The CD Burner
for storing your data and music to CDs
CD burner, also known as the CD writer, has become the most popular way to store
other computer data to hard media (CDs).
of this kind of hardware increased dramatically during "the Napster days", when
people really discovered the possibility of downloading music from the net.
writer technology has come a long way in terms of speed, storage volume and
quality and it's constantly improving.
What you need to know about a CD burner before you buy one
Following are a few pieces of advice to consider when buying a cd burner
CD burner's compatibility with the correct CD media (CD-R and CD-RW)
Yeah, the meaning of all these abbreviations can sometimes be a pain in the
here they are easily explained once and for all:
CD-R = CD Recordable. To this type of CD you can store data only once. If
the cd burning somehow fails or if the cd has been recorded to before, you can't
rewrite to it.
CD-RW = CD ReWriteable. This type of CD lets you rewrite and erase the data
written to it.
or all new cd burners are compatible with both types of CD media, but it's
useful to know a bit about them anyhow.
people claim that there is no use for the CD-RW type of CD anymore since the
price of CD-R discs is down to almost nothing (like
around $25 for a 100-pack) and the burn proof technology of new CD burners
prevents almost any case of CD writing to fail.
two most common storage sizes for CD-R and RW are:
MegaBytes of data / 74 minutes of music
MegaBytes of data / 80 minutes of music.
glossary to some of the terms you meet when buying blank CD media:
Jewel Case - The CDs come in cases like music CDs from the music stores come
Slim line Jewel Case - Like Jewel Case only thinner.
Sleeves - The CDs are protected by thin cardboard or paper sleeves.
Spindle - The CDs come stacked on a spindle without any sleeves or cases.
This is usually the cheapest way to buy blank CDs.
Internal or External CD writer?
That's a question of personal preference and price.
internal CD writer is the most common and the cheapest of the types. It's
located inside the computer case and the CD is fed through a slot or drawer in
External CD writers
tend to be a bit more expensive, but if you're
going to use it with different computers and portability is important to you,
this is the way to go.
external CD writer is connected to the computer like most other external
equipment is these days, through USB or Firewire connectors.
X-Factor, The CD Burning Speed
you may have seen in the CD writer ads, a few numbers followed by an X (i.e.
numbers, also known as the X-factor, determine the speed of the cd writer doing
different tasks. They are usually displayed in the following order:
READ-speed / REWRITE-speed / WRITE-speed
stands for how many times the regular playing speed of a CD the cd burner can
read, write or rewrite.
cd writer with 52X writing speed can burn a full 74 minute CD in
/ 52 = 1,4 minutes
is not entirely accurate. Cd writers vary how fast they burn after how far into
the burning process of the entire CD they have gotten.
manufacturers of CD writers display the fastest speed the CD writer will
read/write, that's usually at the end of a full CD.
Determining how fast the CD writer will actually write also depends on the
starting and stopping of the burning process and some on the cd writer software
the calculation above for reference. Although it's not entirely accurate it's
not far off either.
Burn Proof Technology
writers had the problem that if the CD burning process somehow
stopped due to small scratches or dust on the CD, or other errors it could not
continue and would render the
Newer technology has made it possible for the CD
slow down when encountering errors and even come to a complete stop and then
continue, dramatically reducing the number of CD-Rs one has to throw away.
CD Burner Software
A cd burner cannot work without the proper software and
there are a lot of software to choose from.
The one piece of software I can truly recommend which I have
been using myself for years is the
Nero Burning ROM
cd burning software.
It can handle your every need, from preparing and converting
audio files to copying and burning CDs, VCDs and DVDs.
Some of the cd burners in the online store linked to from
this page come bundled with the Nero software.