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Recommended CD and DVD media – what brand is best?

January 1, 2006

in All Articles,Miscellaneous

When deciding what brand of recordable media is best, it would be nice to give a definite answer. But I can’t do so easily.

This is because the media you pick must also work properly with your hardware: Something that plays properly in your home CD player may not work in your computer’s DVD player. Using a different brand of media may solve the DVD player issue, but then your car CD player might get grumpy.

There’s an additional problem: While CD and DVD media is standardized, CD and DVD players are not. This is why you may or may not have success when playing identical CDs on different systems – the systems themselves all use similar (but slightly different) rules.

What I can do is recommend a media brand that should work well. This is a company with the following status:

1) They have made quality media in the past (this means they have a good record of error-free media for both on-the-spot burning and long-term archiving).

2) They still make quality media

3) Stats 1 and 2 have been borne out through personal experience

4) Stats 1 and 2 have been borne out through research

So including the caveat paragraphs above, I can now tell you what’s worked best in my experience, with my equipment, and on other equipment I’ve seen.

Recommended CD and DVD media: TDK

There you have it. TDK CD and DVD media have served me well in the past (I think I’ve even got some old cassette tapes lying around), and others have not. I’ve tried other major brands (mostly Verbatim and Sony), but in terms of compatibility, longevity and quality, I have not yet been disappointed with TDK. You may have your own favorite brand that works fine in your situation on your equipment. If so, great, no need to change.

Stay away from no-brand stuff that advertises bulk media for reduced cost. I have encountered problems with these, usually showing up as increased incidents of defective media. That’s very bad for both long and short term storage.

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