The past few days, I brought the following products:
I purchased the new PlexDisc CD-R Digital Audio discs that they mention are the best to store music. I’ll be reviewing it against the regular PlexDisc CD-R to see if they are really different, or are just the same but with the CD-R DA flag in them. Also, I’ll try them on my CD players to see if they do the initial seek faster.
Be also sure to be on the lookout on some other media I’ve yet to write that I currently have on the backlog. As of this moment, I’m still writing those articles with detailed images of the burning process and disc verification and quality scans. In the next few days, you’ll see those posts on my blog.
See you soon!
You can see and order the above items at the following links:
Yesterday, I received a spindle of “Blue CD-R” from Optical Quantum. This brand is a subsidiary of Vinpower Digital and the discs are manufactured by Optodisc Taiwan:
I brought this spindle because the “Blue CD-R” caught my attention. Usually, CD-Rs are produced in a very light green color, but these discs should be different. These discs are marketed as having a “Blue AZO Burning Die”, which should be superior than standard CD-Rs.
The discs are rated at 52x and can hold up to 700MB of data or 80 minutes of audio, which is standard of CD-R discs. This batch also appears to look like a dark green color, but not too much blue. The discs are printable too.
Checking these discs in Nero DiscSpeed gives us a Media ID Code (MID) of 97m24s01f, and is identified as “Taiyo Yuden”. I’m not sure if this is legit, as it is my understanding that CMC Magnetics has the rights to use Taiyo Yuden codes, but since these are manufactured by Optodisc, I have my doubts.
It has to be noted that these brands tend to source their discs from different suppliers, usually from Ritek, which does use Ritek codes in their discs. Some other brands source their discs from CMC Magnetics, again, using CMC-MAG-xxx codes. In this case, I wonder if Optodisc is legitimately making “Taiyo Yuden-quality” discs. There are some articles that seem to refer to Optodisc making Taiyo Yuden-quality discs, so that may be the reason they are using their media code.
I checked these discs on 4 slim drives that I at the moment. Since I’m on vacation, I don’t have my usual Lite-On drive to check these, but this will give you an idea of what to expect when using them on Slim drives. I also haven’t burned them, so this will just be purely disc information below:
So far, the most reliable slim drive I have at the moment is this one, which reports burning these discs at 10x, 16x, 20x, and 24.
This is a Blu-Ray drive which has been my best Blu-Ray burner in years. This drive also supports CDs and DVDs, but usually burns at low speeds. This is why Nero DiscSpeed is reporting just 2 speeds: 8x and 24x.
This is an LG “4K UHD official” drive. This one gives me headaches sometimes since it seems to lose focus while reading some times, a behavior I don’t see on any other drive. Maybe it’s faulty, but I also found that this drive depends heavily on the quality of the USB port and cable since it’s USB-Powered. This drive supports burning these discs at 10x, 16x and 24x.
This drive is part of an HP laptop, which is why it is branded as HP rather than LG, but it is actually made by LG. On this drive, the disc is supported at a speed of 10x, 16x, and 24x.
These discs are marketed as Blue, but they seem to look dark green. This is still different from the majority of discs that look very light green. It seems to burn at a maximum speed of 24x on all of these slim drives, probably because of the use of the Taiyo Yuden media code, although nowadays, most media and drives burn most discs at 24x for Slim drives and 48x for desktop drives.
I haven’t burned these discs yet. That will come when I have access to my Lite-On drive featuring LabelTag, as I also want to see how a label would look on these discs too. I expect these to burn flawlessly at 48x in that particular drive which I have trusted since 2010.
I didn’t realized this, but it seems to be a plant manufacture problem. I opened another of the 100-pack I have and it have the same problem.
The problem is that the data was burning fine, with no errors on my Lite-On iHAS524, but it failed to verify on some parts of the disk, as it was approaching the end. I was burning them at 24x, the maximum speed it supports on the writer.
I decided to use the Optiarc AD-7561A drive I have to see if it would burn fine with it, since slim drives usually burns at a lower speed.
