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The GEARWorks optical disc engine is the world’s leading CD and DVD authoring, reading and recording SDK for Windows, Mac and UNIX/Linux.

GEARWorks SDK is licensed by many of the world's leading technology companies, and has been integrated in a variety of software products ranging from popular music download services to solutions for medical imaging, data storage, video authoring, and audio recording. "GEAR-powered products," i.e. software products that includes the GEARWorks SDK, are installed on more than 175 million computer systems worldwide.

Considered by many developers to be the premiere code library for CD and DVD recording, GEARWorks SDK has been under constant development and refinement since 1987. GEAR's depth of experience as both an optical recording software developer and a provider of developer tools will translate into several benefits for you, the software designer:

  • Software applications that use GEARWorks have been installed on virtually every imaginable configuration of hardware and operating system; the field testing has been done for you
  • GEAR specializes in optical disc technology so you don't have to; you get expert and experienced help from GEAR when you need it so you don't waste time dealing with "corner cases"
  • Your product stays current with optical recording technology; you are always out front with new technology in your application
  • Elegantly designed software modules which your application calls to perform CD and DVD related tasks makes programming powerful capabilities into your software a simple task
  • GEARWorks provides feedback to your application when you need it; your application software provides the user interface, GEARWorks does the work

In addition to GEAR's extensive code library, GEARWorks licensees are provided with a wealth of development help and support options from GEAR. GEAR hosts a developer support website which contains download links, documentation, driver files and driver installation merge modules. The site also has a Knowledge Base and sample code to help guide your use of GEARWorks. Every customer has direct access to committed support staff with thousands of man-hours of GEARWorks development experience.

The GEARWorks SDK provides high-level functionality to your applications, allowing them to format data using optical storage standards such as CD Digital Audio, CD-ROM, Video-CD, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and DDP. It's powerful set of functions allow you to seamlessly integrate the authoring, reading, and recording capabilities that you desire for your application. GEARWorks gives you the option to record the formatted data to a number of different storage types including CD, DVD, Blu-ray, Iomega REV® and DLT. It also gives you the capability to make use of optical jukeboxes for automated recording as well as the option to create ISO image files on your hard drive.

GEARWorks provides all this functionality as a set of easy to use "C" functions. GEARWorks recording engine automatically configures itself to support all MMC compatible CD, DVD and Blu-Ray recorders. It also provides functions to mount data discs, rip audio tracks and duplicate discs with 100% accuracy.

GEARWorks licensees are provided with extensive documentation, numerous code samples and GEAR's experienced SDK support staff – enough world-class assistance to have your application creating discs in no time.

What can GEARWorks do for you and your application? Here are some examples:

  • You can use GEARWorks with most major software programming environments
  • It supports every CD, DVD and Blu-ray drive available with any I/O interface including PATA, SATA, SCSI, USB and IEEE1394
  • The GEARWorks engine is multi-threaded for enhanced performance
  • The SDK's set of multi-threaded functions can interrupt a process to provide status or to abort a function
  • GEARWorks provides you feedback on each step of the recording process and accurately indicates progress status when recording
  • Each new GEARWorks release is backward-compatible
  • All recording device features are accessible and controllable through GEARWorks, including subcode flags and channels on CDs for support of functions like CD-text, UPCEAN and ISRC information, and reading control data on DVDs
  • It allows you to create DDP images from scratch or from existing discs
  • GEARWorks enables your application to write data even while a disc format is in progress
  • The GEAR engine enables your application to discover and control read and write speed settings for Blu-ray, CD and DVD media
  • GEARWorks provides you with the highest level of fault-tolerance, as well as complete read and compare verification (at the data level) of recorded content
  • GEAR lets you configure your read and write buffers
  • It supports all drive buffer under run protection technologies
  • Provides high-level mastering capabilities including conversion of CD/DVD to DDP, and DDP to CD/DVD
  • You can create CD-ROM and DVD-ROM titles using virtual images, no need to cache the files
  • Record from memory to allow recording DRM protected content
  • Create titles by importing DVD-Video and /or DVD-Audio data files
  • Stream MPEG video to disc to record live data streams
  • Create fully compliant Video-CD and DVD-Video titles using GEARWorks-provided template or one that you customize
  • GEARWorks supports Exabyte and DLT and several jukebox/media changer devices
  • GEAR has developed sophisticated auto-detection systems which enable your software to locate drives and learn the drive's capabilities
    For example, your software or system can show the user all connected optical drives, determine whether media is present, indicate the media is recordable or erasable, whether erasable media is formatted, and what reading and recording speeds are available for each media type
  • Format and erase media
  • GEARWorks creates the disc file system with total accuracy to ISO, UDF, and all disc format specifications
  • Create DVD video discs with graphical or text title and chapter menus
  • API's UI functions can use one of the following languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Spanish or Swedish
  • GEARWorks SDK is also the world's most portable disc engine, supporting all of the leading operating system environments for PCs, Midrange / Open Systems, and embedded devices. GEAR's code library is available for immediate implementation on Windows, Mac OSX, UNIX, and Linux platforms on a wide variety of hardware platforms
  • GEAR provides custom libraries for implementation on any embedded OS and processor platform

Licensing GEARWorks also means having GEAR's highly experienced engineers helping you over the phone, through private web discussion forums, by e-mail, instant messaging, video conference, or as required - in person at your location or ours. Each GEARWorks licensee is given the support necessary to assist with implementation and debugging of CD and DVD functionality. And regular updates of GEARWorks are provided as part of every license agreement.GEARWorks Licensees receive the following:

  • GEARWorks Dynamic Link Library
  • Library file, to be linked in your own application
  • GEARWorks Module Libraries - Dynamic Link Libraries
  • GEAR license file containing the customer license for the allowed modules and features
  • Configuration files for older drive/recorder configuration settings
  • Jukebox configuration settings (optional)
  • Sample applications in "C" and Visual Basic
  • GEAR merge modules which enable you to install the GEARAspi driver set which is used by GEARWorks to communicate with recording devices
  • GEARWorks Technical Specification (Developer's User Manual) and other user documentation
  • Access to GEAR's Developer web pages
  • Technical Support from GEAR's expert staff

To see why GEAR's time-tested technology is so popular with world-class software developers, we welcome you to evaluate the GEARWorks SDK.

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Who uses GEARWorks?

View our list of partners

GEARWorks Engine Components include:


Complete CD Audio playback, ripping, and recording functionality.


Accurate ISO, UDF, or ISO/UDF CD and DVD-ROM formatting.


VCD, SVCD, and DVD-Video authoring, menu and navigation, multiplexing, and recording.


Control of jukeboxes and multiple drives in parallel. Import and export of physical images, such as ISO images.


Write CD or DVD titles as an industry-standard DDP image to hard disk or to DLT.