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Compact Disc Audio (CDA)

Last updated: December 5, 2016

What Does Compact Disc Audio (CDA) Mean?

Compact disc audio (CDA) is the standard format for audio compact discs (CD). The CD format is the same that is used in regular CD players. The data format for digital audio and the physical specifications are all described in the Red Book developed by Philips and Sony. The Red Book was published in 1980 and contains all the standards and other relevant details about the CD format.

Compact disc audio (CDA) is also known as compact disc digital audio (CDDA or CD-DA).


Techopedia Explains Compact Disc Audio (CDA)

The CDA format follows certain standards which are common for all CD formats. The Red Book contains all the parameters common to all compact discs, including:

  • Digital audio encoding specifications
  • Physical parameters
  • Modulation systems
  • Optical parameters
  • Deviations and error rates

The audio in a CDA consists of two-channel signed 16-bit linear PCM sampled at 44,100 Hz. For encoding purposes, audio samples are all signed 16-bit two's complement integer, having sample values from −32768 to +32767. For the data structure, the audio data stream in a CD is continuous, but has three parts, with the main part being the playable audio track.


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