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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am having problems getting your DVD-R discs to burn in my drive. If they do burn, they won’t play back in some drives. What’s up?

A: All drives have firmware (software on an internal chip) that tells it how to burn discs from each of the disc manufacturers. If the firmware is outdated, the discs may not burn properly, resulting in a failure or incompatibility during playback. In most cases, updating firmware is quick and easy process and you can find the latest version from a list of links on the MAM-A site.

See: http://www.mam-a.com/firmware_upgrades
Q: What do you recommend as the safest method of labeling Gold Archive CDs and DVDs? Are water-based pens generally safe over the long-term? What about Sharpies?

A: For CD-R, water or alcohol based permanent markers are safe -- we offer them on our site. (See the link below). Sharpies should only be used in the center of the disc where no data is saved. For DVD R, You do not need to worry about marking the media since there is a "dummy" layer on top. Any marker can be used anywhere on the label side of the disc.

CD-safe markers http://www.mam-a-store.com/cd-r-media-accessories.html

Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs — A Guide for Librarians and Archivists
Q: I have heard that it is always better to burn at the lowest speed possible to get the best recording. Is that true? If not, what speed do you recommend for CD-R? DVD-R?

A: When duplicating an analog tape, recording at the lowest speed yields the highest quality recording. For optical discs (CD-R, DVD-R, Blu-ray), this is not true. As a rule of thumb, we find that the best recording is roughly at half the top rated speed. So for CD-R for example, the best recording quality is about 24X for a disc with 52X top speed, for DVD-R; 8X (for a 16X disc). As is true with many processes, choosing the middle of the range is often the way to get best performance.
Q: I want to archive some LPs and cassettes on my stand alone Compact Disc Recorder, but it won't accept the new high-speed CD-Rs. Will your digital audio CDs work with this recorder?

A: Yes. Our “Digital Audio for Consumers” discs are rated for 1X-12X speeds and were specifically designed for applications like yours.
Q: I ordered your product below from an online dealer and during shipping they have been exposed to sub-zero temperatures (-10 to -30) for at least a week. Does this damage the archival DVD's? Or are they safe to use?

A: We understand your apprehension, but cold temperatures do not have an adverse effect on the media. High temps can be problem if over 140 F for an extended time.
Q: Now that I've invested heavily in digital photography, both in dollars and personal time, I'm trying to find the best available storage media to archive my digital images. After searching the web, I learned about your archive grade products, but most of the discussions concern music files, text and data storage, rather than image files. Does the high praise given your MAM-A gold CD-R products apply when storing JPEG, RAW, or Tiff files as well as music files, etc.?

A: Our MAM gold CD-R is generally respected as being the best archive grade recordable media available. It works equally as well for images in any photo format, music, text or data -- it's all just zeros and ones to the CD or computer. We are very involved in the photo market and our media is in use in 80% of the photo developing labs in Canada that offer our gold media as the "digital negative" for their customers' photos.

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