Conclusion: CDs With 100 Minutes Of Music Can Be Used Anywhere
Our special test on overburning music and data CDs shows that over 100 minutes of music, or some 900 MB, will fit on an R99 CD. If music has been burned as an audio CD, it can be played back in virtually any CD player. We played back several test CDs, all of which held more then 90 minutes of music, and we tested them in several car stereos as well as in home CD players. The result? Practically all of the devices were able to play back the CDs. Problems only occurred once the player reached the external regions on the disc. This is a tough nut that car stereos find particularly hard to crack. We encountered the least number of problems with CD drives on PC systems. They had no difficulties playing back 100 minutes of music perfectly. Playing back oversized CDs is child's play for some of the high-end home stereo systems, too.
The minimum requirements for writing to or overburning oversized CDs (CD-R90 and CD-R99) are a suitable CD burner and burning software. However, there is a drawback with today's selection of CD burners that have maximum speeds of 24x, 32x or 40x: their lowest write speeds are generally only 4x. We call this a drawback because one of the main causes of errors during overburning to the outermost regions on a CD is that the write speed is far too high.
We recommend LG Electronics' current batch of CD drives (GCE-4120B, GCE-8160B and GCE-8240B), which produce excellent overburning results at 4x write speed. Ideally, users will have the option to manually select write speeds of 2x, or even 1x, someday. The Asus CRW-3212A we tested has considerably more difficulties burning oversized CD blanks - once the playback time exceeds 90 minutes, problems start cropping up. That said, though, the drive is suitable for copying data and music CDs. It supports any and every feature imaginable, from CD text and disc-at-once to track-at-once and read/ write sub-channel data. The CD-R99 discs have the last word in the world of compact discs - last year's plans to manufacture blanks in CD-R120 format (120 minutes of music or 1080 MB of data) have fizzled out completely.