Panasonic DVD-RAM

I recently bought a new laptop and it came with a Panasonic DVD-RAM UJ-820s …

It only burn’s dvd+rw at 2.x and dvd-r at 2x … Can somebody give me an opinion about DVD-RAM versus +/-RW …

Note: I’ve got plenty of memorex 4x +RW and some verbatin -rw that I use almost in a daily base …

Should I stick to those or invest on some DVD-RAM discs ???

The main and only benefit is substantially longer re-write capability. The downside is cost, very sparce support with othe drives, slower write times, and difficulty reading some formats burned with Panasonic stand alone recorders. You choose whether the downside offsets the upside. Currently, very good Ritek +RWs are about $30-$40 per 100. This will get you a 5 pack of TDK RAM discs. I find after a year, I never use mine.

Get just one DVD-RAM media to see it whether it works for you. Experiences and opinions are very subjective. I also think DVD-RAM is too expensive. I just have one 3x DVD-RAM and 5x DVD-RAM media that I didn’t buy from retail but got with the drives. It was easy to get lots of 4x DVD+RW media by comparison.

I use both DVD-RAM (with Panasonic DVD-RAM driver) and DVD+RW (with Drag-to-Disc V7.1). There are pros and cons each other.

DVD-RAM has a lot of reliability. DVD-RAM has functions of defect management and automatic verify. Both functions are supported by hardware. You can rewrite 100000 times. Unstable packet writing software is not required (Panasonic DVD-RAM driver is mandatory if you want to handle UDF). The other hand, DVD+RW is not reliable because it does not have defect management function. You can rewrite only 1000 times. You must install packet writing software, such as Drag-to Disc or InCD.

But DVD-RAM is too slow. 4x DVD+RW can write 4x and read 4x. 8x DVD+RW is coming soon (but incompatible with 2.4x/4x drive). 5x DVD-RAM can write only 2.5x and read 5x. 5x DVD-RAM is expensive and rare. High Speed DVD-RAM (6x, 10x) and Ultra Speed DVD-RAM (16x) has been already announced but nobody know when they are sold. Both speed DVD-RAM (>= 6x) is not compatible with lower speed DVD-RAM (<= 5x).

When you bring your DVD+RW media to other PC, at least you can play it back even if packet writing software is not installed. But DVD-RAM media require DVD-RAM drive.

Gess I’ll just stick with the pile of ricoh dvd+rw … and thanks you all for the input. :cool:

This is how I use DVD-RAM:
Constantly saving all important programs and data files with a simple drag-and-drop (or cut/copy and paste) to the disc. As new versions of programs come out, I simply drag & drop to the disc. I also save my files to the disc directly in office-type applications and graphics applications. So it works similar to a hard drive, floppy drive or USB key. I download direct-to-disc and can also play some files and save/edit files on the disc in another program while that’s happening. It’s as flexible as you’d expect a hard-drive to be with saves and edits.

The alternatives:
*Saving stuff to the hard drive. Very fast speed. But a hard drive can fail at any time and take your data with it. Want a safe back-up? You are still left with the hassle of backing up your stuff the old-fashioned way (ie. loading up Nero (or similar) and pre-mastering on DVD+R(W) or DVD-R(W). This is still extremely slow on 4x media (and still would be a pain with 8x, in my opinion), and you don’t really have the quick flexibility of making quick changes to what you save to disc like DVD-RAM, which is the major drawback.
*Or you can save stuff to direct to regular DVD+R(W)/DVD-R(W) with packet-writing applications if you want the same drag-n-drop ease, at the expense of reliability and data integrity (the way the data is written, the drives and the media itself are far less reliable than DVD-RAM). Do you trust less stable DVD+RW and DVD-RW media and iffy packet-writing applications enough with your data? I don’t.

In summary, DVD-RAM is a great format for daily saves and edits on the PC, without the risk of a hard drive crash taking your data. To me it beats the pants off pre-mastering in Nero, and I don’t trust my data to packet-writing to get the same convenience (or reliability). Several DVD drives out there can read DVD-RAM like some Pioneer and Samsung models and others, but sure, DVD-RAM playback (and recording) support isn’t as common as regular vanilla DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W). How important is sharing your data with others? If it’s important, burn off a quick DVD+R(W) or DVD-R(W).

It all comes down to what your priorities are. I think the format fits its niche quite well, and is unmatched in the areas it excels in.

cynical one,

I agree with your rationale of reliability as being important in deciding on DVD-RAM as the media choice for peace of mind.

There is also a very nice little chart/animation that displays an overview of the other inherent virtues of DVD-RAM and why it will grow in popularity.

It shows the advantages of DVD-RAM here:

I am always going to rely on it. I believe that it is going to be big and get much more popular because of it’s capabilities, displayed well at this site.

I bought a 5 pack of FUJIFILM DVD-RAM for Video ( made in Japan) for $20.00 at Best Buy.

Not expensive.

Yeh, to me it’s a bargain, and the closest thing to an ideal removable storage format we’ve come to for the mass market. All this talk of floppy replacements and we have this great tool right in front of our noses! (which is so simple to use, grandma would be at home with it). I’m amazed it doesn’t get more respect.