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Re: [ARSCLIST] CD writing speed - long reply
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- Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD writing speed - long reply
- From: Mike Richter <mrichter@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 08:05:32 -0800
- Comments: To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <ARSCLIST@loc.gov>
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Jos Van Dyck wrote:
Tom Fine wrote:It is *extremely* tempting to respond with sarcasm, but I shall resist it.
I use Plextor dirves and have them set to use the fastest optimum speed.
How do you know the "optimum speed" for a given media and drive?
The optimum speed is usually taken to be that at which the error rate is
lowest. Under some circumstances, one may prefer to operate near the
optimum rather than at it - for example when one can use a higher speed
with little increase in error rate but substantial saving of time. Let
us look, then, at "optimum" as being the speed at which the recording
has the fewest errors.
To determine what conditions create such an optimum, one must measure
error rate. Professional gear for that purpose is costly and requires
great skill to use properly. If you have had a disc evaluated at Media
Sciences, you know that substantial skill is needed even to understand
their assessment. An institution with sufficient interest in archiving
may well invest in an expert to assess detailed reports and to manage
ongoing recording. Fortunately, the rest of us have a simpler answer:
assess a composite index rather than the array of components.
To that end, there are many tools available which operate in a
conventional drive (thorough testing requires modified hardware) and
report understandable information. Because of the intense error
correction required for optical media, a simple pass/fail measurement is
of little value. Much more interesting is the number of retries - error
corrections - required to read the disc.
I have long preferred the CD and DVD Inspector and Diagnostic programs
now published by Infinadyne for this job, but for CDs one can use the
quality measurement of CDSpeed (now part of Ahead's Nero suite) to much
the same effect. There may be others as well - one hopes there is
something for other platforms than Windows - but I've not tried with them.
I have been at this optical recording business for over a decade but
have yet to understand the mindset of so many users. The thought of
measuring error rate to determine how well one writes a disc seems
foreign to many otherwise rational recordists, even to those with
scientific orientation. Perhaps it is only a misplaced belief in the
infallibility of digital processes.