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Best of

"Best of" CDs are compilations of a single artist's best-known and/or bestselling songs.

Box Set

Box sets are collections of more than one CD, often packaged in something other than a standard jewel case. The typical box set is an artist or theme anthology. The quality of a box set is usually judged by the inclusion of rare and unreleased material, biographical information, photos, and video footage.

Cast Recording

Cast recordings consist of music--including all the songs of a show as well as important instrumental portions, such as the overture--recorded in studio conditions with the cast of a particular theatrical production. Original cast recordings document the performers of the work's first production.


Compact discs, or CDs, are the standard format for hard copies of recorded music.

CD Single

CD singles are standard CDs that contain only a few songs. Typically, but not always, CD singles include the album version of a song plus remixes of that same song. CD singles may also contain songs not included on the album. These songs are often referred to as B-sides.


"Clean" versions of albums have had most or all of the explicit and potentially offensive language (such a references to sex, violence, or substance abuse) removed.

Collector's Edition

Like limited edition and special edition CDs, collector's editions tend to be available in limited quantities and often include items such as bonus tracks, video footage, and extensive liner notes.


Compilations are albums organized along a particular theme, usually containing songs by various artists.


“Complete” recordings, most often found in the classical genre, are comprehensive sets that comprise such things as operas in their entirety or every symphony written by a particular composer.

Copy-Protected CD

This product limits your ability to make multiple digital copies of its content, and you will not be able to play this disc or make copies onto devices not listed as compatible. Copy-protected CDs should allow limited burning, as well as ripping into secure Windows Media Audio formats for playback with compatible media players and portable devices. In rare cases, these CDs may not be compatible with computer CD-ROM players, DVD players, game consoles, or car CD stereos, and often are not transferable to other formats like MP3.


Cutouts are bargain-priced CDs that may have a cut or hole punched through the packaging. The CDs are new, have never been played, and are covered by our standard return policy.

Deluxe Edition

Deluxe editions are typically reissues of historically important albums. They often contain bonus material in the form of extra recordings or video footage. Extensive liner notes are often included.

DTS Stereo

DTS Surround Sound discs feature original recordings remixed into 5.1-channel surround sound. A compatible player incorporating a DTS decoder is required for playback.


Unlike regular CDs, DualDiscs are double-sided. One side contains standard CD audio; the other features DVD content, often including the album in higher-fidelity stereo or a 5.1-channel surround sound mix; lyrics, photos, and computer files; music videos, interviews, and documentaries; and anything else one might find on a regular DVD. Though DualDiscs are slightly thicker than ordinary discs, the DVD side should play in all DVD players, and the CD side should play in all CD players.


DVD-Audio discs can hold up to seven times the data of a normal CD, which results in added features and better sound. Read more about DVD-Audio.


Enhanced CDs are music CDs to which data tracks have been added. Designed to be read by the CD- or DVD-ROM drive in your computer, these tracks often include music videos, photos, liner notes, Web features, and other such content. The music portion of enhanced CDs should play in all CD and DVD players.

Explicit Lyrics

The "Explicit Lyrics" tag is equivalent to the "Parental Advisory" slug that appears on the cover of certain CDs. The label generally denotes the presence of strong language or depictions of sex, violence, or substance abuse.

Extended Play

Extended-play discs (EPs) are CDs with a total playing time greater than that of a single but less than that of a full CD.

Extra Tracks

Extra tracks are bonus songs not included on the standard CD release.

Gold CD

In place of the aluminum commonly used as the reflective coating on regular CDs, gold is sometimes used, which coats more evenly and reacts with oxygen slower, providing greater longevity. The higher fidelity associated with gold CDs is actually a result of the remastering process and not of the gold coating itself. Gold CDs can be played in any CD player.

Hybrid SACD

The SACD layer of hybrid SACDs offers much higher fidelity than regular compact discs, containing up to four times the musical information. Hybrid SACDs are designed for CD-quality playback on conventional systems, including home and car stereos, portable CD players, computer CD- and DVD-ROM drives, and DVD players.


Imports are CDs that are not produced or distributed domestically but have to be purchased from a foreign source or label distributor.


Karaoke is the popular form of entertainment in which amateur singers attempt impromptu covers of well-known songs to the accompaniment of recordings that have the vocal track missing or turned down. Some karaoke releases are in the CD+Graphics/CD+G format, which means that, in addition to featuring audio content, they can be hooked up to specially equipped TVs, karaoke machines, or even PCs to display graphics with lyric prompts.

Limited Edition

Like collector's edition and special edition CDs, limited editions tend to be available in limited quantities and often include items such as bonus tracks, video footage, and extensive liner notes.


Live CDs document musical performances in concert or, indeed, any context before a live audience. However, even a live release might involve some studio manipulation.

Original Recording Remastered

Remastered recordings are typically older recordings on which the sound quality has been altered or enhanced. Remastered sound is often bigger and fuller than that on the original release. Discs can also be remastered to play new formats, such as SACD.


Reissued CDs are usually albums that were discontinued by a recording company and then subsequently re-released to the public. Reissued CDs are often remastered, and sometimes include bonus tracks not available on the original release.


Remix CDs feature multiple mixes of the same recording, usually incorporating elements of electronica, hip-hop, or dance music.


SACDs, or Super Audio CDs, offer much higher fidelity than regular compact discs, containing up to four times the musical information. SACDs will not play in traditional CD players, but SACD players are able to play both SACDs and CDs.


Soundtracks are CD releases of the music related to a particular film, television show, video game, or other media product. Typically, soundtracks involve a compilation of songs used in the film or show, whether recorded for that specific purpose or drawn from previously released albums.

Special Edition

Like limited edition and collector's edition CDs, special editions tend to be available in limited quantities and often include items such as bonus tracks, video footage, and extensive liner notes.