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CD-R compatibility with various CD burners

Hello fellow archivists somewhat adrift in the uncertain waters of digital possibility, etc.:

I wanted to ask for some recommendations from people who unlike myself are using CD Testers. At Kiwat Hasinay we don't yet have grant monies to purchase a tester, but plan to, as per advice of a few participants on these lists. In the meantime, could I please get some recommendations for which _specific_ CD burners seem to perform best with which blank media. Right now we are using only Kodak gold (and soon, due to discontinued supplies, gold-silver, as discussed a few months ago on this list) CD-R's, using computer grade ones, and also Consumer Audio ones. We use a Plextor 8x4x32 internal ATAPI burner for our computer grade burns, and also make use of a Harmon Kardon CDR-2 stand-alone burner (which does CDR duplications at 1 or 2 or 4x speed) for consumer audio media. As I understand it, there is no archival difference that anyone has mentioned on this list between computer-grade and consumer audio media.

However, in light of a recent posting or two, I am re-assessing the issue of which media to use in which burner. Should we switch to Mitsui golds or any other brand, given the equipment we currently own?

We hope to buy a professional burner, a stand alone, such as the HHB CDR800 mentioned some months ago on the list, but still lack funds for that, and for a CD Tester. If anyone would like to briefly mention CD Testers again, I am wondering whether a stand-alone tester such as one available from CD Associates.com would be as effective as the full computer system CD tester also available. I understand that once we buy one of those, we get into the whole arena of what is the acceptable number of errors before needing to migrate one's information to avoid complete digital drop-out/disc frisbeehood.

Thanks to you, the more technically saavy out there who hopefully can put up with my more layman's approach to trying to understand these issues, and take fitting action in light of what I am learning.

Please share any recommendations you may have with us. We really appreciate the help.

Brian Levy
Robert Brian Levy
Executive Director
Kiwat Hasinay Foundation
Box 305
Binger, OK  73009 USA
tel: (1) 580-515-6011

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