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A Guide on How to Burn a DVD+R, DVD-R or CD-R

While online streaming services offer much more convenience when it comes to watching a film or a tv show, it is worth going the extra mile (for at least your favourite flicks) to have a physical copy of it as well. Whether it is to have a backup collection of your favourite songs or movies, or just to have a DVD of your old home videos, the task of burning a disc is pretty straightforward and simple. 

Neo-Online walks you through the whole process of burning videos to a playable disc below. 

The Difference Between DVD+R, DVD-R and CD-R

First off, it is important to be familiar with the different formats of blank discs that are available in the market. Even though almost every writeable optical drive supports most formats today, it is still advised to check beforehand which ones are compatible with the device you have.

Quality DVD-R and DVD+R discs are almost identical, apart from just some minimal differences. The main distinction between the two is how they determine the laser beam’s location on the disc. DVD+R discs measure the ‘wobble frequency’ when exposed to the laser, whereas DVD-R discs use the small grooves in the ‘land prepits’ of the disc. Otherwise, they both have a storage capacity of 4488 MB in a single-layer disc. 

A top-quality CD-R disc, just like the above-mentioned DVDs, is a Write Once Read Multiple (WORM) disc. It only allows data to be recorded once on the disc, after which it can be read as a standard CD-ROM. Its storage capacity is up to 650 MB. It is also much cheaper in comparison to a DVD. 

What You Would Need

  • A burner drive: You would require an optical media drive that is capable of writing to the specific disc type you have. Most DVD drives can write CD-R discs too, but no CD-R drive can write DVD+R or DVD-R discs. Some computers don’t have a writeable optical drive, so you would need to check the specifications of your model to confirm. However, most modern computers don’t have an internal drive, in which case you would need to get an external one that plugs into your PC via USB. You should also have any necessary drivers installed on your system. 
  • A blank disc: As explained earlier, there are different formats of blank discs available that you can choose from. You can also buy dual-layer discs if you are planning to store a large amount of data. However, it should be noted once again that your drive must support dual-layer disc burning before proceeding further.
  • A media file to burn: The total amount of data should not exceed 4.7 GB for a single-layer disc or 8.5 GB for a dual-layer disc. 

What You Need to Do

  • Log into your PC and insert a blank recordable DVD+R, DVD-R or CD-R disc into your optical drive. 
  • A window will appear, asking you which option you would prefer to burn the disc: with a CD/DVD player or like a USB flash drive. 
  • If you choose the first option, a window will appear where you can temporarily copy the files that you want to store in your disc. This is essentially a ‘staging area’ on the disc. Once done, you can finally click on the option of burning the data to your disc. You will be redirected to another window, in which you are required to enter a title for your disc, as well as select the recording speed (picking the highest speed possible is the safest option). After this, you will be given an estimated time for the files to be written to the disc. 
  • If you choose the ‘USB flash drive’ option, a window will appear in which you just have to directly copy (or drag and drop) the files. 
  • Once the process is completed, the disc will automatically eject from the drive. You are free to insert the disc again to write more files if you wish. 

Things to Note

  • In case you want to write more files on a disc later on, first check if the burning software you are planning to use gives the option for multi-session burning. 
  • DVD+R, DVD-R and CD-R discs are generally not meant to be reused. Once data has been physically burned to the disc, no more changes can be made to that specific portion. If you delete files, they will become inaccessible, but it will still be physically burned to the disc. Similarly, if you choose to write on it again, you will eventually lose space until the disc cannot be used anymore. Hence, you should opt for the DVD-RW or CD-RW variants instead if you wish to rewrite data on the discs. 
  • There is a risk of losing your data on these discs over a period of time. Thus, this is not recommended for long-term back-ups. 

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