CD-R Disc Vs. DVD-R Disc

By Russell Huebsch

The CD-R and DVD-R formats are two of the most popular ways to store files and create custom media. Deciding which format to use depends on the consumers intended use of the product.


CD-R and DVD-R discs are both write-once storage media, but not compatible with each other. Also, CD burner may not write to DVD discs and vice-versa, unless the drive includes functionality for both, which they often do.


CD-R discs come in varieties that hold 650 or 700 megabytes, which comes out to 74 to 80 minutes of music on average. Single sided DVD-R discs can hold 4.37 gigabytes of info, and 8.75 gigabytes on double-sided discs (See References 2 and 3).


CD-Rs are most useful for creating personal music discs that can be played on standard music CD players, and smaller video and picture files. DVD-Rs are best for storing large files and video movies.


Unlike transferring files to a floppy diskette, CD-R and DVD-R discs require additional software for the burning process. Most versions of Microsoft's Windows contain Windows Media Player, which has inherent burning capability for either format.


About 93 percent of DVD ROM drives can read a DVD-R disc, but much less take CD-Rs. In order to read a CD-R, a DVD player must carry a label signifying it has two lasers, such as "dual laser" or "dual optics".