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Posts Tagged ‘CD’

Remembrance Day

Monday, November 5th, 2018

As we approach Remembrance Day we are proud to have duplicated many DVD’s and CD’s dedicated to the many who lost their lives in the Two World Wars and in other conflicts around the world.

We support Help For Hero’s and salute all those who fought to make the world a better place; and for those who still defend us in the Armed Forces.

Recycling /Upcycling,

Monday, June 4th, 2018

If you care about ecology and the careful and efficient use of our worlds resources you will be interested in reading read this article.

We have always viewed our general efficiency, in all aspects of our work as part of being an eco-friendly and responsible British Company. This includes the responsible choice and use of our own suppliers and supplies, careful budgeting and careful use of power (mainly electricity) and associated machinery. In addition to this we have internal policy regarding the recycling of any waste material.

This article is an informal piece about our most recent thoughts and practices.

From the start we use high quality casing for our Cds,Dvds and Blu-rays with the philosophy that in the long term these will provide the best protection for your discs and although some are plastic, will last a life-time so do not need to be replaced. This is slightly counter culture in what has become a throw away society in many walks of life, but there is common sense in choosing quality which will last; and despite this we still remain one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest for all of our products. There is a great deal of inferior quality, cheap packaging out there that is never use for any of our customers.

Over the 12 years that we have been in the duplication business we have noticed a large shift in the casing that our customers choose for their orders. From the days where nearly all CD’s were packed in a plastic standard jewel case and all DVDs packed in a Amaray plastic DVD cases, we now find that a much larger percentage of customers choose the more eco-friendly options of card wallets/digi-paks.

The card/paper we stock for all our printed parts is FSC Certified and sustainable. We feel this is a better option than recycled paper as research shows that due to the high volumes of bleach used to whiten the paper this is not as environmentally friendly…..which is not good. Responsible sourced and properly managed paper is a green industry, encouraging the growth of trees in the worlds forests. www.fsc-uk.org

In addition our, experience and the feedback our customers give us tells us that paper based products are less susceptible to damage in transit and less costly to courier, deliver and store compared to plastic cases.

Customer choice is highly important to us however and whilst there is a demand for the plastic standard jewell and standard DVD case and we continue to provide these on our web-site.

A large part of our recycling programme is to reuse all the incoming boxes and packaging to supply our out-going parcels.

Protecting orders is our top priority so this comes first however where possible we re-cycle all cardboard, jiffy/mailite bags and packaging, always removing any personal information on them first.

Good House-keeping in the production room means less waste, however on every order we do produce 1 or 2 over-runs of discs. This enables us to keep a control copy here of every order. We have researched widely the re-cycling of CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-Rays and have yet to find a highly sustainable channel for these.

We do however supply unburned discs to artists and students of design free of charge for sculpture or artistc projects.

There are also an increasing number of designers who use discs as the raw materials for projects like garden mosaics, lamps, dishes, picture frames, flower pots, mirrors, coasters and even a disco ball!! See www.zerowasteweek.co.uk for DIY ideas on how to recycle discs.

Another great use for discs is as bird scarers on allotments, they catch the sun if hung and will deter without harming birds who would eat delicate crops.

We minimise the use of paper by having an efficient invoice emailing and chasing system; although we will always send hard copy invoices if requested. We shred all paper that we can and this is re-used for animal bedding and then composted.

In short we view ourselves as a very eco-friendly company and we constantly update and re-visit our processes to see where we can improve and evolve in a productive and conscientious way.

Gained knowledge and know-how is the key here to keeping an efficient and eco-friendly approach in balance for our industry.
 

The CD Is Still Going Strong

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Even in this age of digital streaming the CD still has value in the music industry.

Listeners, especially those of the younger generation understandably turn to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The outlook for the  humble CD from some perspectives in the music industry may look a little dreary but the reality for many bands and music artists is that they aren’t seeing a slow down in CD sales at all.

Artists still want to offer something tangible to offer their fans.

Time and time again we hear from bands that the Merchandise table is an increasing and valuable source of revenue.

It is true, music lovers always want to buy something to take home with them, whether it be a CD or a T Shirt…they are affordable, and a link to the music they love.

