UDF and ISO are popular terms that are often used in the computer industry. Both of these are extensions and are associated with the storage of media files in the computer system. Thus, most people think of both these terms as synonymous with each other and try to use them interchangeably. However, this is not true and both UDF, as well as ISO, are different file formats and have different user requirements besides being used for different purposes.
UDF vs ISO
The main difference between UDF and ISO is that UDF stands for Univeral Disk Format and is a file storage system, which is used to store media files in the computer system. On the other hand, ISO stands for Optical Disk Image and contains all the files, which will be written onto an optical disk.
A UDF is a file extension that is assigned to the media and other files that are stored in a computer system. It was established by Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) as a better and more advanced technique than ISO. Practically, it replaced ISO and is now widely used with the latest versions of CD/DVD writing software. One of the major advantages of UDF is that it helps the users to delete, add or edit the files on an optical disk in the same way as a user will perform these operations in a normal file system.
An ISO is also a file extension and is commonly known as an optical disc image. Inside an ISO file, all the images represent a sectorial arrangement of the data, which is stored as a binary file. The ISO 9660 is one of the most popular versions of ISO, which was later on replaced by UDF. The ISO images are always uncompressed and are usually heavy with often their size running into a few GBs (gigabytes).
Comparison Table Between UDF and ISO
|Parameters of Comparison||UDF||ISO|
|Meaning||UDF stands for Universal Disk Format and is a popular file extension, which is used to stored media and other types of files in a computer system.||ISO stands for Optical Disk Image and contains all the files, which are needed to be written on an optical disk.|
|Manufacturer||UDF was manufactured by Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), which is an international trade organization that promotes, develops, and supervises optical technologies.||ISO was manufactured by Ecma International, which is an information and communication technology business firm.|
|Better technology||UDF is better than ISO and was later on replaced by it.||ISO is inferior in comparison to UDF and was replaced by the UDF|
|Popular Versions||ECMA-167, IEC 13346||ISO 9660|
|Year of Original Release||UDF was originally released in the year 1995||The first version of ISO was released in the year1988|
What is UDF?
UDF (Universal Disk Format) is a file storage system, which allows the files to be stored in a computer system. Its first version was released on 24th October 1995, which was known as Version 1.00. Subsequently, as the technology evolved this original release was also upgraded and was replaced by newer and better versions multiple times over the years to come.
Further, UDF has been categorized into different variations based on file systems, which are, Plain Build, VAT (Virtual Allocation Table) Build, and Spared Build. The biggest advantage of UDF is that all the information or files that need to be written on an optical disk, can be deleted, added, or edited inside an optical disk itself in the same way as a user modifies or deletes files inside a folder.
UDF is considered a superior technology to ISO 9660 and replaced it at the time of launch. It standardized and developed a common file system. Now, instead of using different or multiple extensions, a user can use a single file extension for both read-only media files as well rewritable media files.
What is ISO?
ISO os ISO 9660 was developed by Ecma International and its first version was launched in the year 1988. Inside an ISO image file, all the files are stored in a binary form in an uncompressed manner. The ISO files are always heavy and occupy larger hard disk space, usually several GBs when stored in a computer system. The size of an ISO file is always in multiples of 2,048 bytes.
An ISO file represents a true and original copy of the data, which is stored on an optical disk. The biggest advantage of an ISO file is that the data contained inside this file can be transferred from one storage device to any other removable media device. The ISO files stored in a computer system need to be mounted to access them. While, most operating software, such as Windows 8 and macOS allows the users to mount an ISO file, there is a need for a special driver or software to mount an ISO file in other operating systems.
Main Differences Between UDF and ISO
- UDF was developed by Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), whereas ISO was developed by Ecma International.
- The first version of UDF was released in the year 1995, whereas the first version of ISO was released in the year 1988.
- UDF allows the users to add, delete and edit the files on an optical disk, whereas an ISO allows the optical disk image to be transferred from one storage medium to another.
- UDF files are lighter in weight, whereas ISO files are bulkier, as they store data in an uncompressed form.
- The popular version of UDF are ECMA-167, IEC 13346, whereas the popular version of ISO is ISO 9660.
UDF and ISO are different file extensions and have different purposes in a computer system. UDF is a better and improved technology, which supplanted ISO in the year 1995. Both these file extensions are used to store file data and allow the users to write the data contained by them onto an optical disk. Where UDF allows the users to even edit the data on an optical disk, an ISO represents and holds the true copy of data contained in an optical disk.