Recording CDs with Track-Marks

This page pertains to equipment that can send audio to a minidisc recorder, especially including trackmarks and gapless audio.

The general rule is that CD and DVD players with digital outputs can do this, but I'm taking it upon myself to document which ones are tested and/or documented to work.

I've been told before this is a fool's errand because the number of these things is very high, however I'm doing it because in my experience the number is not actually all that high, relative to the number of extant CD/DVD players, or even minidisc machines.

Plus, some things you'd think would work don't.

This page is only really about CD dubbing. Check the Minidisc Project/Info Hub page to see if I've had a chance to write down how to get trackmarks out of a computer-sourced recording.



SPDIF, the Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format, comes in two main flavors: Optical (also called TOSLINK), and Coax.

The two physical connectors can be converted back-and-forth between each other, so if you have a digital source with coax output, you can use a covnerter to get optical. The reverse is also true.

Coax digital audio is lamost always an RCA connector, often colored orange, labeled as Digital or Coax.

TOSLINK has two physical connectors, the larger square connector is common on set-top devices and very old devices. MINI TOSLINK is a 3.5mm minijack, often as a combination jack with an analog connection. The device will pick optical vs. analog automatically, but if  there are any other functions overloaded onto the same port (e.g. line vs. headphones or microphone) there may be another way to specify which type of analog connection. There are adapters to convert the big/square TOSLINK cables to mini TOSLINK cables, the most flexible option is to buy a cable that includes "big" connectors on both sides and includes two of the TOSLINK to minijack adapters, such as this one from Target.

Further Modding Note:

SPDIF or TOSLINK can often be added to other devices such as computer CDROM drives and lower end CD players. This page isn't about that, at least not yet.



The Sony PlayStation 2, 3, and 4 have digital optical output. The 2 is known to send track marks correctly, however it can only play pressed CDs.

The 3 and 4 may need to be tested, and their direct CD playback functionalities vs. built-in file players or streaming services may all work differently. Please hit me up if you have tested this.

Portable CD players:

Set-Top/Component CD-DVD players, and Bookshelf Stereos: