Burn family photos to CD or DVD?



I have around 1000 family photos stored on my computer and would like to get them to discs, but am needing advice on what to burn them to.
Should I burn them to DVDs or CDs? How many photos would I be able to get per CD or DVD? Is it just personal preference of which to use, or why would I chose one over the other? Any suggestions of brand/type of discs? Any advice in general in beginning this task?
Thanks in advance for any advice for this newbie.


Please look at the attachment. It shows the number of pictures you can place based on resolution and storage capacity. The best answer to your storage question is “lots”. (Are your pictures scanned, black & white or color, are they big, etc.?)

A single layer DVD is approximately 7 times greater storage than a CD. You can burn a CD using XPs operating system if you have XP. CDs are generally regarded as being more stable than DVDs. Do you have a DVD burner?

Always use quality media (Verbatim or TY).


The pictures are color and have been transferred from my digital 5 MP camera’s picture cards. So would I be correct that I should be able to get about 250 pictures per 700 MB CD? I would need to divide them by dates, subject or something to be able to find what I want to look at in the future.

I do have XP and I do have a DVD burner. So the DVD would hold much more, but the CDs are regarded as better quality, right? I will probably go with the CD then as I would want the best quality possible to print from if we wanted to in the future. I would assume it would always be possible from either the CD or DVD to copy a specific picture back to the computer to print and/edit in the future?


This table is not always accurate as it also heavily depends on the quality setting and the compression applied to the image by the cam, so YMMV.

Keep in mind that only few CD media like Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim DataLifePlus Super Azo (not the regular Verbatims which are actually CMC/Prodisc/MBI/Daxon/Ritek/almost everything under the sun) are really suited for archival usage.
If you want to buy Taiyo Yuden, avoid silver shiny tops, get the printable CD media instead.

Gold media (Mitsui/MAM-A, Delkin, Memorex…) isn’t worth the extra price.


There are discussions around about the most reliable media to keep your photos for long periods of time.
Some people give advantage to CDrs instead of DVDs, as they say they last longer and you can even find CDs named as “photo archive quality” (more expensive, special coatings, some golden).
Sorry but no final opinion on that, however avoid RW media and - if the pictures are important to you - make more than one copy and keep them apart, if possible in a good environement.
Check them from time to time, and if you are cautious about any problem back them at larger intervals (this way you will not have reason to worry about media life span).
A final remark - if you intend to keep for long, long periods I think you will have to follow the new devices/media that come into the market, so transfer to a new support before the hardware/software that can deal with you copies disaperar.


CDs as already mentioned, but I would recommend keeping them all on a hard-drive as well.


What is the stability of flash drives/jump drives to back up the pictures on a hard drive or CD?


Pen drives (let’s call it this way) are the same kind of memory as the one you use to record the pictures you take with your cameras (coming in several flavours: MMC, SD, MC, Old SmartMedia, Memory Stick, xD Picture Card), and are increasing in capacity to be used in video cameras (8 and even 16GB are already in the market) and desktop “hard drives” (an expensive 32GB was just announced).
THis kind of media uses to be quite resistant to shock, as have no moving parts.
If you put all this together I think you have to conclude that stability may not be an issue, in average and properly used.
As an archive media is expensive.