Again the recent resurgence in Vinyl is testament to this, and artists who stock both CD and Vinyl on their Merchandise table have seen that while the vinyl did well, the CD’s sold out quicker; particularly older catalogues. An understandable outcome as Cd’s are easier to produce and cheaper to buy, also more profitable  to sell than Vinyl….they also sound objectively better!

It would also appear from recent research that certain genres of music are more CD bias in their demand than others: these being, Indie, Jazz,Gospel,Classical ,Children’s and Seasonal (like Christmas Music).

All this points towards the music industry having room for all mediums of technology,Vinyl,CD and Digital .

Our consumer driven society dictates that we have right to demand that music is made available to us in every way that it can be. While there will always be many digital only albums almost all commercial releases continue to be available on CD also.

The CD’s resilience has been aided on a practical level by the process of Duplication which involves the burning of audio directly into ready made discs.

Duplication of runs of as little of 50 units enable the artist to go directly online and within hours upload audio and art and have the final product within days. Many also opt to have the product shipped directly to gigs as they travel, giving the ability to bump stock if needed and avoiding carrying weighty product with them.

The CD is still going strong!

Want more facts and figures, take a look here: www.fastcompany.com (the cd business isn’t dying)

 

What CD or DVD case is right for you?

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

It doesn’t matter what type of DVD or CD case you use, right?

Wrong.

In most cases, the DVD or CD case is more important than the actual CD label itself, particularly in the consumer markets. So which CD or DVD case is best for your company? There are several different options and we will cover all of them to make sure you are using the right type.

CD cases

CD cases tend to be smaller than DVD cases. They are almost the same size as the CD inside.

What types of CD cases are there?

Jewel case

These cases are said to pick up light like jewels, as they are transparent plastic, fitted with two arms that support the lid. They are the most common types of CD cases and allow for a small leaflet to be inserted in the front and back.

Pros: Strong protection, aesthetically pleasing, allows inserts and offers different variations that hold more CDs

Cons: Teeth and arms are prone to breaking, which render the holder useless. They are not environmentally friendly and they are bulkier than other case options.

The sleeve

A simple sleeve saves the most space out of any CD storage option. They are made from a thin plastic called ‘tyvek’ or paper.

Pros: The tyvek sleeves protect from water and spills, while the paper sleeves are environmentally friendly.

Cons: The paper sleeves don’t protect from condensation or spills. Both the paper and tyvek sleeves do not protect the CDs from getting snapped or crushed.

Eco-friendly options

  • Soft or Green case – most eco-friendly option, made from recycled discs and known for opaque quality
  • Digipack – only one component of plastic
  • Jake case – origami-like
  • WowWallet – FCC approved paper and cardboard

DVD cases

DVD cases are typically the size of a thin, A5 book in order to fit small booklets and extra information inside the case.

Keep cases

Most DVDs are encased in book-sized plastic boxes called Keep Cases. The front allows for a small cover to be inserted and the plastic is usually made from black plastic.

Pros: Strong, durable, allows for booklets and information to be slid into teeth and plastic covering.

Cons: They are not environmentally friendly and are expensive.

Bulk packaging

When it comes to bulk packaging, CDs and DVDs are both packed in Cake Boxes. A Cake Box piles discs on a spindle, with one large cylindrical plastic cover to protect them all.

However some of the cheaper CDs can also come in Blister Packs. Only blank discs are sold in this manner and it is advisable to at least buy sleeves to protect discs with information on them.

Hopefully this article proved useful for choosing your CD and DVD case needs. If you have any questions feel free to ask us!

Which disc label printing method is right for you?

Monday, August 5th, 2013

You should always have labels on your CDs.

Why?

For professionalism and so people know which way the disc should be facing when putting it in a CD player.

However, there are four methods for printing labels on your CDs. Which one is best for you?

Let’s review the four options and decide:


Lithographic (offset) printing

Lithographic printing is where your artwork is placed on a processing plate using a chemical treatment. The plate is then ‘offset’, or imposed onto a rubber blanket cylinder. This is then pressed onto the surface of the CD to create the print.

  • Pros: It looks great, provides high-quality photographic printing and sharp text.
  • Cons: It is only possible when replicating discs, not while duplicating.

Overall, this process is great if you need more than 1000 discs, however it typically isn’t the cheapest option.

Thermal transfer printing

Thermal transfer printing is when each colour is set onto a transfer ribbon and then applied beneath a heated print head. This creates a seal, making the disc waterproof and smudge free.

