An abbreviation for Compact Disc-Recordable -- a Compact Disc on which a user can record audio, data, or both. (The acronym CDR is also in common usage.) A CD recording drive ("CD Burner") uses a higher-power laser (as compared to a standard CD drive) to record information in a special dye layer in the blank media. Once information is recorded to the disc, though, it cannot be removed. (It can be 'deleted' but this only removes the directory entry, not the data storage itself.)

CD-Rs have the benefit that they can be played in almost all CDROM drives and audio CD players (assuming that the CD contains audio). A similar technology, CD-RW, is erasable but cannot be read by many CD players and earlier CDROM drives.

I was taught this test by the man with the most CD-Rs in my acquaintance(roughly 3200 at the time of this writeup). He swears by it, and yet it is very easy to perform.

1. Take a burned CD-R of a brand you wish to test, preferably a misburned but still working one.
2. Bend the CD-R 90 degrees. If it does not break outright, let it straighten out.
3. Check the CD-R for any visual signs of decay, like surface layer flaking.
4. Place the CD-R in your CD-ROM player and read some files off of it.

If the CD-R passes all these steps without any problems, you can most likely rely upon it to last through 25 years of storage or being played/used once a week for 10 years.

note: this is not a joke or a bluff meant to make you spray little pieces of broken CD-R and foil all over your room. This test actually does give some indication of the quality of the disc, and of the adhesive properties of the aluminum layer.

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