The Null Device

Windows XP's new album

Fact 1: If you write a CD-RW in packet mode (i.e., if you set it up so that you can write files to it one at a time, rather than burn disc images to it), it is formatted as one long track, and data is somehow written into the middle of this track. Which means that if you put it into a CD player or other device, it sees a disc with one data track of 74 or so minutes' length.

Fact 2: computer-based CD playing/ripping software recognises track titles by matching a profile of track lengths against a large database of titles, artists and track listings. This occasionally comes up with collisions, especially for singles or 1-track CDs. Which can be briefly amusing when it mistakes your favourite band's latest single for a European boy band or a rap-metal action-movie tie-in from 5 years ago or something odd like that.

Conclusion: When it looks at FreeDB, Grip recognises a formatted Verbatim CDRW as "Mi maletn", by the well-known artist "Windows XP".

Oddly enough, one can imagine that in a decade or two's time, there may well be a European retro-pop band named Windows XP. Whether their albums clock in at one 74-minute track is another question altogether.

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