4. Creating a Video CD
Creating a Video CD
Following the same easy method of drag-and-drop, one should move the MPEG-1 (.mpg) files from the Explorer Pane to the “Video Track Layout” pane. The target drive and the Video CD properties (Album, Volume and Date&Time settings) chosen during “Step 2” are the same as in the case of a data disk.
The same step also finishes the writing process.
We noticed that CD Maker 2000 does not support AVI to MPEG-1 format encoding.
Anyway, according to our opinion an expert user should always use a full-featured MPEG-1 encoding application (such as the TMPEG or Panasonic encoding applications). This way he will have full control over the full encoding options and quality of the result.
Creating Mixed-Mode and CD Extra discs
What’s different here is that we must follow the full 3-step procedure. In the Mixed-Mode CD procedure you first create the “Data Track Layout”, following the usual drag-and-drop procedure from the data files in the upper program pane. In “Step 2” you create the Audio CD Layout, acting in the same way as during custom audio CD creation below. Finally in step 3 you write the CD. The CD created this way contains one session. The first track is a data track, the other tracks are audio tracks. The first track is readable only by PC CD-ROM drives, the other tracks are both visible and readable by consumer CD players and CD-ROM’s as well. (This format was mainly used by older games.)
In the case of a CD Extra compilation, you proceed again as in the Mixed-Mode case but the CD contains at least two sessions. The first holds the audio and the other(s) the data. (This format is newer than the format of a mixed-mode disk.) When a user makes his own disks, he should always prefer a CD Extra disk.
NTI CD Maker 2000 stays side-by-side to the competition when it comes to fulfilling the needs of both an audiophile and a casual user. It supports audio extraction, decoding of MP3 files to CD Audio compatible tracks (WAV files) and encoding of CD-DA tracks or WAV files into MP3 files. As you convert WAV's to MP3’s you can also set the compression rate (quality) you expect to get, which can be up to 320Kbps. All you have to do is to right click one of the CD tracks on the Explorer and choose Convert Audio Format. Nothing simpler:)
The software can also access a CDDB online database to automatically name tracks from many popular CD’s. What is not encouraging here is the fact that NTI CD Maker 2000 does not support the Microsoft’s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format. (An upcoming upgrade will, we have been told...)
Creating an audio CD is easy and the procedure is almost familiar. Drag and drop the selected audio files from the Explorer window to the “Audio Track Layout Pane. Then you can set the Text Information from the Audio CD properties dialog:
In our case the Internet CDDB access feature did not work, due to an exceeding license issue which we expect will have been resolved by NTI by the time you read this.
The software also supports a “sound optimization” option. This option applies only to WAV files. You can select between the “Remove noise” and “Remove clicks and pops” options or both. The user is offered a preview option after applying this filter: This means you can listen to the filtered WAV file and decide whether you will keep them or not.
There is something we missed here, along with all other recording software we have used. The inability to normalize individual .WAV or .MP3 files. We encourage the NTI marketing and programming people to offer a sound normalization function. This would equalize the sound level of tracks coming from different sources, delivering a smooth audio result. (Again, WMA and normalization support is expected to be included in an upcoming upgrade offer.)
In Step 2 the program starts and proceeds offering the same functionality as mentioned above concerning the other CD formats.
CD Maker 2000 Pro also supports real-time recording of live audio from a microphone or another source directly connected to a soundcard directly. This means that audio is burned in TAO mode right as it comes out from the soundcard. The process is simple: in Step 1 you select the audio source from the Input Source List. Then you connect the audio source device to the microphone or line-in jack of your system’s soundcard and select the target drive from the “Target Drive List”.
In Step 2 you are about to start recording of a live audio track. A new recording window loads on screen and you just press the start button and the recording begins. Meanwhile you should start the audio source as well, (i.e., start the player or speak into the microphone).
To stop the recording process, click the Stop button. What is important is to close the session after finishing recording, in order to be able to hear the recorded sound onto another CD-ROM. This way, a series of audio tracks are recorded on a disk. There is a 2 second pause among adjacent tracks and the disk. Be careful, however, not to close the session and then continue recording, as in this case any session other than the first one will be inaudible in consumer CD players.