2008, 09:08:08 AM »

Well, to go off in a different direction, is it possible (or practical) to simply capture the audio out of the Audible player and work with that?

I've used Total Recorder (http://www.highcriteria.com) for years to break out DRMed music so I could put it in MP3 format. It's a virtual sound card driver and recorder program that records the output of any application that plays audio and can save it as a WAV or MP3.

If the Audible player can play an entire audio book at one go on the PC, you could start it playing overnight and in the morning have an MP3 file of the thing ready to slice/dice/burn as you please. Total Recorder is pretty smart about not recording silence, system noises, etc.

It's a great tool, and reasonably priced (about US$30 as I recall).
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2008, 10:47:22 AM »

I tried Tunebite ages ago but IIRC it doesn't play .AA files (maybe wrong it was a long time ago).
I use this twice a month for my Audible subscription.

Tunebite doesn't play .AA itself. But it uses iTunes to decode the files (Audible has a plugin for iTunes). It's able to do this at 1.8x normal playback speed.

I think this is about the best solution available for my needs. I can listen to my audiobooks on my Zune anywhere I want. And I can store archival copies of them too, in a format that I'm reasonably confident will be playable for years to come regardless of what becomes of the DRM.

But that's partly driven by the Zune's quirks, where it's easier to handle audiobooks as giant podcasts. For other devices YMMV.

I can see that ISO images of CDDA discs would also be a good archival format, but you'll also have an additional recoding step in the process.
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