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Worthwhile CD-R Media?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the markets-of-volatile-quality dept.

Hardware 41

isdnip asks: "I've noticed that when I burn a CD-R, it's basically a random chance whether or not it will play on any given CD player or CD-ROM drive. Blank CD-Rs are dirt cheap nowadays, but the costlier gold ones are not available at retail, if at all. So which ones now on the market are most likely to work? They seem more interested in bragging about maximum speed, not quality. Does a high speed rating help or hurt readability (I usually only burn at 2x or 4x)?"

"Just for example, I've had pretty good luck with Maxell 'CD-R pro' blanks, mediocre luck with 'IBM' licensed-brand media, and even worse results from Memorex, which had the dubious distinction of looking most like real gold, though really just based on an ordinary dye layer. I don't want to buy a 50-pack of junk. I haven't seen any magazine reviews, either. I'm sure Slashdot readers have had a wealth of experience which we could all stand to share."

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41 comments

Burning Speed (2, Interesting)

pheph (234655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616046)

There must be a difference in terms of reliability at differing speeds. When I would backup Playstation games, burning at anything over 1x would create unreliable/unplayable games, but you could take those unplayable games and copy them onto another CD at 1x and they would play just fine...

Re:Burning Speed (2, Interesting)

Stoke (86808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616066)

this would only happen on older burners.. the new burners can burn psx at 16x and they work great.

Re:Burning Speed (2, Interesting)

pheph (234655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616086)

Yes, I was using a very old burner (external SCSI 2x4)... Still seems interesting that some CD readers could read it and others couldn't

Drive heads, speed, media and more (4, Informative)

itwerx (165526) | more than 12 years ago | (#2617976)

The unplayable CD may well still be readable due to the quality of the tracks which were written. I.e. if the writer (and subsequent reader) have a fairly narrow read path (beam) and fairly sensitive pickup, then they can read even a shoddy job of writing. (Note that higher-speed equates to a narrower and spectrally shallower track).
As such, the drive which can't read it probably has a wider beam and/or a less sensitive pickup.
But if you put that same disk back in a CDRW drive (like the one which wrote it) you'll find that it reads just fine. (Kind of like a floppy drive being out of alignment, only in this case the "alignment" is a matter of quality of beam reflection rather than magnetic field).
To move on...
Media is, as mentioned elsewhere, only made by a couple of manufacturers, BUT they also make a number of different levels of quality which are then sold and branded by anybody/everybody.
So how do you tell? Most cd-burning software nowadays will tell you what the media is, but that doesn't help much in the store. (Er, excuse me, can I burn one of these just as a test? Yeah, I'll tape the box back up nice and neat if they suck...)
So you have to judge by color. Unfortunately many of the top-side decals/coatings used in the branding process have a color of their own (hence light-green phthalocyanine dye often appearing blue or dark-green).
In general, a CDRW will give MUCH better cross-drive compatibility than a simple CDR due to the higher sensitivity of the dyes and the better quality reflective surface behind.
Which brings me to cheap CD's. Real CD's have an aluminum surface sandwiched between two plastic disks. A CDR actually needs an extra set of layers because the dye isn't reflective! It has a silver backing which is laid on top of the second layer of plastic. Now a few people will disagree and say it's on the same layer as the dye which is sometimes true, but most of the manufacturers have switched to having it be on the other side (outside) of the plastic sandwich as it makes for a much lower level of defects. But this means that you really have to have the final decal with the cutesy branding/artwork/whatever to protect the silver!
Super cheap (blank silver) CD's will very often scratch very easily on the top surface. I've even seen a few that you could smear the silver off with a firm rub of your finger tip.
Evil...
Bad...
Stay away...
So cheap is fine s'long as they're CDRW's (or at least the darker CDR's) and they have a top decal (or 3rd layer of real plastic for the fancy-schmancy folks).
Finally, burn slower! Cut 20% off your drive's rated speed (or the CDR's rated speed if it's slower) and you'll get much better burns. Manufacturers of drives and media alike advertise the best possible numbers they can get away with. If your drive's beam is a little under-powered and the dye on that batch of CD's is a little thin, then a reduction in speed will make for a lot fewer toasters, er, coasters.
(I've been playing with OSX too much, I can tell!)

Enjoy!

Re:Drive heads, speed, media and more (1)

pheph (234655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2621935)

/me cowers in fear of so much information ;)

Seriously though, that's really good stuff to know! Thanx!

