Quality & durability (speeds & brands?)

vbimport

#1

_ _ I recently ordered a LiteOn-52246 CD-RW burner in an external Firewire/USB2 enclosure (for a Mac) and will use it for archiving mp3/mp4 files made from an old audiotape collection._ I want the CD-Rs to be accurate and long-lasting, but speed isn’t much of an issue (anything 4x and above would be fine), and I have some questions:

_ _ LONG-TERM QUALITY: Although the 52246 can burn up to 52x, probably I’ll go much slower, partly because, as your media-archive says, “heat is the process that makes the dye change characteristics and heat will make it unreadable again.”_ It seems logical that, if the ultra-high-speed CD-R media is high-speed because the reactions (chemical and physical) occur faster, this “ease of being written on and changing the CD-R” would also make the high-speed media more vulnerable to physical/chemical reactions (especially those accelerated by heat or light) and thus make them less durable for purposes of archiving.
_ _ SHORT-TERM QUALITY: Also, it SEEMS that writing can be more accurate at lower speeds, although this may not be true, so I’ll ask: In general, is writing at lower speeds (with appropriate high-quality media) better than writing at higher speeds (with appropriate high-quality media)?_ Or do you get similar immediate results?_ (And then there are the long-term questions from above.)

_ _ A PRACTICAL REQUEST for specific information:
_ _ What are some high-quality brands, preferably available at BestBuy or CircuitCity (or OfficeMax,…), for low-to-medium speed CD-R writing (in the 4x to 24x range?) with a LiteOn-52246?_ I’d like to buy some media soon, and any information you can provide (for me and other readers) will be greatly appreciated._ Thanks._ _

_ _ also: I’ve seen web-pages about Kodak-silver/gold and Mitsui-gold._ Are these really better for long-term reliability?_ I didn’t see them on the BestBuy or CircuitCity websites._ Where can they be bought?

MacMike


#2

I forgot to ask about 650 MB versus 700 MB. If readers (in CD players, computers, DVD players,…) are optimized for the standard 650-MB/74-minute CD, could there be problems (especially if with the passage of time there is some data degradation) in reading the slightly narrower spiraling of the 700-MB discs?

MacMike


#3

Your assumptions about speed and quality are a bit mis-guided. You will be using a drive that is designed for speed, and most media is likewise now designed for speed. In fact, at speeds under 24x, the drive will produce lower quality discs on most media. There is very little, if any, evidence that low speed burning has ever resulted in a “higher quality” disc. Your assumptions about high-speed media being less stable are also incorrect. It takes much higher quality media to be burned at high speed, the stamper must be perfectly flat and dye layers equally consistant. These are all qualities that make the disc more “readable” and therefor more stable in the long term.
For stability, quality and consistancy, it’s hard to beat TY media. In that drive, you can burn it at speeds up to 40x with resulting quality that exceeds manufactured discs. Even at 48x it is still very high quality. I suggest you look at the media test threads, and the FAQ, for more information about available media and testing.
Finally, you can never assume that the media you buy will always be the same as the last spindle of the same brand/type. Always test your burns and, if needed, adjust burn speed according to that particular batch’s quality.
Watch the sales at OfficeMax and BestBuy and get Fuji 48x media on sale for 10-15 cents each in 50ct spindles.


#4

yep, best buy frequently has sales on Fuji TY media, pretty much every few weeks. the end cost after discounts and rebates typically result in a 50 pack for $3 or 100 for $8. if u’re like me, u’ll wanna hoard up on these; however, don’t be like me and hoard up nearly a thousand. maybe i should attend some type of Fujiholics Anonymous meeting. :o


#5

maybe i should attend some type of Fujiholics Anonymous meeting.

How about next Tuesday at Denny’s? I’ll bring the CD wallets. :bigsmile:


#6

I forgot to ask about 650 MB versus 700 MB

With audio discs, it may be best to stick with 650MB CDR’s, but they are increasingly harder to find, so it may be a moot point. Some audio players will have trouble tracking 700MB discs, but not many. If you limit the burns to 74 min you will be fine, even with 80 min CDR’s. There is no difference in terms of quality or reliability.


#7

Next week (starting tomorrow), I think OfficeMax has a 50-pack of Fuji CD-Rs for $2.99 after rebate.


#8

Originally posted by DamnedIfIknow

How about next Tuesday at Denny’s? I’ll bring the CD wallets. :bigsmile:

sure, i’ll bring the Fujis. :bigsmile:


#9

rdgrimes says,

Your assumptions about speed and quality are a bit mis-guided.

That’s why I’m asking questions. Thanks for helping me learn.
I’ve been reading about CD-R media, in FAQs,… and it’s very complicated with MANY variables (and unknowns) and things changing quickly. I have lots of questions, so I hope you’ll continue to be patient and helpful.

