Blank CD media is not created equal---they can vary wildly in material quality, durability, and parity of stored data. Thankfully, there are several online resources to help you figure out which brands are the most reliable. Generally the best blank CD media brands come from high quality manufacturers.
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Low-Quality vs High-Quality Media
When testing blank CD media, data is burnt at different speeds, and the recorded data is compared to the original to test for integrity. Lower-quality blanks will fail while writing at higher speeds, and data parity will be unreliable. Lower-quality blanks will also disintegrate quicker, and render all burnt data unusable. These blank CDs will also have a higher bad disc percentage.
Manufacturer vs Brand
There are two different names to keep in mind when searching for the best CD media: manufacturer and brand. Since some brands use different CD media manufacturers that have differing levels of quality, purchasing blanks by brand is not a reliable way to shop. One purchase of a specific brand may yield a different quality blank than a previous purchase of that same brand. There are several brands that use only one manufacturer, and there are lists of CD media and their respective manufacturers available in on the Internet.
Reviews of Blank CD Media
According to several review sites, the general consensus on blank CD media is that there are several manufacturers that consistently make high-quality discs: TDK, Taiyo Yuden, and Kodak are a few of these that are most often mentioned.
Websites such as CDRinfo.com and CDR Zone have in-depth reviews of specific brands and do detailed data transfer tests. Ridisc and Datawrite are two manufacturers that are recommended in reviews.
Determine the Manufacturer and Factory Date of Blank Media
To find out info on CD media that you already own, use a program such as CDVD Info, which is a freeware tool that will scan your disc and display the manufacturer and brand information.
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