Burning CDs and DVDs

CDs and DVDs have been out there for about two decades, and they are popular. They are easily played. You may already know how. Creating CDs and DVDs, however, might not be as easy. Here you will learn to do it.

What are CDs and DVDs

First, let's start with the very basic: CDs and DVDs digital storage devices. They are circular, 120 mm of diameter. They store information in a digital way, which is to say in "on" and "off" states. The "on" and "off" states are represented either by microscopic holes in their writeable surface (master CDs and DVDs) or a change in their reflection capacity caused by a laser beam (computer-burnt CDs and DVDs). To be read, a laser beam reads and interprets the "on" and "off" states to decode the information.

The writeable surface of a CD usually goes from greenish to a full spectre of colours. The writeable surface of a DVD is usually in a shade of red. You can use these colours to recognize them. The colours are a consequence of the temperature and frequency of the laser beams used to produce them.

Burning a disk

Let's start by choosing the correct disk. There are two kinds: writeable (R) and re-writeable (RW). Choose a writeable CD or DVD if you will only need to burn the information once (like when creating a CD for your car stereo). Choose a re-writeable CD or DVD if you will need to update the information now and then (like when you backup your information).

Once the disk has been bought and inserted into the burner, the next step is to create its contents. Software will help us with this, yet you need to choose the correct software for your situation. Standard disk burning applications will help you with the most common tasks, yet if you need to create a DVD with a menu, then it will be more convenient to use an authoring tool.

Now open the application, and indicate which files are going to be in the disk you are about to burn. Add them as needed, but keep in mind these disks have a limit. Once that's ready, click on the "burn" command and wait. That's almost it.

I said almost because there is an exception to this situation: an image file.

Careful when burning an image file

When you create a disk, the software will create a file with instructions on how to transform all your information into the series of "on" and "off" states the disk will bear; but when you have an image file (those which are .iso, generally) you already have the set of instructions, so you don't need to recreate it. Just indicate the software you will be burning "an image to disk".

Sessions

Once finished, disk burning applications will also ask whether you want to continue with the disk later or just close it. These are called "sessions". Audio and video disks, and those created from an image file will always be closed disks; but if you are using a disk for your backups, then it is best to choose a multi-session burning process. That way, you will be able to continue adding more files to the disk later.


Knowledge + Computers