OT: Cliff, did you forget the ending italics tag? (1)

jefflinwood (20955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616056)

Hey, it looks like you forgot the tag in the comment there, and it's screwing up the page display everywhere.

thanks

Re:OT: Cliff, did you forget the ending italics ta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2616076)

Not in mozilla :)

Re:OT: Cliff, did you forget the ending italics ta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2616120)

Wow! You've got a special Mozilla build that can automatically close tags at the end of Slashdot story listings? I'm impressed.

Does it fix CmdrTaco's mispelings (sic) too?

Re:OT: Cliff, did you forget the ending italics ta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2616517)

It doesn't close the tag, but it doesn't screw things up. I guess it assumes a tag close on the next tag open.

Re:OT: Cliff, did you forget the ending italics ta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2617883)

It wouldn't do anything on another tag opening - only closing. And in this case it doesn't assume upon the next close - only when a parent tag closes would it be safe to assume all children should be closed.

AHRA (0, Offtopic)

aozilla (133143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616057)

This doesn't go toward answering your question, but be sure to use an Audio-only CD if you're burning music which you have no legal right to burn. The Audio Home Recording Act [google.com] will then protect you from any possible charges of copyright infringement for the noncommercial use and creation of that CD.

Dan's Data Article (5, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616101)

Dan's data has an article which explains CDR quality very nicely [dansdata.com]

At first, it focuses mostly on strangely colored and oddly shaped cdrs, but at the bottom it has some VERY useful information, including a little utility called cdrid [www.gum.de], which identifies WHO REALLY makes the cdr disk. It turns out many differently branded disks are actually made by the same company.

The article also points out that cdrs with a darker dye in them work better. I tend to agree from experience. Typically, I buy Sony CDRS from staples... they're pretty cheap and work good. I also found that the sony ones work fine in most car cd players, while cheap ones don't work at all.

(By the way.... a Plextor 24x burner is only about $150 now... i find that burning cds at lower speeds doesn't improve compatibility, execpt for with cheap disks; but my burner only works up to 8x, so i dont know how faster ones fare). But beware: make sure your drive supports BuRN proof or something similar. There is nothing more aggrivating then having to burn a cd twice because of a buffer underrun.

Re:Dan's Data Article (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2616171)

That link doesn't work. You just copied from Dan's article - karma whore.

Re:Dan's Data Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2626651)

[At] the bottom it has some VERY useful information, including a little utility called cdrid [www.gum.de], which identifies WHO REALLY makes the cdr disk.

The CD-R FAQ [cdrfaq.org] disagrees with youspecifically "[2-33] Who really made this CD-R blank?" [cdrfaq.org] which says you learn significantly less than you think you do from these CD-R ID routines which report information read from the "ATIP" region.

Typically, I buy Sony CDRS from staples... they're pretty cheap and work good.

Unless Sony makes their own CD-Rs (which I doubt) you can't tell what you are buying. Again I refer you to the CD-R FAQ [cdrfaq.org].

[A] Plextor 24x burner is only about $150 now...

But the comparable Lite-On 24/10/40 IDE CD-RW burner is half that price [pricewatch.com]. It has the same features as the Plextor 24/10/40 and is only slightly slower [storagereview.com] at some tasks than the Plextor 24/10/40 (a few seconds slower in tests where the Lite-On trailed the Plextor, not anything significant). If you find this difference to be an issue I'd say (1) you're overstating the difference and (2) in some tests the Plextor wasn't as fast as the Ricoh MP7200A.

The Plextor is probably a fine drive if you are willing to ignore its cost. The Lite-On is giving you better than 90% of the speed of the Plextor at half the cost, hence the Lite-On is a better deal for the money. Plextor's day in the sun has ended. They should make their firmware free software to compete. As far as I know nobody makes firmware that is free software (even though they all should).

[Make] sure your drive supports BuRN proof or something similar.

Actually if your system is configured correctly you don't need it, even with IDE burners. You might find it hard to avoid paying for the technology since so many drives currently on the market have burn resumption technology. But for sub-US$100 drives, the price isn't a big deal.

