The file extension MDS is a Media Descriptor File that is generated when you are creating a CD or DVD disk image. The purpose of an MDS file is to describe the original information on a disk image in terms of layer break positions and layer breaches. This technique is used to provide copyright protection for a disk image.
Since the MDS file is generated when a disk image is created, it can be used with the disk image file to determine how the tracks on the disk should be organized. MDS is a binary file type and can typically be found with an ISO CD file. ISO files are binary image files which are supported by a wide variety of optical media, including CD/DVD-ROM, HD DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD (Universal Media Disk). ISO files contain duplicate data from the original disk in addition to information pertaining to directories, file systems, and coding.
MDS files contain disk track data, header information, and copyright protections, in addition to the actual data that is being stored on the CD or DVD. This file format is typically used for downloading files over the Internet and to transmit torrent files for P2P file sharing websites.
How to Open MDS Files
MDS files are useless unless they can be opened by software applications that are designed to read this type of file. For this reason, double clicking on the MDS file will not open it so you can view the contents.
In Windows you can open MDS files using Alcohol 120%, which is a CD and DVD emulation program specifically designed to allow you to open MDS files and copy a disk image. You can also use CyberLink PowerDVD 12, ISOBuster, Ultra ISO, Magic ISO, or Lightning UK! ImgBurn to open MDS files in Windows.
For Mac OS X, you can use MISO-J, which is a file utility that supports MDS, ISO, and a number of other file formats. The application is built with Snow Leopard and is available as a free download from the MacUpdate website.
You can also opt to convert an MDS file to another format by using a program such as Power ISO which allows you to convert MDS files to an ISO format. This is useful when you have an application that does not recognize the MDS file extension.
Once you download and install the program, run it on your PC and then locate the MDS file you want to convert. Open the file in the File Manager for PowerISO to view the disk image contents. Click on File, then choose Save As, rename the file with an ISO extension and save it in the folder where you wish to store the file.