Optical Drives (cds and Dvds)

By: James Walsh

Whenever we talk about computers, another thing that automatically crops up is data. Data, which is the information stored on the computers in a digital format. Data in this form has become so crucial to us that many people are more comfortable writing data via the keyboard and the computer monitor than they are with the pen and paper.

Whenever we talk of data, data storage is the next thing that will come to the minds of most of us. For most of us who have been brought up on the staple diet of the floppy disk as our medium for storing data, the compact disks and then the DVDs came as a pleasant gift from the masters of computers and related technology.

The Optical Disk Storage Media

The optical disk storage media consists of the compact disks and their relatively new but far more powerful cousin the digital versatile disk. These are also called the CDs and the DVDs respectfully. They superseded the older floppy disks as the main data storage media.

The reason as to why they overtook the floppies is very simple. The compact disks and the digital versatile disks store much more data as compared to the floppy disks. Not only that they are also less prone to getting spoilt on account of day to day physical abuse.

Compact Disks

CD is the popular name of the compact disks. The most common and most used of the compact disks are perhaps the CD-ROM; these are the read-only memory compact disks. They contain data which is accessible by a computer.

The format of the compact disks was initially meant for the storage of music as well as playback. On a later date the given format was made adaptable so that it could hold any kind of binary data. The compact disks are a very popular data storage media.

Uses of Compact Disks

The compact disks are generally used for the distribution of computer software. They are most popular for the transfer of games. Even in the multimedia applications, the compact disks are a common form of data storage as well as a data transfer medium.

Nevertheless any kind of data can be stored on the compact disks. The storage is up to the storage capacity of the given compact disk. Certain compact disks are capable of holding not only the computer data but the audio also along with it. These compact disks are referred to as enhanced compact disks.

Digital Versatile Disks

The digital versatile disks are also known as digital video disks. In popular parlance they are simply called the DVDs. They are an immensely popular format of optical disk storage media. Their chief uses are in the storage of video files and even other data.

The size and shape of the digital versatile disks is the same as that of the compact disks. However their size and shape belies their capabilities. The digital versatile disks are capable of storing data that is much greater than what can possibly be stored on a compact disk. Generally one DVD can store data equivalent to at least six compact disks.

Different Digital Versatile Disks

There are many different kinds of digital versatile disks. In fact their versatility is the reason behind their name. These disks are known by their names which refer to the category of the disks. This makes it easy to differentiate between their various functions.

Different Kinds of DVDs

For example the DVD-ROM refers to the DVDs from which data can only be read but it cannot be written upon. Similarly other DVDs available are:

DVD-R: these DVDs can be written upon. However this can be done once only. Thereafter they start to function as the DVD-ROM's.

DVD-RW: These are capable of holding data which can be re-written upon a large number of times.

DVD-Video: As the name itself suggests, these are those digital versatile disks that can be used for video purposes.

DVD-Audio: These disks are appropriately structured and formatted for making it possible to access their audio content.

Advantages of DVDs

The main advantage of the digital versatile disks is that they are a cheap, inexpensive and reliable form of data storage medium.

Problems with the DVDs

The main problem with the DVDs and the CDs is that their functioning can be easily impaired on account of dust and scratches to their surface.


Computers
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Computers
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles