CD-R is short for "CD-Recordable". Recordable CDs are WORM (Write Once, Read Multiple) media that work just like standards CDs. A related technology called CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) allows you to erase discs and reuse them, but the CD-RW media doesn't work in all players. CD-Rewritable drives are able to write both CD-R and CD-RW discs.
Use CD-R and not CD-RW because CD-RW are less likely to work in most CD-ROM readers and are more expensive. The college's bookstore sells CD-R for $1.19 a piece.
The CDs you buy in a store are pressed from a mold. CD-Rs are burned with a laser. While they're not physically identical, they work just the same. Some CD players and CD-ROM drives aren't as good at reading CD-R and CD-RW discs as they are at reading pressed CDs, but by and large they work just fine.
Yes. You can create CD-ROMs from data on your hard drive, and you can create new audio CDs from anything you can record into a WAV or AIFF sound file. The CD-ROMs you produce will play jin ordinary CD-ROM drives, and the audio CDs you create will work in your home or car CD player. Writing to CD-Rs and CD-RWs requires a CD recorder. You can't write CDs with an ordinary CD-ROM drive.
Yes, both audio and data CDs can be duplicated. You can even create audio CDs that are compilations of other audio CDs. Bear in mind that most CDs are protected by copyright laws.
About 74 minutes of audio, or about 650MB of data. Some CD-R blanks can hold 80 minutes of audio, or about 700MB of data.
Yes and no. The process can be a bit more involved than that, and requires software that usually comes bundled with the drive. With "packet writing" software, and a recorder that supports it, you can treat a CD-R or CD-RW disc like a floppy. On a CD-R you can only write to each part of the disc once, so deleting files doesn't gain any space. There are other limitations as well. When you're doing the writing you can't interrupt the drive, and you can't reclaim the space you've used. If you want to write your files in smaller bunches, you lose a fair bit of space every time you stop and start again.
Not directly. CD and DVD are very different formats, so you can't write DVDs with your CD recorder.
Yes. You can download MP3s, write them to a CD, and play it in anything that handles audio CDs. In fact, many of the popular CD recording programs will decode the MP3s for you.
It depends on how much data you're going to burn, and how fast your drive is. Burning 650MB of data takes about 74 minutes at 1x, 37 minutes at 2x, and 19 minutes at 4x, but you have to add a minute or two for "finalizing" the disc.
This FAQ contains a great deal of information, but it's geared toward answering specific questions rather than providing a general education. But, you can learn more about by checking the tutorial which may provide a better starting point or check the manual for Disc Copier and Creator Classic.
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