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25. What are the differences among DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM?

DVD-R is the equivalent of CD-R; it is an optical write-once medium. DVD-RW is the equivalent of CD-RW; it is also an optical medium that must be completely erased and rewritten to.
DVD+R and DVD+RW compete with DVD-R and DVD-RW. They are very similar, but are incompatible formats; one cannot write to a DVD+R/RW with a DVD-R/RW drive, although drives that can read and write to both are now available.
DVD-RAM is a magneto-optical medium with outstanding durability and stability, and is perfect for long-term storage, particularly the type that comes in a cartridge. It is truly random-access, and behaves like a giant floppy or Zip drive - you can delete individual files and add files without erasing the whole disk first. Disadvantages to DVD-RAM include its very slow speed, expensive media, and inability to play back disks in the average home DVD player. Many home DVD recorders use DVD-RAM.


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