Bulk CDRs (1, Interesting)

i_am_nitrogen (524475) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616293)

This probably goes without saying, but don't use those bulk CDs you can get for $10 for 100 discs. Usually, they have no protective layer over the aluminum (allowing you to scratch or rub off the reflective coating, and also making it easier for bacteria to damage the disc -- I've had both happen to semi-critical backups made on cheap CDs. I've learned my lesson.), and the bottom 10-15 discs are often useless because the metal flakes off one disc and permanently deposits onto the disc above it. Personally I've had the best success with my Samsung 8x drive using Circuit City labelled discs. Different drive brands probably work best with different media, but I'd say that it's probably safe to buy the 50 packs from major stores for most CD players. Heck, even my cheap bulk CDs are readable in every CD player I've tried them in.

... I may be wrong, but wasn't the move from gold to silver/aluminum supposed to be a step up in quality, since gold is less reflective?

FYI, I think my bulk CDs report that they are made by CMC/CMG magnetics.

Overrated? Metamoderate parent as unfair!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2616613)

Umm.. How on earth did this post get "Overrated" when it hadn't even been moderated? What's wrong with you moderators?

Brand matters (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2616959)

I have found that buying brand name CD-Rs works best. This is especially an issue with Sony CD players which will only read the high-quality discs and spit out the rest.

I have never had any kind of read-compatibility problems with discs from Kodak, Sony, Maxell, and Imation playing in different CD-ROMS, car and stereo cd-players. I have had problems with KAO and noname discs.

Another note: Most CD-Rs are made in Asia. I have heard very good things about 'Vivastore' discs which are made in Switzerland but have not been able to get my hands on any.

Mitsui, Kodak Gold Respected Among Music Traders (3, Informative)

rjsjr (105611) | more than 12 years ago | (#2617252)

Among the etree [etree.org] membership (a group devoted to trading freely taped music like Radiohead, Phish, and the Dead - these people really know CD-R archiving), Mitsui and Kodak Gold are the most well respected CD-Rs. Taiyo Yuden, non-Ritek TDK Certified Plus, Sony, imation, and some others are also considered pretty good choices. The vast majority of CD-Rs are made by Ritek in Taiwan and its considered bad form to give someone one in a trade. For more information, try Andy McFadden's CD-R FAQ [cdrfaq.org] (very comprehensive) or the etree CD-R FAQ [etree.org] (mentions a few brands).

You typically can't find good quality CD-Rs at the major computer stores and you definitely won't get good prices on them. They don't have the lowest prices out there, but I've been pretty happy ordering 100 lots of 80 min Mitsui unbranded silvers from american digital [american-digital.com] and haven't burned a coaster or had a CD-R go bad yet. Hunt around and I'm sure you can find some better deals online.

... rjs

Re:Mitsui, Kodak Gold Respected Among Music Trader (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2619982)

Yea, talking to any involved member of etree will let you gain some knowledge. We all kind of feed off of each other. ;-) Brand names can be very misleading. TDK's used to be very good, but it seems like TDK has begun to outsource a lot of its cds. Kodak is always good, Mitsui is always good (Mitsui is Taiyo Yuden as far as I remember), and I've never had problems with Ricoh. The point is somewhat moot however, because etree'ers tend to once record the audio onto discs, and then backup the SHN files (lossless audio files) to another set of discs. Always have a last resort!

-Etree'ng since 1999

Memorex 'black' cdr's GOOD! (1)

jpt.d (444929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2617705)

I find the 'black' cdrs that memorex makes are quite good, although they are really a very dark red.

Office Depot - Taiyo Yuden's cheap! (1)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2617890)

The local Office Depot sells 100 packs of their branded (hence well-laminated) 80-min CDRs for around $29.89. I just picked up two 100 packs the other day. I've had zero coasters with them, and no problems using them in various players (my Pine D'Music SM-200C, ancient 2x SCSI CDROM drives, various standard CD boomboxes, etc).

I've had the same luck with Fuji branded disks (also Taiyo Yuden, I believe). Zero coasters, and no problems on playback in the above devices. Best Buy sometimes has these on sale for around $20 for a 50 pack.

The only disks I've ever really had issues with playback are some old Imation blue (dark blue) disks. Very few devices can read them--pretty much just CDRW drives. As far as quality, I bought some CompUSA unbranded disks once, 100 for around $19.99 and they are crap. They read fine, but are basically unlaminated, and more than half the ones I've used so far (150+) have been scrapped, and that is NOT in an abusive environment.