  • Pros: Taken directly from the computer, fast, cost-effective in small runs and it looks great.
  • Cons: You can’t print right up to the edge of the disc and you may need a white base to print other colours on it.

Silkscreen printing

This process passes ink through a monofilament screen, where each colour is applied separately.

  • Pros: It is the cheapest option for large batches and great for simple designs with minimal colours.
  • Cons: Grainy effects often occur around the colour gradients and text. Also, the more colours you use, the lower quality it will look.

Inkjet printing

Inkjet printing entails printing directly onto a specially prepared disc. After that, the disc is covered with a UV-resistant lacquer to prevent fading and scratches.

  • Pros: Very high-quality finish.
  • Cons: Pricier for large batches (since the price is fixed).

Overall, each one of these four CD label printing techniques is a viable option, but hopefully with the guidance above you can narrow down which printing option works best for your project. We understand that price and quality are usually the determining factors for printing on CDs so we tried to focus primarily on that.

Choosing a Way to Back Up Your Computer

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

When you need to backup your computer (or at least some of the files on it) there are more than a few options available. Some of the most popular backup methods currently are RAID mirrors, external hard drives, network drives, USB flash drives, tape drives, cloud storage, and DVDs. Choosing the right medium for you is a matter of weighing the pros and cons:

  • RAID mirroring requires a second hard disk drive (with closely matched specifications) for each drive you wish to have backed up. It can be an excellent solution as it keeps files perfectly in sync, even while they are running, and is thus an up-to-the-second backup. On the downside it is somewhat costly.
  • External hard drives can be of any size you choose, and can serve as a solid backup option. Like the RAID setup the up front cost can be relatively high, but it does allow you to take your files with you.
  • Network drives are a good option if you have multiple computers to backup files from. They’re more expensive than RAID or external drives because they require a housing which is bootable (usually running a linux distribution) but they can be very useful in multi-system households.
  • USB flash drives are generally only a good backup solution for small jobs or when you need to have ultimate (physical) portability, as their maximum sizes are quite tiny unless you begin to spend an extreme amount of money.
  • Tape drives are an old standard but are are often expensive as they have been phased out by other solutions. The tapes themselves can be a better deal than hard drives, and are portable.
  • Cloud storage has become increasingly exciting in the last couple of years, but as a backup solution it remains very slow. For small projects where you want portability such as working directories and music libraries the cloud is a great solution, but leave the big jobs out until internet speeds improve dramatically.
  • DVDs (generally the re-writable kind, though it’s also possible to use write-once discs) are a good, cheap solution for backing up your system if you are in a position to swap discs out as you go. DVDs offer the least expensive backup costs, and remain faster than cloud storage even with the need to swap discs in an out. Since backing up to DVD is a good, well-rounded and scalable solution that does not require a huge outlay of money, many people rely on it.

Choosing how much to backup is a very personal decision as well. Some people make whole system backups. Others may find that they are only concerned about things like photos, documents, and the like. In some cases a single DVD may be all a person needs to back their vital data up, but in others a great many gigabytes of data will be involved.

Once you know how much space you need you should make arrangements to secure adequate supplies. In the case of DVDs it is usually very cost effective to buy a spindle of discs and a storage case.

Your next step has to be to find a good piece of software. Fortunately you have a wide variety to choose from. Wikipedia has a list of free and paid backup solutions which, while not comprehensive, is a great start. Also be sure to check around on the search engines if you haven’t yet found something that suits your needs.

One good free program from the list is called Cobian Backup. Using this program it is possible to backup just part of your system or the whole thing, and store it on a variety of backups, including the cost-effective DVDs. It offers you a fairly easy to use interface so you can get started quickly. It can serve as a good first program while you are getting used to backups, and while you are looking around at other options.

Finally, when you make a backup the best storage place for it is away from your PC. If you happen to own a fire safe, placing your backups (such as DVDs) in that safe is a good way to ensure you can recover should anything unfortunate befall your computer.

What Causes Discs to Fail?

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Storing your files on a disc of any type is a relatively safe method of archival, but there are a few things you should be aware of in order to safeguard your files. The first is to of course use quality media, but beyond that, you can avoid damage by following a number of simple tips: Never expose your discs to extreme temperatures. Both heat and cold have an adverse effect on the longevity of discs. Cool, constant temperatures are best, so try and avoid sunlight, heaters, air conditioning vents, and the like. Remember that simply being inside of a container may not be protection. Glove boxes, trunks, and the like, while popular storage places in vehicles, are poor choices.

