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Media typeOptical disc
CapacityTypically up to 800 MB (up to 80 minutes audio)
Read mechanism780 nm wavelength semiconductor laser
StandardRed Book
Developed byPhilips & Sony
UsageAudio, image, and data storage
Extended fromCD-DA
Extended toCD+EG

CD+G (also known as CD-G, CD+Graphics and TV-Graphics[1]) is an extension of the compact disc standard that can present low-resolution graphics alongside the audio data on the disc when played on a compatible device. CD+G discs are often used for karaoke machines, which use this functionality to present on-screen lyrics for the song contained on the disc. The CD+G specifications were published by Philips and Sony in an updated revision of the Red Book specifications.[2][1]

The first CD to be released with CD+G graphics was Eat or Be Eaten by Firesign Theatre in 1985.[3] The CD+EG is a similar format that allows for better graphics, but has very rarely been implemented in releases.[2]


The CD+G format takes advantage of the Compact Disc subcode channels R through W, which are unused in standard audio CD formats. These six bits store graphics information.[2]

In the CD+G system, 16-color (4-bit) raster graphics are displayed on a field which is 300×216 pixels in size, of which only the central 288×192 area is used with a flat-coloured border (6 pixels wide, 12 lines high) drawn around it.


Compact Disc Extended Graphics logo

Compact Disc + Extended Graphics (CD+EG, also known as CD+XG and Extended TV-Graphics[4]) is an improved variant of the Compact Disc + Graphics (CD+G) format. Like CD+G, CD+EG utilizes basic audio CD features to display text and video information in addition to the music being played. This extra data is stored in the subcode channels R-W. Very few, if any, CD+EG discs have been published.[2]

  • 288 pixels per line
  • 192 lines
  • up to 256 colors


Along with dedicated karaoke machines, other consumer devices that play CD+G format CDs include the NEC TurboGrafx-CD (a CD-ROM peripheral for the TurboGrafx-16) and Turbo Duo, the Philips CD-i, the Sega CD, Sega Saturn, the JVC X'Eye, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, the Amiga CD32 and Commodore CDTV, and the Atari Jaguar CD (an attachment for the Atari Jaguar). Some CD-ROM drives can also read this data. Pioneer's LaserActive player can also play CD+G discs, as long as either the PAC-S1/S-10 or PAC-N1/N10 game modules are installed.

Since 2003, some standalone DVD players have supported the CD+G format. Regular audio CD players will output only the audio tracks as if it was a normal music CD, unless otherwise designed to read the extra data (lyrics and images).[5]

CD+G karaoke albums are still made today by several UK and US manufacturers including Sunfly, Zoom Entertainments, SBI Karaoke and Vocal Star. Although the popularity of CD sales are dwindling the format is still widely used as MP3+G downloads.

Notable releases[edit]

Although CD+G found its market in karaoke entertainment, some music labels were keen to experiment with the format and a number of albums were released which featured graphic images, animations and text. These special edition CD+G releases are now very rare and have become collectible items as a result. Some albums released include:

Alphaville - The Breathtaking Blue

Anita Baker - Rapture

Chris Isaak - Silvertone

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Live It Up

Donna Summer - Another Place and Time

Fleetwood Mac - Behind the Mask

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Smash Hits

Little Feat - Representing the Mambo

Lou Reed - New York

Simply Red - Picture Book

Talking Heads - Naked

Information Society - Information Society

Daiichi Kosho is a former karaoke music manufacturer and their high quality edit-a-vision range of 99 CD+Gs are still highly sought after by karaoke presenters today.

See also[edit]

CD+G karaoke CDs are often ripped onto computer hard drives as MP3+G, with the audio encoded in the standard audio format, MP3, and the graphics encoded in a RAW format. These can then be played on computers using VLC media player, Karafun, or professionally by DJs and karaoke presenters using software such as Karma or Atomix Virtual DJ often in conjunction with a DJ controller manufactured by Pioneer, Denon, Roland or Numark


  1. ^ a b Approved Compact Disc Logo configurations
  2. ^ a b c d CD+G revealed - The HTML version of the no longer available cdg_revealed.txt file
  3. ^ Brewer, Bryan; Key, Edd (1987). The Compact Disc Book. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 96.
  4. ^ Approved Compact Disc Logo configurations
  5. ^ "Will CDG play on my CD player, computer or DVD player?". All Star Karaoke. Retrieved 23 June 2020.

External links[edit]