The Difference Between ISO & Sonic Global-Image

by Steve Johnson

ISO and Sonic Global-Image (GI) are two computer file types related to disk images or a file that contains information copied from a compact disc or digital video disc. In a way, both files can be likened to a photocopy of a document, where the photocopied file contains all the information from the original document. Although both types perform the same functions, ISO and GI have several differences.

ISO Definition

An International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, image file is an archived compilation of a CD, DVD or any other disc format. The file type is named ".iso" in accordance to ISO's standard file system for the CD-ROM. ISO files can be easily burned into a new CD or DVD by using a CD writer and a software application that can burn information into a CD. ISO file formats are one of the most common disc image file formats.

GI Definition

The Sonic GI file is not used as often as the ISO file format, although both formats serve the same purpose. GI files also contain all the information contained on a whole CD or DVD; a person needs to burn the image into a real disc or mount it into a virtual drive to use the information it contains. Also, the Sonic GI file is a more specific file format used by the software application "Sonic RecordNow!".


ISO files are more commonly used than GI files, according to The ISO file format is also used by more software applications when compared to the GI file format. Almost every type of software application designed to copy disc images uses the ISO format. There is only a limited number of applications that can read and create the GI format.


Even though designed to copy files from a CD, both file formats cannot copy audio CDs. Audio CDs have a different type of information when compared with CDs containing digital files; it uses tracks instead of files. To burn or copy an audio CD, a user can choose the DDP file format, as well as the .bin or .cue format.

About the Author

Steve Johnson is an avid and passionate writer with more than five years of experience. He's written for several industries, including health, dating and Internet marketing, as well as for various websites. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas.

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