AfterDawn: Glossary

Jitter

Jitter comes in many forms, but the one common factor between them is a failure to deliver data in a timely fashion for realtime decoding, such as CD or DVD playback. Jitter is perhaps most famously used to refer to dropouts in audio CDs when one or more samples are difficult for the CD drive or player to read and must be skipped. Jitter may also result in audio sync problems with DVD media as either audio or video samples are actually delivered to the appropriate decoder behind schedule.

Over the years, perhaps the biggest flaw that has surfaced in CD-DA (CD Digital Audio or audio CD) technology is its lack of a standard computer file system. While later developments introduced a variety of different file systems, culminating in the adoption of ISO 9660 and later UDF as standards, audio CDs lack the file system level error correction such a file system provides, making jitter more obvious.

Jitter Correction


Although there are a number of different ways to correct jitter during playback or burning, perhaps the most effective method is simply reading and writing at slower speeds. In many cases jitter is caused by an excessive number of errors, which in turn is often caused by writing at too high a speed. By writing audio CDs at no more than 16X you can generally avoid the problem entirely. For blank DVDs its less clear what the maximum speed to eliminate jitter issues is.

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