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RDS (Radio Data System): A technology used in select FM tuners. RDS radios display the call letters and program format of stations equipped with RDS transmitters, which broadcast this and other information -- such as song titles and artist names -- as an inaudible datastream. RDS radios also let consumers search for RDS stations by program format. In car radios, the technology automatically interrupts cassette or CD playback when an emergency message is broadcast by an RDS station.

HDCD (High Definition Compatible Digital): An encode-decode technology said to squeeze 20-bit resolution out of the 16-bit CD format. To hear the full benefits, consumers must buy an HDCD-equipped CD player and play any one of the more than 2,000 HDCD-encoded CDs that were available in stores at the end of 1998. HDCD discs can be played in standard CD players, but the improvements won't be as audible.

CD-R (CD-Recordable): Recordable CD technology that allows consumers to record onto a blank disc only once. CD-R discs can be played back in any audio CD player. Unlike data CD-R discs, these discs are compatible with the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS), which is standard in consumer digital recorders, to prevent users from making digital copies of a digital copy.

CD-RW (CD-ReWritable): Recordable CD technology that allows consumers to record onto a disc many times over. Whereas CD-R music discs can be played back on any existing CD player, CD-RWs can be played back only on select CD players whose lasers are powerful enough to be reflected off a CD-RW disc's less-reflective surface. Unlike data CD-RW discs, these discs are compatible with the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS), which is standard in consumer digital recorders, to prevent users from making digital copies of a digital copy.

Many new DVD-Video players are being engineered to play back CD-R and CD-RW discs.

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