This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
The name of a CD-ROM is determined by the CD-ROM volume label. This
determines how the disc shows up on the Mac or Windows.
The ISO-9660 standard limits the characters in the volume name to the same
set of characters allowed in a filename, namely A-Z, 0-9, '.', and '_'.
Some programs enforce strict adherence to the standard, while others are
For example, if you wanted to create a disc with Nero that had a hyphen in
the volume name, you would go into the "file options" and change the
Character Set to "ASCII". Nero will then allow a broader range of
characters. Other programs may or may not have similar features.
Remember that standards are guidelines, not laws enforced by threat of
punishment. You are welcome to create discs that deviate from the standard
in any way you choose. The only price you will pay is that, if you stray
too far from the standard, your disc may not be readable by everyone. For
the specific case of a volume label, deviations are pretty harmless.