Byte Computer Mag - September 1995, Page 32
Article by Greg Loveria
New and Reviews = Interactive Compact Discs

Interactive Music Videos Arrive for Macs and PCs

[Picture of the Individualist CD cover with a picy of TR-i (the un shaven one from the DPK) [pic follows (31K)]
 When you play Todd Rundgren's The Individualist interactive CD in
a multimedia desktop system, you get the equivalent of a music video
accompanying each song.  You can instantly cue to any audio track chorus
or verse by highlighting an interactive lyric text.  The CD also has a
live performance taken from Rundgren's video No World Order Tour.  This
lets you play video director by choosing among four different camera
positions to produce custom music videos of the show.]

[Main article text follows ..]

Imagine listening to glorious digital stereo on your car's CD audio
system.  But when you arrive home and put the same CD into your
computer's CD-ROM drive, you can listen to the audio, plus view
interactive music videos, lyric sheets, artist biographies, and
interviews, CD+ (also know as Enhanced Music Compact Disc) format lets
you do all the above and brings the audio CD into the era of interactive
content delivery using desktop multimedia systems. 

CD+ address the problem with today's interactive CDs, in which the
lyrics, photos, graphics, and videos are stored on track 1.  When you
play track one of current interactive CDs on a standard audio CD player,
the resulting grating, buzz-saw sound can damage the speakers.  The new
CD+ format eliminates this problem.  CD+ is a two-session format that
works on current-generation multisession CD-ROM drives and all standard
audio CD players. 

CD+ lets content producers put audio tracks of first-session audio as
standard CD-DA (Red Book Compact Disc Digital Audio) alongside CD-ROM
computer data that was recorded in a second session, An audio CD player
that encounters the lead out end of the audio session won't try to play
the computer data. 

Todd Rundgren, a well-known cybertainer in the music industry, is making
his new CD, the Individualist, available only in the CD+ format. 
Rundgren describes the Individualist (see the screen), which should be
available by the time you read this, as a 'multimedia album' designed to
run on both PCs and Macs.  With the CD in a multimedia desktop system,
you get the equivalent of a music video with each song. 

Major industry players - including Apple, Microsoft, Philips
Electronics, Sony, and the Recording Industry Association of America,
which is the trade group that represents U.S.  record labels - have
endorsed the CD+ Blue Book specification.  Microsoft is also backing the
CD+ with its release of Symmetry, a CD+ development and authoring tool
that supports WinG graphics acceleration, WinToon cartoon animation, and
Surround Video.  Macromedia (San Francisco, CA) also expects to release
its Director Enhanced CD Toolkit for the Mac and Windows this fall. 

However, CD+ is not the only interactive CD format.  Content producers
are also using ActiveAudio's Track Zero format which was announced last
year.  Track Zero has advantages over CD+.  Unlike CD+, which requires
multisession CD-ROM drive, Track Zero works on single-session CD-ROM
drives as well.  And although Microsoft says it will include full CD+
support in Windows '95, the company hasn't said if it will support the
format in Windows 3.1 or NT.  ActiveAudio already has drivers for the
Mac, as well as three versions of Windows. 

Whether they use Track Zero , CD+, or another format, these new
interactive CDs are another example of how PCs and Macs are becoming
entertainment appliances. 

[End  article]

Web address for Interactive CD Information

For more information on Microsoft's latest list of CD+ compliant
multisession CD-ROM drives for Windows, go to,

Mac and PC users can view ActiveAudio releases at:

and get additional information on the Track Zero specification at:-

[There is a short paragraph on how CD-ROM drives will double over the
next year.] 

Picture associated with the above (31K) follows