Free Shipping on Thousands of Items
Happy Easter - Store closed in observance of Easter

Recordable Media Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy recordable media.

Getting Started

A blank sheet of paper can represent a template for limitless possibilities. Artwork, short stories, poems, and even sketches have all graced what was once a clean, blank sheet of paper. They all have something in common; they have sprung from someone's imagination. While a blank sheet of paper has been the most common way to bring ideas to life, the advancements in technology now allow anyone to create, store, and present their work anywhere technology is used.

Through these advances, blank media has become more affordable, easier to use, and larger in capacity. The most popular forms of blank media are the blank CD and DVD.


Burn Baby Burn
If you are not familiar with the process, the art of "burning a disc" represents the transfer of information from a computer to a blank media disc. The capacity of a CD (compact disc) is 700 Megabytes. This is perfect for making a "mixed tape" and listening to it in your car, on a boombox, or on any other equipment that plays music CDs.

The CD can come in several forms. With a CD-R, you are only able to record data once and cannot write over that data. With a CD-RW, the "RW" indicates that the CD can be erased and re-used if you want to change data. The only downside is that while the regular one-time use CDs can be used on any CD player, the re-writeable discs are not always compatible with different equipment.

The capacity of a DVD disc is more than six times larger than that of a CD. Holding 4.7 Gigabytes of space, DVD discs are available in different readable formats as well; DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW and DVD-RW. Each of these DVDs also comes in a dual-layer format, making the DVDs 8.56 GB. The "RW" refers again to the re-writeable format. The "plus" and "minus" represent the format that the DVDs come in. The "minus" was the original format, which means it can play on virtually any DVD player. The "plus" is the newer format, which is available for play on only the newer DVD players and is less susceptible to error while burning.

Unlike CDs, DVDs can store both music and video, but both discs can be used for simple memory storage. Word documents, spreadsheets, data files, pictures, anything you can save to your computer can be burned on these discs as backup.

Blu-ray recorders, for personal computers as well as home theater systems, are gradually entering the marketplace and creating a demand for the the newest format of the "disc family"-- the Blu-Ray optical disc, also known ad BD. The BDs come in several formats: original BD at 25GB of free space; BD-DL which represents dual-layer and can hold 50GB of memory; and finally BD-RE, which is "re-writable". At 50GB of blank media you can even back up the hard drive of your personal computer.


Lights, Cameras, ACTION!
Digital camcorders for the amateur film director or the home-video fanatic use different forms of blank media to make films come to life. The most common is that of the MiniDVD. The MiniDVD is smaller in capacity than their full sized disc relatives; however they are predominantly used in handheld digital camcorders because of their small size. This allows for ease of transportation and keeps digital camcorders no larger than the palm of your hand.

A MiniDVD can hold up to 80 minutes of footage or 13.5 hours of music storage. While standard size DVDs can be played on any DVD player, MiniDVDs cannot. They require a MiniDVD player to adapt to the smaller version.

For the older camcorders that still use tape, we carry the Mini Digital Video Cassettes, more commonly referred to as DVC. The DVC tapes can hold up to 63 minutes of video, much less than that of a MiniDVD.

Big Memory, Small Package
Some of the biggest holders of memory can be found in the series of small chips called "memory cards." Designed for portable electronics such as cameras, phones, portable MP3 players, and portable gaming devices, memory cards or memory sticks can hold up to 16GB.

Memory cards come in different physical sizes and memory sizes. Before choosing which one best fits your needs, you must consider what you will be using them for. If you are an avid photographer who loves shooting nature, or simply someone who loves taking pictures on the weekend, two medium sized memory cards are better than one large one. This allows for separation of pictures and, although extremely rare, if one memory card is corrupt, you still have a handful of pictures on the second card. If you enjoy storing music or saving your video games, one large card will be your best pick.

For a more detailed description of all the memory cards we carry, and which electronics require them, please click here.

Future of Blank Media
Changes in blank media are just around the corner. Plan on the newer forms to be more compact and able to hold MUCH more than existing blank media.

Article Content