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Re: [ARSCLIST] Recommended CD-R's

Why bother if you use paper labels? They are a big danger to CD survival.

Steven Smolian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Charles Lawson" <clawson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2006 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recommended CD-R's

Jim Long wrote:
I would appreciate recommendations on what type or make and model (if
applicable) of CD-R blanks that (1) have shown the least reliability
problems batch
to batch, (2) have higher expected lifetimes and (3) lack high-contrast
raised graphics on them (which tend to telescope through the paper labels
sometimes use).

A good place to start when considering these issues is an article by Alex Kosiorek:


It's a little out-of-date now, but the general principles are solid.

My own experience, in brief, follows:

For serious archiving, I am still a fan of Mitsui gold media.  You can get
the discs "unbranded" so there are no silkscreened graphics to interfere
with any paper labels.  (Beware of those, BTW.)  Mitsui silver discs also
perform well and, for some playback devices, are easier to read and more
reliable than the gold.

[Mitsui recently shifted their manufacturing from Japan to the US and
France.  As a result, their quality control is suffering and it's not
uncommon to take a disc out of its shrinkwrapping and find fingerprints or
greasy smears "factory installed."  However, my average in these
discoveries is about one out of every 25 discs...but it used to be ZERO.]

TKD "Professional" discs are apparently still made properly in Japan and
have given outstanding results...when I can get them.  Standard discs
branded with the TDK logo are probably made under license by a less
reliable factory.  You can use software tools to find out who actually
made the disc.

I have generally had good luck with the Verbatim blue azo discs, too, but
I did have some longevity concerns when one of the audio CDs I burned
exhibited increasing error rates after spending one day in the car in a
covered parking garage.  (The Mitsui discs have never shown any such

This is my very abbreviated and subjective experience.  Some day, I may
write up my full experiences, but I just don't have the time right now.

My preferences, then:

1. Mitsui Gold (*medical grade* for the *really* important archives)
2. Mitsui Silver
3. TDK *Professional*
4. Verbatim Blue

Your experiences certainly may differ...but I doubt it...

Best of luck to all,


Charles Lawson <clawson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Professional Audio for CD, DVD, Broadcast & Internet

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