Burning CUE/BIN images

last updated: 20-Dec-2002 | introduction | cdrdao | cdrwin | fireburner | conclusions | back to index

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VCDImager takes doesn't by itself record VCDs.  Rather, it authors the source content into an image of a VCD on your hard disc.  To create the physical disc, this image must be burnt onto recordable CD media (CD-R or CD-RW).  The image format used by VCDImager is the CUE/BIN type.  This format allows the greatest compatibility across all platforms.  It was original created by the Golden Hawk company.

Under Windows, there are at least three programs that can be used to correctly burn CUE/BIN images:

  2. CDRWin
  3. Fireburner

Of the three, I highly recommend CDRDAO, which is open source.  CDRDAO is also available on many other platforms (e.g., Linux).  Both CDRWin and Fireburner are commercial software

WARNING: Do not use the program "Nero Burning Rom" to burn CUE/BIN images.  This program does not correctly burn this image type properly and the subsequent disc will most likely not work as intended.  Read more on this here: http://www.hvrlab.org./~hvr/vcdimager/nero_bug.html.

Addendum (4-Sept-2002): The newest versions of "Nero Burning Rom" have improved their CUE/BIN burning capabilities and seems to work OKAY with most burners (though some people still report problems).  I am unsure exactly from which version onwards (?? v5.5.8.5), but in the newer versions, when CD Image burning is selected, one of the options will be specifically for the CUE/BIN type and you will get to choose the CUE file (the cuesheet).



CDRDAO is an open source CD-R/W burning program.

Its project page is here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdrdao/
For Win32 users, the specific file to download is here: cdrdao-1.1.5.bin.x86.win32.zip

WinZip or a similar program will be required to decompress it.

CDRDAO itself is a command line program and many people may be understandably uncomfortable with using it.  There is an excellent Win32 GUI for CDRDAO named XDuplicator.   This can be downloaded here: http://users.forthnet.gr/ath/axatis/XDuplicator/

Addendum (4-Sep-2002, 20-Dec-2002): VCDEasy now also contains a GUI for CDRDAO and so can function as a reasonably good CUE/BIN image burner as well.  One of the common issues that seem to occur with CDRDAO functioning properly under Win32 is the absence of an adequate ASPI layer.  This can easily be addressed by download and installing ForceASPI from http://www.doom9.org (highly recommended!)  After installing the drivers with ForceASPI, REBOOT immediately.

XDuplicator should be installed in the same folder as CDRDAO.

To burn the CUE/BIN image, load XDuplicator.  Some settings may need to be changed under the "Settings" tag.

  1. Click on the Write tag
  2. Click on Open
  3. Navigate to the CUE file and open it by double-clicking
  4. Insert the recordable media into the CD recorder and click on Go!

Using CDRDAO with XDuplicator



CDRWin is a commercial CD recording and authoring program.   It is developed by Golden Hawk Technology.  A limited demo version is available for download at the commercial site here: http://www.goldenhawk.com/.

This version is limited to recording only at 1x.  CDRWin can be purchased over the internet at the website.

Install CDRWin and load it up.  Some settings may need to be changed first (click on the right most icon on the top row).

To burn a CUE/BIN image with CDRWin:

  1. Click on the left most icon on the top row
  2. Click on Load Cuesheet
  3. Navigate to the CUE file and open it by double-clicking
  4. The Start Recording button will now be selectable.  Insert the recordable CD disc into the drive and click on the button to burn.

burning2.png (33078 bytes)



Fireburner is a commercial CD burning program as well.   A demo is available for download here: http://www.fireburner.com/

Addendum (4-Sep-2002, 20-Dec-2002): it appears that Fireburner does not support the full range of cuesheet commands (specifically subindices).  This can be addressed by removing the subindices from the cuesheet (you can use the Subindices Remover function of VCDImager Tools GUI).  A better option, perhaps, is to simply use another program (e.g., CDRDAO or CDRWin or Nero Burning Rom).

Install Fireburner and load it up.

To burn a CUE/BIN image:

  1. Click on the left most option "Visual CUE Burner/Binchunker"
  2. Right mouse click the the empty white area and then select "Load Tracks from *.CUE"
  3. Navigate to the CUE file and select it.  Right mouse click on an empty area and select "Burn/Test Burn"
  4. Now select the relevant settings and click "OK"

Fireburner - Figure3a
Fireburner - Figure3c
Fireburner - Figure3b



The CUE/BIN format is one of the most widely supported image formats on all platforms, including Linux/Unix, MacOS and Windows.  Although many people don't seem to be aware of it, there are a multitude of programs under Win32 that can burn CUE/BIN images (including CDRDAO, CDRWin, the newer versions of Nero Burning Rom, BlindWrite, Fireburner, and others).

CDRDAO is highly recommended and I strongly suggest that you give it a try.  Not only is it open source freeware, it works extremely well.  It should work with most if not all newer internal IDE CD-RW drives (as long as you have a fully functioning ASPI layer).  It does not work with external drives, however.  If you have such a drive, CDRWin or Nero Burning Rom (the newer versions only!) or BlindWrite is recommended.

The VCDEasy website also features a guide with a number of ingenious methods of burning a CUE/BIN if your have a particularly tricky combination of software + hardware (e.g., mounting the CUE/BIN image with daemon-tools and using CloneCD gives excellent results).


Michael Tam <vitualis (at) michaeltam.com>
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(c) 20 December, 2002