The Types of PC CD/DVD Recorder Drives

Your PC may have a CD/DVD recorder drive, which allows you to create your own CD or DVDs, recording data, music, or video. On the CD and DVD recording scene, you find five types of drives:

  • CD-R/CD-RW drives: Can store around 700MB on a CD

  • DVD-R/DVD-RW drives: Can store 4.7GB on a DVD

  • DVD-RAM drives: Can store 9.4GB on a double-sided DVD

  • DVD+R/DVD+RW drives: Can store 4.7GB on a DVD

  • Dual Layer (DL) DVD+R drives: Can store 8.5GB on a DVD

The RW in the drive moniker stands for rewriteable, which means that you can reuse a CD-RW, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW over and over. All these recorders can produce audio CDs and standard data CDs and DVDs, but only the drives that can record the DVD-R and DVD+R formats are likely to create DVD movies that can be played in your standalone DVD player.

Unfortunately, the rewriteable DVD-RW and DVD+RW standards aren’t compatible with each other, and they’re not compatible with older, standalone DVD players, either; you have to watch your discs on your PC. (Insert sound of palm slapping forehead here.)

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