CD/DVD Speeds and Software

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by zarzenz, Sep 12, 2006.

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  1. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    I recently upgraded to XP Home Edition on a 2Ghz processor with 512Mb RAM. But the computer only has a 52X CD ROM reader and I would now like to install a combined CD/DVD writer/rewriter in place of it.

    In the computer stores there seems to be all sorts of various hardware options available so I am now looking for advice on what is the best speed combinations for these units regarding the different functions they preform.

    Also is there any good free software that I can download to burn CD's/DVD's or will Windows own Media Player do this ok.

    I have never had any CD writers in my time with computers so haven't had the need to investigate all this before.
     
  2. dog

    dog Guest

    The most common recordable media speed wise is CD 48x and DVD 8x, where I am. Try to match the burners specs that you purchase to the media speeds that are common in your area (For example -- 52x CD media in a 48x burner will write @ 48x -- 40x CD media in a 48x Burner will write @ 40x). Burners generally also come with some basic software, and there is some available freeware that will likely meet any of your needs; Windows & WMP will also do the basics.

    Possibilities for freeware: (I can't recommend them, only because I haven't ever used them -- but I sure others will comment ;))

    http://www.cdburnerxp.se/
    http://www.deepburner.com/
    http://www.ht-fireman.com/menu2.asp
    http://www.imgburn.com/
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/utilities.html (see BurnCDCC)

    HTH,

    Steve
     
  3. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Hi dog,

    Yes, all very useful as it would appear that I should first try to ascertain the typical speeds to be found on the actual media discs and then go for the highest speed available on the hardware unit to best match them.

    I will have to do some checking of what is the most common media in the stores over here in the UK.

    Thanks also for the links... will check out what I need.

    Cheers,
    zarzenz
     
  4. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    If you are wanting a good DVD burner. The writing quality of different manufacturers varies greatly.

    Alongside other manufactureres who you think would be very good (i.e Sony). Just release other makers drive with their name on it.

    The arguable best four makers of DVD Burners are
    Benq
    NEC
    LG
    Pioneer.

    Big makers like Sony almost always just release a renamed Liteon burner (which many have had big problems with), Phillips a renamed Benq, Memorex a renamamed Liton, Asus a renamed Pioneer etc.

    For me i have both a NEC 3540 and Benq 1650 DVD burners and the NEC is now just collecting dust as my Benq is fantastic and all i need.

    For looking for a very cheap burner try this online store where i got mine. As there service is excellent.

    http://www.komplett.co.uk

    For free CD/DVD burner software, there is simply only one to get IMHO. Imgburn.

    This is a CD/DVD burner software made from the same maker of the now defunct DVD decrypter software. And it really is one of the best burning software there is IMO. And I prefer this to retail software.

    Hope this helps
    Anthony
     
  5. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks Anthony,

    That too is very helpful info and I will certainly look more closely at those brands there. Also the Imgburn will be well worth looking at too.

    Cheers,
    zarzenz
     
  6. dog

    dog Guest

    I concur with Anthony regarding the brands :) ... I prefer LG [Super-Multi] (it burns all the common media CDR/RW / DVD +R -R & DVDRAM) of the bunch.
     
  7. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Ditto on the LG :thumb:
     
  8. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks dog and bigc,

    It's looking like LG is going to be high up on my list here.

    Cheers,
    zarzenz
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Just to put some balance on things, I have two machines that came with the better Lite On burners. So far they have performed 100% with no restore problems.

    Pete
     
  10. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks Pete,

    I will add the Lite On to my list of possibilities.

    Cheers,
    zarzenz
     
  11. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    I visited the local PCWorld store today to check out what was available.

    One thing I'm not too clear about is the difference between CD/DVD-RW and CD/DVD+RW. I understand it's dependant on the media itself having this distinction and therefore the burner needs to match it in this respect, but I am wondering if there is any advantage with -RW over +RW either in cost or performance. And can either version be played in any other unit regardless of which format it was burned in.

    zarzenz
     
  12. dog

    dog Guest

    CD only comes in R (Write once) or RW (RE-Writable) - DVD's are available the same way. Generally you'd buy R media (for both CD & DVD) --- using RW only for Databases/excel sheets etc. for business that are constantly rewritten (while keeping a local weekly backup copy in case of error) - as they're more costly.

    DVD's are available in three types; the two common are + (plus) & - (minus) ... (along with the R or RW designations) --- as well as DVDRam (which is rewriteable). To me the media choice comes down to playability generally all DVD players will play + Media, some have issues with - Media, so I by +R (which both of my standalone DVD players play). I couldn't tell you the spec differences between + & -, but they'd be similar.

    DVD media generally is DVD type 5 (4.7 GBs) but type 9 is also available double capacity (the standard which Movie houses use for media). Don't bother with type 9, it's too expensive -- and it's easy to compress a backup of a movie to DVD 5 or span it across two discs -- there's lots of freeware available to do this.

    Steve
     
  13. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the quick reply there and very clear explanation of the various formats out there. Yes... it was this difference between the plus and minus that was a bit confusing and I did wonder why it had to be like this for something relatively simple to be made more complicated... then I did a quick google search and seems it's a bit like the old vhs/betamax thing that affected video all those years ago.

    But good to know that the plus format is better suited to playing universally so this would seem like the one to go if there is no other reason.

    I also found that the speeds you mentioned to be pretty much the same over here with the x48/x8 combination but did notice a Sony unit that could write DVD at x16 and wasn't too expensive either at around £39... and it also was capable of doing all plus/minus formats so that could be a good one to buy.

    There were also units from LG and Lite On available but I didn't have time to fully check the specs on them all today but will do so another day soon.

    Cheers,
    zarzenz
     
  14. dog

    dog Guest

  15. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Great... thanks for that... I'll make a note of the model and check out the availability over here.

