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T1. What does the Merry Christmas CD Extra offer?


This article is from the Mariah Carey FAQ, by Kade Hansson kade_fh@postoffice.utas.edu.au with numerous contributions by others.

T1. What does the Merry Christmas CD Extra offer?

ALBUM Title             Published       Tracks  UPC (Master)    Length
Merry Christmas [CDX]   Columbia 1995   10      CKR 66891 (DDD) 38:53

CD Extra (formerly called CD Plus) is a standard for multisession CDs
developed by a consortium including Sony and supported by Microsoft. The
Merry Christmas CD Extra disc currently contain two sessions. The main
session is the ten tracks that comprise Merry Christmas (US Version), and
this portion is playable on any standard CD player. This session complies
with the Red Book standard for audio CDs.

The interactive portion is available only on multisession drives. You should
check that your drive is multisession before you decide to invest in a CD
Extra. Most drives produced today are multisession devices.

Assuming that you have a compatible drive, you will also need baseline
hardware from either Apple or an IBM PC compatible running Windows. The
interactive program on the Merry Christmas CD requires a baseline processor
(at least 66MHz or 20MIPS), and a baseline video driver (supporting 800x600
at 256 colours), a reasonable sound system (at least 8 bit, 16 bit desirable)
and at least 8Mb of memory. Systems today should have no trouble meeting
these requirements.

Software to access the CD Extra is supplied on a separate standard Yellow
Book CD ROM, as are instructions to install it and test it. Once you have
installed this software, you can run the interactive program on the CD Extra.
If you have Microsoft Windows, you will need a CD Extra with a Windows
compatible interactive program. If you are using an Apple Macintosh, you will
need a Macintosh compatible CD Extra. On Windows 95, you will not need to use
the supplied driver software, as the operating system will automatically
recognise CD Extra discs.

The interactive program has many elements. Firstly, you have the option to
display the karaoke-style lyrics while playing the CD audio normally. Another
interactive portion allows the user to randomly access a discography of sound
samples from every track of every Mariah album, plus some video clips from
her full-length video releases.

A user-driven interview with Mariah shows a number of prerecorded video
interview clips where she answers questions about her feelings on Christmas
and the making of the album. The interview is set in a living room, and
Mariah is wearing one of her Christmas costumes, playing with the newest of
her dogs.

Two full-length video clips are also included, a mimed black and white
performance of All I Want For Christmas Is You, and a live performance of Joy
To The World. As well, an interactive photo album shows some holiday season
photographs of Mariah with some animation

The CD Extra does not appear to work on Windows NT. I would therefore say it
is unlikely to work on Windows 2000, which is based on the NT kernel. I have
not been able to test it with Windows 98 yet. These are the sort of
compatibility problems one must expect with multimedia releases that include
hard-wired platform-dependent software.


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