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About Digital and Optical Media

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What is Optical Media?

The digital data stored on CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are read by the laser-light system referred to as optical. Because optical discs utilise digital data, they can be adapted to the advancements made in media recording and encoding equipment, unlike analog systems that have become redundant. The most recent example of the adaptation of optical media is Blu-Ray. This, along with a robust physical design, means optical discs such as CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray remain the premier vehicle for consumable media in Australia today.

Examples of Optical Media

  • CD Audio – offering up to 80 minutes of audio
  • CD-Rom – used for small pieces of interactive content and data – Capacity 700MB

Enhanced CD – contains a collection of Audio and Data (please note: an Enhanced CD differs from a CD-Rom as it can be played as an Audio disc in a CD Player, while a CD-Rom cannot. For help authoring an enhanced CD please speak to our authoring department)

  • DVD5 – Single layer DVD containing up to 90 minutes of video
  • DVD9 – Dual Layer DVD containing up to 160 minutes of video
  • DVD10 – Double-sided dual layer DVD containing up to 180 minutes of video (split over 2 sides)
  • DVD5-Rom – Single layer DVD with capacity of 4.7GB
  • DVD9-Rom – Dual Layer DVD with capacity of 8.5GB
  • DVD10-Rom – Double-sided dual layer DVD with capacity of 9.4GB (split over 2 sides)
  • BD-25 – Single layer Blu-Ray disc with a capacity of 25GB
  • BD-50 – Dual layer Blu-Ray disc with capacity of 50GB

Digital Media

While optical media discs contain physical depressions which an optical laser-light then reads – digital media uses the same process as a computer BIOS chip to distribute information. The most popular form of storing this electronic information is on a USB Flash drive or MP3 Flash drive. Flash memory is also known as “solid state” – meaning there are no moving parts inside the product. This makes flash memory devices incredibly safe for distributing information. Digital media also provides an opportunity to be differentiated from the crowd.

Examples of Digital Media

  • USB Flash Drive
  • MP3 Player
  • SD Card

Optical versus Digital

At duplication.com.au we love both Optical and Digital media. Arguments can be (and often are) made for each, but it’s important to decide what is required from the media, rather than what may or may not be “better”.

For instance, if the product is a music album to be sold via retail outlets, CD replication or DVD replication could be the most suitable option. However, if the product is a music single to be distributed at a launch or other event, the response may be more enthusiastic if the single is distributed on a promotional USB or MP3 player.

Have you made a decision? Head to our Product Gallery to check out packaging options.


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