I'm working with a client who needs to minimize the time between when recording is done and when the finalized audio CD ejects from the drive.

All of the computer recording software I'm aware of will generate a file which can then be burned to an Audio CD. I know there is external hardware I could buy that would burn an analog stream directly to disc, but I'm wondering if any software exists that can achieve this with a computer's internal optical drive. Ideally for Mac, though if it only exists for Windows or Linux I would be interested to hear about it.

(Other alternatives have been explored; I would much rather not deal with optical media at all, but this is a highly specialized situation.)

  • Interesting. I've never seen an application that can do this. – Ian C. Jun 12 '11 at 2:43
  • The client insists he's seen it done, so I'm skeptical of course... My hunch is that the stumbling block would be the drive controller; I don't know if audio data can be written from a real-time stream with a typical computer optical drive. – NReilingh Jun 12 '11 at 3:09
  • I'm pretty sure a *nix nerd could devise a way to pipe the stream to /dev/sr0. The trick would be to work out what the stream would be. Might be worth asking this on the unix.SE. – boehj Jun 12 '11 at 11:21
  • Can you tell me what you plan to record from? Then I can ask this question over at the unix.SE and they'll be able to come up with some answer for sure. – boehj Jun 13 '11 at 2:13
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    I've posted this up at the unix.SE. Hopefully they'll be able to help you out. – boehj Jun 13 '11 at 4:30

I may have found a program that does direct to CD audio recording, but feel like I need to ask you to not try this approach, and consider a normal recording workflow.

If you're sending audio to the CD burner, then you're in HUGE danger of losing your recording if anything goes wrong with the computer, or with the disk. It seems like you're choosing between either getting the recording, or getting the cd "immediately". Given that choice, I'd always choose to get the recording. Even if some program was able to clone the audio stream and save a backup to your hard drive, I'd still be scared of using it, because who knows what would happen during a power failure (how long to reboot your recording setup?), or a system crash caused by an AWOL CD burner.

If your customer is trying to make CDs quickly (say, after a concert), then it's still a better idea to bring a duplicator with you, and hit the record button as soon as the audience starts their final cheer. It's just hard to imagine a situation where the priority would be on MAYBE getting a disk now, instead of getting a disk in just a few seconds.

The program I found was made by... well... I have no idea. There's a complete lack of addresses or other identifying locations or names on their website. Considering your personal financial safety, it would be insanity to order anything from a company with just a website and an email address, especially if a client was going to rely on it.

If all of this still didn't dissuade you, the program is called Direct Audio CD, at softgogo dot com.

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    There's no reason a good CD recording software package couldn't also write the data to disk. In fact, any package that didn't do that, I'll say, is worthless. – Flimzy Jul 7 '11 at 6:32
  • Love the misspelling of "Technonlgy" on the first page, among many others. I'm accepting, since this does answer the question (even if the premise itself is a bit ill-advised). Thanks for the research! – NReilingh Jul 7 '11 at 15:44

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