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A CD-R (Compact Disk - Recordable) is a thin disc made of polycarbonate with a 120 mm diameter that is mainly used to store music or data. However, unlike conventional CD media, a CD-R has a core of dye instead of metal.

A specially designed type of CD-ROM drive, called a CD-R drive, CD burner, or CD writer can be used to write CD-Rs. A laser is used to etch ("burn") small pits into the dye so that the disc can later be read by the laser in a CD-ROM drive or CD player. Once a section of a CD-R is written, it cannot be erased or rewritten, unlike a CD-RW. A CD-R can be recorded in multiple sessions.

The first CD-Rs were produced in 1997 by the companies Memorex, Maxell, and TDK.

There was some incompatibility with CD-Rs and older CD-ROM drives. This was primarily due to the lower reflectivity of the CD-R disc. In general, CD drives marked as 8x or greater will read CD-R discs.

see also: CD-ROM, DVD, CD burner

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