  • In addition to the issue of heat, UV light may damage discs. This means that sun is a double no-no when it comes to ensuring you do not damage your collection.
  • Do not leave your discs out in the open, or stacked on each other. While discs often come in spindles, this type of storage (particularly when done with loose discs) can lead to scratching of the protective layers of the media if dust and other particles are introduced. Instead, choose a storage solution which keeps your discs as free of such environmental hazards as possible.
  • Handle the discs from the outside edge and the inner ring. While fingerprints are not really a permanent problem (though they can cause massive temporary issues if left uncleaned), any kind of debris which may insinuate itself between fingers grasping either of the flat surfaces of the media can cause damage.
  • Exposure to various hazardous materials can severely degrade discs in a very short period of time, so it is imperative that you avoid exposing your media to any chemicals. This can include some aerosols which might be commonly used in your household.
  • Avoid moisture. Many people use water to clean their discs, but that is not recommended. Only use purpose-built cleaning solutions.
  • When using a marker, only use one that is appropriate to disc usage. Generally water-based inks and broad felt tips are better than other types. For the most safety, only mark the clear plastic interior of a disc.
  • Don’t put undue pressure on your media, such as by bending it or subjecting it to extreme rotational speeds.
  • Avoid adhesive labels. They can peel and cause issues with drive operation, leading to damage.

By doing your best to avoid the above problems, you can help to preserve your discs. With good care you should be able to keep them viable for decades.

The Mp3 Vs. CD Debate

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

There are pros and cons to both MP3s and CDs - it can be hard to choose between

Across the internet and throughout the media has been slowly growing one of the greatest debates of the digital era:  Which is better Mp3 or CD?  There are many aspects to this argument:  The cost, the environmental impacts, the levels of illegal trade in music and, of course, the quality of the sound itself.

Mp3s are small computer files which hold audio data, which usually takes the form of music.  They became public in the mid-90’s and have only been gaining attention since then.  They can be uploaded and downloaded to and from the internet with great ease and this has lead to a good deal of illegal trade in music and many breached copyright laws!  While the leaders of the music industry have been battling against what is basically digital theft with law suits, some companies have been cashing in on this technological advancement, beginning to sell their songs not only on CD but also as downloadable internet files.  The infamous ‘iTunes’ is a perfect example.  This has, in recent years, created quite a large drop in CD music duplication and for a while some people were convinced the CD would die out completely.

But it hasn’t.  This is for many reasons, not least of which is that the quality of sound on a CD is generally far better than on an Mp3.  This is due to the way that Mp3 files are created:  The original sound file is taken, then compressed into a smaller size, compromising the range of sound that can be heard and losing much of the finer dynamics of a song.  The smaller the file is compressed to, the more the quality of the sound is undermined.  Indeed, it is now being seen that while Mp3s have been sold with the label ‘near-CD quality’ the reality is that most Mp3s are of FM radio quality which is a bit better than the average cassette tape.  The merits of CD music duplication have a long way to go yet!

There is also some degree of satisfaction, especially to musical collectors, in having a good-looking CD collection, with their cases shiny and their covers colourful and individual.  However, these collections come at a price to the environment; CDs are notoriously difficult to recycle while Mp3s make no waste at all.  Having said this, many people download Mp3s simply to burn them to disc in their own homes.  While this is cheaper in the short term, because one Mp3 track is less expensive than a shop brought one, even with the added cost of buying the discs, in the long term, it causes just as much environmental damage.  To add to which, the disc will not last as long and, as I have already discussed, the sound quality will not be as good by far.  Particularly when you take into consideration the care that CD music duplication companies take in setting up their equipment and ensuring the highest quality sound for their products.

There are further side issues discussing the fact that most people listen to their music on personal Mp3 players now so they may as well just download them in the first place.  However, unless you back up your collection to a portable hard-drive, it is very easy to lose all your music through your computer crashing or getting a virus.  The benefit of CDs is that you will always have a hard copy of your collection to go back to.  To add to which, when you are at home, it is surely better to listen to CDs, where the sound quality will be superior to your personal Mp3 player.

