NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Audio Mastering and/or Ripping
by John R. Clark, Webmaster, April 2000
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If I were writing a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, I would title this "The Adventure of the Total Being Less Than the Sum of the Parts." and like Sherlock without the help of the modern Baker Street Irregulars, I could not meet with at least partial success.

Since I only have a total of a couple dozen or so records, I am not an audiophile, but I have noticed that on each record there are only 2 or 3 cuts that are worth the listening. With a CDRW device I thought I would take a few tunes from Hank Williams Sr and a couple from Jimmy Rogers, and a few others had build me something I would like.

To do so is not quite as simple as it would appear. When you slap an audio disk in a drive and look at the directory you find out there is a entry for each track, but each one is only 44 bytes in length. Hence my call to the internet irregulars.

The word came back you need to change the CDFS.VXD file that is stored in C:\windows\system\iosubsys with at new one. The new file was described as 'an escapee from MicroSoft or someone, and has been on the net for several months.' The irregular was correct. A search of the internet will give you at least 1000 places that reference the file with


being one with a freeway download. The new file is about 2000 bytes longer than the original. Hence after backing up the old file I made the replacement and rebooted the system.

With the new CDFS.VXD being inserted, a look at an audio disk shows a most interesting tree. There are two sub directories 'stereo' and 'mono'; each of which has sub directories '8Bit' and '16Bit'; each of them have three sub-sub directories named '11025Hz', '22050Hz', and '44100Hz'; and each of the xxxxxHz directories have an entry of a .WAV file for each track on the CD.

My associate told me to forget all but sterio/16Bit/44100Hz/ files. You can set up a TEMP directory and drag and drop these files in to the TEMP directory as you build you choice of cuts. Since drag and drop preserves the names, I decided to use my own system of read and writes. Here is where the problems started to appear.

First thing I noticed that I would often try to read trackX and I would end up with trackY with my system. The 2nd item I noticed is .WAV files are big. About 11 Mbytes per minute. A little analysis showed me that a 55+ minute system turned out to be 591,822,792 bytes but when I checked the total file sizes shown by CDFS.VXD I got 2,330,309,421. Two Gigabytes is more than the CD is supposed to hold!

Other than thinking I may have discovered a violation of Euclid's common notion dealing with the whole and the sum of the parts, I was really confused. The confusion did not clear up when I created an Audio disk from my drag and dropped files, and I noted that the 'mono','8Bit' and all the other sub directories were on my new disk.

Among other things, I consider looking into the various books: Red, White, Yellow, etc. but I decided to use standard medical techniques in solving the problem. Since I can't figure out the real reason for my confusion I decided to treat the symptoms. Hence if you want to create or master your own audio disks do the following:

1. Get a copy of CDFS.VXD
2. Use the drag and drop technique to take cuts you want from
the audio disk to a temporary sub directory. If you have
a name conflict use two temporary ones.
3. When you make your copy, be sure to add the cuts in the order
you want. If you add a complete sub directory the tracks will
be in a system selected order which appears to be a First In
First Out (FIFO) system.

I did find out there is no need to purchase those fancy CDs marked audio that you see in the stores. They are the same as the data ones, only with a higher price which includes a prepaid royalty that someone is collecting.

The solution to my problem of reading trackX and getting trackY has yet to be resolved, and like Holmes's "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" may never be printed.

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