How To Choose CD/DVD Archival Media

(Last updated January 11th 2013)

Translations: Serbo-Croatian by Jovana Milutinovich

Ahh, I’ve been planning to write this one for awhile: an entire article on archival quality media. As I do professional software development as well as professional photography (what a weird combination), I need archival quality CD and DVD media to store my data on.

However, one of the hardest things to is actually find good media, or even understand why it is good media. This article focuses on the history of Compact Discs, writable CD/DVD media, and why DVD+R is superior to DVD-R. If you want to just know what media is worth buying, skip to the summary at the bottom.

Short history of the Compact Disc
The invention of the Compact Disc has had a large impact on both music and computing in the last 20 years. Invented in 1979 as a joint project between Sony and Philips to counter the self-destructive nature of consumer audio playback (such as tapes and records that could only be played so many times before the recording degraded significantly) by switching to a resilient digital format.

The CD was also designed to store standard computer data, as in 1985 the first CD drives for computers were released; massive, bulky, and expensive, it was not until the mid-90s that they really took off, driven almost solely by video games and large multimedia applications.

In 1990, Sony and Philips went back to the drawing table, and then came out with the CD-R, a record-once medium. Yet again, the first CD burners were large, expensive, and bulky, but by the late 90s having a CD burner was the new ‘in’.

The first few generations of CD media, designed by Taiyo Yuden (a company who I respect, and buy all my archival quality media from), actually kind of sucked; it wasn’t until around 2000 that companies started producing very high end media.

CDs and DVDs store individual bits (encoded in various ways depending on the media) with spots of reflective and non-reflective areas. This method is called ‘pits and lands’, where pits ‘absorb’ light (ie, are ‘off’ bits) and lands ‘reflect’ light (ie, are ‘on’ bits).

With pressed media, the pressing method causes pits to reflect the laser’s light away from the sensor, and the lands to reflect it back at the sensor. With burned media, a high energy laser causes spots of organic dye to go opaque and obscure the reflective surface for the pits, leaving the organic dye for lands alone.

Short history of the DVD
While burning was becoming popular in the late 90s, so was playing high quality video on DVDs. Storing almost 7 times the data of a 700MB CD (or almost 13 in the case of dual layer DVDs), allowed companies to store massive amounts of data on one disc, leading to the movie industry to drop VHS tapes and the video game industry to drop CDs.

In 1995, the first DVD specification was ratified by over a dozen companies including Sony and Philips, as well as Thompson, Pioneer, and Mitsubishi. By 2000, at least half the homes in the US and Japan had DVD players.

So, obviously, the next step was to produce burnable DVDs. Two separate, and incompatible, efforts took hold. The first one, Pioneer’s DVD-R (pronounced ‘DVD dash R’) was released in 1997, using different data storage methods than pressed DVDs (appearing to be more like CD-R than DVD), a poor error correction scheme, and the ‘wobble’ laser tracking system of DVD-R is inadequate for the job.

The second effort, lead by the DVD+RW Alliance (headed by Sony, Philips, Mitsubishi, and Thompson) was released in 2002, as an alternative to the poorly implemented DVD-R. DVD+R uses a superior ‘wobble’ laser tracking system, a far better error correction method, and the media quality itself is typically higher. (See the ‘Why DVD+R?’ section below for a more technical explanation)

Why archival media is hard to produce
Unlike pressed CDs/DVDs, ‘burnt’ CDs/DVDs can eventually ‘fade’, due to five things that effect the quality of CD media: Sealing method, reflective layer, organic dye makeup, where it was manufactured, and your storage practices (please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media).

The silver and aluminum alloys used in virtually all blank CD/DVD media has one major issue, requiring the manufacturer to lacquer a protective seal over the entire disc: silver and aluminum oxidize when they hit air, turning the normally reflective layer into silver or aluminum rust. Some (very expensive) media uses gold instead which doesn’t oxidize, however DVD media cannot use gold due to design issues (not true anymore, see update 1 below). Today, only the cheapest of the cheap media has severe issues with sealing practices (as such, avoid any media made outside of Japan and Taiwan; especially avoid media made in India).

