Joliet Volume Access

Current version: 1.4.2 (June 3, 2001)

Written by Thomas Tempelmann, 1996-2001.
Copyright 1996-2001 Miles Software GmbH, used by permission.

For updates, more information, contact and support see:


Please note

Versions 1.x of Joliet Volume Access are freeware.

Versions 2.x and later are shareware, that is, you are expected to pay for them if you want to use those enhanced versions.


What is it?

Joliet Volume Access is a File System , that is, it allows you to read disks in a certain format.

This File System supports reading the following formats:
ISO 9660 Level 1 to 3 and Joliet.

It is functionally a replacement for Apple's ISO 9660 File Access extension, with the following advantages over Apple's:

The upcoming shareware version will provide even more functionality, such as:

Of course, all these enhancements only work on disks that use the ISO 9660 or Joliet format, but not on HFS and other disks.


When Microsoft introduced Windows 95 with long file names (up to 255 chars, I believe), they also extended the ISO 9660 format to allow storage of files with such long Windows names on CD-ROMs. This extension is called the Joliet format.

Apple, however, never caught up with support for the new format. Thus, if you try to read a CD-ROM with contents from a modern Windows system, you will not see the original long Windows file names, but instead only "8.3" mangled names (which is a fallback provided for in the Joliet format). For example, a Windows file called "Carl's very interesting story.doc" would show up on a Macintosh as something like "CARL_SVE.DOC".

Here comes Joliet Volume Access to the rescue: As long as the original name was not longer than 31 chars, the name will display completely on your Mac now. Longer names will be truncated, but in quite a smart way, plus, the full name is still shown in the Comment field of the Finder's Information window.

Additionally, some CD-ROMs might have used ISO 9660 Level 3, which allows fragmented files. This is not supported by Apple's File System, and makes those fragmented files unreadable on a Mac. Joliet Volume Access solves this problem, too.

How to install and use

Simply place the file called Joliet Volume Access
joliet pic
into your Extensions folder and restart.

(Note: If you run System 7.5 or earlier, you also need to put the File System Manager, available from, into the Extensions folder.)

You do not have to remove Apple's ISO 9660 File Access. If you leave it installed, it occupies very little RAM and it allows you to mount CDs with Apple's File System using the tools mentioned below, without having to restart your Mac.

From then on, if you insert a ISO 9660 or Joliet formatted CD (or DVD), it will be controlled by this new software, giving you the benefits mentioned above.
As an indication that you have actually mounted a media with one of these formats, the media icon will look like this:

Joliet volumes:
joliet pic

All other ISO 9660 volumes:
joliet pic

Some non-Apple CD drivers, however, may still show a generic CD icon even if the volume is mounted by this Joliet File System. The final and proper way to check the volume format is to use the Finder's "Information" window on the volume icon. There's a field called Format: which then would show "ISO 9660 Lvl3 + Joliet"

Optional Tools

There are also some other tools if you like more control over how your CDs are mounted:

UDF/ISO/Joliet Switcher
joliet pic

This is a Contextual Menu Plug-In that allows you to re-mount a already mounted disk in a different format, assuming it is either in ISO 9660, Joliet or UDF format.

UDF/ISO/Joliet Enabler
joliet pic

This is a Control Strip Module that allows you to enable/disable any of the installed ISO, Joliet and UDF File Systems. For example, if you want to prevent a UDF Hybrid CD (one that has both a UDF and a ISO 9660 format) from being mounted in the UDF format, you could turn it off before inserting the CD.


Known problems and restrictions

Questions, comments?

If you think that this Joliet File System does not perform as expected, for instance, if you find that certain software can not open files from a Joliet CD, or if certain CDs that look well on a Windows system do not do so on your Mac with this File System installed, then follow these steps, please:

My e-mail address is:

Distribution rules

This software (Joliet Volume Access 1.x) is freeware. It is free for personal use, and may be distributed by any individual person as long as this software is not used as a significant part of a commercial distribution. This means: If you distribute this software as part of a collection of many other free software items (such as shareware CDs, web sites for free downloading of software), it is OK. On the other hand, if you use this software explicitly for increasing revenue, or want to bundle it with a commercial product (including shareware), you need to request permission first.
If in doubt, contact me, the author: .

Version 2.0 and later of this software will not be free any more. For more information, visit my website.



