I recently purchased a Toshiba RD-XS32 HDD and DVD-R/RW recorder, and so far I am very pleased with its performance. However, I am curious about several things of a semi-technical nature. First, the recorder can write on DVD-RAM, DVD-R or DVD-RW, but cannot record on DVD+R or DVD+RW. Exactly what is the difference between -R and +R, or between -RW and +RW? You don't have to worry about compatability on CD, as I've never seen CD+R or CD+RW. I know that manufacturers were unable to agree on a standard (what else is new?) and that therefore we have both - and + for DVD. But I'm curious about the difference between the two. Second, my Toshiba can use 4x DVD-R, but apparently can use only 2x DVD-RW. I bought some 4x DVD-RW and could not even format them for use. Again comparing to CD, I don't remember having to be concerned about the maximum speed on the CD-Rs that I've purchased. I have a 24x CD recorder, but I can use CDs with a higher maximum speed if I wish. Of course, my recorder won't actually record faster, but I don't have to worry about incompatability issues no matter what "speed" CD I buy (if I remember correctly). Why can I not use a 4x DVD-RW, even if my recorder can only write at 2x on RW, or buy an 8x DVD-R for use on my 4x DVD-R recorder? It seems that for CD, the speed limitation is a MAXIMUM, but the CD itself will work on any CD burner with any slower speed, whereas for DVD, the speed limitation is both a maximum and a minimum (although I have seen DVD-RW which state they are also 2x compatible). Some 4x DVD-RWs even include a warning to use only on 4x compatible units; otherwise damage to both the disc and the unit may occur. Why is this such an issue with DVD but not with CD? Third, I have both an older and a relatively new Panasonic DVD player. The owner's manual for each clearly states that it will not play DVD-RW, and the manual for the older Panasonic also says it will not play DVD-R. Yet I was able to play a finalized DVD-R on both machines, and the DVD-RW could be played on the newer machine but not the older one. Does the "finalization" process somehow make the DVD-R "look" like a regular DVD-Video disc? I know that unfinalized discs can be more problematic, but it seems most DVD players will play finalized DVD-Rs, even if they can't play unfinalized ones. Sorry for the length of this post, and I look forward to any information you can provide. Thanks in advance for any responses. Steve K.