Not all blank CD/DVD media advice is equal

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/BD Blanks' started by dfmedia, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. dfmedia

    dfmedia Member

    While the Internet has served as a great accomplishment of mankind, a communication marvel equal to the Renaissance of ages ago, it's also served as one of the worst methods for finding accurate information. Finding reliable data is literally harder than finding a needle in a field of haystacks. A large chunk of the modern Web, with it's moonlanding-denial and Paypal scam sites, is a pile of cyber-manure. The same can be said for self-proclaimed "experts" that infest anonymous user forums, whose primary activity is to insult and libel others.

    It's sad to think these individuals, from their keyboard pulpit, are actually able to influence and otherwise dissuade otherwise smart folks from using sound information.

    Take the case of digitalFAQ.com, a site that earnestly attempts to give free information to those who seek help with digital media topics, primarily in digital video. Enormous amounts of research go into the creation and maintenance of the data used in various guides. Of these dozens of guides are several geared towards demystifying and independently "ranking" (reviewing) blank CD/DVD media. It's information given for the purpose of being used as buying advice by otherwise unsuspecting consumers. The site is not influenced by any company or funding, it's an independent operation with information supplied by a few dedicated supporters. While all of them are serious hobbyists and/or media professionals, no ego-driven proclamation of "expertise" is ever given.

    Now, most people can see the site for what it is, a tool that is there to help.

    However, a few overly egocentric people out there believe that their personal opinion is the most important one on the entire Internet. In most all cases, they are upset because lesser-quality media (namely CMC and RITEK disc) are not listed at the top of the chart. They have an exceeding bias for unknown reasons.

    The person referenced twice in this forum in the stickies, a user known by several aliases themed around the word "dolphin", is one of these individuals. His opinion is flawless in his mind, and anybody that disagrees is an idiot. His information is suspect, his self-proclamation to guru status is suspect, his devotion to mediocre BenQ burners is not surprising, his assurance that media quality always changes is flat out wrong, and his attitude is that of a teenaged child. He spends hours online griping about his how singular experience is more important than any body of research.

    The only thing that this gentleman has gotten accurate is where he states the overall combined stats of DVD media tests does not 100 percent precisely reflect the personal experiences of the owner (or any of the other testers, for that matter). Why is this? Quite simple, really. The information is collaborated and unbiased. Only a biased review performed by yes-men would match across the board. However, even with minor disagreements in the group, the overall data does reflect the overall experience of the group of testers, as well as the world in general. Just look around online, sites such as videohelp.com, and you'll see the results tend to match pretty closely to wide-open experiences of the masses. Notice how certain media are almost always suggested on most sites (Mitsubishi, Sony, Maxell), while others tend to bring up "problem" posts in user forums (Ritek, Princo, CMC).

    When it comes to "thinking twice" about information, please do. Weigh the options of respectability and genuine desire to assist.

    The information found at www.digitalfaq.com/media is there for you, the casual CD/DVD media user that does not have time to research thousands of discs on dozens of burners. It's not biased, company-sponsored or otherwise "unclean" in any way.

    There are some other sites that collaborate in various ways (uncontrolled user submissions, mostly), as well as private organizations that sell their studies. Any of those would be good alternatives too. In fact, read all of the them, perform some tests yourself, and draw your own conclusions. What you need to avoid are personal opinions you see in forums or on blogs.

    Happy burning. I hope you have a coaster-less experience. :)
     
  2. oldjoe

    oldjoe Well-Known Member

    :clap: :clap:
     
  3. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    Uhh . . I wasn't going to bother replying, until I read that.

    The Benq 1640 was a very good writer; the fact that you're even mentioning this just confirms what he's written.

    Are you now bashing cfreaks.com? http://www.cdfreaks.com/reviews/BenQ-DW1640-DVD-Writer
    cdrlabs.com? http://cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=270 (a review written by The Digital Dolphin; you might want to educate yourself and look at the wide variety of blank media tested with that burner in that review: http://cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=270&page=Performance)
    and cdrinfo.com? http://cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=14268&PageId=24

    Three highly respected review sites. Three awards issued . . .

    Benq 1655

    http://cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=16050&PageId=25 (editor's choice award)
    http://cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=288&page=Conclusion (best buy award; not reviewed by The Digital Dolphin)

    He also owns some Plextor burners including the PX-760a--or was that a "mediocre" burner as well?

    Next.

    Is this why you're still listing Prodisc and Ritek media as being as high as "second class"?
    Or is that why you have at least one entry listed that isn't even sold anymore?
    Or is that why you lump MAM-A in with MAM-E?

    Is this why you have Ritek ranked as high as "second class"? Or that your info promotes people buying lesser grade TDKs being sold in Costcos? Some CMC is very bad. Some CMCMAGE01 8x DVD+Rs produce excellent pi/po scans. Why are you lumping everything together?

