That's pretty damn cool!

I was listening to my Limp Bizkit CD on the way home from meeting today, and I got to wondering, how do they do that? It’s pretty damn cool! What I mean is, on certain tracks, 7, for instance, the counter counts backwards from a number, playing an intro. When it hits zero, it plays forward with the song. If you listen all the way through the CD, you hear all the intros. If you skip to other songs, it won’t play the intros. And on the hidden track, if you listen to all of track 15, it plays 16, counting backwards from 5:34 down to 0:00. If you skip to 16, it plays from 0:00 to 0:04, then cuts to track 1.


How do they do that?

Can I do that on my home-mades?

If so, can I make it so that if someone doesn’t listen to the first track all the way through, that only every other track plays?

How can I make tracks inaccessible through the << >> buttons, but accessible through listening straight through?

How do they get multiple # tracks? (Backward 7 and forward 7, f’rinstance)

How do they get it to play backwards?



We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first “lost generation” nor today’s lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.

wow, this is great… ive never seen it before
so it might be a new thing, so i have no idea how to do it

see if the same thing happens in your discman, computer and stereo…

Chief’s Domain -

It’s not new. When I first got a CD player, back when they first came out in the early 80’s, my Motley Crue “Shout at the Devil” CD did that, too. No idea how.

I don’t know about the countdown phenomenon, but the most common way to give you the intro phenomenon you’re talking about is to tack the intro onto the end of the previous song. I’ve seen hidden tracks done in several ways. Sometimes they are tacked onto the last song with a long delay, sometimes they have a bunch of empty virtual tracks with the hidden one being out at track number 99, or something like that. The first way, people often missed the hidden track because they just assumed that their CD player was malfunctioning and they would manually skip to the next (first) track. The second way insured that the listener would eventually figure it out, but then it sort of defeats the mystical nature of hidden tracks - you might as well call it an inconvenient bonus track. There is a third way to provide a hidden track, that I’ve heard of but haven’t actually seen yet. The hidden track is an MP3 (data) file and can only be played on a computer with an MP3 player. I’ve got a number of CDs that have extra data on CD-ROM files (pictures, games, movies, discographies, etc.)

The “countdown” phenomenon that you refer to is, I believe, actually “space between tracks”. IE, after the end of the previous song, but before the cd player has been signalled that a new track has begun, its possible to record data between the two tracks. The countdown, i think, is just counting down to the next track. I usually see these tracks used to record intros or “hidden” tracks, because they can’t be accessed simply by flipping to the track.

JoeyBlades: It is definately not just tacked on to the previous song, because it actually switches numbers to the next track, then counts down.

occ: That sounds like the best explaination. That would explain why it counts backwards, why you have to listen to the previous track, and why 16 only works when you listen to 15.

Thanks so far guys, that only leaves questions 2, 3, and 4 unanswered.

Extra Bonus Question: When I had Sam ‘n’ Max, I could listen to the songs on my CD player. But if I listened to track 1, it was a loooong screech. Now, with enhanced CDs, there’s no “ya gots ta skip track (whatever), I tells ya!” you can just listen all the way through, then pop it into your comp and mess with the videos and shit. How did they start hiding the info?


We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first “lost generation” nor today’s lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.

Homer, you had the Sam and Max video game too? Now I’m going to have to dig it out and listen to it all over again. But I thought that all video game CD’s were made so that track 1 was data, and the others you could listen to. Is it true that track 1 is ok to listen to now? I used to hear that playing it too much would damage the data on the video game (or more likely, it would damage my head if I played it too long).

Well, i hope this makes sense, its mainly based on my CD-R’s manual.

Normally, every track on a CD has two “indexes”. Index 0 is the actual start of the track, which is normally a 2 second or so lead-in to the song, which would usually contain blank space, or e.g. for live albums, random applause or something. Index 1 is the real start of the song, where the timer shows 0:00

You can put the division between index 0 and index 1 anywhere in the track you want (but see below), and when the CD player comes to index 0, if its long enough, it would count down the time remaining till it hits index 1.

When you hit the forward button, it jumps to index 1 of the next track, to skip the lead-in.

Tracks can have up to 99 indices, but I don’t know that these are ever used.

Theres also some pretty ugly standards dealing with the indices. The lead-in for the first track has to be 150 sectors. All other lead-ins can either be 0 or at least 150 sectors. (one sector being 2352 bytes of data)

Most CD-R authoring programs should let you specify the length of the lead-in gap, and if it should be filled with blank space or part of your audio file.

Ahh, sez here that indices beyond 1 can be used for marking different movements in a peice.

I would guess that very few CD players show what index you’re on, much less let you jump to an index.

As far as the enhanced CDs that play in regular CD players, as far as I can tell, heres how they work…

Every CD starts with a table of contents, then the tracks, then a lead-out area which is all blank space.

A multisession CD is one that has another table of contents, track data, and lead-out after the first set. (you can actually have quire a few sessions on one CD)

So the way to make an enhanced CD that doesn’t have computer data on track 1 is to put all the audio data in session 1, and all the computer data in session 2. CD-ROMs know how to read multisession discs and will do the right thing, and audio CDs don’t know how to read multisession discs and will also do the right thing.

Phew, its amazing what you can learn when you actually read your manuals.

(oh yeah, in re the previous post, 150 sectors is 2 seconds. So there can either be no gap between tracks, or a minimum 2 second gap. I would surmise that you get a countdown whenever the actual gap exceeds 2 sec.)

Thanks hunsecker - that all makes sense.

One of the coolest ways to hide a hidden track I have ever seen was on the X-Files soundtrack where the hidden track could only be played by rewinding past the beginning of track one. How would they do that? It would countdown to the start of track one but if it was just an intro wouldn’t it be played when you started the CD?

Yeah, I was thinking about that last night, since I have a They Might Be Giants album which does the same thing.

My guess is that they don’t follow the standard practice of putting 2 seconds of blank lead-in on track 1, but rather put a few minutes in there which has the hidden song.

I’m not sure this is kosher, and I know a few CD players won’t actually rewind past 0:00 on track 1. But it seems to work fine most of the time.

CD-DA is the Sony audio standard for audio CDs.

Older CD players didn’t have to deal with data tracks on track one and so they would give you a loud noise when track one would play on a Mixed Mode CD. This type of CD is made in one sesson.

As computers started to use track one for data and the other tracks for CD-DA audio formats, the regular CD players were made to recognise track one as possibly being a data track and not a CD-DA track. Newer CD players skip the first track if it’s a data track.

A CD Extra disc has music only writen on the first session. Data is writen to the second session. Older CD players will not blast out a load noise when this type of disk is used. They don’t see the second sesson. Most CD drives in computers can read multi sessions, and have access to the data.

You can burn audio CD’s that have song titles display instead of track numbers.

how do you burn cdrs with song titles rather than track numbers?

That’s what I was really looking for. Can someone, anyone, please tell me how, using Adaptec Direct CD, to edit the indices, and barring that, can someone tell me the name or link me to a program that can? Please!? Someone tell me how or I’m cutting off my thumbs. Oooh and also how can I get it to display the track titles? That’s co-ool!


We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first “lost generation” nor today’s lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.