What are the best settings to use recording Audio CD-R's


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I am wanting to set a policy at a school theatre for how CD-R's are recorded by students for things like backing tracks etc. I want to ensure that the CD-R's are playable on as wide a range of CD Players as possible. I know you can buy new CD players which have been designed specificaly to play CD-R, CD-RW Audio CD's. There are still a lot of older CD players around. I know not all will be able to play CD-R's but I know by setting the recording settings right I should be able to get quite a few of them to.

This is my idea for settings to use to give best results:
CD-R only no CD-RW.
Record CD-R at lowest speed setting on CD Writer.
Ensure the disk is closed off.

What do you guys think? Any other suggestions on how to get the most readable Audio CD-R's?

Why lowest speed? And even the thought of CD-RW is kinda odd, save the CD-RW's for data and programs and but everything audio on a CD-R ...it makes thing easy.
VipermanGTX said:
Why lowest speed? And even the thought of CD-RW is kinda odd, save the CD-RW's for data and programs and but everything audio on a CD-R ...it makes thing easy.

In my original post I did say not to use CD-RW. I may be wrong but I believe that at faster speeds the tolerances of the written track may be closer to the upper limits that an ordinary Audio CD player can handle. If my thinking is faulty could someone please me put on the right path.
My sister's CD player will play CD-RWs, but not too many CD players do read them. You are probably best off sticking with RW for computer files. I am not really sure if the speed has a huge impact on the number of cd players that can read the CD when it is all done. I think the bigger consern would be the number of errors the CD player can tollerate. If you burn a CD quickly, it is more likey to have more errors, and many older CD players cannot handle these errors. If you have a very powerful computer and dont run lots of other programs while burning a CD, I dont think you will have too much of a problem.

I am kinda unclear about what you are making these CDs for... are they for "production" to give/sell to people? or are they just for use by people in the theator? Will you be burning them all, or will other people be burning them and giving them to you to play in your theator?

I would deffanatly suggest that you dont cheap out on which CDs you buy. Find a reputal brand of good quality CDs that work well with your burner, and stick with them. TDKs work really well with my burner, and I am usually able to pick them up fairly cheap about once a month when they are on sale (I go in and buy 200-300 cds at a time when they are on sale!)

I use my laptop, as well as two other computers to distribute the Mp3 files found on my website as audio CDs for people who dont have computers. I have burned well over 600 CDs, most of them at 24x two years ago, about 2-3 out of every 100 didnt work, (I tested them on an older (not anchent) Boom box) but now with the newer computers i am probably to about one bad in 200. I didnt even check most of the ones I distributed this year, and I havent heard of any of them not working for people. (the one out of 200 comes from ones that didnt finish burning in the computer for some reason)

This christmas time, I needed a rush order of a couple of sets of the Cds, and I burned 25 or so CDs on two computers in about 15 minutes (at 52x on each) with no reported errors.

I am not sure what kind of CD players these are being played on, but they are just being shiped to everday people, and not being played in any kind of fancy equipment....

so..... I dont really know if that helps much or not, but it is my experience anyway
Thanks Peter for your thoughts. The main use is for activities done in the theatre such as dance, talent quests etc. Idealy people would supply the original music cd's but as you have demonstrated people are using CD-R's a lot now.

I can remember at another school I worked at, during a music assessment concert a guitarist had a backing track he had burned. It wouldn't work in the music department's boom box but did in the theatre's CD player.

So I am thinking ahead because there is a week of Fesitival of the Arts activities coming up and I wan't to minimise as many problems as possible.

That piece about more errors is probably why I was thinking about using lower speeds.

I have been playing with my laptop it's lowest writing speed is 4x. I also wrote at 24x and there seem to be no problems in my stereo. I have just brought an old CD player off TradeMe ( Our equivalent to E-Bay) I still have to get it. It will interesting to see if it will play CD-R's. It is an old SONY CDP-397 Single Disc Player, has anyone used one?

Thanks again for your comments Peter . I always find your posts well worth reading.
I've never heard of burning speed being a problem with cd-r's. And i've never had any problems using cheap cd-r's either. They're all pretty much the same, except for the label.
when i first got a cd burner and cd-r's about 4 years ago i couldnt write at 16x, the fast it would work and screw up the cd was 4x.
If that is how you are using them, i am almost sure you are always going to have problems with people still messing it up. most people out there dont know how to change their burn speed and things like that. It's really annoying I agree, my way arround it is to run all sound eather directly off my laptop, or put it on the laptop and then burn a master CD that I know will work. that saves me having to juggle CDs as well as just about ensureing that it works. My laptop (and most others now-a-days) are powerful enough to be copying one track to the harddrive while it plays back another track from the harddrive. I do this all the time when i am filling in as the school DJ and even occasionally during talent shows (although for talent shows I insist on having a copy of any and all music at least 2 days ahead of time so i can put it all on my comptuer and orgainize it and make sure it works..... if i ask for it two days in advance, it usualy gets to me two hours before the show... but that's better then during the show)

I am not sure if that is at all what you want to hear, but it has been my way around that problem b/c i dont think you are ever going to be able to get everyone to abide by this polocy.

Techieman, I have also read that alot of the difference between good cds and cheap cds also can come about over time, with the cheaper ones deteriortating faster.... I dont remember where I read this, but it was probably in one of the computer e-zines (magazine but online) I get.
Ya, they might, I wouldn't know, I usually only burn cd's to listen to back and forth between school and home, and they usually just get pitched, or ride around in the back of my car all scratched up after a week or 2. If I back anything up it's to dvd. I couldn't imagine backing up all of my music to cd, it would take 65 cd's, to burn it all as mp3's, and I can fit it all on 10 dvd's. It makes finding everything a whole lot easier.
techieman33 said:
I've never heard of burning speed being a problem with cd-r's. And i've never had any problems using cheap cd-r's either. They're all pretty much the same, except for the label.

I agree.

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