by Staff Writer
A CD or DVD burner allows you to create custom music discs, home movies and digital backups for your important files. All optical drives use storage and blank media, like recordable blank CDs and DVDs. These frequently asked questions will give you a better understanding about blank DVDs, CDs and the drives that use them.
What does the "16x" on CDs mean?
This number is a speed rating for your blank media discs. The higher the number, the faster your blank media can be recorded. A CD-ROM or DVD-ROM reads and records discs at specific speeds. Different read and write speeds allow different transfer rates between your computer's optical drive and the blank media it uses. The actual recording speed will depend on the recording method of the optical drive, the speed of the blank media and your computer's speed.
What's the difference between CD-R and CD-RW?
Some blank media discs, such as CD-R discs, can be recorded on only once, while others can be erased and rewritten multiple times. CD-RW blank media discs can be rewritten thousands of times, although storage capacity can decrease with repeated erasures.
Can I burn CDs with a DVD burner?
Yes. DVD burners can almost universally use CD-R, CD-RW and other blank media formats. The reverse isn't true, however. Blank media DVDs won't work in a CD burner.
Does the CD speed have to match the speed of my disc burner?
Not necessarily. A DVD burner can burn blank media discs at a lower speed than it is rated for. Your burner should be able to handle discs at a speed up to its stated speed rating. A blank media disc burner will be able to record different types of discs at different speeds. Typically, rewriteable blank media discs record at slower speeds than the maximum.
Can I make backups of my DVD and Blu-ray movies?
Some media companies program their DVDs and Blu-ray discs with copyright protection features that prevent you from making copies. The legality of copying protected materials using personal blank media varies, depending on where you live. You may want to check your local laws regarding copyrights before you attempt to make copies.