Red Book (audio CD standard)

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Red Book is the standard for audio CDs (Compact Disc Digital Audio system, CDDA or CD-DA). It is named after one of the Rainbow Books, a series of books (bound in different colors) that contain the technical specifications for all CD and CD-ROM formats.

The first edition of the Red Book was released in 1980 by Philips and Sony;[1][2] it was adopted by the Digital Audio Disc Committee and ratified as IEC 60908 (published in 1987[3]). The second edition of IEC 60908 was published in 1999 and it cancels and replaces the first edition, amendment 1 (1992) and the corrigendum to amendment 1. The standard is not freely available and must be licensed from Philips. As of 2004, the cost per the relevant Philips order form [4] is US$5,000. As of 2009, the IEC 60908 document is also available as a PDF download for US$260.[5]


Red Book audio specifications

The basic specifications state that

Technical details

The Red Book specifies the physical parameters and properties of the CD, the optical "stylus" parameters, deviations and error rate, modulation system (eight-to-fourteen modulation, EFM) and error correction (cross-interleaved Reed-Solomon coding, CIRC), and subcode channels and graphics.

It also specifies the form of digital audio encoding: 2-channel signed 16-bit Linear PCM sampled at 44,100 Hz. This sample rate is adapted from that attained when recording digital audio on a PAL (or NTSC) videotape with a PCM adaptor, an earlier way of storing digital audio.[7]

An audio CD can represent frequencies up to 22.05 kHz, the Nyquist frequency of the 44.1 kHz sample rate.

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