This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
There is absolutely nothing special about the audio data encoded on a CD.
The only difference between a "raw" 44.1KHz 16-bit stereo WAV file and CD
audio is the byte ordering.
It isn't necessary to convert a WAV or AIFF file to a special format to
write to a CD, unless you're using a format that your recording software
doesn't recognize. For example, some software won't record from MP3 files,
or from WAV files that aren't at the correct sampling rate. Similarly,
you don't have to do anything special to audio extracted from a CD.
It's already in a format that just about anything can understand.
Just put your audio into the correct format -- uncompressed 44.1KHz, 16-bit,
stereo, PCM -- and the software you use to write CDs will do the rest.
All of the fancy error correction and track indexing stuff happens at a
Don't get confused by programs (such as Win95 Explorer) that show ".CDA"
files. This is just a convenient way to display the audio tracks, not
a file format unto itself. See section (2-36).