Anyway, I don’t want to drag on terribly. My intent is to try and correct my improper ripping and burning methods, and attempt to increase the overall quality of my back ups.
When using shrink, you can just copy the main movie only without menus and extras. This is what I do to increase quality since I really don’t care much about extras on most movies. Another may be to simply increase compression to the max for the extras and have less compression for the actual movie. Up to you really.
[B][B]1.[/B] Is there any way to tell before purchase the quality of the discs I am going to buy? Is the “Media Code” on the exterior package of the DVDR spindles? I seem to see people discuss this while missing exactly how you can do this without putting the disc in a drive and performing a media test. And I find it difficult to imagine you all randomly buy discs and find out only later their quality. (Example: “Get the Verbatim 8x DL mid code MKM003, made in Singapore.”)[/B]
No but with trust worthy media like Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim then will almost always be the real deal. You just have to look at where it’s made. Made in Japan, Taiwan etc.
[B][B]2.[/B] I have never burned a DVD-R before, my drive seems to burn DVD+R’s very well though, I’ve never had a problem burning one. And I’ve never had a problem playing one, this includes my only DVD player, my PS2 & my X-Box 360. I haven’t seen any true consensus on one format being better than the other, so if one is please inform me of which.[/B]
Well, DVD+R and -R have never made much difference for me. I’ve only used what I think is the best quality media. You can set the book type of +R which means it will fool shitty players that normally won’t play burnt media into playing it. I doubt this affects many people though and I know for a fact that PS2 and many DVD players have no problems with -R. It’s up to you but I’d get the best quality media @ the best price and not worry about + or - R.
[B]3.[/B] What are the ‘best’ [B]single layer[/B] DVD-/+R’s currently available.[/B]
IMO - Verbatim DVD-R 8x (MCC02RG20) or Taiyo Yuden DVD+R 8x (YUDENT0002).
[B][B]4.[/B] What are the ‘best’ [B]dual layer[/B] DVD-/+R’s currently available.[/B]
Only Verbatim +R DL.
[B][B]5.[/B] What are the ‘best’ ways to store such discs? (I understand that most people feel that disc wallets are the worst thing you could store them in, and that actual DVD cases are the best. I just wondered what the options were in a most harmful to least harmful type of way.)[/B]
Best to worst - (IMO)
storage boxes (sleeves inside, DVDs sit vertically instead of flat)
wallets stored so discs are vertical
wallets stores so discs are horizontal (flat against each other)
[B][B]6.[/B] I understand that depending on your drive and the media used, lower burn speeds may result in better quality discs. Is this something worth delving further into?[/B]
As has been said, mid speeds are good. For example I find that 8x media can burn very well @ 4x,6 and even 8x but 16x is best done @ 6x or 8x for most. Sometimes 12x or 16x can be used with good results but only on perfect spindles of media, which is rare to find.
[B]]7.[/B] Are there different programs to rip complete dual layer DVDs and burn them? I’ve heard “imgburn” is one of the more popular choices for burning dual layer discs. Should I switch to different software to better accommodate my wishes for superior quality?[/B]
imgburn is basically an updated DVD decrypter. Made by the same people as well I think.
[B][B]8.[/B] Should I “test” [B]each[/B] of my discs individually before burning?[/B]
As in doing a test write? No way, it never achieves anything and won’t mean a real burn won’t fail or burn crappy @ that speed.
[B][B]**My disc drive:[/B] LITE-ON DVDRW SHW-160P6S[/B]
You can use that to scan burns in CDspeed if you like. Gives a general idea of how it was burned error wise. Warning though, do not take results too seriously.
[B]I’m headed to Best Buy tomorrow with several coupons I received in the mail, hopefully by then I’ll know what type of discs I’m looking for exactly.
Thank you very much to anyone who took the time to read my rambling words.
See what they have, snap up any 8x Verbatim, whether it be - or +R because they’re great. And as the poster above me said, anything made by Sony that is Made in Japan will be Taiyo Yuden, so get that if it’s there.