I've attempted to make an all-in-one MS-DOS (or FreeDOS) floppy disk image that allows the use of the SHSUCD CD-ROM drivers written by Jason Hood. Find his excellent work here:
SHSUDC is a replacement for the native MS-DOS MSCDEX CDROM mounting tools. One of its biggest selling points is the ability to mount an ISO image as a CDROM drive, negating the need to burn a CD or even have a real CDROM drive at all. While tools like Gotek virtual floppy drives exist, outside of expensive things like SD2SCSI there's no such ODE (Optical Drive Emulator) for old computers (certainly not an IDE version). ISO mounting isn't a "hardware" solution (you can't boot from it direct from BIOS), but inside MS-DOS/FreeDOS it does mean you can run CDROM software, including games with CDDA audio, straight from the ISO image.
Do note that ISO images are "large" by MS-DOS standards. 650-800MB in size for a CDROM, 4.5-9GB for a DVD. Depending on the disk format you're using inside MS-DOS, this might fill a substantial amount of the maximum volume size your OS can handle. With that in mind, DOSIsoIfy also provides a working copy of mTCP and wget for DOS, which can be used to download ISO images from a web server - whether that's inside your network (say, a NAS device), or from the web (although this is very slow for some reason). However please note right now TCP packet drivers are very limited. I will try to extend this to work and autodetect on a wider range of drivers into the future.
DOSIsoIfy itself can be found on my GitHub repo:
It requires Linux to build the floppy image, and can be run inside of WSL2 on Windows 10 release 2004 or newer.
Provided is a small demonstration script, demo.bat:
Which looks like:
WGET --no-check-certificate --random-file=random.cfg http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/freedos/files/distributions/1.2/FD12CD.iso shsucdx.com /U shsucdhd.exe /U shsucdhd.exe /F:FD12CD.iso shsucdx.com /D:SHSU-CDH
What these lines do:
WGET - a command line HTTP downloader. This example downloads the FreeDOS 1.2 installer down from a mirror site. You can either provide your own ISO or point to a local NAS to get your own faster.
shsucdx.com /U - unloads any existing shsucdx CDROM driver
shsucdhd.exe /U - unloads the virtual CDROM device
shsucdhd.exe /F:FD12CD.iso - This creates a virtual CDROM device, and uses the "FD12CD.iso" file as the loaded image. The device will be called a "SHSU-CDH" device, which we'll refer to in the next command.
shsucdx.com /D:SHSU-CDH - this tells the CD-ROM driver to use the virtual device we just created, and give it the next available drive letter (normally this is "D:" in MS-DOS if your boot disk is "C:", with "A:" and "B:" reserved for floppy drives, whether they exist or not).
From here, browsing to the "D:" directory should show the contents of the drive as normal. Games and software should install and run as normal, and CDDA music should work as expected.