Assuming that the protective seal and reflective layer are manufactured correctly, the next issue is the organic dye. The first organic dyes, designed by Taiyo Yuden, were Cyanine-based and, under normal conditions, had a shelf life of around ten years; simply, that was simply unacceptable for archive discs. Taiyo Yuden, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Mitsui Co., and Ciba Specialty Chemicals spent the next ten years trying to produce the best organic dyes, eventually reaching archive-quality CD media.

Taiyo Yuden produced ‘Super Cyanine’, a chemically stabilized version of the original Cyanine dye designs, while TDK offers media that uses ‘metal-stabilized Cyanine’ dye, leading to similar shelf lives as Taiyo Yuden’s media. Taiyo Yuden states their Super Cyanine dye is chemically stable for at least 70 years, and TDK states their metal-stabilized Cyanine is also stable for 70 years.

On the other hand, Mitsubishi went in a different direction and produced what is called a Metal Azo dye, that they claim is stable for around 100 years. Azo dyes are chemically stable, however, the shelf life of media using Azo dyes typically does not exceed that of Super Cyanine and metal-stabilized Cyanine.

The third dye produced for CD media is called Phthalocyanine dye, with the majority of such dyes produced by Mitsui and Ciba. Typically marketed as more resistant to heat and UV radiation than Cyanine and Azo, modern Cyanine and Azo dyes last just as long in extreme conditions.

DVDs also use similar dyes, however manufacturers have intentionally kept what dyes they use a secret (instead of a feature in their marketing of the media), and all blank DVDs are intentionally the same color (as different dyes on CDs make blanks different colors, however, it is not indicative of what dye is used due to some manufacturers using different colored silver alloys and non-reactive additives in the dye).

Why Taiyo Yuden media, and how to buy in the US
The best discs in circulation tend to be Taiyo Yuden media. In Japan, you find their media under the brand That’s, which are wholly owned by Taiyo Yuden.

As of late 2009, Taiyo Yuden announced they were buying the JVC Advanced Media brand, and making it a wholly owned and operated brand for TY products. They did this to put Taiyo Yuden products on store shelves worldwide. See update 4 at the bottom for a full explanation.

Simply put, I have never had problems with any kind of Taiyo Yuden media. Ever. I have bought CDs and DVDs under a dozen different brands (including non-Taiyo Yuden manufactured TDK and Verbatim), and the only ones that have had a 100% success rate is Taiyo Yuden.

If you cannot find any company selling media under the Taiyo Yuden/JVC Advanced Media brand, I suggest buying from the SuperMediaStore.com, who offer a wide range of Taiyo Yuden CD media, DVD-R media, and DVD+R media. I tend to buy just from them, as they are the only company that guarantees that their media is actually from Taiyo Yuden and not a fake (see the above linked FAQ on information about fake Taiyo Yuden media).

Why DVD+R?
This is the most technical section of the article. If you don’t understand the basics of how CD/DVD media works, or find such technical discussions boring, skip to the next section.

As I said earlier, DVD-R sucks for data preservation for three reasons: inferior error correction, inferior ‘wobble’ tracking, and the fact its data writing methods look like an un-needed halfway point between CD-R and DVD+R. The wobble tracking I shall explain first, then the error corrections method, then the specifics of ATIP/pre-pit/ADIP optimum power settings.

For a CD/DVD burner to track where it is on the disc, it uses three things: the ‘wobble’ of the data track (where it actually wobbles back and forth instead of in a straight line) to tell where it is in the track, the position of the track to tell where it is on the disc, and some additional information on the disc to tell where the track (singular, as CDs and DVDs only have one track, and it is written in a concentric spiral) begins and ends.