Re:Office Depot - Taiyo Yuden's cheap! (1)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618999)

I also failed to mention that I burned all of these using a Yamaha 2100S at 16x speeds.

Three places to look (3, Informative)

Hobart (32767) | more than 12 years ago | (#2617920)

  • CD Media World [cdmediaworld.com] has extensive reviews and information on CD media sources, burner reviews, etc.
  • CD-Recordable.com [cd-recordable.com], if you're in the US, is (so they claim) the only US Manufacturer of CD media. Their site makes it look like they put real effort into their product, I've ordered a few batches for work and personal use (~100) and not had coaster problems. (Disclaimer: I haven't really had coaster problems with other brands either)
  • CD-RW's may play better in some finicky CD players than plain CD-R's. I have not verified this myself, nor seen more than rumors on the subject. Anyone have any experience?

sounds like you might have a crappy cdr (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2617989)

i have a cheap ide hp cd12 model i recently purchased for around $100 from bestbuy. i also bought a spindle of 50 cheap 700mb Memorex white cdr's for $17. out of the 50, not one coastered. that's burning at 12x(~5-8min per cd).

if you have to burn at 2x or 4x, you probably are burning from a REAL slow drive. in all fairness, i am burning from a scsi drive, to an ide drive, and the cdr is the only ide device in the computer.

Quality of hardware (3, Informative)

adolf (21054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618032)

The issue of CD-R compatibility has a great deal to do with the quality of the burner.

Three years ago, I picked up an 8x Plextor burner, and decided to run some tests in order to determine what kind of (then expensive) blanks I should be using.

I ordered 2 each of ~12 different makes of CD-R blank -- as many as I could find at one place at one time -- and tried them all. As burning at 8x was the latest-and-greatest thing at the time, none of the discs were "rated" for the speed except for a special, higher-dollar one from Kodak.

After burning identical audio tracks at 8x to half of the discs, I listened to them with a well-calibrated ear on a good mid-fi stereo.

They all worked fine. No ticking, no artificial harshness, nadda. The twelve of them sounded exactly the same.

This was frustrating, because I still had no idea what brand to buy - so I downgraded the CD player from a Carver TL-3300 to a friend's borrowed (and quite abused and tired) Playstation.

Some variations finally showed. Surprisingly, the 8x-rated Kodak disc worked least well - slow seek times, and strange behavior. I don't remember the rest of it that battery, unfortunately.

The next test involved ripping the CDs with cdparanoia, and timing how long it took for a good rip, on a 32x Plextor reader. All discs ripped without reported error, which was good - the Kodak was slowest of the bunch, and TDK the fastest.

Interestingly, the burner came packaged with a TDK blank as a gimme.

But what makes this interesting is that some of the discs were not rated for speeds anywhere near 8x - IIRC, the Maxell blanks said 2x on the package. They all passed. Even the Kodak, though strange in some way, was acceptable (and guaranteed to be readable for 100 years or somesuch).

Since then, I've not done anything as exhaustive. But I have had 74-minute Verbatim discs fail to read -at all- in any Playstation, while the box of 50 80-minute Verbatims (with, appearently, the same dark blue dye formulation) work well with everything.

At the studio, I use the cheapest, no-name unbranded shiney CDs I can get, with an identical Plextor burner. I've never had any customers say anything to me about an unreadable burn, and I never burn at 4x, 2x, or 1x - why waste the time?

Meanwhile, my sister has a 4x Phillips CD-RW, which always produces skip-prone CDs, that occasioally tick and pop - no matter what media is used.

To conclude the sermon, I'd like to point out that Plextor makes the most expensive burners available to consumers, and that by most (if not all) accounts, they're worth every cent. For a more lengthy and detailed analysis, on more modern hardware, see: http://www.digit-life.com/articles/cdrwtestidep12/ index.html

Further, so long as I'm ranting, the color of the
dye means absolutely nothing, except to visually compare two or more CDs. Even if CD players used some binary reflective/nonreflective technique to read a disc, which they do not, they use infrared light to do their business. Which is to say that unless you're wearing IR goggles, you have no idea what the dye looks like to a CD player.

All that happens (or, rather, needs to happen) when a CD is burned is that it makes a longer path for the light of the reading laser wherever a pit should be, by putting a hole in the dye layer below the reflective metal (which, FYI, was 24k gold on the Kodak disc, and silver (not aluminum) on the TDK).

