Reading this forum I'm suprised a lot more people aren't using DVD-RAM to some extent. -- They will play in a few DVD recorders (Panasonic for example) and LG and a few others have DVD writers that will read and write both dvd-RW and DVD-RAM.
For archive / backup you can re-write DVD-RAM over 100,000 times and can write protect the ones in a caddy. Life expectancy is guaranteed to be at least 200 years (how they test that I don't know)
Native Windows XP supports DVD-RAM without the need for rubbish packet writing software (especially for CD-RW's) and being an optical media you can write any file system you like to it -- works with Linux ext3, reiserfs as well.
It's slightly slower than DVD-RW but 99.99999% reliable and double sided media will give you 9.7GB.
They can now be found in a lot of stores as well.
DVD+RW and DVD-RW have a much lower life and can't be used more than a few dozen times so don't use these for repeated backups and archives.
Judging by the problems I've read on this forum about CD's I'm surprised anybody are using these any more. -- If you want to make MP3's the easiest way is to use the current generation of Mini disc recorders which have a PC link .
Having used Computers for around 10 years now I can definitely state that CD-RW was the worst and most unreliable medium ever invented as well as the packet writing software for these.
CD's are OK but these days of such limited capacity it's easier to
switch to DVD -- and the software is more reliable too.