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."