Create an audio CD image on Mac

On Mac, it is easy to create a CD image using Disk Utility. On recent versions of Mac OS, however, it is disabled to create images of audio CDs—the function is grayed out in the menu when you insert an audio CD. In order still to create an image from an audio CD, there are a couple of ways on the command line.

1. hdiutil

hdiutil is the command line version of Disk Utility. Run the following command to create the CD image:

hdiutil create -srcdevice /dev/diskn -format UDTO image.iso

Replace n with the correct disk number, which can be found using diskutil:

diskutil list

2. dd

dd is a low-level file copy utility which is oblivious of the type or the content of file. As in Unix-based OS every device is a file, you can copy a “file” corresponding to a drive to a normal file:

dd if=/dev/diskn of=image.iso

You will need to unmount the drive before copying it:

sudo umount /dev/diskn


When creating an exact copy of a (data) CD/DVD using Disk Util, select the “device” instead of the “folder” within the device. And use DVD/CD-R master as the format.

By default, Mac assigns the file extension of .cdr, which is exchangeable with .iso.

If you want to create a cross-platform data CD image using hdiutil:

hdiutil makehybrid -iso -joliet -o image.iso /input/path


man pages, e.g., man hdiutil or

Create an audio CD image on Mac

2 thoughts on “Create an audio CD image on Mac

  1. Irl says:

    The hdiutil method worked perfectly for me. To then burn the image to CD, simply use
    hdiutil burn “/PathToImage”

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