Addition of New Chapter 3 Elements for Optical Disc Data Storage Format and Optical Disc Recording Method

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11 Responses to Addition of New Chapter 3 Elements for Optical Disc Data Storage Format and Optical Disc Recording Method

  1. Kathy Glennan says:

    As with the previous draft of this paper, I wonder if the Optional Addition at should be treated as Details of Production Method for Optical Disc ( instead.

    The major impact of taking that path would be that the individual terms would not be supplied (except in examples), and they also would not be added to the Glossary.

    While this clearly isn’t OLAC’s recommendation, is this approach worth bringing out in the JSC version of this proposal, either in a background statement or as a different option — or am I alone in this opinion?

    • kelleym says:

      The narrower terms, such as DVD-R, are terms that some people would prefer to see and use. If all of the terms are in the vocabulary, even recording just DVD-R would automatically entail that something is a burned disc. So I think it’s a stronger representation with both levels of the vocabulary provided.

      However, I am not opposed to including the fact that alternative approaches are possible in the paper.

  2. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    Comments from an MLA member who is also involved in OLAC (comments also sent to Kelley):

    I’m disappointed by the removal of SACD as a disc type – while it looks like a CD, it does not play in a standard CD player (“pure” SACD, that is, and admittedly pure SACDs are hard to come by these days). The hybrid SACD still has that layer of info that can’t be read by a standard CD player. But I don’t know enough of the techie details to confidently argue that…

    I think the additional explanations given under “Optical disc recording method” (p. 2) for stamped discs (1) and burned discs (2) are good. While this information could just be fleshed out in a future update to the OLAC Best Practices, it would be especially helpful just to have it spelled out right in RDA.

    I think it’s logical to place place the new Optical Disc Data Storage as 3.21, and I’m OK with placing Production Method for Optical Disc as a sub-instruction to 3.9.

    I don’t agree, though, with removal of the optional addition list to (e.g., DVD-R, etc.) – it is an option, so no one *has* to include the information. But I think there should be a standard place to record this information other than cramming it in the 538. I think it’s more confusing to just put it in an example.

    And just to confirm, all of the proposed changes for were axed? So the lists will retain “CD audio,” “DVD audio,” and “SACD”?

    • kelleym says:

      It seems to me that SACD could usefully be recorded both as a type of disc and as an encoding format. The SACD specifications (Scarlet Book) include both kinds of info.: physical structure and data encoding (See or for example). However, SACD is also in some ways considered to be part of the CD family (

      CD as disc type should not imply that a disc is playable in a standard CD player. It is CD-DA that does this. CD would be the disc type for MP3 files, wav files, QuickTime video, software, etc. on a CD even if none of those things will play on a CD player (except possibly the MP3 files)

      There is a similar problem with Blu-ray in that we are proposing Blu-ray Disc for the physical disc, but “Blu-ray” remains under the list of video encoding formats (presumably with the meaning of video encoded on a Blu-ray Disc in a form for playback in a Blu-ray video player)

      I would be happy to see SACD listed in both places, but am not sure how to accomplish that within the current model. We did abandon the proposed optical disc data format as there appeared to be no way to reconcile OLAC’s point of view with RDA’s within the current time constraints (and perhaps not at all). Since we are not proposing an alternative location for CD audio, etc., we decided just to leave completely alone.

  3. Elizabeth O'Keefe says:

    A more general comment from a non-specialist: I found the explanatory material at the beginning very clear and easy to follow. I knew nothing about these formats, and found the background on why it is important to distinguish between certain attributes very illuminating.

    • kelleym says:

      Thank you! One of the problems OLAC is hoping to address by having these elements included in RDA is the ongoing confusion around optical discs. Part of the challenge is that the terms in common use are often loose and non-specific. For example, CD-ROM is used for both stamped CDs and software on CD and Blu-ray is used both for a type of physical disc and for video on a Blu-ray Disc in a form that can be played back on a Blu-ray video player. However, the technical terms are often too narrow to be practical. Blu-ray video is probably BDAV or BDMV (, but this won’t be written on the disc nor will these terms be recognized by the general public. OLAC would like to find a middle ground that is useful for those managing mainstream formats in a general library context (although it may not be adequate for more technical needs)

      BTW, while researching SACD, I came across this description that gets at the three categories in our original proposal:

      “The resulting family of DVD optical disc formats encompasses video, audio, and computer applications, with both playback-only and recordable technologies” ( It goes on to describe the physical characteristics that all DVD discs share.

    • Amanda Sprochi says:

      I agree. Although I occasionally catalog these things, I don’t do it on a regular basis and was not familiar with the differences. I think having the two-tiered approach of having common terms used for patron convenience as well as the more technical terms for catalogers and other experts is a good one. Patrons need to know that something is blue ray so they know if they have the equipment to play it.

  4. Mary Anne Dyer says:

    I had a question about one of the examples for

    burned disc
    production method for a commercially-released educational video on DVD

    I was just wondering if this example was correct or maybe it was intentionally worded this way. I thought commercially-released DVDs tend to be stamped?

    • kelleym says:

      This is intentional. There has to be a large enough run to make stamping economically feasible. Major motion pictures and mainstream video games are released on stamped discs. Niche films (e.g., Warner Archive videos –> and DVDs from smaller publishers that market to the educational and library market (e.g., Films for the Humanities) are usually burned discs. These are the ones that then potentially cause patron complaints in libraries.

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