This additional information on a CD-R is called the ATIP (Absolute Time In Pregroove), which contains how long the track is, where it begins, what the maximum and minimum writing speeds are, what formula dye it uses, who actually made it, optimum power control settings, and error correction data. The ATIP is stored as a frequency modulation in the wobble itself.

However, since the wobble changes subtly to encode data, it is impossible to use with the small size of tracks DVD requires, as electric noise in the laser pickup and wobbles introduced by the electric motor spinning the disc, these could easily be read as frequency changes in the real track itself.

On DVD-R, they tried to solve the problem with something called ‘pre-pits’ where spikes in the amplitude of the wobble appear due to pits fully out of phase with the rest of the track (ie, between two spirals of the track, where there is no data). This can be viewed as a simple improvement over CD-R as it makes it easier to track the wobble (since the wobble is constant except for the easy to detect and remove spikes).

Unfortunately, this method as one flaw: due to electric noise in the laser pickup, it would be very easy to miss the pre-pit (or read one that wasn’t actually there) if the disc were damaged or spun at fast speeds. The time to read a pre-pit is 1T (roughly .0000000038th of a second), which even for a computer can be easy to miss. DVD-R traded hard to track frequency changes for hard to read wobble-encoded data.

On a DVD+R, however, they came up with a much better method. Instead of changing the frequency of the wobble, or causing amplitude spikes in the wobble, they use complete phase changes. Where CD-R’s and DVD-R’s methods make you choose between either easy wobble tracking or easy ATIP reading, DVD+R’s method makes it very easy to track the wobble, and also very easy to encode data into the wobble. DVD+R’s method is called ADIP (ADdress In Pre-groove), which uses a phase change method.

With ADIPs’ phase changes, the direction of the wobble changes and continues on going in the exact opposite direction (ie, counter-clockwise to clockwise, or the reverse). For example, if the wobble was ‘going up’, the phase change causes it to instantly reverse direction start ‘going down’ no matter where it in the wobble cycle. The phase change is very easy to detect, and also continues for a set period (in this case, one 32T section of the track, or 32 times longer than the pre-pit method of DVD-R).

The state of the phase change (clockwise or counter-clockwise) encodes the individual bits in each block In essence, with the phase change method, not only do you have an easy way of tracking the wobble, but you now have an easy way of reading wobble-encoded data.

As I mentioned earlier, this wobble-encoded data includes error correction of wobble-encoded data itself. Error correction is the most important part of media, because if it does not work, then you’ve lost your data, even if there is nothing seriously wrong with the disc.

The DVD-R specification states that for every 192 bits, 64 of them are not protected under any scheme, 24 of them are protected by 24 bits of parity, and the last 56 bits are protected by another 24 bits of parity. This weird (to put it mildly) scheme allows you to easily scramble or lose 25% of the data that is required to read your disk! This information is almost more important than the actual data burned on the disc itself.

The DVD+R specification, however, states that for every 204 bits of information, it is split into four blocks of 52 bits containing 1 sync bit to prevent misreading because of phase changes, 31 bits of data, and a 20 bit parity (that protects all 32 bits of data). The sync bit is always the same value in all four blocks, and exists only to prevent phase inversions.

Now, the third item on the list: how DVD+R discs burn better. As I said earlier, ATIP/pre-pit/ADIP stores information about optimum power control settings. This information is basically formulas stating how much output power is needed, what the laser startup power should be, and other pieces of information you require to properly burn a DVD.

Optimum power control output is dependent on three things: burning speed, laser wavelength, and information given to the drive about the media. DVD-R basically fails on all three accounts because DVD+R simply includes far more information about the media in the ADIP data than DVD-R does in it’s pre-pit data.

DVD+R includes four optimum profiles, one for four major burning speeds (usually 2x, 4x, 6x, and 8x, though this can change as speeds increase). Each of these profiles include optimum power output based on laser wavelength, more precise laser power settings, and other additional information. With this information, any DVD+R burner can far more optimize it’s burning strategy to fit the media than it can with DVD-R, consistently providing better burns.