In the end, the Mp3 vs. CD debate comes down to what you value.  However, for most people this seems to be the quality of the sound they are listening to.  If this is the case for you, then certainly CDs are a better way to go.  Personally, I feel that CD music duplication has a lot of life left in it yet!

Music CD Digital Remastering – what is it and what are the pros and cons?

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Music CD digital remastering - is it worth it?

In the current age of constantly developing digital media, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the latest trends. One of today’s most popular buzzwords is ‘digital remastering’. This is applicable to both video and audio files but in this article I shall focus on the idea of audio, or CD, remastering.

To understand what CD remastering is, it is helpful to first know what ‘mastering’ is. When you duplicate a CD, you have an original, or ‘master’ recording. This ‘master’ copy is not necessarily the first recording of the audio content, but is the final edited version of it. For instance, if you are recording a radio-play or audio book, you may wish to add sound effects from another source in after the initial recording. Or, if you are making music, you might want to edit the singer’s voice or to equalize the sound. Many adjustments of these sorts can be made and the ‘master’ copy is the final edited version made before CD duplication commences. In some circumstances there is more than one master copy, for instance many ‘masters’ might be sent out to different CD duplication plants in different regions.

So, the process of CD mastering is the process of making the ‘master’ copy of the CD. Mastering had problems, however, when it came to analogue recordings, for analogue sound loses quality every time it is re-recorded or edited. This can make the audio sound fuzzy or start to hiss. This was particularly the case with cassette tapes.

However, with the advent of digital sound, CD remastering has become the remedy to this cause. When a piece of audio is remastered, very often the original recording of the piece, sometimes taken from before the CD master was even completed, and converted into digital sound, thus the editing can take place again, with no loss to the sound quality, creating a new master which can be used to duplicate the CD and release it again.

The pros and cons of CD Remastering make for a tricky debateBut there are arguments for and against CD re-mastering. Why? If a process makes an old song sound better and gives it a second chance to live, what can be the problem? Well, it depends on how well the audio has been remastered: Many classic albums from bands such as Kiss and the Beatles are now being re-released in digitally remastered form, but to modern tastes and standards. This often includes increasing the volume of a song to levels where the sound becomes distorted and starts to sound very different. this can dissuade people from listening to the music again, often without them even knowing quite why. Aside from this, many people see it simply as a marketing ploy, a way for shareholders in music labels and members of the bands to get even more money than they did the first time the song was a hit.

Despite these criticisms the point remains that, when done well by professional CD remastering technicians, digitally remastered CDs sell very well and do offer a new lease of life to the audio of the past. It also helps to preserve songs and recordings from the analogue era, as cassette tapes and vinyl discs alike become more scratched and naturally degrade in quality over time.

Which CD Type Should You be Using?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

It can be tricky to find the right CD

Since the development of the simple Compact Disc, so many other formats have become available it can be very confusing to know which ones are the best to use!  Hopefully, this little guide will go some way in helping you make your mind up which one is most suited to your needs!

When considering which CD to choose, there are several factors to take into account, for instance the lifespan of the disc, which CD readers can use it, whether it will work with your recorder, the memory size and whether or not it is best suited to the job you need it to do.

The main types of CD in use are:   CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM.  It is worth bearing in mind that each disc will have certain unviewable information already written onto it which will tell computers and CD players what kind of disc it is.  Unfortunately, this unseen data cannot be changed.

Here is a guide to the main types of CD, the pros and cons to each, and the jobs they are most suited to:

A General Note on CDs: Due to their limited memory, it is advised not to use CDs for games or video, as these take up a great amount of room and are very complex files to store on such a small device.  You would be better off using DVDs in this instance.

CD  (Also known as CD-DA or CD-ROM)
Lifespan: 50-200 years
Memory: Up to 700 Mb (80 minutes)
Recording Speed:  N/A
Cost: More expensive than the home CD duplication, but you pay for a professional looking product.  If you want more than 500 copies of a disc it is cheaper than CD-R/-RW.  Cost varies significantly depending on the company being used.  I recommend Duplication Centre UK.
Players which can read it: All
Players which can record onto it: Only professional machines can do this kind of CD duplication.
Re-Record? No.
Functions: Professionally pressed CD’s which contain music files to be played on computers or CD Audio Players.  Best used for band disks, promotional music, audio-information (for instance recorded speeches or radio play samples).  Due to having a long life span they are very good for professional release as well.  Because they are made using a Glass Master and pressing machines, you will need a replication company such as Replication Centre UK to produce them for you!
Quality Notes: Quality is guaranteed if a professional company is used.  These are very difficult to create without the correct machinery for CD duplication.
Other notes:

