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CD And DVD Duplication 101 by Mike Waters

If you have been shopping for blank CDs and DVDs recently, you may have been a bit confused by all of the choices: CDR, CDRW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW. Trying to decipher between all of the abbreviations and plus/minus signs can be a tad overwhelming.

Making matters worse for those who aren't hip to the latest technological marvels is the rate at which technology is changing. Just when you think you are beginning to grasp the concept of mp3s and burning CDs and DVDs, the powers that be come out with some new twist on blank media that just confuses you more. But before you swear off technology for good, allow me to demystify some of the terminology associated with CD and DVD duplication.

The "R" in CDR and DVD+/-R simply stands for recordable. It tells the consumer that these CDs and DVDs are blank recordable media. You can record data, music, movies and photos on the disc but it can't be erased.

"RW" on CDRWs and DVD+/-RWs stands for rewritable. This means that CDs and DVDs with RW on them can be recorded and erased multiple times. Although prices for blank CDs and DVDs overall are relatively inexpensive, you can expect to pay more for rewritable CDs and DVDs.

The biggest controversy and source of confusion comes when dealing with DVD-R and DVD-RW and how they differ from DVD+R and DVD+RW. In order to avoid an overly technical explanation of the differences, basically what you need to know is that each DVD type can record movies just as well as the next type.

DVD+R and DVD+RW just happen to be a newer more expensive technology that possesses a few technical advantages over DVD-R and DVD-RW. Nevertheless, DVD-R arguably has greater compatibility with more DVD players than most other formats of recordable DVDs.

Remember that all recordable and rewritable CDs and DVDs do the same thing regardless of their particular brand. However, because there is not an industry standard when dealing with DVD technology, not every DVD player is compatible with every format available on the shelves. For this reason, it is important that you always check with your manufacturer if you are unsure about which type of recordable media is right for your recorder/player.

About the Author:
Mike Waters is owner of Waters Rock music studio and the senior technology columnist for Media-Tech Entertainment and You. Be sure to check out more about his music cd duplication services and data cd duplication at

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Music CD-R vs. Data CD-R: Is There A Difference?
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Burn CDs Like The Professionals
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