For comparison, DVD-R includes one profile, optimum power output based for that one profile only and uncalibrated towards what wavelength it is for, less precise laser power settings, and no other additional information. Typically, DVD-R burners have to already know how to burn a certain piece of media (and include this information in their firmwares) before they can properly burn to it. New media often is not properly supported.

In addition to the optimum power control profiles, DVD+R also gives four times more scratch space for the drive to calibrate the laser on; more space can only improve the calibration quality. So, in short, DVD+R media exists to simply produce better burns and protect your data better.

And finally, the end of the article…
Finally, after roughly three pages of technical discussion, we arrive at the end of my dissertation on archival quality CD/DVD media. So, you’re probably now wondering, in simple terms, what media do I recommend?

To begin with, I do not recommend CD-RW, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW media in any form for permanent storage. This is mostly a no-brainer, but those discs are meant to be able to be changed after burning, and they are simply unsuitable for long-term archival storage. I also do not recommend DVD-R media due to DVD+R’s superior error correction and burning control.

That said, I recommend Taiyo Yuden media across the board. Taiyo Yuden currently manufactures 52x CD-R, 16x DVD-R, and 16x DVD+R media in normal shiney silver, inkjet printable, and thermal printable forms. Taiyo Yuden may be one of the most expensive (if not the most expensive), but their media quality is unsurpassed. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I recommended buying from SuperMediaStore.com as they are the only online US distributor that guarantees that their Taiyo Yuden media is certified as coming from Taiyo Yuden.

So, what am I using? Due to Taiyo Yuden’s superior media quality, and DVD+R’s superior design, I use only Taiyo Yuden DVD+R media. I recommend this media to everyone who wishes to keep their data for a long, long time.

Update 1: It seems MAM-A and Kodak actually has managed to make a gold DVD, though no one else seems to be manufacturing them (Taiyo Yuden/JVC Advanced Media now makes an archival gold disc, see update 6). However, MAM-A’s gold archival media still doesn’t seem to exceed TY quality (although Mr 60,000 in the comments below puts TY second best to MAM-A). Due to the extreme cost of gold archival media ($2+ a disc) with very little increased protection (if any), I’ll still say TY media is better. I want to see more independent tests on this before I change my recommendation.

In addition, I’d like to mention that Verbatim has been relabeling other brands of disc as their own. If the box/spindle/cakebox the discs come in don’t say they’re manufactured with Verbatim’s proprietary Azo dye (sometimes called Advanced Azo, sometimes not, depending on the product) then they aren’t Verbatim media at all and should be avoided as they may not meet typical home archival standards.

Update 2: (Sept. 19th 2007) Its almost been a year since I first wrote this article. My recommendations for media have not changed, my recommendations for DVD burners have.

Samsung: Samsung is currently producing two drives worth owning, the
Samsung SH-S222AB
(SATA). They’re not considered archival grade, but they’re not bad.

TEAC: TEAC makes an archival drive that is ISO/IEC10995 compliant, and is very expensive. Comes in two forms, external USB DV-W5000U and internal SATA DV-W5000S. I’ve seen DV-W5000U drives for sale for $500, and refurbished DV-W5000S drives for $150-200. This is the elite of drives, and recommended if you’re very serious about 30+ year archival storage.

Update 3: (July 26th 2009) Its been awhile since I updated this article. Pioneer is no longer manufacturing drives worth using. Just buy a Samsung or TEAC drive like I link to above. I’m using two Samsung drives now after my PX-716 finally died after years of service.

My recommendation on TY and Verbatim hasn’t changed, and I imagine it will never change; DVD media will not change significantly from here on out. Bluray in my opinion is not worth switching over to unless you’re storing data that can be measured in hundreds of gigabytes, and at that point you might want to look into archival tape storage.