You might've noticed that mass-produced, stamped /injection-molded CDs have no visible contrast (or IR contrast, for that matter), and all of -those- work justfine.

-

Re:Quality of hardware (2)

isdnip (49656) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618779)

Pretty much everything works on the "original" burner, like my Acer. The problems are when I try to play them elsewhere. A couple of weeks ago I burned a data disk for a friend. The "IBM" disk didn't play on either a Dell or a Mac. Retry: A Maxell Pro worked on the Dell. But I've had various random results, hence my Original Post.

A good burner can probably read almost anything, but it's harder to get good interchangeability.

BTW I've learned a lot from the replies to this Ask Slashdot. Very helpful! Thanks y'all.

Re:Quality of hardware (2)

adolf (21054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2620657)

Perhaps I failed to emphasize the part about only one type of 74-minute Verbatim disc ever having compatibility trouble.

I use these discs everywhere. I hand them out to customers. I sell them. People like my the products I make on CD-R, no matter what equipment they're using.

Additionally, the link provided (http://www.digit-life.com/articles/cdrwtestidep12 /index.html) is a comparison of an AOpen (read: Acer) and Plextor burner. The AOpen produced CDs with consistantly higher block error rates, and (somehow!) managed to write discs slower at 20x, than the Plextor at 16x.

I, henceforth, would like to iterate again my point about the quality of hardware.

-

Sony are really good (1)

nsebban (513339) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618191)

I have a Yamaha CDRW8424 SCSI CD-Burner [itgujarat.com] and I always use Sony CDs. All other brands (including Traxdata CDs which are quite expensive !) randomly crash...For me, Sony CDs are more than 99% efficient.

I often burn CDs using my x8 Yamaha burner [yamaha-it.de] at home, but I also tested Sony CDs with a friend's x24 Plextor burner [plextor.be], and it worked really fine burning 50+ CDs in a row without any problem.

sunlight (1)

davidmacq (23362) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618390)

Be careful of leaving cdr's in the sunlight. The dyes are light sensitive and easily damaged in the sunlight. Might be a consideration for some of you. Kodak makes some cdr's which have a protective coating.

I have a 2x burner, so speed isn't an issue, but I buy the cheapest cdr's I can find and haven't had any big problems.

well... (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618410)

I have a HP 9100i and a 100 pack of Memorexes.
I'm half way through (its an 8x burner) and haven't burnt a bad one yet.

Sony's CD-Rs (0)

Oxide (92607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618650)

For making Audio CDs, nothing worked for me more reliable than the Sony's CD-Rs. They produce the most reliable with the best quality CDs.

Use anything for data CDs, but for Audio, stich with SONY.

Kodak (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618838)

It isn't a scientific test, but I've had excellent results with the Kodak Ultima (Gold and Silver) CD-Rs. I've gone through hundreds of them without any problems.

Any old thing does for me. (2, Informative)

Gibbys Box of Trix (176568) | more than 12 years ago | (#2618855)

Personally I've never noticed much difference between bulk packs on spindles and the more expensive name brands. I've got (ahem) back-ups, vcd and audio disks on all sorts of different types, colours, sizes and supposed 'max speed' disks and I've never had any problems restoring my (ahem) back-ups on any machines, nor listening to the audio on a range of cd players, including my portable Technics and my Sony midi and the VCD play fine on my Wharfedale and on my PC.

My friend did comment that an audio cd I did for him sounded 'colder' than the original disk, to which i snorted at and informed him that that was impossible as it was a bit-for-bit copy, but I read somewhere that different quality cdr can indeed sound different, but as I'm no audiophile (regularly listen to mp3 through headphones without wincing) it doesn't bother me.

Re:Any old thing does for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2650396)

a cd is a cd, sounds the same.
It is digital.
The whole purpose of digital is that if it works it will sound the same.
Digital media have their quirks, but sounds quality is: INPUT=OUTPUT.
People thinking that a copied CD sounds different than the original CD just have their brain fooling them. Music perception is 90% handled by the brain. And only works best in a relative environment, not absolute.
011001 is just 011001 no matter how you put it.

Maxell :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2619380)

I have the Yamaha CDRW2200E. I like the 20x burn speed. I use the Maxell 80min with a max burn speed of 12x. The amazing thing is I burn every CD at the 20x speed and have had a perfect burn every time so far :D

Has anyone else been able to do that on any other high speed drives?

