Hit or Miss

Data vs. Music CD Recordables.

Today I saw 5 “music” CDRs selling for $12 and 10 “data” CDRs of the same brand selling for the same price. Is there really a difference? Or is it just the music industry trying to keep stupid people from pirating music? I do know that there are different color dyes used for CDRs and that some CDRs do not play in older CD players. Do these new “music” CDRs use a special dye that older players will recognize?

5 responses so far (Respond)


Our office manager ordered CDRs for me at work and mistakenly ordered Memorex “Music CD-R for digital audio.” I needed *something* so I tried them with data and they worked just as well as any data CDR I’ve used. I’m not convinced there is any difference.

It’s like Coffeemate Lite and Coffeemate Fat Free. Just figured this out at the store this weekend … they are the exact same product with different names. The “lite” version really is fat free, too. Perhaps it’s a marketing experiment.

Ron | 4 Jul 2000

The “music” CD’s cost more because they’ve got a surcharge that’s paid to the music companies as a royalty added to their cost.

No joke, it’s a CD copying tax, but you can avoid it by buying the 100% identical product that is sold under the “Data CD” name.

Anil | 4 Jul 2000

Well, almost. It is my understanding that while yes the two cd types do use the same format to record data, the music ones, because they are bound to pay for royalties as you mentioned, have a digital marker that tells the home recorder this royalty has been paid. So in theory no, data cdr’s won’t work in a home audio stand alone recorder (ala Phillips and Pioneer.) Don’t think I still won’t try though…

Zagato | 24 Nov 2000

There is another difference. I have a Sony car stereo that reads text off of music CD’s. The title and artist of the CD and each song scroll across the display on the stereo while the CD is playing. When I record CD’s on my computer though, only the ones recorded on “music” CDR’s display the text, the “data” CDR’s don’t.

Darek | 2 Jun 2001

We own a ‘Philips CDR 600’ audio CD recorder. It will not accept CD-Rs made for computer CD writers (believe me I have tried), it will only accept CDs “music CD-R”. Obviously there is a difference that my recorder can tell, what it is I do not know.

Julian | 17 Jun 2002