Audio CD is also known as Compact Disc (CD). Initially this optical disc data storage format was developed for audio recordings only. First introduced in the 1970s, it was launched for commercial use in 1982. Somewhat later, in 1985, first data CDs (CD-ROM) appeared.
The Audio CD standard can be referred to as "Red Book", which is its official name.
Audio CDs turned to be very popular, as they allowed distributing high-quality sound recordings in a form that had a number of advantages, compared to the typical LP vinyl records. Compact discs were, well, compact, and not as fragile as vinyl albums. One could load an Audio CD into a portable CD player and enjoy listening to favorite music on the go, which was something totally unthinkable with vinyl LPs. As an alternative to portable CD players, compact cassette portable players were available, but in general they could not offer the kind of quality available on Audio CD and suffered from certain flaws.
A typical factory-made Audio CD includes an inlay or a booklet containing information about all audio tracks of the CD. To learn which song is currently playing, you can check the track number being displayed by your CD player, then take the CD box and find the song with this number in the track list.
This was a logical thing to do back in 1970s, when the Red Book standard was conceived. Thus the original Audio CD standard did not provide for any descriptive information stored on the CD.
But then personal computers became more and more popular, with their CD-ROM devices capable of reading both data CDs and Audio CDs. Computer users could easily see the difference between data CDs, where all files had descriptive (more or less) names, and Audio CDs that all looked the same: Track01, Track02, etc. While looking up songs in the track list printed on the CD box cover was still possible, one could clearly see a better way.
In 1996, an extension of the Red Book standard was released. Now an Audio CD could contain some information about the music album and its tracks, including track titles, performer, genre, etc. This extension was called CD Text (also CD-Text).
The original Audio CD format specifications were not altered by the extension, so older CD players were able to play CDs containing CD-Text.
Thus a CD player capable of reading CD Text can display title and artist information for each song, reading it directly from the CD. This is especially helpful for car radio but also used on computers and some other devices that work with Audio CD. Windows Media Player can read CD Text, if a special plugin is installed. Most third-party software players support CD Text out of the box.
You can create your own custom Audio CD with CD Text using Audio CD Burner Studio. This will allow displaying proper track titles and artist names instead of something like "track01" in your car and on other devices that support CD Text.
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