CD-R
Lifespan: 50-100 years if stored in a cool, dark place.
Memory: Typically 700Mb (80 minutes)
Recording Speed:  Fast.  The fastest out of all of the discs suitable for home CD Duplication, they can be burned in under two minutes each.
Cost: Approximately 15-20p per disc without cases or artwork.  Cheaper than CD-ROMs if you want under 500 copies.  You can get professional companies to produce them for you, and I recommend Duplication Centre UK.
Players which can read it:  Most.  Some in-car players will not play them and also some of the older CD Audio Players.
Players which can burn it: All players with CD-R or CD-RW duplicators can record them.
Re-Record? No.
Functions: These discs are generally used to store music, not because they can’t store other data – they can:  Photos, small video clips, word documents, etc. – but because information is permanently placed on them, they tend not to be used for backing up files or anything else which needs only short-term storage.  While the quality of sound is not nearly as good as the more professional CD, CD-Rs are cheaper with the same amount of memory.  However, their life expectancy is not as long and they are more susceptible to damage from heat and sunshine exposure.  However they are faster to produce than CD-ROMs, which need a Glass Master copy of the CD which takes time to produce.
Quality Notes: Quality varies greatly depending on the company who produced the blank CD-Rs in the first instance.  It is generally recommended to go with a recognised brand who will be forced by law to stick to the standard guidelines for quality.
Other Notes: Other variations on this kind of disk include the Music CD-R which is specifically designed for storing music files and reaches a professional standard of sound (however these are much more expensive at 50p a disk) and the Graphics CD-R which play graphics and music simultaneously.  These last are almost exclusively used in karaoke bars and are also more pricey.

CD-RW
Lifespan: 20-100 years
Memory: Typically 700 Mb (80 minutes)
Recording Speed: Medium.  They are not as fast as CD-Rs but not as slow as DVDs at between 3-4 minutes per disk.
Cost: Approximately 20p per disk.
Players which can read it:  Mainly only computers and some CD Audio Players.  However compatibility with Audio Players does go up if the CD is recorded all at once rather than in lots of segments.
Players which can burn it: Only drives with the CD-RW recording capacity.
Re-Record? Yes.  Up to 1000 times.
Functions:  These disks, though slightly more expensive than the CD-R, can be re-recorded onto which is a great plus.  They are generally used for storage of data files such as photos, short films, word, excel or powerpoint documents, music which is still being edited, etc.  They are also generally used for backing up files as, when the back up needs to happen again, you can record the information over the top of the old back up on the same disc!  They can also perform the same uses as CD-Rs but are often not used for these because of the price difference and CD-RW’s incompatibility with most Audio Players.
Quality Notes: Quality varies greatly depending on the company who produced the blank CD-RWs in the first instance.  It is generally recommended to go with a recognised brand who will be forced by law to stick to the standard guidelines for quality.
Other Notes: Environmentally, they are more sound than the CD-R because there is less waste – any old disks can simply be re-recorded whereas with CD-R they must be thrown out!

A table to help show the differences between types of CD

A general note on DVDs: It is advised, due to their cost, that DVD’s be used almost exclusively for films or games.  Unless you wish to transport very large files, it is much more economical to use CDs.

DVD (Also known as DVD-ROM)
Lifespan: 30-100 years
Memory: Up to 4.7 Gb.  Typically can hold up to 2 hours of video on standard SP (short play) setting
Recording Speed: N/A
Cost: More expensive than home DVD Duplication but, again, you pay for a professional finish and quality.  Also the price will vary depending on which company you use.  I would recommend Replication Centre UK.
Players which can read it: All DVD Players.  (If you are copying a game, only certain gaming equipment will be able to use that file, depending on how you have developed the game.)
Players which can burn it: They are nearly always professionally produced due to the machinery required to create them.
Re-Record? No.
Functions: DVDs are primarily used for storing film or gaming data.  It is not advised to use them for storing non-professional data as home DVD-RW duplication is much more economical in this case.  However, they can be used for advertising films, full length films and games of every sort (for computer, xbox, PS3, etc.).  They are also used for any film/game which needs to be distributed amongst a large audience as they do not have the drawbacks or DVD+/-R with wheather or not equipment can read them.  Many things which are put onto DVD-ROMs are ordered in bulk, as it saves time to get someone else to do the job for you!
Quality Notes: Because it is professionally done, the quality is guaranteed.
Other Notes:

