CD / DVD Media 101

Have you recently been confused by the different options available for blank CDs or DVDs? There are so many abbreviations like CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RAM, DVR + R, etc. So how do I know what type of CD or DVD is suitable for my use?

I will provide a brief overview of the different types of blank cd’s and dvd’s currently available on the market.

For CDs and DVDs, the “R” found on CD-R or DVD +/- R stands for recordable. This means that you can record data such as photos, files, databases, etc. Basically anything digital can be recorded. These types of CDs or DVDs can only be burned once. This is why it is important that you burn all the data you want to transfer to CD-R / DVD-R in one session.

The “RW” means that the medium can be rewritten. You can erase and burn data to CD or DVD multiple times. Think of it as a portable hard drive. The cost of a CD-RW and DVD-RW is more expensive than a normal CD-R / DVD-R

One of the biggest confusions is due to DVD-R / RW and DVD + R / RW. What is the difference? Simply put, there is not a big difference, except that the standards were created by 2 different organizations. However, it is important to know if your DVD recorder supports them. Most DVD recorders support both formats, but be sure to check with the DVD manufacturer or manual for the types of DVD formats that are supported.

There is another type of DVD format known as DVD-RAM and it is not as common as the other 2 formats. Again, be sure to check your DVD manual to make sure you can use this format.

DVD media can typically hold up to 4.7GB of data, while CD media can hold up to 700MB. As a result, DVD media are often more expensive than CD media, as they can hold more data.

There is also a new type of DVD media called Double Layer DVD and it can hold twice the size of a normal DVD. However, it is quite expensive at the moment and most of the current DVD recorders do not support this format.

This is a basic explanation of the most common types of CD / DVD media on the market. Regardless of the medium you use, it is important to ensure that your CD or DVD burner supports that format.

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