All CDs are not created equal. If you want to take full advantage of the new 8[infinity] CD recorders from APS Technologies, Smart and Friendly, and others, you’ll need 8[infinity]-certified CD-R media. As of mid-January 1999, only a handful of media vendors were offering certified discs, but most of the leading players plan to offer 8
media in the near future.
A recordable CD is constructed of multiple layers, including dye and polycarbonate plastic strata. Because it records at such a high speed, an 8
mechanism requires a dye that marks easily and a polycarbonate layer with clearly defined ridges. You can burn 4
CD-Rs in an 8
drive, but only at the lower speed.
Fortunately, you probably won’t have to pay a premium for the higher-speed discs. APS Technologies (800/862-6831,
) and Smart and Friendly (818/772-8001,
), which sell CD-R drives that use the same 8
Sanyo mechanism, both offer 8
-certified recordable discs for $20 per 10-pack, about what you’d pay for name-brand 4
discs. The drives themselves sell for about $500 each, compared with $300 for 4
Among name-brand manufacturers, TDK (516/625-0100,
) offers 8[infinity] discs for about $2 each. Imation (888/466-3456,
) says it will soon offer 8
mediaat prices 10 to 15 percent higher than what it charges for 4
discs. However, in Macworld testing, we were able to record Imation’s 4
-certified discs at 8
on both 8
), Sony (941/768-7669,
), and Hi-Val (714/953-3000,
) say they plan to offer high-speed discs but have not provided timetables for doing so.
Maxell currently offers 6
-certified media; Sony says its CDs have been tested at up to 6
but are certified only for 4
recording. Hi-Val, a discount brand available at CompUSA, offers 4
CDs for about $1 apiece.