I could use some help figuring out how to select a new CD/DVD duplicator
to burn reference or access copies of audio, video and text files
(legitimately, from digital content we have created).  I thought this
would be simple---go out and order a new duplicator (and maybe that's
all there is to it---if so, feel free to say so) but I'm seeing there's
a lot I don't know.  


So, here's what I think we want:


-the ability to duplicate CD and DVD reference and access copies (of
audio, video, text--i.e., bits).  Duplicate one at-a-time rather than
multiples---a fairly simple duplicator I'm guessing;


-reliably accurate bit-for-bit duplication.  Are there differences in
duplicators' abilities to do this?  Over time?


-the ability to handle most disc formats---i.e., be as universal as
possible to handle source DVDs, CDs, CDR, CDRW.  Does this request make
sense and, if yes, is it a reasonable request---any compromises involved


-We mainly use PCs but would like MAC platform compatibility also. Is
this possible or are we talking compromises and possibly should plan for
MAC or PC dedicated burners?



-Is there anything in particular to recommend purchasing a standalone
vs. computer-linked duplicator?  Are there standalone burners that can
also link-up with a computer?


-Do all duplicators write to disc the same way?  If not, are there
differences that make a difference?  Is bit rot a factor with DVDs or
CDs?  If yes, is there a useful and affordable way to measure the rate
of bit rot or is this foolishness?


-Should we be writing to one format---i.e., DVDs?---regardless of the
source format?  (Revealing my lack of background but I need to learn so
better to ask.)


-What about lightscribe?  This could be useful but could affect disc
longevity.  What does this do to the disc? Is it considered harmless or
not or don't we know?     


-Are there better duplicators or manufacturers? best DVD drives for
duplicators?  Not sure how to ask this.


-Anything additional I should be asking?  


I'll appreciate whatever information, advice or recommendations are


Tyra Grant


Head, Preservation Department

University of Kansas Libraries

Phone: 785-864-8951