DVD-R and DVD+R
Lifespan: 30-100 years
Memory: 4.7 Gb.  Typically can hold up to 2 hours of video on standard SP (short play) setting
Recording Speed: Slow.  Definitely slower than any CD:  At between 3-10 minutes depending on the speed of you drive, DVD-/+R duplication is time consuming.
Cost: A little more than a CD at between 25-30p per disk.
Players which can read it:  This is a little complicated:  DVD-R and DVD+R while being essentially the same thing can only be read by equipment which supports them respectively:  DVD-R can only be used with equipment which supports DVD-R disks and DVD+R with equipment that supports DVD+R disks.  Nearly all players nowadays are DVD-R compatible.
Players which can burn it:  DVD-R can only be used with equipment which supports DVD-R disks and DVD+R with equipment that supports DVD+R disks.
Re-Record?  Not for DVD-R but DVD+R things can be added later as it is still accessible.  This does NOT make it re-writable as data cannot be deleted from it.
Functions: These are generally used for home-videos, prototype game designs,adverts, films still in the editing stage – basically files which are enormous, complex and doesn’t need to look entirely professional.  Also, these disks don’t tend to be used for things which must be produced in bulk as it would be a time consuming DVD duplication process.
Quality Notes: Quality varies greatly depending on the company who produced the blank DVDs in the first instance.  It is generally recommended to go with a recognised brand who will be forced by law to stick to the standard guidelines for quality.
Other Notes:

DVD-RW and DVD+RW
Lifespan: Up to 30 years.  Less all other discs except DVD-RAM.
Memory: 4.7 Gb.  Typically can hold up to 2 hours of video on standard SP (short play) setting.
Recording Speed: Slow.  Definitely slower than any CD at between 3-10 minutes depending on the speed of you drive, DVD-RAM duplication is time consuming.
Cost: A little more than a CD at between 25-30p per disk.
Players which can read it:  The same rules apply as with DVD+/-R:  DVD-RW can only be used with equipment which supports DVD-RW disks and DVD+RW with equipment that supports DVD+RW disks.
Players which can burn it:  DVD-RW can only be used with equipment which supports DVD-RW disks and DVD+RW with equipment that supports DVD+RW disks.
Re-Record? Yes.
Functions: These are generally used for films or games which are still in the editing process or other large files which need editing, saving or backing up.  They can be used to back up much larger systems than CD’s.  Not used so much for long-term storage due to their shorter life span.
Quality Notes: Quality varies greatly depending on the company who produced the blank DVD+/-RWs in the first instance.  It is generally recommended to go with a recognised brand who will be forced by law to stick to the standard guidelines for quality.
Other Notes: Environmentally, they are more sound than the DVD-R because there is less waste – any old disks can simply be re-recorded whereas with DVD+/-RW they must be thrown out!

DVD-RAM
Lifespan: Up to 30 years.
Memory: 4.7 Gb.  Typically can hold up to 2 hours of video on standard SP (short play) setting.
Recording Speed: Slow.  Definitely slower than any CD at between 3-10 minutes depending on the speed of you drive, DVD-RAM duplication is time consuming.
Cost: A little more than a CD at between 25-30p per disk.
Players which can read it:  Most DVD Players and DVD drives in computers.
Players which can burn it:  All DVD recording devices will be able to burn DVD-RAM disks as they are the oldest and easiest of the disks to use.
Re-Record? Yes – up to a whopping 100,000 times!
Functions: These are generally used for films or games which are still in the editing process or other large files which need editing, saving or backing up.  They can be used to back up much larger systems than CD’s.  Not used so much for long-term storage due to their shorter life span.  Due to the massive amount of times they can be re-written they are almost certainly useable for re-writing for their entire life-span!
Quality Notes: Quality varies greatly depending on the company who produced the blank DVD-RAMs in the first instance.  It is generally recommended to go with a recognised brand who will be forced by law to stick to the standard guidelines for quality.
Other Notes:

I hope this helps you make your mind up on which type of CD best suits your needs!

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