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Burning and Mastering

What is the difference between duplication and replication?
There are two ways of making a disc (CD, DVD or Blu ray). Duplication means recording on a CD-R, DVD-R or Blu ray disc, just like you would a tape. A laser on the recorder drive burns the data on the recording dye layer of the disc. This process is good for smaller jobs or jobs requiring fast turnaround time. Replication means the data is stamped on the disc, right into the plastic. Discs you would buy from a retailer or rent from video store are replicated.

What does Region Free DVD mean?
DVD discs are coded by region, or geographic area. The idea is based on DVD movies being released at different times in different parts of the world. For example, you may have bought a copy of The Big Lebowski a while ago, but in some parts of the world that movie may not be released on DVD.

Regions:
REGION 1: The United States (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) and Canada
REGION 2: Greenland, Iceland, most of Europe, South Africa, Japan and the Middle East
REGION 3: Southeast Asia and Indonesia
REGION 4: Mexico, Central and South American, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean (except Puerto Rico)
REGION 5: Africa (except South Africa), Indian and Asia (except Southeast)
REGION 6: China

In order to support movies that might still be in theaters in different parts of the world, each DVD is given a region, and DVD players are coded by region as well. The region code should only affect you directly if you're sending newly released DVD movies to friends in other parts of the world, or if you move around a lot.

To make things simpler for people affected by regional DVD, there are some "Region Free" players out there, which don't pay attention to the regional code. Region Free players have also been used in sidestepping copy protection, as some of these players ignore "Macrovision" copy protection, allowing you to copy your DVD movies to tape or to DVDR. Before you invest in a Region Free player, do some homework and find out if it will do what you need.


Is it OK for me to switch from 74 to 80 minute CD-R media?
80 minute CD-R is perfectly compatible with most recorders and readers. Audio duplicators who have clients that will be using CDs in older car players may want to verify compatibility before going with all 80 minute CD-R.

How long does it take to burn a DVD?
Any copy speed depends on the amount of data on your DVD, but if the disc is full, generally a 4x DVD takes 15 minutes, 8x takes 10-12 minutes, and 16x takes about 7-8 minutes. Copy speeds can also be affected by the quality of the disc and the quality of the system you are recording on. Please note that disc-to-disc recording can reduce copy speeds as well, as your recorder may have to pause while waiting for data to be pulled from your reader. Media Supply recommends recording right from your Hard Drive.

How do I create a CD that will autorun on both Mac and PC? Can this be done with a PC?
In order to create a CD that autoruns on both Mac and PC, you will need the proper software to create a hybrid. A hybrid CD separates the Mac and PC information into two different sections on the disk.
CDEveryWhere is a software program available for the PC that will create and save the ISO image of the CD to your hard drive. From there you will be able to burn it to a disc with your CD burning software. You can download the demo from i2rd.com, but it will only allow you to create a 50MB file, and a "demoOnly.txt" file is added to the image indicating that it is a demo version. The Personal Edition of the product will allow you to create hybrid CDs, but to fully enjoy the flexibility of file sharing, you will need to purchase the Standard Edition. The Standard Edition will also create AutoStart CDs for the Mac and PC. If you have information that can be read by both platforms, then you can share the information between the two sides to save disk space.

Traditionally, CD mastering was done on the Macintosh, since the Mac was able to read PC files, while a PC would not recognize files from the Mac.

On the Mac side, Roxio Toast is the best solution for hybrid mastering.


How can I create the best possible master for duplication?
Follow these steps to make the highest quality master:

1. Copy from your hard drive, not disc-to-disc. Some reader drives may have problems with errors on your disc, resulting in delays in sending the data to a recording drive. This can create a “bullseye” disc, where the pauses while the recording session waited for the data can create a disc that’s hard to playback.

2. Use a Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim disc. These are the two best CD-Rs and DVD-Rs available, so you'll reduce possible breakdown of the disc and ensure a good recording. Media Supply recommends Plextor & NEC drives for excellent recording. We can analyze output from your drive for a fee.

3. Always record disc at once, and never use a CD-RW or DVD-RW as a master. These discs can have issues playing back on drives that they were not recorded on. Also, multisession discs can cause problems with reader drives that can't handle the multiple recordings or partitions.

4. If you are mastering audio, use a good piece of audio software, like Nero for PC or Jam for Mac. These will make great REDBOOK quality masters.

5. Ship your disc in a jewel case or c-shell. Sleeves can damage the surface layer of the disc and scratch the bottom.


What is the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R?
Here is the scoop on the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R: The two recordable format families (DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW) were essentially in competition with each other. DVD-R was promoted by Pioneer, the default drive in software/video copying and distribution. DVD+R was promoted by Sony and Phillips and focused more on the home recorder/enduser market. Now, almost all newer DVD drives and players will work with both formats. However, if you distribute discs to endusers who may have older equipment, it would be wise to consider using the format that best matches your disc's application.

How can I backup my DVDs?
Most of the questions I received from the last email were asking, "How can I backup my DVDs?" This prompted me to look into the claims made by many of the pop-up ads I see having claims of "backup your DVDs without the need of a DVD Burner". Sure, you CAN actually fit a DVD onto a CD-R, similar to the way you can rip an audio CD into WAV files (which in turn can be turned to MP3s). Of course, don't expect to maintain nearly the same quality in sound or video. You have to give up something - you can't have your cake and eat it too!

I have found that time is the biggest element when trying to backup a DVD. The faster the computer, naturally the less time it will take to complete this process. I also have to say, this isn't the easiest thing to do. Remember the early days of MP3 encoding? That seems, well, ridiculously easy by comparison. Especially since it can take hours to make a really ugly DivX movie. At which point, you'll have to fiddle with the settings and start all over again. If you're not patient by nature, just wait a while until the process becomes easier.
Copying or "backing up" the contents of a DVD requires that you first rip the DVD, much in the same way as you rip an audio CD into WAV files (that can be compressed/encoded into MP3 files). Remember, a DVD can hold up to 4 GB of data. So, not only will you need a DVD drive in your computer, you'll also need at least 4GB of free space on your hard drive.

There are a lot of basic tools used for stuffing DVD movies. Other tools are available, but SmartRipper 2.0, which pulls the video off the DVD; and Flask, which compresses it down into single .AVI file, seem to be the favorites. To use the DivX, which is essential to get the tight compression, you'll need to download and install it, too.


Why doesn't my 52x drive record much faster than my 16x drive?
16x drives were the last CD-R drives which recorded discs at the same speed across the surface of the disc. Every drive from 24x up uses a process called Constant Linear Velocity (CLR), where the disc records at faster speeds as you progress in the recording. So if you are burning a 100mb disc on a 16x drive, and another on a 48x drive, the recording time will be similar. The faster drive never gets to its highest recording speed unless the disc is nearly full.



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