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Glossary of Media Terms

Archival Gold
Specialty media from Mitsui / MAM-A that contains a patented Phthalocyanine dye and a layer of gold foil for extreme longevity.

The writable form of Blu-ray available to consumers.

Writable discs that can be erased and rewritten with new data.

Blank disc
A disc that has no information written on the data layer.

Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray is a high definition optical format developed by Sony that stores up to 25 GB of data per layer.

Branded Media
Discs that bear the name of the manufacturer on the surface of the disc.

Business Card Discs
Sometimes called Hockey Rink discs, they have two straight edges and two curved edges. Designed to fit in a wallet or specialty vinyl sleeve.

See Compact Disc.

CD format that is used for including extra information on a CD-ROM/XA track, enabling it to be played on a CD-i or CD-ROM/XA drive.

Compact Disc Digital Audio. This format was launched in 1982 and was the product of joint development by Philips and Sony. CD-DA discs conform to the red book standard.

CD Duplication
The process of 'burning' audio or data files onto a recordable CD.

A multisession CD comprising of audio and data. Can be used to add extra CD-ROM content to audio CD releases. The standard was developed by Philips, Sony and Microsoft.

Audio CD that contains graphics as well as audio data. The format is usually used for karaoke CDs.

Compact Disc - Interactive. A multimedia/interactive CD format that was jointly invented by Philips and Sony.

Compact Disc Recordable. An optical disc which data/audio can be written to once. The CD-R was developed by Taiyo Yuden.

CD Replication
The process of pressing or stamping data onto a CD from a glass master.

Compact Disc Read-Only Memory. An optical disc used to store computer data. CD-ROM is defined by the yellow book standard developed jointly by Philips and Sony in 1983.

CD-ROM Extended Architecture. These discs contain Mode 2 sectors allowing audio and data to be read at the same time. Photo CD, Video CD and CD-Extra are based on this format.

Compact Disc Re-writable. An optical disc that can be written with data or audio multiple times. Introduced in 1997 by Hewlett Packard, Mitsubishi, Philips, Ricoh and Sony.

Compact Disc
A digital storage format that uses a laser, polycarbonate discs and metal data layers for storing and retrieving information

Content Scramble System. Scheme used to encrypt DVDs so that they can only be played on CSS-licensed DVD players.

The silver finish on the data layer of certain CD-R's, named for its sharp and clear appearance. Looks very similar to a replicated disc.

Disk-At-Once (DAO)
The process whereby a whole CD is written to without turning the laser off, i.e. there is only a single track burned onto the disc.

Dual Layer Disc (DL)
Dual-Layer discs have multiple data layers on the same side of a disc that can be recorded on.

Digital Versatile Disc. A DVD can contain audio, video or data.

DVD Audio
DVD format used for storing audio data. Has a much higher sampling rate than standard Audio CD's but the format has been slow to catch on with consumers.

Replicated single sided, single layer DVD with 4.7GB of storage.

Replicated single sided, dual layer DVD with 8.5GB of storage.

Replicated double sided, dual layer DVD with 17GB of storage.

Digital Versatile Disc Recordable.

Digital Versatile Disc Recordable Dual Layer.

Digital Versatile Disc Re-writable. Developed in co-operation with Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi Chemical, Philips, Ricoh, Sony and Yamaha.

Digital Versatile Disc Recordable. An optical disc capable of having large amounts of data written onto it once.

Digital Versatile Disc Re-writable.

Re-writable DVD disc.

Digital Versatile Disc Read-Only Memory. Used for storing computer data.

A re-writable DVD disc. Can be re-used multiple times. These discs may have compatibility problems with some hardware.

An organic compound found in compact discs that crystallizes at a known rate. This is the layer which data is "burned" into.

One of two competing high-definition formats, supported by hardware manufacturers and led by Toshiba.

The recordable format of HD DVD, these discs are available in single-layer (15GB) capacities and dual-layer (30 GB) capacities.

The rewritable form of HD-DVD-R. Can be erased and rewritten multiple times.

Inkjet Printable
Media with a white or silver, often rough surface. For use in inkjet printers.

A special type of recordable media where a laser is used to etch text and designs onto the top surface of the disc. Compatible with Lightscribe burners only.

Mini Discs
A disc with the same inner diameter as a standard disc, but a smaller outer diameter. Most mini-sized discs are 3 inches across.

Optical Media
Any type of disc that stores information digitally and is read with a laser. Includes CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD formats.

Storage capacity
The total amount of information that can fit on a blank disc.

Super Blue
A "super cyanine" dye used in certain Taiyo Yuden brand CD discs that gives them a distinctive blue color.

Thermal Printable
Media with a smooth, glossy printable surface. Used in thermal printers for the application of labels with heat and pressure.

Write speed
The speed at which data is etched into the data layer of discs, usually expressed in terms of "x" or "times." An average DVD recorder can write at 8X or "8 times speed."