Simple CD-R vs. CD-RW question

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Douglas in CT, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Douglas in CT

    Douglas in CT Millennium Member

    Likes Received:
    Feb 8, 1999
    What does your CT Permit say?
    Since I don't play enought with CDs, I still can't keep it straight in my head. :(

    Coming from a floppy disk background.....

    CD-R = WRITE (burn) ONCE and you are DONE.
    - Is this true?
    - What about left over space on the disk? Is that just lost when you do the burn?

    CD-RW = Write Many times (until disk fails).
    - Is this a limited equivalent of the old 3.5" floppy disk?
    - What about left over space on the disk?
    - Can you add to the disk after the first burn, or do you overwrite the previous information?

    Thank you.
  2. physicsdevil


    Likes Received:
    Jan 25, 2000
    Here's a great site for all questions CD related:

    From the FAQ:
    "Subject: [1-1] What's CD-R? CD-RW?

    CD-R is short for "CD-Recordable". Recordable CDs are WORM (Write Once, Read Multiple) media that work just like standard CDs. The advantage of CD-R over other types of optical media is that you can use the discs with a standard CD player. The disadvantage is that you can't reuse a disc.

    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.

    All CD recorders can read CDs and CD-ROMs, just like a standard CD-ROM drive."

    What the FAQ doesn't state in this particular section is that most burning software will allow multi-session disks. That is, you can write small bits of data until the disk is full (in the case of CD-Rs). You can have multi-session CD-RWs as well, but obviously, it doesn't *really* get full since you can overwrite data. A decent CD-RW will be fine up until about 1000 re-writes.