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I always seem to have something I need to send. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of assignments, presentations or gods-know-what for me to burn to disc and hand in, so I always make sure to have a spindle of black discs ready.
This is where Verbatim come in pretty handy. As a frequent user of blank CDs and DVDs I need something that's not going to cost me the ends of the earth every time I buy some new ones, but also have to be reliable enough that I'm not throwing half of them away every time. Otherwise, what would be the point.
Verbatim are the solution to that. While as of late I've been using the Tesco own brand discs (which are a fantastic quality, but that's another review), I buy these ones when there doesn't happen to be a big mutli-media selling Tesco around, and they almost never let me down.
Verbatime blank CDs have free space capacity of 700mb, or can hold 80 minutes (of music). While not as large as the DVD-Rs they are much cheaper as well - perfect for handing in most assignments, because when do you often use up more than 700mb on a single project (unless you're working with film). They burn at decent fast speed, of course this depends on your burner speed also.
Good quality throughout, I have never had any real problems with these CDs. Every so often there's the one or two that doesn't seem to work , but I've still yet to figure out if it's a manufacturing error or it's just my burner being stubborn. Whatever the case, Verbatim offer a good mix of quality over price, and are certainly worth buying.
CD-Rs have been around since 1990 or so, making it into the mainstream mid to late 90s. These days, with the advent of usb flash sticks, DVD-Rs and home recordable Blue Ray discs, CD-Rs are not as popular as they used to be, however, still being the only media that will be read by almost any audio CD player and that virtually any computer can read, the good old CD-R still haves somewhat of an edge. The issue of CD-R life has often been discussed, and to the end user, many of us have been wanting to find that fine combination of low price and high reliability. These CD-Rs support being burned at up to 48x speed and can hold 700mb of data or 80 minutes of audio!
I was a fairly early adopter of CD-Rs, buying a CD-R recorder the moment they became somewhat affordable to the masses. I tried a wide variety of CD-Rs. Some were good quality but a bit expensive, some were cheap, but I didn't trust them. I was never entirely happy until i found the Verbatim CD-Rs reviewed here on offer. First I bought 50 or so, then I went back the next week and got a bunch more. I must have ended up getting 200 or so in a month, that's how happy I was with them.
I've used about 100 or so for an audio project I was doing at the time. None of the CDs failed, and they all played back without as much as a skip. I actually listened through them all to ensure they were all fine. They played back fine in the car stereo, in my hi-fi, on my PC, on the DVD player and in the various CD players of the 100 or so people I gave the audio CDs to. That is quite impressive performance for such cheap CD-Rs that are not branded specifically as "Audio CD-Rs".
I've burned VCD (Video CD) for my DVD-player, normal data CDs, mp3 CDs, and none of the CDs have ever failed. I've been able to test them over a time frame of about 6 years or so, and I have so far failed to find any of them fail as a consequence of aging. Obviously, 6 years is not much in the scope of things, but I can still claim that in my personal experience, comparing to other brands I have tried, performance is similar to more expensive brands and better than similarly priced and cheaper brands. I no longer buy the more expensive brands, as I find these Verbatims perform perfectly well while being very affordable.
While you can get the 25-packs of Verbatims for around £5 or so, it's usually better value to get a 100pack. I got my 25-packs of Verbatims for about £4 in 2005, which was great value at the time. These days you might be able to find them cheaper. I stocked up on them, so I am still using my Verbatim CD-Rs today, and I have had no issues with them. I would hence recommend them!
I only ever try to buy Verbatims these days as for me they offer the best balance between cost and reliability. Nothing is ever for sure in life but this brand of discs in my opinion and from my use has a lower coaster rate than most. I find these CD-Rs a good workhorse for everyday storage purposes. I'm not saying they're perfect however I like using them a lot.
They offer a fast burn speed for the regular and laborious back up of information, cutting large operation timescales, yet still offer peace of mind for more important information burned at a slower speed. I'm not sure if this is actually the case but these spindle discs certainly seem to run more smoothly in a PC drive, providing fast reading and better performance. This item is a strong and robust way to store data with good quality build and a decent name behind it.
I have found It to be a false economy buying cheaper cd's when your information is important to you. In fact any time I see a Verbatim deal I buy them even if I don't require them at the time as they're always useful in the future, a good investment in my view.
These Verbatim's are listed as using azo dye which is a good dye. Regarding Shuttlex's review stating to stay away from cyanine dye. Taiyo Yuden uses cyanine dye and Shuttlex says (and is right ) that Taiyo Yuden are one of the best (if not the best) manufacturers. It is important to distinguish between metalized cyanine which is what is used today and the old cyanine dye that was in use when cdrs were first being manufactured in the nineties. Taiyo Yuden invented the cdr using cyanine dye! I'm not sure if any manufacturers still use unstabalized cyanine dye. If so, these discs should not be used due to deterioration over a short time period. If you are in doubt it's a good idea to check clubcdfreaks.com for great advice.
When buying cd-rs the most important thing to note is NOT the brand name but where the discs are manufactured. A lot of discs are manufactured in the same factories and simply relabled. For example, a Sony CDR could be the same quality as a datawrite or Ritek. Different discs have different qualities of dyes, ranging from Oxonol, Phthalocyanine dye, Cyanine dye and Metal AZO dye. Cheap discs have cyanine dye and should be avoided. Unfortunately a lot of highstreet stores stock discs of this kind. These aspects are very important if you intend to archive your digital photos or backup your data. Discs may appear to work immediately, but a poor CDR can deteriorate over the years, completely destroying your data.
Two good sources of CD-R's is Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi Chemicals. Taiyo Yuden is considered by many to be the very best due to the high quality of dye and manufacturing standards. Mitsubish Chemicals is also good, but maybe not quite as good as Taiyo Yuden.
The discs in the Verbatim 25 spindle tub are advertised as having a METAL AZO dye and are manufactured by "Mitsubish Chemicals". Rated as 48x, you can burn a disc in 2 minutes (I always burn at a slower speed than this to be safe) and have a capacity of 700mb. The CDR's are of fairly good quality and even after a year music cds work well without skipping and data cds have few read errors. I haven't experienced any compatability issues with these discs. Audio CD's work in every CD player, from portable stereos, in car CD players and 2 different Linn hi-fi's. I have burned the discs using three different types of DVD/CD burners including a laptop DVD writer and a first generation CD writer, all with success.
However, I also purchased Verbatim CD-R's over 5 years ago. Since then, certain aspects Verbatim CD-R's have become worse. Verbatim CDR's used to have a much darker dye, made from slightly stronger plastic and a better quality label. It's still a good disc but I still wouldn't use it for archiving data and would probably rather buy Taiyo Yuden.
There are a lot of average/poor quality CD-R's on the market even from well known brands such as Sony. It may be tempting to buy these instead of Verbatim, however, they won't seem like a good deal when the discs are unreadable 2 years later. (I have experienced this in the past.) From looking at the range of CDR's available in the high street shops such as Curry's, PC World and Rymans, despite the higher price tag Verbatim's are by far the best CDR's available. If you buy your CD-R's online from places such as SVP, you can get even better discs perhaps more suited to archiving data.
TIP: When backing up data, always make a backup on 2 seperate optical discs from different batches and keep one copy on a hard drive.