I did some forum searching and it looks like a lot of you are doing the same thing I am, adding par2 files to data DVDs. This is particularly helpful as after a few years (particularly if you lend a DVD to friends and roomates) a lot of DVDs tend to take some wear and tear and far to often I'll wind up with data loss because of a little CRC error. With par2 files, the contents of the DVD can easilly be repaired by ripping an ISO and using the par2s to fix the bad data (it's usually pretty minimal, only a block or so).
I'm more or less looking for a way to automate this process the the greatest degree possible. I usually do my burning while studying or something, so time isn't nearly as important an issue as automation.
My dream come true would be a new CD data format, where all leftover space was automatically used for parity information. You would throw X amount of data into Nero, hit burn, Nero would note that there was Y amount of free space left on the disk, generate and burn that much extra parity data. Idealy, this would be completely transparent, and when you took data off a DVD, and the parity data was needed, it would work more or less the way I think the current (though minimal) parity data already works. How feasable do you guys think something like this would be? Obviously there would be compabitility issues, likely only PCs with certain software / drivers would be able to read said disks, etc, but I think it would really make a publisher of burning software stand out if they offered something like what I described, though of course I'd perfer if the standards for it were not proprietary but open.
But, dreaming asside, what's a more efficient way to go about making my parity data and burning it? Right now I throw my files into Nero, estimate how much free space I have, throw the files in quickpar, and make enough par2 files to more or less take up the free space. Sometimes it's a little over and I delete a few par2s, sometimes it's a little under and I just don't use all the free space. Either way, not a big deal, but I'm sure someone has thought up a better way.
Again, this may be going into the area of dreams again, but would it be feasable for a plugin for a burning program (I'll say Nero again, but I'm don't really care too much) to work with quickpar or a command line par2 utility? It would say "Hey, quickpar, we have X amount of free space, so make X amount of par2 files," quickpar would make them in a temp directory, they'd be added to the data to burn, and be deleted from the temp directory when the job was done.
Any suggestions / ideas / speculations welcome.