    Speaking of libel . . .

    You clearly have a very cursory understanding of what he is recommending and not recommending anyway:

    "Not likely to ever go on the quality list:
    Ritek/RiData DVD-R
    Prodisc DVD±R
    Princo
    pretty much anything made in China or Hongkong"

    Oh by the way, have you heard of CATS testing?
    http://cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=21953&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0
    Or is that too subjective for you?

    Don't worry. The people who have been burning for years do. Does your faq warn people about the potential issue with MAP6 Verbatim dvd-r media (an issue Verbatim is aware of)? Or is this yet another example of how media quality doesn't change in your eyes? Is this something "the internet" knows about? Is this something countless testings have made you aware of?

    The only thing I agree with is the title of your thread (and that Princo and some Ritek have a strong sucking tendency).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  4. dfmedia

    dfmedia Member

    BenQ and Plextor writers are average, nothing special. The main supporters of those drives are folks that scan discs, and neither of them are the greatest at reading/writing media compared to other drives that exist out there. The Plextor drive is overpriced too, so it's a double punishment.

    When you use finicky drives, it's no wonder that your ideas of "best media" tend to be a little distorted from the rest of the world. BUT THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! It's good to find media that works with your specific burner. Just understand your situation might differ from the majority.

    All anybody wants is a good burn. That's the reason guides/studies exist. Remember it's a guide to help you, based on the successes and failures of others, it's not a religious text that must be followed without question.

    Whatever disc you choose, may it burn well for you. :)
     
  5. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    lol

    The Benq 1640 is one of the best burners for handling dvd+R blank media well that many others can't. And in fact, the Benq
    1640 was one of the best commercially released burners for its time.

    At one time, the majority believed the earth was flat. One would hope a site would get updated to indicate that's no longer the case.
    The statements I'm making are fact--not opinion.

    1) "Finicky" drives work well with good blank media. In fact, most drives do. That's one criterion of being "good" media.
    2) The Benq 1640 is hardly finicky (it handles a lot of blank media well, especially +R media well, that some like the PX-760a don't
    burn as well to.)
    3) He also owns some Pioneer burners, I believe.

    The 1640 just isn't the best built drive in the world, granted, but it handles a lot of blank media decently that I would
    normally call pure junk. The fact that you're bashing Philips based Benq drives, and by extrapolation, the three reviews that support the 1640, is enough to make me pause.

    And if you aren't using those drives to test on, I hope you know how to interpret poorly scaled pi/po tests that some
    of the other drives can produce (or whatever it is you're using to test blank media on). Each drive is a little "finicky" in it's testing, but
    some are truly horrid.

    For all the dolphin bashing, do you know many people with just "opinions" that can get access to CATS media testing equipment?
    The average person can't.

    I recommend some Taiyo Yuden, some Verbatim, and some Maxell media (but so does the Digital Dolphin) on these forums. I don't believe
    he completely disagrees with everything your site lists either, but he probably feels it could do with some updating (but I can't really
    speak for him either). I, unlike others, do not recommend everything sold under brand names unreservedly. I and many others are waiting for these mysterious collaborated test results of yours to be made public, in particular the individual test data themselves and the methodology used. While the Digital Dolphin supports his opinion with substantiated fact, I have yet to see anything you've tested made public. Where are the results?
    Do you see the media being tested here on the 1640: http://cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=270&page=Performance ?
    That's the Digital Dolphin's blank media being tested (he has tons) on just one burner for one review alone.
    Here's his LG4163B review (that's his media being tested): http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=258&page=Performance
    A Lite-on SOHW-1635S review: http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=280&page=Performance
    A Pioneer DVr-R100 review: http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=275&page=Performance
    etc.

    Do you see this test? http://cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=21953&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

    This is just a small sampling. He also has contacts with Verbatim, Maxell, etc.

    Stating that Princo makes poor quality blank media isn't overly impressive (anyone who has been in the burning community long enough knows this). What most people don't know is that that there have bonding issues with some batches of Taiyo Yuden media--or that there is a known issue with MAP6 Verbatim dvd-rs. Where are your results? Where is this great "body of research"? I'm more than willing to take a look at it. Here's to hoping your blank media guide gets updated properly at some point . . .

    Have a good day!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  6. dfmedia

    dfmedia Member

    Give you the raw data? I don't think so. No more than Coke would give away it's recipe, or Microsoft would open-source it's Windows code. Consider it private data, trade secrets.

    DVD media can get complicated very quickly. It would be impossible to include every single detail of blank media without writing a novel. This is supposed to be a couple of pages, a crash course with buying advice. It's not supposed to take up more room than War and Peace on a library shelf.

