| ||Definition:|| ||CD-XA is a CD-ROM extension being designed to support digital audio and still images.
Announced in August 1988 by Microsoft, Philips, and Sony, the CD-ROM XA (for Extended Architecture) format incorporates audio from the CD-I format. It is consistent with ISO 9660, (the volume and the structure of CD-ROM), is an application extension of the Yellow Book, and draws on the Green Book.
CD-XA defines another way of formatting sectors on a CD-ROM, including headers in the sectors that describe the type (audio, video, data) and some additional info (markers, resolution in case of a video or audio sector, file numbers, etc).
The data written on a CD-XA can still be in ISO9660 file system format and therefore be readable by MSCDEX and Unix CD-ROM file system translators. A CD-I player can also read CD-XA discs even if its own `Green Book' file system only resembles ISO9660 and isn't fully compatible. However, when a disc is inserted in a CD-I player, the player tries to load an executable application from the CD-XA, normally some 68000 application in the /CDI directory. Its name is stored in the disc's primary volume descriptor. CD-XA bridge discs, like Kodak's Photo CDs, do have such an application, ordinary CD-XA discs don't.
A CD-DA drive is a CD-ROM drive but with some of the compressed audio capabilities found in a CD-I player (called ADPCM). This allows interleaving of audio and other data so that an XA drive can play audio and display pictures (or other things) simultaneously. There is special hardware in an XA drive controller to handle the audio playback. This format came from a desire to inject some of the features of CD-I back into the professional market.|