You will be using a drive that is designed for speed,

When buying this drive (it’s my first, yes I’m sure it’s obvious I’m a newbie) I assumed that it would adjust, using the optimal writing-strategy (re: laser power,…) for each speed. Or is this drive designed to work best at high speeds, and not so well at lower speeds? (according to specs from CDRLab, it can write at 4x-52x)

There is very little, if any, evidence that low speed burning has ever resulted in a “higher quality” disc.

I guess this is based on quality-check tests (I looked at the thread you suggested) but my questions were motivated by the kinds of “physical, chemical and mechanical challenges” described by Jerome Hartke (of Media Sciences) in a paper (published in medialine, February 2003) called “High Speed CD-R Risks” at http://www.mscience.com/fastcdr.html
Evidently, based on your experience with quality-checks, these POTENTIAL problems have been solved in current drives like LiteOn-52246, so due to the clever engineering they aren’t ACTUAL problems?

at speeds under 24x, the drive will produce lower quality discs on most media.

A mismatch (like burning 48x-media at 16x or 4x) would be bad, but what about 24-x-media at 24x or 16x? (or 16x-media at 16x or 12x, or…)

Your assumptions about high-speed media being less stable are also incorrect. It takes much higher quality media to be burned at high speed, the stamper must be perfectly flat and dye layers equally consistant. These are all qualities that make the disc more “readable” and therefore more stable in the long term.

These things (flatness, dye consistency,…) COULD be done with lower-speed media, but they aren’t necessary (to get results that are satisfactory although not necessarily excellent) so usually they aren’t done, but with high-speed media they MUST do them, so they do? Is this it?
Has anyone done “accelerated aging” tests in order to estimate what might happen, over a long period of time, to disks that are optimized for low, medium, and high speeds?

For stability, quality and consistancy, it’s hard to beat TY media.

Evidently, the early cyanine media (that TY uses) degraded quickly, but I’ve read that since then the dye has been “stabilized” and is now fairly long-lasting. Or is phytocyanine still more long-lasting than cyanine?
and it’s probably similar for speed; in early drives, slower burning might have been better, but now the drives have been improved so they can cope with the challenges (as described by hartke) of high-speed writing?
And it’s tough to know who made a disk. Your FAQ describes the ATAP info, but this can’t be used before you buy the disks. There is a page by CD Media World ( http://cdmediaworld.com/hardware/cdrom/cd_factories.shtml ) giving manufacturers and sellers. Is what they say accurate? If it is, the situation is confusing because the three non-TY brands that sell TY (Sony, Philips, Imation) also sell disks made by other manufacturers. Is there a list that is more specific, that gives model numbers instead of just brand names? This information is available in your “testing page” but it’s scattered. Is there a page where all of the testing information, including the manufacturer and more, is all gathered together in one place, maybe in an HTML table that we can print out, to help us cope with the information overload?

Always test your burns and, if needed, adjust burn speed according to that particular batch’s quality.

Is any of the testing software available for Mac, or is it all Windows?

Watch the sales at OfficeMax and BestBuy and get Fuji 48x media on sale for 10-15 cents each in 50ct spindles.

Thanks for the tip. But again there’s the challenge of knowing who manufacured a spindle of Fuji disks. According to CD Media World it’s FujiFilm or Ritek.
Actually, cost may not be that much of a factor. Of course, if all other things equal, cheaper is better. But my experience with reel-to-reel tapes is that, although I bought mainly higher-quality tapes, I now regret the occasional times when I bought lower-quality tapes to save money. Time is more valuable than money, and having to re-do disks later (or losing what was on them) would be something to regret, that I want to avoid.

macMike


#10

Most of the info on media available is very dated. There is no longer any 24x media, for example, unless you buy some old media. CDMediaWorld was never accurate, and is now seriously out of date. There are no assumptions to be made about the dye type, as every maker uses different formulations within each type. There are certainly good and bad examples of each type, but the problems are related to the manufacture, not the dye type.
The 52x drive will burn at 4x, 8x, 12, 16, 20x, 24x, 32x, 40x, 48x, and 52x. Nero will set a max speed based on the media ATIP, but this is not necessarily the optimal speed for the drive and the media, only testing can reveal that. You have a choice of the burn speed to set, exercising that choice is good. When I said that there is no evidence that lower burn speed produces better quality, I meant just that. There’s lots of opinions, but no credible evidence. We have several threads here where we have shown that low speed burning (under 16x) on 48x media produces higher error rates than 40x or even 48x.
There are no reliable aging tests, it’s all guesswork. Media lasts as long as it lasts, according to how it’s stored and handled. Periodic testing of stored media is highly recommended. Protected from heat, moisture and UV, good media should outlive you.
If you buy a spindle of Fuji 48x media in the USA, it will say “Made In Japan” on the wrapper and it will be TY media, always. Some of the packaged media (in jewel cases) “may” be another type, but this too is unlikely. Outside the USA it varies a bit.
I don’t know of any Mac-friendly testing tools, does Nero work on a Mac? If so, maybe CDSpeed will work.