    The whole "bad batch" term is really ridiculous online, and when you finally do come across something legitimate, it's often a tiny amount that would not upset the overall test sample in the least. Some random bad TY and MCC media aside, it's nearly impossible to shake those discs from top rankings. We're aware of several problems out there right now, since you asked. When you run into those discs, return them to the store.

    You also cannot get too lost in technical data. Empirical results under relatively controlled conditions are all that matter; those lab tests mostly spit out theoretical data of how things could happen. You do realize stuff like CATS analysis are how some unpopular companies claim they have the best media in the world? Computer tests are well and fine, but they are merely one of many considerations. It makes for good info, a nice read, but that doesn't always translate into real-world experience. And consumers want real-world, they could care less about lab tests.

    You also need to notice that we've not once "bashed" the findings of your dolphin friend. He probably did a lot of tests and carefully drew conclusions on what he personally thinks are the best discs. Why he chose to insult and lie about our site is really a mystery to us. This never should have happened. He has the same goal, after all, helping others pick good discs. Or at least I'd like to think we all share a common goal.

    _________________

    On a side note, it would be quite easy to prove somebody acts like a teenager, therefore no libel exists. That's an opinion of character, it's not a false statement presented as fact. On the other hand, a number of statements by others have been libelous. Your dolphin friend would have a hard time defending words like "dangerous" and "random guesses" as those are defamatory and/or false statements, written with clear malice.

    _________________

    I think I've said all that needs saying here.

    Whatever disc you choose, I hope it works for you. :)
     
  7. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    You're not making KFC here, and you're not writing code here either. You're presenting a conclusion of a study without also publishing the evidence for it (and, in my opinion, it does appear to be outdated); doing so, to me, smacks of pure nonsense and a mere conclusion would not warrant publication at any accredited university or in any serious academic journal without also having the evidence and methodology presented for how you achieved those results. What's from stopping anyone from writing a list and stating it's true (because it can be corroborated, sometimes, by somewhat subjective data collected by individual users at videohelp and other websites)?

    Many of us have been waiting for a long time for your proof: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=181352

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=1467180&postcount=50

    I probably shouldn't have said "batch". Regardless, when companies start acknowledging that they are aware of an issue, then it might be time to start paying attention. If you're specifically referring to Verbatim, as a whole, I tend to agree. On average, Verbatim is a good, safe bet. And it's not the entire MAP6 serials that are having issues (as you say, not the entire "batch"), just a small sample.

    I agree to an extent, but if they are happening under certain conditions--then they are, in fact, happening--in the real world (for where else would it possibly occur?). If a disc fails, it fails ahead of another disc. Who wouldn't want something that's likely to last longer, all other things being equal?


    All studies can be manipulated, which is yet another reason why some people would like to see your evidence made public--instead of merely a conclusion.

    Where else would you be burning and testing blank media?

    You mean "couldn't care less", but I disagree; I'm not sure who you feel you're speaking for, but I do care about (unbiased) CATS testing, and I also care what about what C't reports indicate:
    http://cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13405

    Although I tend to agree with The Digital Dolphin with respect to your findings being outdated (and I do find it highly disturbing that you are unwilling to publish your evidence and methodology; this smacks of the very things you've accused him of, in my opinion), in the spirit of good will, I will delete the sticky about the digitalfaq. Keep in mind, he is not some punk kid; he is relatively well known in the blank media circles; his testing has caught the attention of some head offices; I believe he works in media distribution; the conclusion of the 1640 review was published at Benq's website (for obvious reasons); he had his own question and answer section at blankmedia.ca; and he, in my experience, has been correct with everything he's written about blank media that I've read recently. If someone with his credibility, contacts, and knowledge of the industry as a whole is taking exception with your guide, then maybe it wouldn't be unfair or unwise to listen to his criticisms; this isn't some random "teenaged child" you can just laugh off.


    This is misleading. read through http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=181352 and when you hit post #24, let me know.
    "several million a year" isn't just "a lot" . . .
    Most of us aren't dealing with anything on that scale.

    How does a "teenaged child" act?


    I'm not sure what country you're in (well, I could look, but I don't care), but if he weren't using a "dolphin" handle, and you named him, your comments here would be libelous (and I'm paraphrasing what someone in the legal IP field stated after reading your comments). Granted you both appear to not have been overly pleasant towards each other.

    Yes, this thread was most interesting: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=181352. lordsmurf's comments seem oddly familiar, and strangely no one really seems to agree with him, including Wesociety (likely from Wesleytech.com):
    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=1466426&postcount=26
    This post also highlights the problem many have with your guide: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=1466788&postcount=45

    Perhaps if the supporting evidence were published there would be less fighting. I feel that would go a long way to fostering goodwill in the online community and, perhaps, help to alleviate some of the negative criticism. But that's just my opinion.

    By the way, he is not my "friend". I've never met him.

    Have a good day!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007