CD-R and CD-RW? Can they both handle the same types of files?

John Watson

Screenwriter
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Jul 14, 2002
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1,936
Are CD-R and CD-RW interchangeable?


I have made both music disks and a few data disks using CD-R and CD-RW respectively. The software I am using is Nero.

I note that CD-R burns much faster (eg., 20x or 12x, etc, whereas the data only burns to CD-RW at best at 4x, (and now I tend to get failures unless I use only 2x.)

My questions are : would data be burnable to a CD-R, and would it burn at the faster speeds? Would CD-R provide more secure storage of the contents than CD-RW? And its a bit cheaper too.

Thanks anyone
 

Kevin P

Screenwriter
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Jan 18, 1999
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I don't really know which media is more "secure" per se, but both have advantages and disadvantages:

CD-R Advantages over CD-RW:
  • Cheaper
  • Permanent - can't be erased accidentally
  • Burns faster
  • Playable on most CD players (for audio CDs)
CD-R disadvantages:
  • Can't be erased and reused, botch a disc and you have a coaster
  • Some DVD players won't play CD-Rs
Advantages of CD-RW:
  • Can be erased and reused
  • When used with packet writing software like Roxio DirectCD or Nero InCD, you can access the CD-RW like any other drive in Windows
  • Often plays on DVD players that won't play CD-Rs
CD-RW disadvantages:
  • More expensive than CD-R
  • Slower burning speed
  • Many CD players, especially older ones, won't read CD-RWs

That's basically it in a nutshell. As for what you can put on a CD-R or CD-RW, basically either disc will accept the same data--audio CD, CD-ROM, VCD, etc. But some players may not read one or both of the media.

KJP
 

Patrick Sun

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Jun 30, 1999
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I use CD-RW as "test" CDs when I make VCDs, and once I'm happy with the results, I burn it to a CD-R for more permanance.
 

Rob Gillespie

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Aug 17, 1998
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The burn speed is determined by the media. Most CD-RW blanks are x2 or x4. Some are x10 but they're more expensive. Also, the 'rewrite' speed of your drive is separate specification the CD-R speed so you'll never burn CD-RW at x20, for example. I don't know if rewrite speed has exceeded x10. I don't believe I've ever seen CD-RW blanks that state they're more than x10.

The burning technology is different too. CD-R data is literally 'burned' into the organic dye on the blank. CD-RW uses a metallic layer which changes reflectivity if 'burned'. Obviously this can be reversed.

If you're looking at archiving data, CD-R is the way to go.
 

Christian Behrens

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Mar 2, 2000
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Christian Behrens
Rob,

Yamaha's top of the line burner, the CRW-F1, supposedly burns CD-RWs at 24x (with the right media, of course).

-Christian
 

Luis Esp

Supporting Actor
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May 25, 2001
Messages
583
I've tried a few cd-rs by SmartBuy and even though it states "16x", I can't record with anything faster than 4x.

What's at fault here, the cdr or my cd burner?
 

Thomas Newton

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It could be any of:

1. The CD-Rs (not living up to specification)

2. Your burner (e.g., if it's an old one with a maximum burning speed of 4x).

3. The burning speed set in your software (e.g., if you once set it to 4x, then forgot to change it back).

4. The link between your CD-RW drive and your computer. External drives that run over USB 1.x don't go too fast, even if they are "dual interface" drives that can run at higher speed over USB 2.0 or FireWire.

I'd check the last three items before assuming that it's the CD-Rs.
 

Luis Esp

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 25, 2001
Messages
583
Then I would have to assume that it is the cdrs. I've burned cd from other makers and I have'nt had any problems with different speeds.

I thought maybe it could have been my burner or computer.
 

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