What is the best cd recorder?
What can CD recorders do? Are they worth the price? What should I look for in a CD recorder?
CD recorders have finally come down far enough in price to make them affordable to the average computer user. The next question that begs to be asked is, "Do I need one?" Now, most computer users would answer "Absolutely, it's the new toy I've been waiting for!" but if you are questioning the necessity of a CD recorder, I can tell you what they do.
Most CD recorders (also called CD burners) fit into your computer in one of the CDROM bays. I recommend installing it in an open bay and keeping your current CDROM. While the CD recorder can act as your primary CDROM, two CD drives can make some other recording features possible.
CD recorders are able to make and copy both data and audio CDs. This means that it is possible to backup your files or make a mix CD of your favorite songs. And because most CD recorders come with Adaptec Easy CD Creator, which comes with wizards to make CD creating easy, people with very little computer experience should have no problem getting started.
CD recorders are also able to copy both audio and data CDs. This is where the second CDROM drive can come in handy. This means that you can make backup copies of both your Windows CD and your favorite audio CD in case they were to get lost or scratched. Please note that copying a CD that you do not legally own or giving away a copy of your CD to someone can be against copyright laws.
The media that CD recorders use is usually referred to as CDRs or CDRWs. CDR stands for CD-Recordable and CDRW stands for CD-ReWritable. CD-R media should work in all types of CD-Recorders, but it takes a CD-ReWritable drive in order to use CDRW media. The great thing about CDRW media is that you can use it over and over again. You can just erase the disk and start fresh. The downside is that CDRW media does not work well for audio CDs. That doesn't mean that you can't make audio CDs with a CD-ReWritable drive, you just have to use a CDR disc.
So now the question is: "What type of CD recorder do I get?" There are a few basic choices that you must make to guide your purchase. First, if you want to have the ability to rewrite to CDs, then choose a CDRW drive, which are a little more expensive, but worth it. Second, the speed of the CD recorder will make a big difference in your satisfaction. Speed is given in the following format: 8X/4X/32X. The first number corresponds to the speed at which it will record. The second number refers to how fast it will rewrite, assuming it has the capability. The third number is how fast it will read off of the CD. The higher the numbers, especially the first one and second one, the faster you'll be able to make CDs.
As far as the brand of your CD recorder, my only suggestion is to buy a brand you've heard of. As is true with all computer products, there are a lot of companies out there making products. You can assume the big name companies will make a quality product, but you don't have that luxury with the smaller companies. Also, the smaller companies will generally not have customer support that is as good as the larger companies.
Buying a CD recorder can be a very fun process. Search around, find a good deal, and make sure to get a lot of media, because you would be surprised how fast they get used up.