Is it my burner, or defective media?

Now that the lady I babysit for has finally got a computer, my dreams have been realized! I’m online, she’s not. But I can download cool old Sesame Street excerpts (the officially subversive ones! Yay!) and all the really good kids’ movies I’ve been wanting to show my little friend; then I burn them together on one data CD, and play them on her PC.

This has been working fine up til now. I bought a 10-pack of blank CDs on sale for $4.99, and hunkered down for some deep burning. Let me emphasize that this exact process with this same mix of file types on even the same brand of media has succeeded before, many times.

Every single disc so far(9 out of 10) winds up with the picture OK, but the sound checks out at approximately regular intervals. I’m talking about every 15 seconds; making it impossible to watch! At first I thought it was the compression – I was converting the files, mostly avi’s, to mp4, because they play back fine on a PC & then I can get a ridiculous amount on one disc. That has always worked fine before, but you never know. So I tried burning them as they were, but the same thing happened.

The files play fine from my hard drive, compressed or not. But when I burn them onto a disc and play the disc back on my PC (and on hers) the same thing happens.

My burner is an NEC DVD+RW. The media is Maxell CD-R. I figure either my burner has developed a problem, or the media’s bad. I have the receipt. I have one disc left with which to conduct an experiment to determine which it is, but I can’t think of what to try that will tell me for sure.

Can you help?

What software are you using to do the burning?

The only other thing I can think of that is going wrong is that the video files won’t work from a CD-R and you might need to burn them onto a DVD-R.

If they work from your computer then the media is fine and something is wrong with the burning process.

Well, let me make sure I’m clear on this. (and thanks for answering, Lakai)

The files play fine on my hard drive from my hard drive. Once I burn them onto a disc, the sound on the disc is screwed up every time and it won’t play back right anywhere.

I am using Deep Burner. It has always worked before, perfectly.

I just tried burning an mp3 onto the last disc. That plays back fine. At the same time, I burned an MP4 of a video clip from Sesame Street (Alice Cooper!), and the sound once again checks in & out. What is confusing me is that I have done the same thing the same way with the same variety of files, & it played back perfectly.

The way I’ve always done it is to burn the video clips/ movies as data files onto a CD since they’re data files on my PC. MPEG’s, AVI’s, MP4’s – they’re all data files, right? Then I play them back on her PC, no problem. My understanding is that you use DVD discs when you want a formal movie-type burn which is not one but many files w/ the sound separate.

In my experience burning disks is an art not a science. One brand can work well in one burner and be terrible in another, sometimes burning slower helps, othertimes I found burning as fast as possible was better, soem palyers are very choosy about which brand or type they like. I had to buy 6 different brands of disks until I found one that reliably burnt everytime - and they turned out to be the stores cheap own brand.

Try copying the media files from the CD, back to the hard drive, and then play them. Often, playing a compressed video file from the faster Hard Drive is more reliable then from the CD. If the file copies, and plays fine, then just do this at your friends computer, and delete the files after you watch them. If the file still plays with intermittent sound, then your media is corrupt.

You can burn a DVD-R as a Data DVD. Its basically a 4.6GB CDR. Just set your burning software to burn a Data DVD, instead of a Video DVD.

I would think so as well, but I don’t see anything else that could explain it.

If they play fine from your hard drive, but not from the CD, then it has to be either the burning software or the CD. I’ve used Deep Burner before without any problems, so I think that it’s the CDs that aren’t good.

Hey, thanks everybody. I just knew I’d get a straight answer here! I’ll go try the back-to-my-hard-frive-from-the-disc thing, and let you know.

Well, what do you know!! It worked!!! I still think the media is bad, but at least now I know what to do. Have you ever seen Alice Cooper singing “School’s Out” on Sesame Street with a bunch of giant Muppets? It rocks. I didn’t want my little charge to miss it. And Nora Jones singing “I don’t know why Y didn’t call”. (she had a date with the letter of the day, but he stood her up.)

Thanks a million, folks!