[buck] was kind enough to pass me a link to this thread.
There's a lot of posts I'd like to comment on specifically, but then I'll be sitting at this thread for hours, and I just can't afford that much time... especially since I'm supposed to be taking this weekend off from work, both hobby and day job related So I'm going to break things down into points, so the sake of expediency only
MAM-A Gold media:
MAM-A Gold media is nifty stuff, but it's not perfect. It's best suited for tasks where you burn the disc, and leave it alone for a long LONG time. Unlike some other brands of media, the disc does NOT focus on initial burn quality, so much as MAINTAINING burn quality. So if you burn a disc, and it only looks maybe a little above average, it's nothing to be concerned about. Another thing to be aware of is that Gold is simply not as reflective as silver. What this means to you and me is, that is you're burning it too fast, or reading it too fast, it's NOT going to work as well. Too fast in CD-R terms is probably >24x (although even 52x might be fine). For DVD-Rs, too fast is >4x. There is a bunch of 8x Gold DVD-R media coming out... DON'T burn it at 8x!!! Even Memorex who is releasing 8x Gold DVD-R media soon, has stated (in their own packaging!!) that it should only be burned at 4x. Please note that having poor reflectivity is NOT a sign of bad quality media, but a side effect of using Gold's anti-oxidyzing properties to stabalize the disc for long term archival purposes. The low reflectivity WILL however skew PI/PIF scans somewhat, especially when run at faster then 4x speeds.
Taiyo Yuden was once considered the SINGLE best manufacturer, hands down, of recordable CD-R and DVDR media. In terms of disc-to-burner compatability, their CD-Rs and 2x-8x DVDÂ±Rs are deffinately still among the very best! However, TY has hit a few snags recently... The first snag became apparent first with their 8x DVDÂ±R media (although also exists in their 16x DVDÂ±Rs too), when the media itself started breaking in half when dropped, or even just being removed from jewel cases! Now in saying this, it is important to point out that the company I work for goes through not just thousands of TY discs a year, but a little over a million on average. So if you go through 3,000+ discs and never experience a problem, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist I'm certainly not saying that EVERY disc suffers from this bonding problem, and really only the most extreme cases will break in half pulled from a jewel case, and that is pretty rare. The point I'm trying to make, is that if the bonding is THAT bad on those discs, then it will probably affect how easily air can get between the layers of the disc, and increase how quickly the dye will become oxidyzed (oxidyzed dye = dead disc). So while TY discs may give you that perfect looking initial burn quality, you may in fact end up with a disc that won't last as long as you think it will! .... Now THAT being said, we have still not seen any reports of TY DVDRs failing because of this, although that might be because many people are very quick to blame ANYTHING other then TY for media problems... or because people are afraid of posting negative news about the crowd favourite. If you look at any of the posts I've made that talk about negative aspects of TY, there is always SOMEONE trying to say I'm either lying, or working for the competition, or have SOME vested interest in making TY look bad (once again, my workplace goes through more then 1 million TY CDRs and DVDRs a year... it's in my vested interest for TY to be GODLY media!!). I should however point out that TY's bonding issue does NOT effect their CD-Rs, as the method of manufacturing CD-Rs does not call for there to be 2 pieces of plastic bonded together... so it could never come up. I've also NEVER heard or experienced any negative manufacturing issues with TY's CD-Rs. Another problem with TY's DVDRs is their 16x media. Both TY's 16x DVD-Rs and 16x DVD+Rs are so variable in burn quality, and so poorly supported by many DVD burners, that my workplace has had to completely remove them from use for internal purposes, although keeps them around in case of special requests (although, they are not recommended!). Furthermore, in my own experiences, very few drives are able to make good burns with this media. I think in part this is because drive manufacturers have just stopped supporting TY because a disc is TY... and TY doesn't make any serious effort to make sure their media is supported. They've been the big shot manufacturer for so long, they don't know how to handle things when their reputation doesn't get them everything they want, and it's starting to really wear thin in the industry.
Whereas most people are now starting to understand that they need to look at more then just PIE/PIF scans, and are looking more at jitter and even beta scans now... you have managed to convince yourself that just looking at PIF is enough. Speaking as a media tester at heart, your ideology scares me. I can tell you put your heart into your media testing and your effort and enthusiasm impress me! But you need to do a lot more research on how a burned disc interacts with a player, to understand just WHY jitter and beta, and yes even PIE scores are worth paying attention to. I should also point out that PIF totals are the most dangerous way to look at a disc (well, PIE totals are just as bad). Because the way a disc is scanned, it's not like EVERY sector is looked at! The software scans the disc at a sampling rate, meaning you are getting a sampling of the disc. So a second scan might find 2x as many total PIE or PIF errors. Also, the errors are NOT on the disc itself, but are a result of the drive's inturpretation of the data being read from the disc, and any difficulties it may have.
Ok, that's all for now.... I still managed to spend too much time writing this :doh: