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Selecting Slow Burning Speed


Michael Graubart
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I use Toast 9.0.7 on a Mac G4 (PPC) with OS X 10.4.11.

 

I have recently acquired and am using a LaCie d2 optical drive to burn audio (music) CDs. When I insert a blank CD-R and select 'Recorder' in Toast in order to choose an appropriate burning speed, only some speeds can be selected. For example, with a Verbatim music CD-R, the lowest speed that is available is 16x. But I want to be able to select lower speeds in order to minimize errors and ensure good quality recordings.

 

I attach a screen shot of Toast/Recorder/Disc Information, using a Verbatim music CD-R.

 

I have been told by the LaCie support people that the available speeds are determined by the drive and the CD-R disk; but it seems (though I have not tried this) that if I were to use iTunes instead of Toast, I would be able to select lower speeds. I want to be able to use Toast, not iTunes, so I should be very grateful for any advice about getting round this problem.

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I have been told by the LaCie support people that the available speeds are determined by the drive and the CD-R disk

This is true. The drive reads the coded disc characteristics to determine the available writing speeds.

 

 

but it seems (though I have not tried this) that if I were to use iTunes instead of Toast, I would be able to select lower speeds.
While some application may allow selecting other speeds, that doesn't mean the disc will be burned at that speed. If you were to burn two discs of the same content using both applications and on the lowest speed available for each, then I would expect the burning time (in minutes) to be about the same.
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This is true. The drive reads the coded disc characteristics to determine the available writing speeds.

 

 

While some application may allow selecting other speeds, that doesn't mean the disc will be burned at that speed. If you were to burn two discs of the same content using both applications and on the lowest speed available for each, then I would expect the burning time (in minutes) to be about the same.

 

That is very useful and, in a way, reassuring. Thank you, OldArchiver. But why, then, do various sound-recording gurus tell one to burn at low speeds — never more than 4x, preferably 1x — if fairly standard media such as the Verbatim music CD-R that I was experimenting with do not allow such slow burning? Here is an example:

 

<http://www.srtl.co.uk/srtl/report.html>

 

Admittedly this is from a firm that sells media and recommends TDK (amongst others) rather than Verbatim. I have not tried a TDK disc to see what speeds that will allow.

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Why, then, do various sound-recording gurus tell one to burn at low speeds — never more than 4x, preferably 1x

It sounds very plausible that lower speeds allow the burner to be more accurate. I'm less convinced about the "4x" hard limit.

 

While the benefit of low speed burning was very obvious for anyone burning CD-Rs in the early days, it is unclear to me how those scientific reports hold up with todays discs, todays optical drives and todays CD players. I would hope for some statistical improvement by technology advancements over the years.

I have never used these special CD-Rs labeled "for audio", but one thing I would expect from such, is the ability to burn at lower speeds than 'regular' CD-Rs. But I never make masters for duplication, so I'm not too concerned about it personally.

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