CD Running Time

James Hardiman Leave a Comment

From: Denis Kelly

My comments are: We have bought a classical CD which runs 78 min. will not play the end of the last track. What is the manufacturing specification on the running time of a C.D.?

Dear Denis:

The maximum running time which a plant will press varies from plant to plant. One plant I work with has a maximum permissible length of 79:38. But some plants have pressed full 80 minute CDs, which stretch the Redbook specifications (tighter space between the lines of pits).

Any time over about 76-77 minutes exceeds the Redbook specifications and invites potential problems. The CD you have in hand is a perfect example of the risks that are taken. Over about 76 minutes, we always caution our clients that they may get some returns and some of the same problems that your CD has. However, if your extra-long CD was made by a reputable plant, it probably just gets by. Try the CD on several players and see if most of them can play the last track. In that case, you’ve just met up with an extra-long CD that is “barely acceptable.” We expect that with extra-long CDs, some small percentage will be returned as defective. That’s the cost, and most of our clients are willing to accept those odds.


Bob Katz

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