Data CD's versus Music CD's - the difference?



Is there any real difference between ‘data’ CD’s and ‘music’ CD’s?

I have been very careful to use ‘data’ CD’s for backup and ‘music’ CD’s for music and other audio. Then I ran out of music CD’s and recorded music on a data CD and it actually sounded better! Maybe it was because my data CD’s were TDK and the music CD’s were cheapo generics. [which begs another question - how much difference is there between generic “wholesale” discs and ones with a familiar name?]

I guess that I need to know what is the rulefor what I can use data and music discs for.

Another quick question: If an error occurs while burning a CD-R, do you just have to throw it away and start on a new disc?

Much Thanks


You are better off using good quality data disks. Music cds have some type of royalty which is why they cost more. They are all made the same just packaged different.


Most CD-Rs claim to be for both audio and data (you always see 700 MB (data) / 80 minutes (audio). However, since audio CD players tend to be more picky at times, I would only use better quality CD-R for audio backups.

There are also audio CD-Rs that are specifically designed for standalone CD recorders (HiFi), they are often referred to as Audio CD-R. The standalone CD-recorder will, in principle, accept only these media (there is a work-around I heard). I don’t know if these media can also be used on PC CD-R drives, but I would not do so…I would just stick with better quality data/audio CD-R as you would buy for your PC.