When Bluray is worth switching over to, I’ll write a follow up article to this one. High quality single layer media will have to drop below 50 cents a piece and Bluray burners will have to become ubiquitous (much like DVD burners are now) before that happens. I’m thinking 2011 or later.

Update 4: (August 3rd 2010) Taiyo Yuden has bought the JVC Media brand and is now operating under the JVC Advanced Media brand. You can now buy TY inside JVC boxes and get your usual TY quality. This site has the conversion of part numbers.

JVC has not bought Taiyo Yuden, and Taiyo Yuden is in full control of this new venture. They merely bought they name so they can put TY products on store shelves worldwide.

SuperMediaStore.com is selling almost all JVC Advanced Media branded TY products in place of the old TY branded ones.

Update 5: (September 27th 2011) A few people have asked about how PIE/PIF scans work.

DVD-R and DVD+R both employ two stage error correction.

PIE (Parity Inner Error) just means error correction was used, PIF (Parity Inner Failure) means the error was unrecoverable using the inner ECC block but still may be recovered using the outer ECC block . On tools that give avg/max/total, max PIE values above 140, or max PIF values above 4* means the disc needs to be replaced but the data most likely isn’t corrupted yet**.

For a burn to be considered still pristine you want max PIE below 20 and max PIF 3 or lower.

Discs will NOT be pristine after 5 years, but there is a fall off of PIF/PIE increasing after 6 months and doesn’t seem to start picking up again until 5-10 years depending on storage environment.

Totals for PIF can be as high as 100k yet have a max of 20, and total PIF can be as high as 1000 but have a max below 3. Max PIE is considered mostly fatal above 280 and can reach as high as 1664, and max PIF can reach as high as 208*.

DVD+R generally will maintain lower values for both due to superior error correction techniques.

* Some tools and/or drives won’t list above 4 for PIF.

** Some tools and/or drives also list PO (Parity Outer) uncorrectable errors. This is for any read that has a max PIF above 4. This indicates a mostly unrecoverable data corruption error, which would effect (if I’ve done my math right) 36k of data (although that doesn’t mean the whole 36k of data is corrupted, just that its corrupted inside of that 36k). This still does not indicate the disc is unreadable, some obsessive ripping tools will try multiple reads in an effort to get a valid read or different incorrect reads that can be merged into a valid read.

Update 6: (January 11th 2013) Taiyo Yuden announced last year that they are now producing an ISO/IEC10995 compliant archival grade gold alloy DVD-R. Sadly, its not DVD+R and I’m hoping they’ll consider making a DVD+R version as well. Not many vendors carry this disc yet.

Also, a few people have asked when I’m going to write that Bluray follow up article. I don’t think Bluray is viable for long term archival storage yet. I continue my recommendation that if you need to store hundreds of gigabytes of data or more, consider archival tape.

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Published October 30th, 2006

Comments

1,249 Responses

Alexa: the printable surfaces used by any manufacturer does not alter the quality of DVDs, but it may alter the quality of CDs however I’ve never seen any evidence of properly printed and stored CDs degrading because they were printed on.

I can’t tell you what kind you need because I don’t know what printer you have.

As I’ve said in the comments before:

1) White inkjet discs are for normal inkjet printers

2) Clear/silver inkjet discs are for inkjets that have white ink (very few do)

3) Thermal printable inkjet discs are for thermal printing printers.

Please note: your printer requires a disc tray to be able to print on discs.

If you are not going to print on them, Verbatim sells standard media you can write on with a Sanford Sharpie or any disc safe marker, and TY’s thermal discs can be written on using a Sharpie (this is what I do).

NEVER USE A PASTE-ON THIRD PARTY LABEL, IT WILL RUIN THE DISC

And yes, there are archival quality cases, but I’ve never seen a use for them. Generic black polypropylene plastic (example: the kind commercial DVDs are sold in) are basically what most people use to store discs and I’ve never seen a problem with them.

