DVD-Audio How-To


This page describes how to author and burn a DVD-Audio disc using dvda-author.

DVD-Audio discs can also be burned using Hplex, which embeds dvda-author. See Hplex how to for instructions.


dvda-author - As of June 2008 dvda-author source code and binaries have been distributed through the file release sytem. CVS code has been kept for archiving purposes of the original 2005 version and Git is being currently used for on-going development (dvda-devel master brach).

mkisofs - this is part of the cdrtools package, and comes as standard with most Linux distributions. For Windows, a binary version is available here (the site is German, but the programs are in English). A patched version (see below) is also available here. For Mac OS X users, copies can be found as part of the Fink project. This is required to create the UDF disk image containing the AUDIO_TS directory created by dvda-author.

Short note on the cdrtools package
cdrtools source files
Compiling cdrecord
cdrecord can usually be compiled with GNU make yet on some platforms like Cygwin, it is to be compiled by using the smake utility. You'll find a copy of sources for version 1.2.1 here. smake can be compiled with the usual GNU make tool. A shortlink to the Linux smake binary is here and here is a Cygwin build. You may need to fetch Windows dlls for Cygwin on the Cygwin official website.

To compile cdrecord, just cd into the cdrtools directory and type 'smake' on a command line.
Windows users should perform these operations using Cygwin. Winzip and other Windows utilities damage symbolic links and should not be used to extract packages; use the tar xjvf command instead on a Cygwin console.

DVD recording software - any DVD recording software capable of burning .iso images can be used.

A DVD-Audio player - DVDs created with dvda-author will only play on DVD players displaying the DVD-Audio logo. They are not compatible with Video-only players.

Step 1 - create the AUDIO_TS directory

This step is performed by the dvda-author program. A simple invocation is as follows:

dvda-author -o DVD -g *.wav -X 'working directory'

This will create a directory called DVD in the current directory containing a fully-authored AUDIO_TS directory and an empty VIDEO_TS directory. The DVD-Audio disk will contain all the .wav files in the current directory.
The working directory should indicate in which directory input files are taken with the -g option.
Alternatively you can use:

dvda-author -o DVD -i 'input directory'

in which the input directory has subfolders labeled g1, g2, g3, ..., gn for n groups, each containing the audio files to be played back in the corresponding group.

Step 2 - create the .iso disk image

Until DVD-Audio support is added to mkisofs, the .iso image must be created by passing a sort file to mkisofs. An example file is included in the dvd-author distribution (local copy).

If your DVD-Audio contents are in a directory called DVD in the current directory, then you can create the .iso image with the following command, for discs without menus:

mkisofs -o image.iso -sort sort.txt  -udf DVD

NOTE: The sort.txt file must contain the full path of each file, including the top-level output directory (e.g. "DVD") passed to dvda-author via the -o option. If you don't specify an output directory of "DVD", you will need to edit the sort file.

mkisofs patches

A new patch is available for dvda-author. It is necessary for authoring discs with menus or for hybrid Audio/Video discs. This version performs the correct sorting of the files when the -dvd-audio parameter is specified. If you apply that patch before compiling cdrtools (it is not yet included in the official cdrtools), you can create the UDF image as follows:
mkisofs -o image.iso -dvd-audio DVD
Applying patches
It is advised to apply the latest patch against version 3.00 as follows (*nix or Cygwin platforms):

- First cd into a directory containing the package:
- Now extract the package:
   dir$   tar xzvf cdrtools-3.00.tar.gz

- Apply the patch:
   dir$  patch  -p4 < /full/path/to/patchfile 

A patched cdrtools (3.00) package is available here. To recompile it, first run 'smake clean' before running 'smake' again.
A shortlink to a patched mkisofs (against version 3.00) compiled under Linux is available here. A Windows (Cygwin) build of the same version of mkisofs is also available here.

Step 2.5 - OPTIONAL

For in car and other audio only players to play your disc you need to pass the -pp option to dvda-author when it runs. As of now the only way to do this is as follows:

Run the command

isoinfo -i image.iso -l
and look for the start sector of the AUDIO_PP.IFO file. e.g.
----------   0    0    0          131072 Mar 18 2005 [    284 00]  AUDIO_PP.IFO;1

Then re-run dvda-author, passing the sector of AUDIO_PP.IFO (in this case 284) using the -pp option:

dvda-author -pp 284 -o DVD -g....

Complete step 2 again then proceed

Step 3 - burn the disk image

Any DVD recording software capable of burning .iso files can be used.

Under Linux, I have had good results with the growisofs option as follows:

growisofs -Z /dev/hdd=image.iso

Or you can combine steps 2 and 3 as follows:

growisofs -Z /dev/hdd -udf -sort sort.txt DVD/

An alternative is to use cdrecord from the cdrtools package. A Windows build of cdrecord (version 3.00) is available here (see above about how to recompile). Usage is as follows:

(sudo) cdrecord /path/to/image.iso

If this fails, or if you have several burners, you should scan your bus as follows:
(sudo) cdrecord -scanbus

will give the adequate dev value for the cd recorder (typically 2,0,0). Then type:

(sudo) cdrecord dev=x,y,z /path/to/image.iso

Users are strongly advised to use the original cdrtools version of cdrecord rather the forks (genisoimage among others).

Please send any comments or questions to the dvd-audio-devel mailing list.