Virtual CD images are written and stored in a proprietary Virtual CD format which can be used only with the Virtual CD program. This may be seen as restrictive, but these files also offer a number of advantages. Images can divided into several files, which is necessary when creating DVD or Blu-ray images on hard disks with FAT32 formatting. It supports storage of special data as well as the encryption and compression of images. The Virtual CD format offers a number of other advantages as well, but the images are not portable, in the sense that the Virtual CD program is prerequisite for their use.
Virtual CD images have the following characteristics:
|•||The image file format is compatible with the Virtual CD program.|
|•||Image files can be separated or stored in a block.|
|•||Additional information can be stored with the image; such as sub-channel data, CD geometry, etc.|
|•||Images can be compressed and encrypted.|
|•||Blank images can be created for use with any program that can write on optical media.|
The following files can be stored along with a Virtual CD image:
|•||<filename>.vcN: Control file for the virtual CD. The "N" shown here stands for a number indicating the earliest Virtual CD version that can run the image. For example, <filename>.vc6 can be used with Virtual CD v6 or later, regardless of which version was used to create it.|
|•||<filename>.000: Image data. How many of these files are included in the images depends on the settings active when the image was created and the user data contained (examples: <filename>.001; <filename>.010).|
|•||<filename>.ICO: Icon file; defines the icon shown for the image in the CD Control Center.|
|•||< filename>.VBL: Log file containing information generated during creation of the virtual CD.|
Icon files and log files are not required parts of an image. They are created by Virtual CD as needed. Virtual CD images are considerably more flexible in use than ISO images, but they do require installation of the Virtual CD program on the computer before they can be used at all.
There is an option available for using virtual CDs without a complete Virtual CD installation. This is called Smart Virtual CD technology, and is explained in detail elsewhere in this manual.