Monday, November 05, 2007


CD-ROM (an abbreviation of "Compact Disc read-only memory") is a Compact Disc that contains information accessible by a computer. While the Compact Disc format was formerly designed for music storage and playback, the format was later adapted to hold any form of binary data. CD-ROMs are commonly used to distribute computer software, including games and multimedia applications, though any data can be stored (up to the capacity limit of a disc). Some CDs seize both computer data and audio with the latter capable of being played on a CD player, whilst data (such as software or digital video) is only usable on a computer. These are called Enhanced CDs.

Although many people use lowercase letters in this acronym, proper appearance is in all capital letters with a hyphen between CD and ROM. It was also suggested by some, specially soon after the technology was first released, that CD-ROM was an acronym for "Compact Disc read-only-media", or that it was a more 'correct' definition. This was not the purpose of the original team who developed the CD-ROM, and common acceptance of the 'memory' definition is now almost universal. This is probably in no small part due to the prevalent use of other 'ROM' acronyms such as Flash-ROMs and EEPROMs where 'memory' is the correct term.

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