Why CD Reader is better than standard Winamp CD plugin ?
1. Improved read quality, much closer to 100%.
2. Ability to use quality DAC of your audiocard. (Many CD-ROMs have only 12-bit DAC)
About 1st clause. All players play CDs by reading data sectors once, one by one, continuously.
No any reread on defect sectors occurs. This caused by many reasons. Method of playing CDs was born when maximum available reading speed was 1x.
It's a very hard to find CDDA sector to reread it, because of poor CDDA navigation system (original guaranteed precision is about 0.5 sec). Computer program using good 6x CD drive can eliminate these obstacles.
So, read quality can approach to 100%. You can ask: "How about my Data-CDs? It's all read fine on my CD-ROM. And how CD-ROM reread sectors on my Data-CDs?" That's true. But thanks to improved Data-CD navigation system and additional error correction layer. Difference is huge, here is about 100Mb of efficient data payoff.
How is it working ?
CD Reader plugin uses RAW_READ function (also known as 'read long') to extract digital audio data from CD. So, your CD-ROM drive must have such capability.
CD Reader plugin can use two low level interfaces to perform this function - ASPI and Win32. ASPI is Windows 95/98 embedded interface. Windows NT have not this interface installed by default.
However, you can install it separately. From other hand Windows NT have naitive low level interface - Win32, you can use it without installing any additional software. But, some CD-ROMs does not support RAW_READ function thru Win32 and do well it thru
No any position de-jittering performed. All code relies on modern CD-ROM drives and drivers. Because, most of old CD-ROM drives which able to read raw data from media, unable to do it on sufficient (real time, 1x at least) speed.
How to use it?
Simply copy "in_CDReader.dll" to Plugins subdirectory, usually located at "C:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins". Don't forget to shutoff original WinAmp CD plugin by changing its extension, for example "in_cdda.dll.off".
Now you can try to play CD. If "Your CD-ROM does not support RAW_READ function" dialog box appears - bad luck, you can't use this plugin. If player report "Buffer size too big to handle", try to reduce buffer size down to one sector.
Some CD-ROMs capable of read CDDA only by 1 sector.
More sectors in buffer - better skip protection, less CPU use. Fewer sectors - faster seek response and more CPU use. If you have more than one CD-ROM, ensure to set right "ASPI device" option in setup.
You can get faltering sound. This caused by poor read speed that in its turn can be caused by bad media or CD-ROM drive.
In this version of CD Reader plugin is able to read information about CD in drive from CDDB Internet server which contain song names and other stuff for wide variety of CD's. Click on CDDB tab to make CDDB settings.
CD Reader plugin is able to cache CD information. To enable this feature click 'Use local CDDB' checkbox. Cached information will be kept in cdplayer.ini file which located in main Windows folder.