Re:Maxell :) (1)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2620251)

Using my Yamaha 2100S I've burned on unbranded 8x bulk CDRs and branded 12x CDRs with no problems. I tried to burn CDRW beyond the spec, but appearently the drive automatically downshifted to the burn speed tagged on the CD (2x in this case).

Brands do matter, to an extent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2622227)

It used to be that Verbatims were the only blue dye/silver layer brand out there. Now TDK and Nashua both sell this type disc, but Verbatims no longer do so.

Verbatims used to be my absolute top pick for a brand. They always burned reliably (mind you, I've had a CDR for 6+ years now and have certainly burned well over 1,000 CD's), Verbatims were also pretty well tolorated. I only had one CD Player (portable) that didn't like dark coloured CDR's in general... Might have been more to do with the strength of the laser over anything else...

Now Verbatims are a light yellow-green dye color and have quietly repackaged their discs to omit any specific mention of a "lifetime reliability guarentee" blurb. This kind of worries me.

I have tried well over 100 different "brands" of CDR's, while most are basically OEM's of one of the major dozen manufacturers... There are subtle differences between most. What I look for is universal compatibility and good top layer coating. Scratching the top of the disc can mean instant death to any disc because that's basically where the "pits" reside.

Kodak Gold CDR's are touted as the best for archival by a lot of people, but i've had nothing but problems with them. Discs tend to lose their "memory" after about 3 years in storage. When found this out, I spent a long time reripping/reburning the Kodak CDR's I had to ensure I didn't lose anything. I've kept watch on the others I had and gradually they die. Maybe in another year or two, I expect all of them to be dead. CDR's made before the time I got the Kodaks, such as TDK and Verbatims, are still practically flawless to this day.

While I don't have the luxury of time to back up my claims here, I think the best brand out there are PNY. They make two "neat" type blanks, Black Diamond and Rainbow substrate types. The reason I pefer these is because BOTH use a clear dye type in the layer of the discs. While the plastics are a different colour (black, blue, red, orange, yellow and purple), they're all tolorated extrememly well by just about every single CDRom/Player I've ever used. Even the really shit ones.

The absolute worst brands I've ever used were also the cheapest... so try not to think you're getting a good deal when you find a 50-spindle pack for $9.99... there's probably a reason they're that cheap. Tera Media, Prescision, Kensiko are three more common brands (like at Staples, etc) that I've had terrible luck with. The Kensiko and Tera Media discs both had noticable pits and holes in the foil layer that were visible through the disc. Inspecting different batches at later times turned up similar issues. Avoid.

Generally so, Sony, TDK and PNY discs get my stamp of approval. I'll use those at any time for any reason.

I like Memorex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2625332)

I have a 30-pack of Memorex 800MB CD-Rs and a Sony 12X CD-RW. I use the FreeBSD burncd utility and burn at 4x. I've copied CDs from Therion, Iron Maiden, Sarah Brightman, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, as well as making copies of the FreeBSD install media and backups of my ~/Mail and ~/doc directories without any trouble at all.

Memorex work best for me. (1)

i0n (33788) | more than 12 years ago | (#2629257)

For audio at least, the Memorex cdrs that come in the 30packs with the slimline cases have worked great for me. I work at a college radio station that has CD players that are VERY picky with burned cds (So picky that most people avoid using them at all costs (they're Denon C630s)), and I've NEVER had one of these Memorex cds skip or stop on me. I usually burn at 4x on a Matsushita (Panasonic) 4x4x32 cd burner. Using these cd players, I definately do see a difference in playback performance between cd brands (Imation does particularly bad (though I can't remember any other brands that suck for those players at the moment)).

CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2634496)

CompUSA sells 100-packs of generic, blank, ugly, shitty-looking CDs for about $20, but in my experiance, they have a better rate of reliability than more expensive, name-brand discs. Go figure.

Interesting note: from what I've been told, many of the newer burners available (16x, 20x, 24x) are all the exact same hardware, with different firmware. I've been wondering if I could somehow put the firmware for a TDK 24X into my 16X and burn happily at the new speed...

And for those of you wishing to upgrade your old burner, CostCo has TDK 24X burners bundled with a total of 12 24X CD-Rs and a 10x CD-RW or two...for about $135...WITH a $20 mail-in rebate. You can't beat them apples.
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