When the CD is inserted in this drive, it is detected as a 10x media:
I burned the CD with this drive, where it was able to both burn and verify successfully. It also seems that the drive burned surface is a bit darker than with the LiteOn drive, so maybe that makes it handle the bad surface better.
I burned 2 CD’s with the Lite-On drive where both burned successfully but didn’t read fine. One was able to read completely, but lowering the read speed at the bad section. The other one failed with unrecoverable errors.
Let’s see their quality tests with the LiteOn drive first, followed with the Optiarc drive:
CD #1 – LiteOn
This is the CD that was able to read completely but lowers the speed. When playing it back, it pauses while reading the wrong area. It can be ripped, but will struggle in the bad area. The ripped file appears to be fine, but EAC reports timing problems. Listening to the track didn’t revealed any issues.
You can see the excesive amounts of C1 and C2 errors.
CD #2 – Optiarc
Here is another burn of the same data, burned with the Optiarc drive and tested on the LiteOn drive. You can see that it only reports a maximum of 10 C1 errors and no C2 errors. The quality score is 99%. Same media, but burned on a different drive, at 10x speed.
CD #3 – LiteOn
This CD failed to test properly. Once again, you can see the excessive amounts of C1 and C2 errors. The positions of the C1 and C2 errors seem to match the ones of the previous LiteOn burn.
CD #4 – Optiarc
Here is another burn of the same data of the previous burn. You can see this time it was successful, with only a maximum of 8 C1 errors and a total of 19. Again, the quality score is 99%, which is the same as the other Optiarc-burned media.
As seen from the above tests, it seems the Optiarc AD-7561A drive can successfully burn these discs if we intend to use all of its capacity. Maybe it is because of the slower burning speed, or because the optical laser can burn them better than the one on the LiteOn drive.
The LiteOn drive can only burn these CDs at 16x and 24x, while the Optiarc can only burn them at 10x. I’ll test burning a disc at 16x at a later time and see if it works. If not, I’ll continue using the Optiarc drive, which has proven to burn them correctly and without any issues.
Yesterday, I received some Pocket/Mini CD-R I purchased on eBay, which were being sold for cheap due to them not being branded or not having their specs listed.
The seller was selling 3 packs of 100 unbranded silver surface Mini CD-R, and since the price was lower compared to other branded media, I decided to buy all 3.
The discs were wrapped with no spindle.
The discs have a silver surface:
Here we can see a single CD-R:
They have the usual light green color on the data side.
The disc loaded fine on my LiteOn iHAS524 drive. I launched ImgBurn which says that the discs are made by Ritek. Their media ID is 97m15s17f:
They also have a capacity of 210MB or 24 minutes and a maximum write speed of 24x.
This is the first Mini CD I use with this LiteOn drive, which has the unique LabelTag feature to add labels to the data side. The software detected the disc and a label can be created:
I burned some of these CD-R with Nero Express, which allows the creation of the label on the same run. I also burned them at its maximum speed of 24x without any failure.
I ran a Disc Quality test using Nero DiscSpeed. Below you can see the results of those tests. I limited the test to the first session of it, as the second one is the label produced with the above software and contains unreadable data. This makes the test fail. By limiting it to the first session, we can get the actual data track quality.
The first test gave us a maximum of 14 C1 errors with a total of 58. The average was 0.11. There were no C2 errors reported. The Quality Score was 98%.
This test was perfect! No C1 or C2 errors were reported, making the Quality Score be 100%.
This disc had a maximum of 9 for the C1 Errors with a total of 13. The average was 0.07. No C2 errors were reported. The Quality Score was 99%.
This final disc I burned had a maximum of 13 C1 errors with a total of 27. No C2 errors were reported. The Quality Score was 98%.
These blank CD-R media seems to be good to write small amounts of data. This could be an MP3 album, some photos, or software you’d like to archive. The burns seem to be of good quality and the 24x burning speed is adequate. This sure was a great find on eBay!
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