    Cheers.
     
  16. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Out of a Sony, Liteon and LG. I would personally take the LG any day of the week.

    But if you ask for my personal best DVDRW drive i would say it is a Benq 1650 or 1640.

    Also DVD+R media is the better media and it can be the most compatible. But you need to make sure if you wish to use +R that your DVDRW drive can do bitsetting if you plan on putting movies to play on your standalone.

    If your DVDRW drive does not do this. Then i would buy -R for this purpose.
     
  17. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks Anthony,

    I will check out these Benq drives as you speak so highly of them.

    And all ok regarding your comments on the -/+ situation there too.

    It's all starting to get much clearer now and I think I've got a much better idea of what I'm looking for with all the great advice you guys have given me.

    Cheers,
    zarzenz
     
  18. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    What do you want to burn?
    If you want to use your DVD+RW disc like a big floppy that you can just save a file to disc (instead of having to take the step to "burn" it), then you should consider packet writing software like Roxio Drag-to-Disc (included in Easy Media Creator). Once the Disc is formatted as UDF (packet writing), it is available for read/write access from My Computer and all your programs.
    Version 7 of Roxio Easy Media Creator can be found in an OEM version that can be purchased when you buy the Drive for very low cost.
    From version 7 and higher, the Drag-to-Disc works very well.
    Version 8 is good too.
    Nero has packet writing to (InCD) but Drag-to-Disc worked better for me.

    If all you want is to burn some music, then the other recommendations are good choices.

    NEC and Sony Drives have worked well for me. Next time though I might try a BenQ or LG seeing how well it is regarded.
     
  19. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks Devinco,

    At the moment I have no actual plans for any particular intended use other than probable backing up of documents and images. Then I should probably want to start making my own personal music CD's of favourite tracks from my collection. I do not at this time think I will be doing much in the way of large file DVD burning but I would like to have the ability to do so if and when the need arises.

    I guess for now I just want to get a suitable piece of hardware installed so that I can make full use of my current system and at the moment I'm just getting myself clued up on all the options available.

    I tend to be like this... can go for years without being too bothered about latest technology and then all of a sudden I will decide to upgrade and then it becomes like a project for me to keep myself busy and involved with something new.

    I managed for years with an old 400Mhz Celeron running WinME and when I discovered I had a 2 Ghz machine just laying around here after it was thrown out from my workplace (which I didn't realise how fast it was til I powered it up one day out of curiosity) I then installed XP Home and now want to get a fully capable burner in there for whatever purpose comes along.

    So really I guess it's a general purpose situation we are talking about here and what's good about all this is I'm learning about all this stuff at the same time.

    I am a hardware engineer believe it or not but my knowledge is limited to what my company deals with and as we don't employ any burners in our machines... only CD ROM units... then this is all new to me.

    I enjoy getting into this learning curve stuff and find all you people at Wilders so knowledgeable that it then becomes so much easier to get to grips with.

    zarzenz
     
  20. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Even though the Sony supports most formats, I don't recommend Sony to anyone. LiteOn, well, I suspect its quality, but performance is good.

    Samsung has some decent products, but don't expect anything more than average performance from them. I would recommend an LG, NEC or Philips drive to you (Asus too but Asus has really crap tech support). These three companies have consistently performed well.
     
  21. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks Firecat,

    LG looking like it's coming out on top here. I was wondering about the Philips units too, so good to see you mention them also.
     
  22. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Hi dog,

    I got the LG model you suggested... the GSA 10N for just £39.95 off the shelf in PCWorld here. I installed it with no problem with the CD included and it works fine so far.

    The programs included seem very good but I'm a little unsure about one of them... namely InCD that seems to want to run all the time and from what I have searched out it appears that this may not be such a good one to use... some comments I have read seem to suggest it is unreliable and can be removed with no problem.

    As Nero seems to have an excellent package of write and backup options available I was therefore wondering what would be the advantage of using InCD and if it has to be running for Nero to work correctly.

    From what I have read it just seems to be a different way of allowing files to be dropped onto a RW disc directly, so I'm not sure what need there would be in doing this if Nero can do the job more reliably from within its own program.

    Any comments from yourself or other users of Nero/InCD most welcome.

    zarzenz
     
  23. dog

    dog Guest

    Hi zarzenz, :)

    I can't comment about the bundled software because I never installed any of it. ;) I do have a Ver. 6 of Nero, but I only ever used Nero Rom, when I first purchased Nero 6 I did install the whole suite, but fairly quickly uninstalled all the other parts - Showtime, Media Player, InCD etc., keeping only Nero Rom.

    InCD as far as my understanding is, just enables packet writing -- it isn't essential and can be removed. It allows programs to write to disc like a harddrive, without closing the disc.

    Generally the software that comes bundled with any hardware is a fairly limited version of the available retail option, as is the case with Nero Express -- it will do the basics, but not too much more. The PowerDVD applications included though I believe are the full version of the "standard" retail package. ;) If you find you can't do a burning task with the included software (Nero Express) --- don't waste any money buying a commerial app --- the freeware listed above will do anything you need. ;)

    Steve
     
  24. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Yes, that pretty much confirms all I thought about the InCD software there. Just finished reading quite a long thread over on the cdfreaks forum all about loads of problems with data loss using it... seems to be very unreliable. Many suggest simply using multisession in Nero and forget InCD unless for nonessential convenience work.

    The Nero that came bundled is the StartSmart version and seems to be fairly easy to use... I'll see how I get on with it and then can always try some others later if I get any problems or lack of functionality etc.

    The PowerDVD and PowerProducer programs look very good and seem to do all I would possibly need for now.

    Thanks for all your great advice... much appreciated.

    zarzenz
     
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