"X" Your Speed

2x, 8x, 24x, 40x, what's all this about anyway. Well it's quite simple actually. The first CDs were audio discs. The standard playback speed of the audio CD was considered the normal or 1 times speed (1x). The first recorders wrote at the same speed as audio playback or 1x.

When the first CDs containing data came into play, folks got impatient waiting for about an hour to move data at a rate of about 600 Mb per hour. The same for writing data on a CDR. Speeding things up for data wouldn't matter so faster readers came into play. Faster recorders followed. Remember, play back speed has nothing to do with recording speed. Ever since the early 90's, we've been getting faster readers & recorders but what about audio?

If you think about it, playing back an audio CD at something faster than 1x (normal) would make everything sound like the chipmunks (if you remember the chipmunks, you probably remember 45s). You can record at a faster speed but obviously, play back is always going to best at 1x.

By the way, the tech experts at dataDisc suggest that you record your audio master at the slowest speed that your recorder will support. Copies can be done at faster speeds but the master should be done at a slower speed.

by Al Foster, VP
dataDisc, Inc.