#11

edit: lol, i click “reply” and step away for 10 minutes, and come back to post my reply and see that rdgrimes has already said practically everything i’ve said.


much of the info provided at cdmediaworld is ridiculously outdated and no longer applies to current media.

all spindles of Fuji i’ve ever seen at best buy (and any other store i’ve personally been to that sells Fuji for that matter) have been “made in japan” (ie: TY).

A mismatch (like burning 48x-media at 16x or 4x) would be bad, but what about 24-x-media at 24x or 16x? (or 16x-media at 16x or 12x, or…)

it’s certainly possible that media designed for low speed burning would have better burn quality at lower speeds, but i think u’ll be hardpressed to find quality low speed media, especially when there’s cheap quality high speed media to be bought (ie: Fuji).


#12

Hi,

Some time ago there were links to some magnified photo’s of burnt cd pits / lands (?).

These I believe showed that burning at lower speed produced better shaped pits, etc - I am not sure but the media was maybe x12/x24.

I do not know what the case with x48 is - I have burnt 500 x48 TY Plextor branded cd’s and all test perfect with no errors / slowdowns. I burn virtually all of them at x4 with an occasional x12 - hopefully they will last most of the quoted 100 years :).

I guess it comes down to pit shape and dye life. I burn multimedia / data to these cd’s and store them playing the multimedia files from the drive - hence svcd (mpeg) gets a thrashing from the platters and not the cd itself suffering stress from heat and spin. Hopefully this treatment will allow them to last longer than a x24 burn instead of a x4 (if that is true).

Ice’y


#13

Some time ago there were links to some magnified photo’s of burnt cd pits / lands (?).

That was O/C’s post of the electron microscope photos. Unfortunately the photo links went down and I had to take the thread down. (Although it’s still around somewhere).
That was very old information dating to some very old drives and media. The intent was not so much to show the effects of burn speed, but just the nature of pits and lands. Current drives are calibrated for higher speed, as is the media. Given a high speed drive, and high speed media, there is no evidence that lowering burn speed has any impact on the disc’s lifespan or readability.


#14

RD and AZ say:

Most of the info on media available is very dated. … much of the info provided at cdmediaworld is ridiculously outdated and no longer applies to current media.

Thanks for the tip. This simplifies things, with one less website to read.
But what ARE some good FAQ-type websites? I’ve read yours (cdfreaks) but it’s not very detailed. One with lots of information is Andy McFadden’s CD-Recordable FAQ ( http://www.cdrfaq.org/ ) but is the info in it acurate and up-to-date?
What are some other websites (especially FAQs) you can recommend?
Are there good threads on the LiteOn forum of cdfreaks, re: the best media and speeds for burning on a LiteOn-52246?

macMike


#15

Yesterday I said,

I’ve read yours (cdfreaks) but it’s not very detailed.

Oops! This idea was not expressed very well. What I meant to say was that “it’s not as comprehensive, in the number of topics covered, compared with other FAQs like Andy McFadden’s.”

The cdfreaks-FAQ does answer the 15 questions very well, with lots of good information packed into a small amount of easily readable writing – just what I like in a web-page. It’s just that I have other questions, and was wondering which FAQs can be trusted to provide accurate info, so that I (and others who want to learn) don’t make bad decisions (and waste valuable time) based on bad information.

macMike


#16

Your best source of info is the search button here, once you get the hang of wording a search, you can get loads of stuff that’s fairly specific. The media FAQ is designed more for the beginner, but I add to it as questions come up that seem appropriate to a FAQ. Why don’t you do a couple searches, and if things don’t work out, post your questions here. Many of the other forums also have FAQ’s that the mods have worked hard on, there’s a lot of overlapping in some cases. There are also great discussions at CDRLabs, but I think their search function is still broke. I would be carefull about taking things too seriously at CDRInfo, but there’s info there too. The usenet group: alt.comp.periphs.cdr is searchable too, (Google!), it’s a pretty wild place sometimes though.
But nobody here is going to jump on you for posting your questions. If they do I’ll kick some butt. :cop: Fair enough? By posting your questions, you add to this huge database of information, and it benefits the next guy.


#17

Originally posted by macmike
I’ve seen web-pages about Kodak-silver/gold and Mitsui-gold._ Are these really better for long-term reliability?_ I didn’t see them on the BestBuy or CircuitCity websites._ Where can they be bought?
MacMike

Apparently the Kodak Gold and Silver/Gold ARE of better qulaity in terms of archival life. It’s certainly the point which Kodak has pushed them for use as. Unfortunately, they are no longer made as Kodak/Panasonic pulled out of the media market last year. You may be (extremely) lucky and pick up old stock from somewhere. I think they are only 12 (or it could be 24) speed max.