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Comprehensive Guide to Disk Burning - Different Types

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 4/30/2009

In the second-part of the three-part miniseries, we take a look at what types of disks can be burned. Read on inside for more information.

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    Burning Part 2

    Welcome to the second article in our three-part “Comprehensive Guide to Disk Burning” mini-series. Our objective thus far has been to show you which format is best to burn your information on, but what about the information itself, how do you prepare it? Which media is best for which type of information? We’ve got you covered once more – our guide below will walk you through it.

    So you want to back up your data…

    This one is tricky. The first question you need to ask yourself is: “how much data do I really need to backup?” As a rule of thumb, I only backup the essentials to not only save on space, but to also not go back through the backup a few years from now and think to myself, “why did I even bother keeping this?” You’ll want to backup all your documents; they’re so small that’s worth the time to backup ALL of them, even the worthless ones. Photos again are on a case-by-case basis, you’ll want to review which photos fall into the cannot-live-without category and backup those. Other than that, you’ll have to decide for yourself, but as a rule of thumb, DVDs are the best backup sources (second only to the trusty thumb drive) for the simple reason that, left untouched, a DVD can last nearly a century, whereas most everything else withers away – yes, even that trusty thumb drive. Burning a backup is the easiest thing in the world to do these days, just read our “Best Free Software – Backup and Disk Tools” article for more information.

    So you want to copy something from one media to another…

    Let me be the first to re-inform you that Bright Hub by no means supports piracy in its many forms – however, keeping a digital copy of a movie that you particularly love or burning a copy of a movie you already own to a new DVD because the old one is completely worn down is perfectly acceptable. However, you may be a few years late to the party. These days, sadly, it’s easier to download a copy of the movie you already own from a torrent or server site than it is to take the time and burn it yourself. To add insult to injury, the most amazing DVD ripping software maker has gone soft and stopped making DVD Decrypter, the best ripping solution that was available in the market. Thankfully though, DVD Decrypter still exists out there on the internet – you just have to look for it.

    So you want to burn a music CD for a standard player…

    Your car might not have suffered the same great advances as your computer, which may be why you’re here reading this article. Let me suggest something first – for most modern cars, a simple car-dash (the CD player in the car) can easily and quickly be replaced by an all-digital Deck (something like the one I’m currently sporting from Alpine) and will result in greater sound quality and the ability to have your entire music collection at hand. That being said, if you still feel like recording a good-old-fashioned, 10-12 track CD for your car or for your CD player, the best software to use is Windows Media Player – it’s simple, effective and can do the entire process for you in minutes (if not seconds). Other than that, you could use something like NERO Burner, but that program has become so bloated with junk over the years that I’ve stopped recommending it.

    And there you have it – using this quick and easy guide, you should be up and running in no time, which is excellent because in our final article, we’ll be discussing the HOW of the equation and which burning software is the absolute best to use.