When I first started reading and burning DVD media, I met with much fustration. As it turned out, my biggest problem was the crappy DVD drive which came with my laptop. I replaced the drive with a unit from Pioneer, after my OEM drive failed. I wish I'd replaced it sooner. An OEM replacement was $300. The new Pioneer drive was $80 online; do the math. I did have some trouble with dirty/scratched DVD's, but that was only a matter of cleaning the DVD, unless they are badly scratched. Next, I read up and came to the conculsion that certain brands of DVD media are better than others - specifically, Taiyo Yuden. This brand might not be easy to find locally, but you can find them online for about 30-40 cents per DVD. With these issues out of the way, I am happy to report 100% success reading DVD, and 99.5% burning 300+ DVDs. Also, I would add that ANYDVD is the most well designed software I have used. If it weren't for the updates, you wouldn't know it was there.