In Australia, we're beginning to see DVDplus discs that can hold a full-length audio album on the red-coded CD side while the blue-coded DVD side can provide up to two hours of video.
And it's not just CD-audio and DVD-video. They can also contain DVD-audio, CD-ROM and other formats, even high-definition Blu-ray in the future.
The new limited-edition "Digipack" of Double Happiness by Jimmy Barnes has ignited local interest in the format. On the CD side are 12 duets, and on the DVD side is a 37-minute documentary, The Making of Double Happiness.
DVDplus discs are similar to DualDiscs in the US. In fact, they derive from the same patent but have slightly different specifications.
Dieter Dierks is the global patent holder for hybrid dual-disks, whether they be CD/DVD or CD/Blu-ray. He, Warner Music Group and Aussie Stephen Millard - the former senior director of marketing of Sony Music Australia's Epic Music Group - all had the same idea at the same time.
"Dierks ended up buying all of Warner's patents because they could not get the (DualDisc) to function."
And that's where hybrid discs got a bad name. The DualDisc's audio layer is similar to a CD's but doesn't follow the Red Book CD specifications. Because of this, some CD players are not able to play the CD side. In fact, at one point Philips and Sony refused to allow DualDisc titles to carry the CD logo.