Do not use paper sleeves as the paper may contain acid and you risk scratching them anyhow, and do not use all plastic sleeves either for the scratch risk.

And, sorry, I’m back! I went to SuperMediaStore.com and there are several types of TY DVD+Rs and CD-Rs. Can you possibly tell me the exact name or DV number for their listing? Don’t want to get the wrong one!?

And, last, last one, I promise. I saw on Kodak that there are archival quality *cases*. Is that the case? And, if so, do you have one you recommend?

Thanks SO much – I can’t tell you how much this article and comments have helped me.

Alexa

Also a fairly non-tech person. I have a couple questions:

I was wondering if printing on the DVD+R or CD-R (looking at TY inket printable) has an effect on their archival properties?

And, what’s the length of time a TY CD-R is supposed to last?

Next, are their any limitations nowadays on actually playing the TY or Verbatim DVD+Rs or CD-Rs?

Finally, any updated recommendations on burners? I knows it’s been a while since end of article. I’m planning on using an iMac if that makes a difference.

Thanks so much!
Alexa

Appreciate your taking the time to educate us. Thank you very much.

A small warning for anyone that buys Verbatim media: avoid their Made in India CD-R! (DVDs are OK) Few months ago I bought 50 spindle of Extra Protection and there was A LOT of C2 errors, now I bought 50 spindle of SuperAzo+ and they’re even worse. I’ve never seen so many C2 errors… I tried burning them in brand new LG writer and two older NEC and the result was the same. So once again: beware of Verbatim Made in India CD-R! So what else to choose? By my experience the best are of course Made in Japan (TY), which are quite hard to get, then Made in Taiwan (Ricoh or CMC Magnetics) and then Made in China (Prodisc?), which are so-so.

It depends. Verbatim now ships Taiwan manufactured discs that have at least passable quality (by my standards, not the industry’s standards which I believe are lower than mine), but they still use the Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Azo Dye formula.

Verbatim does sometimes relabel other brands (none of these carry the Advanced Azo Dye moniker), and these should be avoided as they aren’t Verbatim at all.

On my 100 pack spindle of Verbatim DVD+R it says it’s made in Taiwan.
I suppose whoever that manufacts Verbatim’s discs must follow their specification when it’s comes to dye and how well it’s been sealed and so on.
Or is there, in your opinion, any quality differences between Verbatim’s discs when it comes to in which plant it’s manufactured?

Russell: Yes, I’m recommending DVD+R over CD-R: TY DVD+R and TY CD-Rs last just as long as each other, DVD+Rs cost minimally more than CD-Rs, and DVD+Rs hold way more than CD-Rs. Theres no reason to use CD-Rs anyore except for the question I’m about to answer..

Cris: To pay CD audio on a CD player, you can’t use DVD+R. You really wanted CD-Rs.

You use DVD+R for mass data storage and for backing up/creating DVDs only; CD players don’t understand how to use DVDs.

This article was great, thx. answered a lot of my questions… but 1 more to show my “non-techiness” lol …

recently Id bought DVD+R thinking I could create my own mixed music. Obviously it dint work.

What do I use these discs for then? and what is it I SHOULD have bought?

thx
Cris

Someone asked this question but I’m not sure it was answered clearly for my understanding. For archiving purposes, are you recommending DVD+R over CD-R? For price and the capacity I need, CD-R would serve me better, but I can use DVD+R if they are better for archiving.

Thanks

I usually ignore what the software says the fastest speed I can use is. I only go by what the box the media came in says.

I have a Plextor PX-760A and when I set with the fastest speed (in Nero Burning Rom) it says that I can burn with 18X although I use Verbatim DVD+R 16X.
Shouldn’t the info on the DVD set the software to max 16X?
And will the quality on a 18X-burned DVD be lower with more errors than with 16X which is the maximum speed the DVD is certified for?

Most likely its the same media between the two types of DVD-Rs, but the ones sold as “Advanced AZO+” pass additional quality tests, ie, these are the ones you should buy. I don’t have either handy ATM (I only have a TY DVD+R spindle open), so I can’t check.

