What is the difference between Software and Hardware decoding for CD+G?
Hardware decoding means that the drive itself has a chip inside of it that can error correct the CD+G data. In 2006, only Plextor drives have hardware decode, and not all of their drives have it. This list have hardware decoding: http://www.mtu.com/kb/index.php?action=kb&article=16
This lIst of Plextor drives do NOT have Hardware decoding: http://www.mtu.com/kb/index.php?action=kb&article=12
Software Decoding means that the drive sends the data from the CD to our program in Raw format. The software then must decode (error correct) the CD+G graphics and audio. All optical drives can provide audio, but not all can provide the graphics. Also if the drive does work to give you the graphics you might get alot of broken or splotchy graphics due to the error correction. Software error correction only fixes some errors that are fixed by Hardware decoding. Thus, Plextor drives that have Hardware decoding always give the best imported tracks with fewer graphic errors.