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April 3, 1987

Standardization and CD-ROM

Author Affiliations

Oregon Health Sciences University Portland

Oregon Health Sciences University Portland

JAMA. 1987;257(13):1731. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390130049022

To the Editor.—  I read with interest Dr Wertz'1 article on compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM). Although I share his enthusiasm for this promising storage technology, he did not address the current obstacles to its broad implementation. Specifically, his statement that "any disk can work with any player" is not currently accurate.The Philips/Sony World Standard for CD-ROM establishes the way that some operational data involved in controlling laser positioning and tracking are encoded. It also dictates the way in which data are broken up into logical units, and requires the use of a standard errorcorrection code. However, there are other issues of standardization that are not addressed in Dr Wertz' article. The structure, size, and location of files must be standardized before disks will be interchangeable between CD-ROM systems. In addition, operating system and application software is diverse and must be standardized before disks can be simply swapped