A complement to my earlier posting.

I have checked the codes on the net and it seems that the mediacode MCC004 belongs to Verbatim DVD+R.
They must have mixed up the codes or something.
But they do sell those two different DVD-R with different covers and marked as AZO+ and Advanced AZO+. So there must be some difference between them?

I’m confused about Verbatim’s DVD-R.
I have found a website that offers 2 different DVD-R from Verbartim.
One is labled as AZO+ and mediacode MCC004.
The other one as Advanced AZO+ and mediacode MCC03RG20. This is also more expensive.
The cover of the spindles differs also.
Are there any quality difference between these two?
“Advanced AZO+” sounds more quality to me.
And since the mediacodes are different it must mean that it’s two different dyes used in the media?

Their opinion on the subject most likely differs than mine. They prefer Verbatim’s archival line over TY products, thats their choice.

I consider Verbatim and TY the only top media providers, so its not like Verbatim is a bad choice. Also, I don’t know if Verbatim makes a DVD+R archival line (check their website, I can’t find it myself).

I believe your Mashita drive can read DVD+R (but it obviously can’t burn them, its a DVD/CDRW combo drive), and your NEC you clearly state is DVD+RW, which implies it can burn all four media types, -/+ R and -/+ RW.

As for best, I still recommend TY’s DVD+R. I’ve had zero problems with TY media (both CD and DVD) over the years, and I trust them to store my data.

Just spoke with the folks at SuperMediaStore.com. They recommended the Verbatim rather than TY for archival purposes. As for the Verbatim archival quality DVDs, they only carried DVD-R? I’m a bit confused based on all you shared in your article. Could you provide a little more insight?

I have a DVD drive on my Laptop…Matshita DVD/CDRW UJDA775. My desktop has a NEC DVD+RW ND-110A? How do I know if I should us +R or -R?

Bottom line…I am looking to back up digital photography to DVD and store in a safe. What is the best method allowing for maximum shelf life?

I appreciate any help. Thanks!

Thally; The best speed is the maximum speed of the media as written on the box OR if your burner can’t burn that fast, the maximum speed of the burner.

Andy S: If you dont plan on playing it on a DVD player who requires the booktype hack, it doesn’t matter either way.

Just wanted to say that I got my new TY DVD+R in and used the booktype-fix and it worked perfectly.

Are there any advantages to not booktype-fixing a DVD+R?

What is best speed for recording CDs and DVDs??? (the lowest speed or the highest)
Does the recording speed influences the recording quality???
e.g. If I have a DVD-R 1x-8x. Should I use 1x speed or 8x or doesn’t matter???

Thanks and congratulations for the great article.
(and sorry for my poor english, i’m brazilian)

There have been no major changes. DVD quality is probably not going to change significantly for the meaningful life of the product.

What I am expecting, though, is for Bluray archival quality discs to come out sometime in the next year or two, Bluray burner prices just have to drop below $150 for a decent burner first.

I mean it is May 2008. I am guessing no change about Ritek. So let me change the question to “can you summarize the major changes noticed since the original post in 2006″.

It’s June 2008. Does Ritek still suck for DVD +R ?
I bought some b efore reading this thread :-( Thanks.

Excellent material and forum; glad I found it, as I am amassing many film and video transfers on DVD and now have to find the best medium.

Re fuzzy tapes, in cassettes (and I suspect reel-reel) the principal failure mechanism in tapes has been oozing of the binder resins at the edges of the tape, making passage over the heads a stick-slip situation. The squealing can be easily heard. The corollary problem is too much drag on the slip sheets. All CRO2 tapes I bought are today unplayable. Trouble also has arisen with some of the “Super” formulations that came along near the end of the cassette’s golden days. At the other extreme, I have 3M cassettes from the very dawn of the cassette era that still play as well as ever.

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