The Difference Between CD-R and CDROM

The Difference Between CD-R and CDROM



For years people have never understood the difference between a CD-R and a CDROM. The same goes for DVD-R or DVD-ROM.


The short explanation is: In CD-R, the -R means recordable. This means you take an actual disc and put it into a recordable disc drive and you copy data to this disc in a “Write Once” method.  In CDROM, the ROM means “Read Only Memory.” What does that mean? Check this out, it’s really pretty amazing.

Once upon a time, music was distributed on a Vinyl Record or LP as we now it. It was round with ridges that could easily be scratched. They came in different sizes; For instance, earlier on there was the 78 RPM (revolutions per minute), followed up by the popular 33 and 45’s.


But how did the audio/music get onto these round flat flying saucer like discs? As shown here on Forbes website, they published a video on July 9, 2015, the 11 steps to making a Vinyl Record.

A CD or DVD ROM is created the same way. The method of which you send your master data in to production so that a “Glass Master” is molded.

Then that is used to create multiple discs in an assembly line production where the data is injection molded into the creation of the disc from the memory of the glass master. It’s then prepped for a silkscreened graphic printed on the disc to identify the content.


This is how we get the ROM portion of CDROM or DVDROM, ROM.


See here on Discover Channel’s “How it’s Made” Episodes, they went inside a plant and show you how it all works!


Did you just have an “ah hah” moment? Pretty riveting stuff isn’t it? Now you will never look at a CD or DVD the same again!


For more information on recordable vs ROM, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss what solution is best for you.