This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
This section is for people who really want to know what's going on inside.
You absolutely do not need to understand any of this to successfully record
a CD. You will come away with a greater appreciation for CD players,
and also may better understand how some forms of copy protection function.
The sections are written from the perspective of reading a disc. Generally
speaking, the process is simply reversed when writing.
I tried to find a balance between not presenting enough information and
presenting too much detail. My hope is that, when you are done reading
this, you will have a broad understanding of how a CD player turns a lumpy
piece of plastic into music, and will know exactly where to look if you
need further details. If you want the kind of detail found in a textbook,
there are some good ones listed in section (2-43-6).