In 2016 the standard, preferred method of sending a CD master is to provide a ‘DDPi image’ (Disc Description Protocol image). This format is designed to carry the content of optical discs which include CD. The DDP is a set of files and must contain five parts:

  • Audio image (.DAT file)
  • DDP Identifier (DDPID)
  • DDP Stream descriptor (DDPMS)
  • Subcode descriptor (PQDESCR)
  • A text file is also included which contains track titles and timings

These files can be stored on a hard drive or sent over the internet. Its a very robust format which has an in-built error checking system (MD5 checksum). This guarantees that the masters we deliver hasn’t been tampered with and will be identical as to what ends up on the replicated CD.

The total file size will be no bigger than around 750mb and can easily be sent via a file transfer service. So no shipping costs or delays waiting around for the postman. We provide a download link that can be used by yourself to send to your duplicator. The only download of the DDP format is that it can’t be played in a normal CD player.

However we provide a free PC/Mac software player which will load up the DDP file so you can play back your CD:


You can also check CD-Text, ISRC codes, gaps between songs etc.

All CD replication companies should accept the DDP format. If they don’t then I would certainly recommend you switch companies. This is a strong indication that they aren’t up to date or reputable.

If you require any further information about the DDP format or mastering then please get in contact.

All selected options do not lead to longer delivery time!