CD/DVD R/RW: What is It?

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Is it Code Language? No! Read the Guide to Understand the Specifics

For the sake of those who may not be "in the know," this article will do a quick overview of what CD-R, DVD-R, CD-RW, and DVD-RW mean. Indeed, while terms such as these might seem trivial and elementary for some of the tech savvy out there, others still have never found what these terms actually mean and what each actually does. In order to prevent confusion, especially when buying the appropriate disks for burning CD's or DVD's, it is important to know what these are.

To begin, CD-R and DVD-R stand for CD-Writeable and DVD-Writeable. Obviously, it would seem as if it should be CD-W and DVD-W, but stick with me here. While CD-R and DVD-R may not be the most grammatically correct, their purposes are simple. CD-R's and DVD-R's are simpler in design and are designed so media can only be written one time onto them. This means that once something has been put onto them, it is permanent and it cannot be changed or removed. These are one time use disks that carry a much lower price tag.

In stark comparison, CD-RW and DVD-RW, standing for CD-Rewriteable and DVD-Rewriteable, respectively, have the exact opposite purpose. These disks, while carrying a heftier price tag, also carry much more use for many people. Media and files written onto CD-RW's and DVD-RW's can be changed, removed, and more media and files can be written onto the disk at a future time. This makes it somewhat like a floppy disk in a sense since files can be removed and added almost at will. This greatly improves the value of these however basically makes them worthless for movie and application developers since they wouldn't want consumers merely lifting the files straight off the disk, something that they are unable to do with standard CD-R's and DVD-R's.

See, all the complex technology terms really do have simple, easy to understanding meanings and purposes when they are explained properly. Hopefully you are now just a little more educated with how CD burning works and what to look for.

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