Blank Discs Product Guide

Blank Discs

Blank Discs are the staple of portable storage in computers. From the original floppy disc to the recordable DVD, storage capacity has moved from thousands of bits to billions of bits of information per disc.

This allows large multimedia files to be taken on the road - from home to office and beyond. Most software comes on Compact Discs (CD) with some applications available on DVD.

Almost every current computer comes with a recordable CD drive and a DVD reader. Higher-end models have both a recordable CD and recordable DVD drive.

From the original floppy disc, the Zip Disc, to the popular CD and DVD, blank recordable discs are essential accessories to virtually any computer user - Windows, Apple, Linux, and others.

Though the CD and DVD are the disc formats in vogue, our discussion includes Floppy Discs and Zip Discs because they, too, remain significant methods of portable storage.

Floppy Disc

Called a floppy disc in honor of the original magnetic storage media, the current floppy disc is a magnetic media disc in a hard shell. Maximum storage is typically about 1.44 million bits of information.

The floppy disc is viewed by many as obsolete, a relic from the past. That's because most software files would require storage on about 100 floppy discs. Though the drive is found on fewer computers these days, people still prefer them for storing small text files and is popular among students and writers.

ZIP Discs

Developed by Iomega, a drive manufacturer, these discs were the first to offer disc storage capacities of 100 million bits of information to about 1 billion bits of information.

A very popular format used in small business environments, the Zip Disc waned in popularity when recordable CD and DVD drives were introduced. Nonetheless, Zip drives continue to be sold and the recordable Zip discs are used in businesses, especially those networks that prefer to restrict users from recording data onto CD and DVD, because administrators believe it reduces data theft.


A CD (Compact Disc) can hold up to 700,000,000 bits (MB) of information or about 80 minutes of music. It can hold about 20 minutes of video but isn't the popular media for recording video. It is popular, however, for recording still images. Many film processing labs can take your pictures and record them onto a recordable CD. Some digital cameras have video output cables that permit transfer of images for recording on a VCR or CD recorder. With images of 2 or 3 megapixel resolutions, you can store 200 to 300 images per CD. A majority of the recordable CDs may also be played on virtually any CD player. There are two types of recordable CDs - CDR and CDRW.

CDR means that this disc may only be recorded once. Unlike tape, you can't record more than once on a CDR. A CDR that holds 700MB or 80 minutes of music is called CDR80. An older 650MB format (or 74 minutes of music) is called CDR74.

CDRW means that this CD is rewriteable or may be recorded several times. The CDRW disc is more popular among computer users than home CD recorders but is becoming more popular. It can only be recorded on a CDRW compatible recorder for multiple recordings. Most CDRW discs hold 700MB or 80 minutes of music and are referred as CDRW80.

CDR and CDRW discs may have a rating that might say "Certified up to 24x". The 'x' refers to a speed of data transfer, 150,000 bits per second (150KB). This is used when copying one CD to another. If you were recording at 2x, it would take about 40 minutes to record an 80-minute CD. If you were recording at 4x, it would take about 20 minutes to record an 80-minute CD. You must check whether your recorder has that capability and at how many 'x'.


A typical DVD (Digital Virtual Disc) holds up to 4,700,000,000 (GB) of information. That's the equivalent of more than 7 CDR80s. As such, these are used for recording movies because they can easily store over 2 hours of audio/video per disc. There are some DVDs that can hold as much as 9.2 billion bits of information, though not as readily available.

Like recordable CDs, there are two types of DVD recordable discs. DVDR may only be recorded once. DVDRW may be recorded many times (RW means rewriteable). Unlike CDs, not all recordable DVDs will play in all DVD players. That's because there were many different standards of DVDs over the years. DVD-R and DVD-RW is different than DVD+R and DVD+RW. The DVD+ format may be played on virtually any DVD player but, in order to do so, must be recorded on a DVD+ compatible DVD recorder. DVD- may play on almost every DVD player made in the last two years but may not be recorded on a DVD+ recorder/player. In buying DVD recordable discs, please make sure whether your DVD recorder is a DVD- (DVD-R/DVD-RW) or DVD+ (DVD+R/DVD+RW) compatible.

Disc Packaging

Unlike tapes, discs don't have to be rewound. They are recorded and played using a digital process. Though many discs are sold in individual packs with a plastic case (often referred as a Jewelcase), you'll find that many bulk packs (packs of 20 or more discs) do not include individual cases. Instead they are sold in spindle packs or cakeboxes, where the discs are stacked on a central spindle. It's advisable to look at disc storage accessories to store and protect your discs.

We recommend these disc holders:

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