Which DVD / CD format: ISO or UDF?

by X Zhu (Ph.D.), May., 2003
* Feel free to copy but do keep content complete, author Email: itreviews@ntlworld.com

Outline

1. Brief introduction

2. ISO ver UDF

3. UDF versions

4. MPV

5. Conclusion

Related topics

Brief introduction to DVD / CD format

The hard drive format is consusing enough: in PC alone there are FAT, FAT32, and NTFS format, then MAC have a complete different format; while DVD / CD format is much simpler, there are still a few different file systems, so how to choose the right DVD / CD format to ensure greatest compatibility by other DVD / CD drive or DVD players become a problem for amateurs. The most widely used format is ISO 9660, UDF file system is also popular in DVD discs, MPV is the latest file system just appearing in the market and are gaining popularity gradually. (A file system is a structure that organizes large numbers of files on some sort of storage medium such as hard disk drive, CD, and DVD)

ISO vs. UDF

ISO 9660 have been used as the main CD format for many years now. Most of the CD nowsdays still use this format, the benefit of this format is that it is readable by all CD drive or CD player, and can be shared between PC and MAC.

Universal Disk Format (UDF) is a newer file system for CD and DVDdeveloped and managed by the Optical Storage Technology Association as the successor to the ISO 9660 standard. UDF overcomes limitations of ISO 9660 and redirectors such as CDFS. UDF is used to ensure compatibility across platforms, as well as among various CD and DVD applications. UDF is required for DVDs, and is used by DVD to contain MPEG audio/video streams, UDF is also used by CD-R and CD-RW in a process called packet writing that makes CD writing more efficient in terms of the time and disk space required.

Different revisions of UDF

UDF have many different revisions, from revision 1.0, 1.02, 1.5, 2.0, to 2.01, and revision 1.02 is specified for use by DVD drives, difference between these revisions are available from OSTA website.

UDF 1.02 is the 'most' compatible file system. When you choose to creat a DVD to play video and choose UDF/ISO, UDF 1.02 will be used ( by the burning software ) to ensure best compatibility.

But if you choose DVD-Video mode when you burn a DVD, the default format is UDF 1.5 format, not 1.02, which might cause it not readable by other DVD drives and DVD players.

 

MPV

MPV is the lasted file system developed and promoted by OSTA. MPV enables PCs and consumer electronics products like DVD players to exchange and playback collections of digital photos, video, and music, it supports browsing, playing, and printing multimedia collections. For more info, check out OSTA's website.

Conclusion

If you are creating DVD / CD movie or music for sharing with friends, so you 'd better stick to the most comptiable format: UDF 1.02. If you are just back up the DVD or files, then you can consider other advanced files systems like UDF2.0 or even MPV

Acknowledgement

Allcam mobile products ltd for provide external DVD burner and DVD player for testing.