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Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Star-Shaped Discs

October 1st, 2009 by Multimedia Mike

I purchased a Sony PlayStation 3 recently. I thoroughly read the accompanying manual on a train ride and a particular detail caught this optical media aficionado’s eye:

Sony PlayStation 3 manual -- disc shape notice

Wait… what? Star-shaped discs? Heart-shaped ones as well? Are those real? How would those even work? I know about 80 cm discs that fit in the smaller groove of a CD tray. I also know about the business card-shaped CD’s; I even have a few games that were published on such a form factor (for example). But a star has points. And a heart? How?

A brief bit of Googling for “star shaped disc” leads me directly to the Wikipedia article on shaped CDs, which happens to showcase a heart-shaped CD. But how would a star-shaped disc work? That (typically) has 5 points. Where would the circular track go, the one that holds data? I figure there could be sort of a fat star, a circle with 5 points. This turns out to be the correct idea as this disc manufacturing page indicates.


Check out the page and see the oddest shape– the house CD.

Posted in General | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Peter Says:

    Thankfully those star shape discs were not used in Dark Angel (

  2. Stubie Says:

    The Chemical Brothers “Star Guitar” was released on a star shaped CD (which I own),

    Also, I assume you were referring to 8cm (80mm) CDs. Could you imagine trying to carry around a CD walkman/discman designed to play 80cm discs? :-) (well, it’s hard to imagine even carrying around a CD walkman/discman at all these days)

  3. talen Says:

    Some years ago I had an audio CD with 6-7 Christmas songs, shaped and printed like Santa on his sledge :) :)

    (Not very) strangely, it actually didn’t work very well in some drives ….