Such thing as a bad burner? (Warning: This post has 'noob' written all over it)

This might sound kind of stupid, but is there really such thing as a bad burner?Aren’t they all the same, differing only with what types of media they can support (DL, RAM, etc.) and with how fast they burn? After reading through a lot of posts on this forum, it seems as though the standard against which the burtners are judged is speed–am I wrong? A good burner is simply one that can burn as fast as it says on the package :confused:. What about these C2/C1 errors or whatever…I look at all the charts people post on this site and just stare at them with my mouth open like an idiot…

What does “quality” mean (people say “I just want to be able to burn quality discs.”, or “This burns quality discs!”?) I don’t get it. Let’s take a regular music CD-R for example–would a so-called “good quality” burn have better sound quality then a “poor quality” burn? I really, really hope this isn’t the case, but if it is, you better believe I’m buying the best freakin’ burner out there!

What is the worse case scenario in the world of burning?

Also, I hear from some people that you shouldn’t burn at the fastest speed–in fact some even say to burn strictly at 1x or 2x–I’m not fond of this philosophy. Theoretically, you can burn at the speed of light just as long as the buffer doesn’t drop below zero, and everything will be the same…right? I’ve heard contradictory arguments about this–some say that burning faster produces discs compatible in more players, whereas others say that burning SLOWER produces discs compatible in more players.

Also, speaking of compatibility, the concept of popping in a perfectly good CD-R and having it not work is beyond me. For some crazy reason I’ve just been under the impression that the only CD-players that might not recognize some CD-Rs are those cheap little $15 toy ones. Is compatibility also a factor for CD-ROM drives?

Please don’t take anything I said above as rude or sarcastic (like when I use the word ‘whatever’) I’m just a noob and tried to pose my questions as best I could. Sorry for such a long post filled with so many questions, but I think they’re all pretty much related, and if anyone’s wiling to take the time to clear all this up for me and probably others that would be awesome! :bigsmile:

You can find all kinds of burners from cheap to expensive, from bad result producers to good ones, from ugly to nice looking ones and so on…

But that’s all not counting when it comes to burn quality and reliability.

Burn dvd media at their rated speeds and most likely all will be fine.

Comparing CD-R with recordable dvd media would be kinda comparing apples with oranges. You can buy cheap dvd media everywhere and burn them successfully - but if you want to read them back after a few days or weeks, it will be a desaster in many cases…