Many thanks for all the info and advice btspm. Do a majority of people tend to look to a specific test (eg jitter) for quality check please?
As luck would have it, I do have a physics degree :bigsmile: . So, although I'm a bit rusty I but wouldn't mind a tech-heavier primer. As well as a basic primer . I'm sure the latter would be useful for many people.
My plan was and remains, unless anyone suggests alternatives, to burn each media I try (I have Verbatim 16x DVD+R MIT and Verbatim CD-R MIJ so far. Would also like to trial either the Fuji or Plextor TY02, and the Plextor TY CD-R) at as many speeds as possible, and for the uses I intend to put them, all with standard Plextor advanced settings. So, DVD+R will be documents (.doc, .xls etc), photos, and videos, and CD-R will be doucments (.doc, .xls etc), and audio. For compatibility I will likely be testing only on my own drives (so a couple of PC CD/DVD combis, a couple of PC CD drives, and a hi-fi CD drive).
I'm expecting to use CD-R purely for archiving rare audio CDs (ie CDs that were only printed in runs of 1000-2000, will never be re-issued, and are beginning to degrade). Actually, I suppose its more a case of replacing some of them, given the way that some seem to have failed completely already.
I'm expecting to use DVD+R for the rest, but would consider putting documents on CD-R if the error rates are better and/or the longevity is better. Will need to check the forums here for opinions and advice on the comparative longevity of DVD+R vs CD-R, specifically with MCC and TY. I vaguely remember reading some comments last year that CD-R is likely to have better longevity.
When I run the initial tests I'm going to keep conditions as consistent as possible by letting my drive cool down for probably 10 minutes between burns. Humidity should be fairly consistent throughout. It would be too difficult to try and standardise electrical conditions etc as well.
Once I've identified 2 or 3 superior results, I will then re-test with the drive switched on continuously.
And when I've done that I will re-test with fine tuning of the Plextor advanced settings (eg Gigarec). I believe that GigaRec will be of main interest with audio. Yamaha have sold a CDR/HDD combo box for some years that many claim creates better sounding CDs than the originals. The key seems to be a technique similar to (or perhaps identical with) GigaRec.
So, on this basis I should be busy until 2053 or so , and will have a small pile of potential coasters (because I will be running the trials with a consistent source) but will then have a good idea of how to record for the future. Of course, this won't address any stability issues with the discs themselves, but I will have the coaster pile available for reference and be able to re-run tests on the discs again at, say, 12 months.
Actually, writing this down has frightened me a bit. It seems like a VERY long process. Maybe I'll be selective with the speeds I test at :-).
Re the testing tool itself, that will be Plextor Plextools Professional 2.36. Seems like there will be no newer version than this. Do you know how this compares with professional grade error checkers please?