The CDWaveform project is a utility that will generate single or multiple overlaid waveform images from an audio CD or from a folder of ripped audio files. The purpose of the utility is to identify differences between different pressings or masterings of the same album.
To quickly illustrate the usefulness of the CD Waveform utility, two CDs of the same title but different pressing have been processed: Desert Moon by Dennis DeYoung. The first CD was manufactured in Japan, the other in the US.
The Japan-pressed CD displayed the following waveform.
The US-pressed CD displayed this waveform:
Merged together, the difference between them is obvious.
Using the CDWaveform utility, these differences can be identified and shared with others to make informed purchases. Using the CDWaveform utility on new personal purchases can identify if the new purchase differs from your existing copies.