In this post I will give you some insight on what DDP files are and why you are going to need them. I will make it as simple as possible but still give you the information you need to know!
DDP, stands for Disc Description Protocol (developed by DCA, Inc.). This is what the replication facilities need in order to create the CD glass master, from which all the copies are made with.
It is becoming the mandatory delivery method for many replication companies and record labels.
The DDP is a complete description of the content of optical discs. In simple words, it specifies the data of your CD (or DVD). It contains the audio image, CD text information, the sequence, the timing and transmissions, and more...
It is extremely important that these data is accurate. If the data contains any errors, which is quite common, every copy of the CD will also contain errors. Sometimes this errors are tiny and almost undetectable to our ears, sometimes it can be as serious as part of a track missing!!
With DDP the master can be replicated without transmission error. DDP files have a built in error detection, called checksum, that identifies discrepancies between the original DDP and the files transmitted to the pressing plant. In addition to this the DDP files can be verified. The verification is effective for one time shipment only. This means that if the mastering engineer creates a verified DDP, the files need to go directly to the replication company. Only this way the file is 100% accurate.
DDP’s are only needed for creating CDs. If you are distributing your music digitally you won’t need it!