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Chapter 5. Optical Tricks: Upgrading CD ... > Understanding Optical Storage

Understanding Optical Storage

CDs and DVDs are both optical storage media. That means they store data optically instead of magnetically, like hard drives do. In an optical system, data is etched into the tracks of a disc in the form of tiny pits. A laser beam is used to “read” the pits; this information, in the form of digital 1s and 0s, is then translated into digital files (for computer use), audio files (for music), or audio/video files (for movies).

Figure 5.1 shows how an optical storage system works.


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