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Compact Disk Media
CD-ROM drives of course use compact disk media. These are the same disks that are used by audio CD players; different formatting methods are applied to the disk to allow them to hold different types of data. These formatting methods are discussed in detail in the section on data formats.
As for the media itself, at the lowest level it is identical to the compact disks you play in your home stereo. The exception to this is the special media used for CD-R and CD-RW drives; the media here is different because the drive is able to write to the disk, something not possible with standard CDs. This section looks at compact disk media and how it works.
Note: Most of the descriptions
below apply to all different CD formats, including CD audio, CD-ROM data, etc., because
they are describing the media at a low level, below the level of data formatting.