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CD-R or “Compact Disc Recordable” is a CD that can be recorded to, using special CD recording hardware called CD Recorders or CD Burners.
CD-Rs can be used to record computer data files, such as audio, video, images, documents and other data, or to create dedicated music CDs. Once data is burned to a CD-R, it cannot be altered or erased. A CD-RW or Compact Disc ReWritable, on the other hand, can be written to, erased, and written to again many times.
Also See: CD-Rom
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I play a CD-R in a standard CD player?
Most CD players are capable of playing CD-R discs. However, the CD-R must be recorded specifically as a music disc. Data discs that include music files on them cannot be played in most CD players. The one exception is CD players that support MP3 playback. These CD players, commonly found in newer cars or DVD players, can search for and play MP3-formatted music on a CD-R. Using MP3 format, you can store several albums on a single disc.
Do I need a computer to burn to a CD-R?
To take advantage of the full capabilities of a CD-R, you will need a computer and CD burning software. However, if you simply wish to record music to a CD-R, some home stereos allow you to record audio from a record or tape directly to a CD-R, and some even include two CD slots, for recording CD to CD-R.
What does the number on the CD-R mean?
CD-Rs are rated based on how quickly data can be recorded to them. The original CD-Rs, labeled 1x, were capable of recording at 150 Kilobytes of data per second. The number on newer CD-Rs represent a multiple of that original speed. So 2x CD-Rs can record at 300 KB/second. Most current CD-Rs are 52x, meaning 7,800 KB (or 7.8 MB) of data can be recorded to them per second. Given that most CD-Rs can store 700 MB, at that speed you can burn an entire disc in just under 90 seconds. CD-RW discs are typically capable of recording at much lower speeds, and thus have much lower number values associated with them.
Is the speed listed on a CD-R the same as the speed listed on a DVD-R?
No. A 1x DVD-R is capable of recording 1.32 Megabytes of data per second, the equivalent of a 9x CD-R. Most current DVD-Rs are rated 16x, meaning they can record at a maximum speed of approximately 22 MB/second.
How much music can I record onto a CD-R?
Current CD-Rs have a 700 MB capacity, which allows them to record 80 minutes’ worth of music in audio CD format. Older CD-Rs were only capable of storing 650 MB, which meant they could only record 74 minutes of music. CD-Rs are capable of storing significantly more music in modern MP3 formats, but these discs will not be playable in most standard CD players.