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In the original specification of the compact disc format (commonly known as the Red Book), the maximum play time of a CD is defined at 74 minutes. For CD-ROMs, this works out to be approximately 650 megabytes. This particular time was chosen, apparently, because it is just enough time to fit Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

However, it seems that some CD fabricators have found a way to get past this limit. There are a few known CD's that go past this. The ones I know about are: Peter Gabriel's Shaking the Tree comes in at 74:50, Dream Theater's last two albums: Falling into Infinity comes in at 78 minutes, and Scenes from a Memory comes in at 78 minutes 17 seconds. This is annoying for people trying to copy the CD's onto other media. However, there are now, for example, 80-minute minidiscs available.

Also, 80 minute cdrs are readily available. The problems with these discs are that you have to have good hardware to both read and write them. Good cd burners and walkmen should be fine but the cheaper discmans won't recognize them. This, on some of these discmen, apply to all burnt cds so its not like it really matters. On the burner side, however, even my crappy pre-DAO recording Mitsumi drive has a firmware upgrade that allows these terrible drives to burn 80 mins.

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