Many thanks to Markus Fest for giving me time and "financial support" to work on this, to Rainer Schwake for providing the icons, and to Darrel E. Knutson for improving my English.

And I also thank all the people who sent me friendly mails, either to just say thanks or to help me in solving problems with the software.

Version History


Release Date



May 8, 2000

  • First public release


May 13, 2000

  • Multi-Session CD problems solved (caused by both FWB's CD-ROM drivers and by Adaptec's EZ CD Creator software).
  • Increased System Heap Size allocation (Conflict Catcher did report it as a potential problem).


May 31, 2000

  • There had been an error related to disabling Apple's ISO 9660 File Access. The error was caused both by the Joliet extension as well as by the UDF/ISO/Joliet Enabler Control Strip Module. So be sure to update all three extensions!
  • Crashes related to CD-ROM SpeedTools (as well as with Toast CD Reader) have been fixed.
  • Joliet CDs mounted through AppleShare do not crash the server any more.
  • Sherlock (Find File) and Window Monkey related errors have been fixed.
  • A seldomly occuring error when mounting volumes has been fixed (appeared in various forms, such as error -55, as double mounted volumes or with the alert msg "The disk ... can not be used, because the folder can't be found.").
  • A programming error in Iomega FindIt caused it to crash when cataloging a Joliet CD. I work-around this in the Joliet FS now, but it has the side-effect that any Joliet volume appears to have only 2 files on it when you use "Get Information" in the Finder on the volume. I plan provide a better fix in the next release of the Joliet FS.
  • It seems that the crashes related to using Outlook Express are gone, too.
  • Some badly mastered CDs (such as the Windows 98 OEM CD, made with Microsoft software - go figure!) specify a wrong value for the length of directories on the CD. This had the effect that larger directories did not show all the files (some of the files at the of the the dir were not shown). I changed the Joliet File System so that it now can deal with this error properly.


July 9, 2000

  • File names ending in a "." are now properly displayed. Before, a trailing period was cut off from the name.
  • Fixed a crash that happened on some systems, related to Internet Config.
  • Fixed a conflict with Apple's ISO 9660 File Access: Mounting HFS/ISO hybrid discs failed sometimes with a strange effect (such as Error -120 or by ejecting the CD and then requesting it to be inserted again).


May 6, 2001

  • Thai language character support. My thanks go to Phat for his help and hospitality!
  • Multi-Session CDs that have an ISO volume in he last, but not in the first session, do now mount.
  • Enhanced and Mixed Mode CDs now mount both the Data and the Audio parts.
  • Acrobat Reader can now access PDF indexes on CDs.
  • Fixed a bug in File Mgr function OpenWD() that could result in "error -120".
  • If two identical copies of an ISO volume are inserted, they now get mounted as two volumes (formerly, only one volume would appear).
  • Ejecting a CD from the File Selection Dialog works now.
  • Fixed a potential crash situation around asynchronuous calls to the File System.
  • Improved the way file names are abbreviated in order to avoid the effect that multiple identical names appear in a folder (this would only happen with ISO volumes that violated the specifications, but unfortunately, those are out there).
  • Files can now be opened in "shared r/w" mode, allowing Audion and other programs to access files on Joliet CDs.
  • Fixed the problem with French Systems where the the localized "Foreign File Access" was loaded after the Joliet extension. The workaround (rename either file) is not necessary any more.
  • CDs created by Adaptec DirectCD for Windows do now mount (this was a problem in Apple's code which does not comply with the UDF standard here, but I found a smart work-around).
  • Video CDs can now be played if you have QuickTime 5.0.1 or later installed.


May 14, 2001

  • Files with extensions (suffixes) get now the proper icons (type & creator codes) again as assigned in the Internet or File Exchange control panel.


June 3, 2001

  • Contrary to what was intended in version 1.4, Video CDs could not be played with QuickTime 5.0.1 or later installed. Now, finally, it works.
  • Certain Hybrid CDs (those with both HFS and ISO 9660 formats) made by "mkisofs" (a unix program) were mounted by v1.4 and 1.4.1 in their ISO 9660 format and not in their preferred HFS format. Now, it's back to the way it should be (and as it was until and including v1.3): HFS is preferred over ISO format if both are available on a CD.

Famous last words

It took me a few months to write the major code of this software and another three years to finish it while being busy with DirectCD for Mac OS. I'm glad I finally finished it for public release. Better late than never.


Thomas Tempelmann, May 7, 2000