Blank CDs come in various speeds, types and formats and are available in many different pack sizes. Blank CDs are primarily used for Audio, but can be used for Data and Movies. Unlike DVDs there is only one recording format and any CD writer should be able to write any CD. Read on to find out about CD types…
Non-Printable CD-R discs – These CDs are supplied in packs of 25 discs up to 100 discs and can either be supplied in cellophane wrap or with a storage caketub. Being Non-Printable means these CDs are branded discs and will usually have their manufacturer’s logo on the top surface of the CD. The fastest CDs available is 52x, which is the standard writing speed for most CD Writers. Some 40x or 48x CDs are still available and with any of these CDs you’d expect a full CD to take 3 minutes to write. The maximum storage capacity of these CDs is 700MB with a digital audio capacity of 80 Minutes.
Printable CD-R discs – These CDs are commonly supplied in packs 50 or 100 discs and rarely supplied in smaller packs of 25. Again they are usually supplied in caketubs or cellophane wraps with caketubs being supplied with larger 100 disc packs. Being printable means you can print directly to the top surface of the CD with many of the popular printers available- such as the Epson R220 printer. These CDs come with a full face printable surface or a normal printable surface. Full Face CDs are printable right across the hub meaning no clear hub is present. Normal printable CDs have this clear hub. These CDs are supplied in various speeds with 52x being the most common. Again the maximum storage capacity of these CDs is 700MB with a digital audio capacity of 80 Minutes.
Re-writable CDs – These CDs are called CD-RWs and can be recorded on again and again. These CDs are generally supplied in smaller packs of 10 discs and usually write at slower speeds such as 12x, or 24x. Re-using these CDs is very simple, simply use your recording software to erase the CD and record again. If you keep your CDs free from dirt and scratches these CDs can be recorded on hundreds of times. As with write once CDs the recording capacity is usually 80 Minutes or 700MB.
Lightscribe CD-R – Lightscribe labelling is a new technology that offers consumers and businesses a simple, no-hassle way to burn professional, silkscreen-quality labels on their CDs. Using the same laser that burns data in their CD drives, customers burn their data as always, flip the CD over, reinsert it into the drive and burn a precise, iridescent label. The benefits are no more marker scrawl or adhesive labels to centre, using laser precision and detail you create professional quality labels on your CDs every time. Less hassle, just burn the CD, flip it and burn the label. No extra hardware needed, all you need is a compatible CD and a writer. Labelflash is a similar, but incompatible technology that requires discs with Labelflash-compatible labels. However, Labelflash discs are not very common, so we recommend sticking to Lightscribe if the idea appeals to you.
8cm “mini” CD-Rs – These are ideally suited for use in smaller devices, or where you simply need a disc that takes up less space. They are just smaller versions of the standard CD-R and CD-RW discs. 8cm discs can be used in the vast majority of full-size tray loading drives. (Please note that they should not be used with full-size slot-loaded drives, however).