About ten years ago, back when I was still calling the band Fast Freddie Fourier and the Transforms, I recorded an EP called Bush of Thorns at Bonafide Studios in London.

The performances from the other musicians involved were great (Brian Hedemann was on drums, Alero Scott on backing vocals, Kevin G Davy on trumpet) but I was never all that happy with the final mixes - the drums were all way too loud, especially on Sleeping Beauty. That was entirely my fault. Waseem Munir, the engineer from Bonafide, had done a great job of tracking everything, but the mixes were all made in a big hurry, as I didn’t have the money to pay for extra studio time to have them done properly. Not only that but we’d only managed to finish four of the eight tunes I’d started - I remember insisting that the last hour be spent burning all the stems to CD so I could finish it off at leisure some time.

That time is now. Today I finally dug out the old data CDs from 2002 and started trying to transfer them to the computer. The ones I’d made myself - the guide guitars and vocals and the backing tracks - all of which were recorded at home on Linux, all worked fine. The ones from the studio? Would. Not. Mount. Could not read them. Nothing worked.


To cut a long story short - and if you too should have mysterious CD ROMs from circa 2002 burned by a Mac which you can’t seem to get Linux to read - here’s what I did to fix it.

First I had to install cdfs.

Doing so revealed that the CDs in question were indeed HFS of some sort, though mount -t hfs was still refusing to work. A bit of Googling turned up the existence of HFS+, which I’d never heard of. Trying mount -t hfsplus didn’t work either, though, and left my system with an unkillable mount process, forcing me to reboot. Bummer.

Here’s what did work:

First I mounted the CDs with cdfs:

sudo mount -t cdfs -o ro /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdfs

Then I mounted the HFS file that produced with hfsplus:

sudo mount -t hfsplus -o loop /mnt/cdfs/3.2.Apple_HFS /media/cdrom0

And bam - got my data back.

Now to load the lot up in Ardour and start mixing…