Joined: 04 May 2003
Location: Nieuw Lekkerland @ Holland
Posted: Sat May 24 2003 18:31
From what I've read, to get best quality possible, you should burn at 1x-2x speed. You can of course burn a audio CD at 16x or 24x or higher, but chances are they have tiny errors in them which degrade the quality. Exactly why this is the case I don't remember, but it had something to do with error correction, skipped bits and so on. The slower you burn it, the more likely it is that the burner has time to handle error correction and skipped bits correctly, thus better quality.
And let's get that statement out of the world immediately. Multiple tests have been done with various speed cd-burners, and - although the differences were very small - some fast cd-writers made *more* errors if they burned at low speeds!
There's still this story that the pattern of data is burned more thoroughly in the cd at low speeds. Ahum. Rubbish. It's just a one or a zero. Nothing more. On or off. You can't tell the difference afterwards whether it was burned fast or slow.
In the end, one can't tell what the best speed is. The only thing you can do is try out some speeds, and check which ones give problems. I think every cd-writer has its own 'hot-spot', so you'd better start searching
I guess my info was a bit outdated. Allthough, after a quick scan through various audio forums on the net, the general opinion still seems to be that burning slower is better. And one reason that was given for this is that when burning faster the CD get's hotter (since it doesn't have time to cool down before the next round), thus chances are that the laserbeam also affects tracks next to the track it's currently burning = loss of quality. Perfeclty logical if you ask me.
1-2x might be a bit extreme with todays standards, but I for one wouldn't burn an audio-CD over 8x. That is, if I want to focus on quality. Not only because of the heat issue, but also to be sure there are no buffer under-runs. Sure, my burner has burn-proof so a buffer under-run shouldn't be so tragical. When it's utilized though, the laser never pics up exactly at the same spot it stopped = loss of quality.
It's true though that each burner has an optimal speed, a speed where it generates least amount of jitter due to motor speed variations and other mechanical issues. I think Nero for instance has a feature that searches for the drives optimal burn speed (or so I've read), but I'm not sure if the drive itself has to support this feature, because I can't seem to find the feature